One of the best things about highlighting the best fan-built LEGO creations is the numerous occasions to watch and re-watch the most spectacular movie scenes. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi treated us to a whole bunch of fascinating battle scenes and visual effects, but I’ve totally forgotten how good the opening scene is. A great thank you to Mirko Soppelsa for giving us an unscheduled reason to enjoy the heroic deeds of Poe and Rose with this jaw-dropping model of an MG-100 StarFortress bomber. The build counts almost 5200 LEGO pieces and stands over 25 in/64 cm high. What a monster!
LEGO seldom makes changes to their sets once they’re already in production, but it does happen from time to time, usually to correct a section of a model that’s discovered to be too fragile for play. However, the most recent case is an oddity even in this rare class of updated sets. Nearly a year after its release, set 75188 Resistance Bomber has been updated with a minifigure swapout, changing one of the pilots from a generic “Resistance Bomber Pilot” figure to Finch Dallow, a named minifigure sporting a new head and helmet. So, why did Finch Dallow suddenly become important?
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.
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
One of the most shocking scenes in Star Wars: The Last Jedi occurs on Supreme Leader Snoke’s enormous flagship the Supremacy, when Kylo Ren turns on Snoke and he and Rey join forces to battle the Supreme Leader’s Praetorian Guards. 75216 Snoke’s Throne Room captures this scene as a playset. The set includes 492 pieces with 5 minifigures and retails for $69.99.
One of the fascinating new craft flying from the latest Star Wars film is Kylo Ren’s personal starfighter, the TIE Silencer. Mirko Soppelsa built this intimidating, TIE Interceptor-like craft in similar scale to official Ultimate Collector Series LEGO sets like the Millennium Falcon and Slave I. I’m confident Kylo Ren would be pleased with this simply amazing model.
The 2017 game Star Wars Battlefront II allows players to experience Star Wars battles unlike what is seen on the big screen. First Order Lego captures a snapshot of such freedom with a diorama of the Battle of Crait. The layer of salt carpeting the red soil and crystal underneath is textured well, with cracks and unevenness throughout upon closer look.
It’s rare that a LEGO set on its own serves as a major spoiler for a movie. From the now-classic Indiana Jones sets to Jurassic World sets more recently, LEGO sets provide characters, vehicles, and locations without revealing much more than a character’s name. But 75201 First Order AT-ST reveals several fundamental plot points of a major scene late in the movie. The set includes 370 pieces with 4 minifigures. Beyond just our usual criteria of design and value, is the set worth the spoilers?
We’d normally add a SPOILERS! warning here before the jump to the full review, but hey, LEGO has already spoiled several key plot points by releasing the set, so let’s just dig in.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been out in theaters for nearly a month, so we’re circling back to some of the LEGO sets released to support the movie. 75200 Ahch-To Island Training retails for $29.99 (US) with 241 pieces and features Luke Skywalker, Rey, and a porg.
We hope you’ve had an opportunity to see the movie, but fair warning that we’ll be discussing the movie’s plot freely, so consider this your standard SPOILERS! warning.
2017 has been a fantastic year to be a LEGO Star Wars builder and collector. As we celebrate the release of The Last Jedi in theaters today, we’re asking ourselves what the best LEGO Star Wars sets released this year have been. Since several of the sets in our best LEGO sets of 2017 list were Star Wars sets, a couple of these won’t be a surprise. LEGO released dozens of Star Wars sets this year, and although we’ve only reviewed about 10 sets so far, we have built many of the rest. For sets we haven’t reviewed here on TBB yet, we’ll include a brief mini-review. Let’s dig in!
#10: 75160 U-wing Microfighter
The excellent minifig-scale 75155 Rebel U-wing Fighter set included a pilot minifig who wore a standard Rebel pilot helmet. However, the U-wing pilots in Rogue One actually wore unique helmets reminiscent of helicopter pilot helmets. So, for a paltry $9.99, you can buy 75160 U-wing in Microfighters form and pick up the one accessory that should’ve been in 75155. Still, this is a wonderful little set on its own merits, with a fantastic minifig (I believe I’ve already mentioned his headgear…) and a nicely miniaturized U-wing built from a mere 109 pieces.
#9: 75167 Bounty Hunter Speeder Bike Battle Pack
LEGO is notoriously stingy about doling out unique characters in large sets, while the Battle Packs have mostly been army builders with multiples of tertiary characters (like generic clone troopers or stormtroopers). However, 75167 Bounty Hunter Speeder Bike Battle Pack includes a fully redesigned Bossk, brand new 4-LOM, and a new printed piece for IG-88. Oh, and Dengar, for some reason. Despite my criticism of the inclusion of old Mr. Head Wound, stud-shooters for weapons, and the basic design of the non-canon vehicle, this set really is a fantastic way to get several iconic minifigs plus a handful of azure parts (125 pieces overall) for just $14.99.
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi in movie theaters in just a few days, we’re focusing again on the LEGO Star Wars sets released ahead of the film’s release. 75188 Resistance Bomber joins a substantial line of LEGO Star Wars sets from The Last Jedi, including 75187 BB-8 and 75204 Sandspeeder we reviewed previously. 75188 Resistance Bomber includes 778 pieces with 5 minifigs and retails for $109.99.
The December flyer for LEGO retail stores that arrived in many mail boxes today includes the first official photos of 75204 Sandspeeder. The set includes 278 pieces with two minifigs and will retail for $29.99 beginning on December 1st (though it’s also showing up in the wild already).
The vehicle is very obviously patterned after the T-47 airspeeder used as snowspeeders on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, further reinforcing pre-release perceptions among Star Wars fans of the parallels between Episode IV and Episode VIII. We’ll be doing a comparison review with previous LEGO snowspeeders in the next couple of days, ahead of the set’s release.