A long time ago… twenty years to be exact, The LEGO Group teamed up with Lucasfilm Ltd. to begin production of sets based on the Star Wars universe. It was the first time LEGO had ever created products based on someone else’s story and characters, translating those fantastic tales into the LEGO world. That partnership has since spawned more than 500 sets, a hit video game franchise, television shows, and countless minifigures that have inspired multiple generations. LEGO Star Wars not only helped save the company from the brink of bankruptcy, but has become one of the top-selling global themes every year since.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of LEGO Star Wars, the company is launching five special sets featuring iconic ships with exclusive throwback minifigures in tribute of the storied history of the franchise. The sets will be available later this year (likely in April), and we will bring you exact release information when it becomes available.
Click to take a closer look at the LEGO Star Wars 20th Anniversary sets
The crystal fox-like Vulptices from Star Wars: The Last Jedi are something that I never thought would be able to be represented well in LEGO form. But builder Runa Lindblom (legovalkyrja) has pulled it off quite nicely indeed with this large-scale version. The red elements on the ground depicting the exposed salty mineral beds of the planet Crait is a nice touch and just enough to bring a little contrast and realism to the whole sculpture.
Using an array of both white and transparent bricks is all that was needed, though knowing where exactly to place them for maximum effect is always the secret. The amount of painstaking work to angle the various transparent elements is key to getting the intended effect.
When you think of Star Wars, the first things that come to mind are likely spaceships and laser swords. But cantinas occupy an only slightly less iconic place in the lore of that galaxy far, far away. One of those seedy, backwater bars is the Half-Pint Cantina, proprietor Hass Mavoc, brought to us in LEGO form by bcinman6. A character from the builder’s own imagination, Hass is a Sarian barkeep with some excellent shaping to achieve his alien features. Most notable are the red Hulk arms used behind the eyes and the space armor for the mouth.
Like us, Koen Zwanenburg was amazed by the LEGO TIE Fighter models created by fellow builder Jarek, but rather than just marveling, he thought he’d have a shot at building a world-class TIE Fighter himself. Judging by the results, it’s quite a success. While at first glance the build may seem to take a similar approach as Jarek’s, Koen has actually redone the model from the ground up. Naturally, the convergent evolution of the building process means that there are some similarities (and the fact that they’re both based on the same Star Wars ship), but it’s truly remarkable how different this model is while being just as accurate.
The ability to achieve clean lines with minimal studs visible on a ship this lean is an accomplishment not be underestimated. I can almost hear the TIE’s distinctive engine roar now…
Battle packs are known for being sets with simple builds and greater emphasis on the number of minifigures. The 75225 Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack comes with three Praetorian Guards, a First Order stormtrooper, and a plethora of weapons. You can’t really go wrong with battle packs if you’re out to build an army, but this Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack 109 piece set is more than meets the eye. Since minifigures are the primary attraction when it comes to battle packs, the emphasis of this review will be on them.
Packaging & instructions
Box artwork portrays the Elite Praetorian Guards in what appears to be a training room. The set consists of two numberless bags and a set of instructions
Click to read the full review of the Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack
There are only so many Star Wars scenes that are prominent enough to become a LEGO set, so it’s refreshing to see something that hasn’t been done before. Most LEGO Star Wars fans would probably agree that the Death Star escape scene has been long overdue in becoming a set. Despite receiving 3 minutes of screen time, it is one of the most memorable scenes from the franchise. Now, we finally get to see it built in LEGO-form. The 75229 Death Star Escape consists of 329 pieces and retails for $29.99 USD (CDN 39.99 and GBP 24.99). Does it hold up to the memorable scene from Star Wars: A New Hope? Read on to find out more.
Click to read the full review of the Death Star Escape
A number of things have changed in the way LEGO has begun marketing its sets in 2019, and one of them is the Juniors line of branding. The “Juniors” branding has been replaced by boxes with a huge “4+” number at the bottom left corner. This year, for the very first time, the LEGO Star Wars theme enters the newly branded 4+ (formerly “Juniors”) age group and one of our favorite vehicles makes its debut, the X-Wing Starfighter. We don’t typically review sets meant exclusively for younger kids, but with Star Wars, how could we say no? 75235 X-Wing Starfighter Trench Run is available now, retailing at $29.99 in the US (CDN 39.99 and GBP 24.99), and we wanted to let you decide for yourselves as we dive into the details.
Read our full review of 75235 X-Wing Starfighter Trench Run
One thing we all learnt from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is that you don’t want to stand between a Sith Lord and his blueprints! NS Brick Designs has done an amazing job of capturing the iconic scene, giving us Darth Vader in full on rage as he storms the gantry corridor toward the fleeing Tantive IV.
It may only be a small LEGO build, but through the careful placement of the scattered Rebel troops — one being pinned to the ceiling by a force throw — captures the sweeping flow of the sequence. The interior is the other star, overflowing with accurate details. The panelled floor constructed from Technic bars showing just how far things have been taken in the pursuit of the perfect build.
There are few Star Wars vehicles as recognizable as the X-wing — from the distinctive shape of the wings that give it its name, to the long tapered fuselage. This iconic starfighter has inspired many LEGO builders to attempt to capture it in brick, as well as official LEGO sets like 75218 X-wing Starfighter released last year. This model by JJbricks is a fantastic build at minifig scale and has some great details, such as the canopy, resting on an angled frame. The visible grey bits on the inside of the wing are also a nice touch. But some of my favorite parts are the laser cannons. Made with just a few pieces, they very accurately capture their on-screen inspiration.
And this rear view shows off a nice bit of greebling within the hexagonal body of the ship.
With the ringing in of 2019, we’re also getting the release of Series 6 of the LEGO Star Wars Microfighters. When the series was first introduced, each Microfighter pack came with a single build, and most, if not all were vehicles, as the theme’s title implies. 75228 Escape Pod vs Dewback Microfighters comes with two builds in a single pack, which we first saw introduced in 2018. But now for the very first time, a Microfighters set features a creature instead of a vehicle. It’s also the first time the Dewback is in a brick-built form as opposed to a molded figure, and it created a bit of a buzz with LEGO Star Wars fans. The set comes with 177 pieces and retails for $19.99 USD. Let’s take a look and see how it stacks up.
The Escape Pod and Dewback are among the first scenes on Tatooine we see in Star Wars: A New Hope. C-3PO and R2-D2 first arrive from their escape pod fresh off the Tantive IV with the plans of the Death Star hidden in R2-D2’s memory banks. Sand Troopers scour the desert hunting down the pod’s contents, confirming that the pods were not empty vessels as first suspected but instead finding traces of droids in the area.
Read the full review
Embracing custom LEGO pieces can have dramatic results. In builder Inthert’s case, the decision to swap out standard grey bricks for custom chrome elements (taking a cue from the UCS Naboo Starfighter) on the upgrade of his 2017 version of the N1 Naboo starfighter is a shining triumph. Not only does this new version of the classic Star Wars ship capture the sleek lines of the original, something we saw from him recently in his TIE-Proteus model, its burnished finish echoes the art deco motifs of the Old Republic. I’m put in mind of the allure of vintage sports cars, whose glistening engines can’t help but entice even the non-motor enthusiast.
The next best thing that came out of the Star Wars prequels, next to having Darth Maul and his dual lightsaber scenes (for me at least) were these STAP (Single Trooper Aerial Platform) Droids. I’ve always thought they were quite functional and neat looking while being able to navigate smoothly through jungle terrain. This build by SP Design is quite a delightful reminder that this particular pair of vehicle/character could be a set issued under the constraction theme, similar to the Scout Trooper & Speeder Bike. I’d probably get a bulk load of them just to have an army. It’s also been a while since I’ve watched the prequels and maybe time to do so again.