In addition to all the LEGO sets from The Mandalorian, LEGO is also releasing a pair of LEGO Star Wars sets from The Clone Wars. We’ve already reviewed the smallest set in the summer 2021 wave, 75310 Duel on Mandalore, so today we’re taking a look at 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter, featuring a vehicle and characters seen in both The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series. The set includes 544 pieces with three minifigs and is available now for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £49.99.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Unboxing the parts, instructions & sticker sheet
A medium-sized box depicts the Mandalorian starfighter in vertical flight mode on the front, and in its landed configuration on the back. Although the both the vehicle and characters appear in earlier seasons of The Clone Wars, the character shown in the upper-right corner on the front of the box is an Ahsoka Trooper from the final season of the series.
The box contains four numbered bags, with both the instruction booklet and sticker sheet loose in the bag.
The sticker sheet is small, with only six stickers, and we would consider the sticker details optional if we weren’t putting together the set for a review.
The fighter’s fuselage begins with a block of Technic bricks bristling with Technic pins and axles to support the large wings later. The rear of the fuselage comes together first, with a rear-facing blaster cannon and nice sloping.
Next, you put together the cockpit and split nose, which is only about as thick as the wings that we’ll assemble next.
The last two bags contain the parts for the mirrored wings, which are mostly just a variety of wedge plates stacked on each other, with several shades of blue and gray on the surface to match the angled designs of the vehicle depicted in the TV series.
Attaching the wings to the Technic pins and axles in the block at the rear of the fuselage completes the fairly quick build.
The finished model
The LEGO model in 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter depicts the MandalMotors Kom’rk-class fighter/transport used by many different Mandalorian factions and characters throughout The Clone Wars and Rebels. In live action form, Bo-Katan flies the “Gauntlet” starfighter in The Mandalorian, and the vehicle even makes a brief appearance in the fleet Lando Calrissian assembles in The Rise of Skywalker to defeat the reborn Emperor Palpatine. Despite how frequently this vehicle appears throughout the Star Wars canon, this is only the second time it has appeared at this scale in LEGO form, following 9525 Pre Vizsla’s Mandalorian Fighter back in 2012.
In case it’s hard to see in the photo, we’ve propped the starfighter up on a transparent brick-built stand that’s not included in the set. The vehicle does not stand up on its own like this.
The rear section of the fuselage rotates 360 degrees, and the wings rotate between flight and landing configurations. Because only the top surface of the wings have a detailed design, the fairly generic color blocking on the underside is a little jarring.
In both animated series and The Mandalorian, the “Gauntlet” starfighter serves as a troop transport that can seat as many as 24 passengers and crew. Not so with this highly miniaturized LEGO version, which provides interior room for only two minifigures, and no real cockpit controls.
The trailing edges of the wings have the fighter’s sub-lightspeed engines, and this closeup also shows how unfinished the undersides of the wings look compared to the rest of the vehicle.
Pulling from the designs of the characters as they appear in the final season of The Clone Wars, the set includes three minifigures — Bo-Katan Kryze, Gar Saxon, and an unnamed Mandalorian loyalist. Bo-Katan Kryze wears a helmet with the Night Owls design, while Gar Saxon’s helmet features horns like the Armorer’s helmet in 75319 we reviewed yesterday. Saxon’s red and black armor coloring indicates his status as the commander of the Mandalorian super-commandos loyal to Maul’s Shadow Collective. (He wore different armor when he served Palpatine’s new Empire as Governor and Viceroy, playing an antagonist role again on Rebels.)
Both the named characters have printed heads, but oddly only Bo-Katan has hair. A black head under a helmet for an unnamed Mandalorian (who wears armor similar to many previous LEGO Mandalorian background characters) is fairly typical, but the inclusion of printed faces for the two named characters in this set makes their absence all the more striking in sets featuring Din Djarin from The Mandalorian.
All three Mandalorians have jetpacks, with printed armor details underneath.
Bo-Katan is the only character with a double-sided head, featuring a smirk on one side and a determined/fierce expression on the other.
Conclusions & recommendation
The scale, level of detail, and play features for the Mandalorian starfighter are somewhat disappointing, as is the lack of hair for poor Gar Saxon. And at 544 pieces for $60, this is no steal from a parts standpoint. But the first new LEGO version of this oft-seen vehicle in 9 years, with three excellent minifigs makes this a must-buy for any LEGO Star Wars builder or collector who’s a fan of The Clone Wars, Rebels, or The Mandalorian. With the legendary Darksaber wrested from Moff Gideon’s hands by Mando himself, we’re sure to see Bo-Katan Kryze again in the live action series, so the first set to feature her as a minifigure is also sure to be popular.
LEGO Star Wars 75316 Mandalorian Starfighter includes 544 pieces with three minifigs and is available now from the LEGO Shop online (US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £49.99), Amazon.com, eBay, and elsewhere.