The planet Batuu lies at the edge of the known galaxy, a waypoint bordering the unknown regions. It is an outpost known only to a few. To get there, one must… go to Disneyland? In America?
Well, a group of European builders in the BrickzLab community shared the same sentiment and decided to build their own Galaxy’s Edge in LEGO – but set in the Dark Times era, which takes place after the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Even after the fall of the Republic, remnants of that bygone era continued to exist in the service of the Empire. LEGO builder Malen Garek shows one example of this with the Venator-class Star Destroyer.
The first word that comes to mind when I look at this Star Wars capital ship is smooth. There are relatively few brick studs on the hull, helping me see the armor plating that I would expect to see on an Imperial warship. I’m thrilled to see all of the angles on this Venator look exactly like we see in Revenge of the Sith. So many LEGO models of the Venator try but fail to get the angles just right (looking at you, LEGO set 8039). Malen managed to pull it off while building it on a super cool base. Is it lava on Mustafar? Is it molten slag from an orbital bombardment? Regardless, it looks incredible.
But wait, there’s more! The engines on the Venator can be tricky to make, but again here’s another success for Malen. The use of hinge plates to build the cowling around the engine was a great choice. Additionally, Malen chose to add the smaller engines that are often forgotten in other Venator models.
Speaking of other models, Malen used his Venator alongside creations from other LEGO builders, including an Imperial light frigate and a couple of V-wing starfighters, all of which are attacking a Rebel starship. I think the winner of this battle is clear: the Venator lives on!
Star Wars is notorious for its level of detail and worldbuilding that we barely notice at times. Things like a background character or a vehicle that appears for a split second have extensive Wookieepedia articles. Many of these elements receive backstories from writers of the extended universe. And many of them return to the forefront of newer Star Wars media due to popular demand. For example, the Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing starfighter – as built by Pande (Malen Garek) appears at the end of Revenge of the Sith for a few seconds. Yet, its striking unique silhouette piqued the interest of many vehicle-oriented fans. Many LEGO builders built their own version of this starfighter despite not being very well known.
You could say that the V-wing is essentially an evolutionary step between the Delta-7 Jedi Starfighter and the TIE Fighter. Its sleek arrowhead shape and bladelike wings are tough to get right considering looks and structure. You either make it too skinny and it falls apart, or you make it too thick. Pande found the balance between the two in a beautiful clean finish and sharp angles. I particularly like the usage of tall slopes to make the front wedges and throwing in a little dark grey for greyscale colour variation.