The recent release of the 501st battlepack has taken LEGO Star Wars fans by storm. Many bought multiple sets containing the fan-favourite clone troopers for collecting, army building, and for use in their builds. While many built scenes starring the 501st troopers, landscape artist First Order Lego already completed their most iconic and memorable battle. The Battle of Umbara is regarded as the best four-episode story arc of The Clone Wars and is enough to elevate the whole series to Star Wars fans’ favour. In these episodes, the 501st struggle against the natives, the landscape, and even their own in a brutal war story. They showcase that the Republic are not the good guys, the soldiers are disposable, and that the war is pointless and harmful. Thus, people frequently compare them to the real-world inspiration: the United States invasion of Vietnam.
The 501st, led by Anakin Skywalker, advance through trenches and carnivorous plants on this elaborate against the Umbaran natives. The dark terrain and the eerie flora is visually striking, providing good contrast against the white armour of the clone troopers. First Order Lego uses many rubber tires to give a smooth and rounded look to the large spiky plants. Many bladed elements make up smaller plants, and even a few construction parts provide roughness to the landscape. In addition, various transparent parts dot the terrain, providing light and giving Umbara its signature “evil” look. While on the far side, the neon-lit road is a welcome change from the rough black wilderness.
First Order Lego also provides a time-lapse video of this battle scene coming together:
The summer 2020 lineup of LEGO Star Wars sets has added a number of sets inspired by Star Wars: The Clone Wars, including 75283 Armored Assault Tank with Ahsoka Tano and one of her unique Clone Troopers. 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers adds the elite infantry that Anakin Skywalker leads into battle as part of the Grand Army of the Republic. The set includes 285 pieces with the four Clone Trooper minifigs and two battle droids, and is scheduled to be available in the US starting September 1st from LEGO (US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £24.99), though actual availability may vary significantly due to COVID-19.
Before we dig into the details of the set, it’s important to briefly correct some earlier reporting, which indicated that this is part of the minifigure-centric Battle Packs line of sets within LEGO Star Wars. Although the set does include four “army builder” Clone Troopers and a pair of battle droids, the inclusion of two substantial vehicles places this within the realm of standard LEGO Star Wars sets, not Battle Packs.
(And yes, I inverted the torsos on a couple of the nearly identical Clone Troopers as you can see in some of the overall photos, but thankfully we caught it during photography and the detailed minifig photos are correct.)
“For the Chancellor!” This creation features the best of the 2006 video game Star Wars: Battlefront II. Built by Sebeus I, the scene illustrates an incredible canyon cliff, complete with weathered surfaces. The various tan slope elements are my favorite part, but I also like the laser fire, particularly the accurate in-game colors. To me, this model is so well done it bridges the line between realism and video game experience.