Folks, every story has a beginning. And the beginning of my love for the Star Wars universe began playing the Dark Forces video game on my Playstation as a kid. Decades before Rogue One became the new canon, I spent hours playing as Kyle Katarn as he tracked down the Death Star plans in his ship, the Moldy Crow. And thanks to builder Luca, that HWK-290 light freighter now exists in glorious LEGO form! From my numerous failed attempts, I know the sharp angles of the spaceship to be particularly difficult to capture in brick form. Add that to a lack of space-y parts in brown and dark tan tones, and the true talent in this build comes into focus. Its sharp angles are impossibly clean, and the colors perfectly match those in the game’s cinematics. Even the background build, showing the Crow docked while Katarn uncovers more of the Dark Trooper project, feels like a Dark Forces screenshot. Take that, Jyn Erso!
There’s an orthodoxy — often passing over into toxicity — within Star Wars fandom that states that The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie of all time, and that anything produced after 1983 is inherently and automatically lesser. I am the rare heretic whose favorite Star Wars movie is not part of the nine-movie Skywalker Saga. While certainly not perfect, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story took the story in a completely new direction while filling in one of the most mysterious gaps in the canon. Luca captures an incredibly poignant moments in the movie, when Jyn and Cassian must abandon K-2SO as they climb the interior of the data vault with the stolen Death Star plans.
The builder focuses the viewer’s attention on the two characters, but the scene is replete with wonderful detail. The round vault doorway and tunnel extends forward, further focusing attention on the minifigs, while in the background repetition provides the texture of the racks of data tapes. Scenes like this show that a great LEGO creation doesn’t need to be a 10,000-piece diorama anymore than a great Star Wars movie has to star a space wizard with a laser sword.