I love it when LEGO builders use unexpected pieces in their creations. There’s even contests revolving around using a seed part in a variety of builds. After all, LEGO is all about creativity, and thinking outside the box. I (Mansur “Waffles” Soeleman) grew up with Technic and Bionicle, which both contain strange LEGO parts that you don’t see mixed with the usual building system. However, I am a firm believer that even the most unconventional LEGO parts can fit perfectly with the common ones. That was partly my inspiration in building a perfectly minifigure-scale RZ-1 A-wing Starfighter from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
Known to fans as the “chicken walker”, this LEGO All Terrain-Scout Transport (AT-ST) model by builder Lewis Kiwi is anything but a wimpy chicken. I’d use this beast to stand up to rebel scum any day of the week.
This has to be the most well-built AT-ST I’ve ever seen. From the top of the highly-detailed roof to the bottom of the articulated feet, this AT-ST outshines even the Ultimate Collector’s Series AT-ST set. Just look at the joints! The blasters! The engine work!
Some of the best LEGO creations have a level of detail that implies more detail beneath it. Notice how simple pieces like tubing and fans draw your eyes into the walker’s interior, making you wonder where those tubes connect to and how the walker is powered.
Where Lewis shines the most, however, is in his color schemes. This AT-ST uses light gray as the main armor layer, while underlying dark gray form the walker’s structure. This effect establishes the battle-readiness and is a detail not seen in many of the AT-ST models built over the years.
With beloved minifigures and generally excellent vehicle designs in the LEGO Star Wars theme, location-based playsets often get a bad rap by comparison. Back in 2016, I described 75137 Carbon Freezing Chamber as half-formed, oddly over-engineered, ugly, and ultimately baffling — one of the worst LEGO sets I’d reviewed in recent memory. Then in 2018, we argued that the $350 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City doesn’t even live up to LEGO’s own product description, despite some stellar mid-scale vehicles and improved carbon-freezing chamber. Given that history, we were skeptical of 75291 Death Star Final Duel (US $99.99 | CAN $139.99 | UK £89.99), which includes 775 pieces with five minifigs and will be available starting September 1st (with the now-standard caveats about COVID-19 shipping). But has LEGO exceeded our low expectations?
LEGO has revealed seven new Star Wars sets based on everything across the galaxy including the films, television shows, a visual dictionary, and even Disney’s theme park land, Galaxy’s Edge. The sets include two brand new ships, multiple desirable minifigures, a few refreshed models, and the 2020 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar. (Spoiler alert: we’ve included photos of the Advent behind the jump at the far end of this article.)
The seven new sets join four other upcoming LEGO Star Wars models already announced earlier this year, including 75288 AT-AT, 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers, 75292 The Razor Crest and 75317 The Mandalorian & The Child BrickHeadz. All these new sets should be available globally starting Sept. 1st.
LEGO has revealed the next Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series set as the 75275 A-wing Starfighter. Originally sighted in The Return of the Jedi, the A-wing model comes with 1,673 pieces, pivoting laser cannons, and an A-wing Pilot minifigure.
The set will be available for US $199.99 | CAN $259.99 | UK £179.99 starting on May 1st, just in time for May the Fourth celebrations. LEGO will also offer a gift-with-purchase set featuring the “Death Star II Battle” with all Star Wars purchases more than $75 from May 1-4 or until supplies run out, as well as double VIP points on Star Wars sets and select Star Wars items on sale.
Useful or not, some folks have a special talent, a gift, if you will, that is unique to them. Maybe they were even born with it and don’t know of their uncanny abilities until it happens. Some folks can wiggle their ears, some have really bendy thumbs. My talent; I write sensitive poetry about the man from Nantucket. I should recite some for you sometime. Okay Yaramanoglu built this stylized Admiral Akbar and his talent is to alert anyone within earshot that something is a trap. Whether it be a mousetrap, bear trap, or in this case, a deadly game of cat and mouse sprung by a ruling Empire against a Rebel Alliance, Admiral Ackbar is the gravelly voice of authority. Identifying traps probably earned him the admiral position. In every case so far, however, he’s been quite adept at identifying traps after they have sprung, not before. Some foreknowledge could prove helpful in many cases, Admiral.
With the recent release of The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars builds have been multiplying faster than Star Wars spin-offs and sequels. For me, none of the sequels/prequels/spin-offs comes close to the magic that is the original trilogy, though I am always happy to see more of the galaxy far, far away; yet the builds inspired by it all are getting better and better. Take this microscale build of Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge from The Return of the Jedi by Okay Yaramanoglu. It captures all of the essential details, from the sarlacc to the bantha and the smaller skiffs, all within a 16×16 stud footprint. Some true fans may object to the beak on the sarlacc, but it is still well done. Perhaps we can edit it out later, when the special edition is released.
The rowboat is an inspired touch for the sail barge, recreating the hull shape so effectively I am shocked to have never seen it done before (or perhaps I’ve just been living under a Krayt dragon skeleton for too long, and it has been done before). The red sails could use some dust or sand on them, since everything on Tatooine is dusty and sandy, but the simple pieces imitate the shape perfectly for this scale. The old Technic toothed plates give some clever connections for the skiffs, and the hair for the bantha is amazing. All in all, I think this is a great Pit of Carkoon.
Now, witness the awesomeness that is the creation of Rui Miguel Anacleto. Taking inspiration from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, this build is a display of the climactic Battle of Endor, where the Rebel Alliance faced off against the Empire in a do-or-die attempt to destroy a second planet killer.
I can’t help but fawn over the cinematic experience contained in this build. From the Alliance’s Medical Frigate battling Star Destroyers to the Executor crashing into the Death Star, nearly every scene is here. Even Luke, Lando and Wedge flying away from the Death Star is visible, with an excellent use of flame pieces to simulate internal explosions.
When running a Super Star Destroyer it is often easy to overlook the smaller nuisances that could cause potential turmoil. Trip hazard in compartment 4412 on deck 206, that one toilet that won’t flush by the aft galley, that doohickey shaped like a cowboy hat that keeps buzzing for some reason; all can spell tragedy when left unchecked. The imposing sight of the Star Dreadnought Executor alone was enough to frighten an entire star system into submission, so it was easy to dismiss a lone one-man rebel A-Wing as a laughable insignificant detail. Ben Cossy recreates the scene in Return of the Jedi when one such laughable insignificant detail crashed into the Executor’s command bridge, thus sending the flagship hurtling into the Death Star II. (The first also destroyed by small, laughable rebel spacecraft.)
He calls it “Arvel Crynyd’s Sacrifice” and excellent details abound, including making use of spring shooter darts and antenna as part of the explosive effect. Meanwhile, a myriad of minifig headpieces create texture for the black smoke. The minifig officers run like the dickens as the hapless crew members do…whatever it is they do with those switches and knobs. Crynyd was posthumously awarded the New Republic Medal of Bravery for turning the battle tides in the rebel’s favor, and we can’t help but root for the underdog. If you too like the notion that the little guy can take down a vast oppressive empire, you should check out this previously featured instrument of death that was ultimately crushed by “teddy bears.”
LEGO Star Wars builder Anthony Ducre recently shared a massive diorama featuring scenes from both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. Built from over 50,000 LEGO bricks, the diorama includes Darth Vader chasing Luke Skywalker down the trench of the first Death Star, animated by placing the starfighters on classic LEGO 9-volt train tracks.
Swiss builder Hannes “Marshal Banana” Tscharner has been in pursuit of a movie-accurate Millennium Falcon ever since he first shared his 7,500-piece custom LEGO Millennium Falcon back at the end of 2015. He’s recently overhauled his 2015 model thanks to some new parts that were released in the official Ultimate Collectors Series (UCS) 75192 Millennium Falcon in 2017.
His journey started when he was inspired by images and teaser trailers from The Force Awakens in November 2014. Back then, the largest official Millennium Falcon available was the 10179 UCS version with a part count of 5179 pieces. We learned from our interview with Hannes that his 2015 version stood at 7,500 pieces and wasn’t built in reference to any existing LEGO sets and was scaled to the cockpit referenced from the System-scale 75105 released for The Force Awakens earlier in the fall of 2015.
What started as a virtual model of the Lambda class T-4a shuttle expanded and grew over thirteen years into the towering creation you see before you. Polish LEGO builder Maciej Szymański has recreated the Imperial base on the forest moon of Endor from the conclusion of the Original Trilogy in Return of the Jedi.
Maciej tells The Brothers Brick that the flat, top part of the landing platform alone is built from roughly 10,000 LEGO pieces (not including detailing, greebling, railings, and lights).