This was an impulse article and is definitely not a delaying tactic because I haven’t had time to work on that KOTOR retrospective I promised. Definitely not.
Anyway, LEGO have released pictures of the next wave of Star Wars sets to hit the shelves. Though I call myself a LEGO fan, I don’t actively collect it anymore (the last time I bought a set was about 5 months ago, and I have no plans to get another one) and Star Wars is the only brand that really interests me. That said, I’ve decided to comment on these sets because I have some thoughts which I simply can’t keep to myself. So here’s what I think of the Summer 2014 Star Wars sets.
Star Wars: Rebels, the next animated series from Dave Filoni. Or, as some people like to call him: “Destroyer of Star Wars”. Personally, I think Filoni is a perfectly capable animator and director who George Lucas has chosen as the new scapegoat for all his awful post-prequel ideas. I mean hearing how much you suck day in day out must get tiring eventually and you need to pass the blame onto someone else.
What do I think of Star Wars: Rebels? I was interested until I discovered the villain was yet another nameless dork with black robes and a red lightsaber. To quote Mr Plinkett: “Enough with the f*cking lightsabers!” I probably won’t be watching it, but I’m not here to talk about the show. Just a LEGO set based on it.
I actually quite like the Phantom, but I can’t figure out why. It looks like a reject from LEGO’s old Mars Mission line which I never liked (too many white pieces and messy vehicle designs put me off). Maybe it’s the simplicity or the fact it comes with a new astromech droid (I have a soft spot for astromech’s) but I find something really appealing about it. The $30 price tag, which is almost certainly going to translate to a £30 price tag, is a major no-no for me. I’ll probably give this one a miss.
I’m also slightly distressed by the new missiles LEGO’s been including in its sets. LEGO have had missiles before, but they’ve always felt distinctively “bricky” if that makes sense. These ones look like they’ve escaped from a Hasbro toy. I’m not a fan and I hope this latest gimmick goes as quickly as it comes. We got rid of light-up lightsabers (anyone remember those? I feel for you) let’s get rid of these too.
Wow, another Snowspeeder. Along with the X-Wing, TIE Fighter and Millenium Falcon, I think this has to be the most remade set out there. But hey, Snowspeeders are awesome so I’m not complaining.
I owned the very first Snowspeeder that came out in 1999. Unfortunately it broke and I never put it back together so I bought the 2004 remake, which I liked even more. That broke as well and I never got any of the subsequent remakes. I’m concerned about the aversion to grey pieces on LEGO’s part. Both the X-Wing and Snowspeeder’s original models were rendered in grey, but ever since then they’ve been white. If you watch the films you’ll see they’re grey so I’m baffled why LEGO keeps making them white. I get that grey’s not the most appealing colour, but if it worked for the Millenium Falcon, it can work for you.
The no-Snowspeeder dry spell has been long enough that I might get this set. I think it’s the best looking Snowspeeder so far, but the $30/£30 price is giving me pause for thought. And it’s got those horrible missiles. We’ll have to see about this one.
I really like this one. I haven’t owned a B-Wing since the original 2000 version because, if you ask me, the 2006 remake was kind of crap. The original came with a nice control centre, while the remake just had a lame yellow stepladder thing. Who wants that? This one’s a significant improvement even if it doesn’t come with a control centre or a landing thingy. I just think it looks really cool because the B-Wing’s an awesome starfighter, despite only appearing in a few frames of Return of the Jedi. More imagination went into this ship than any of the ships in the prequels. Or the prequels themselves for that matter.
Even if it does come with one of those nasty new missiles, the three minifigures and the fairly reasonable price (at least these days) of £49.99 might swing this for me. I’ll have to see how finances are.
Jedi Scout Fighter
Oh dear, what a mess. I don’t know what the Yoda Chronicles are and I don’t care, but even if I did I wouldn’t like this set. First we had that Godawful Black Starfighter thing that looked like an X-Wing designed by someone who makes Trabants for a living, and now this. I made better ships than this with my own LEGO collection aged 10. The only possible thing worth getting this set for is the minifigures, but that’s not enough for me. Next.
Mos Eisley Cantina
Nice. Really Nice.
It’s been a while since the last Mos Eisley Cantina but the wait was worth it. I love the look of this set. It’s got a good fist of minifigures and comes with the Sandspeeder and a Dewback. Impressive. Also you get the Cantina Band. Happy Days. And there are none of those stupid missiles. Even better. And you can make sure Han shoots first. I’m getting this set.
Oh, it’s going to cost about £69.99. LEGO, why do you do this to me?
This thing looks terrible. The Star Wars Expanded Universe is peppered with lame Millenium Falcon rip-offs but this is probably the worst. It looks like the Millenium Falcon (the coolest Star Wars vehicle ever) mated with the Gungan Sub (the lamest Star Wars vehicle ever). What a piece of crap.
And I know it’s inspired by Ralph McQuarrie’s original sketches for A New Hope, but there’s a reason this design wasn’t used. Because it’s awful.
Definitely one to avoid.
Another constantly re-released set, the AT-AT is the Rayman 2 of LEGO Star Wars. I don’t have much to say about this one. I’ve never owned an AT-AT so maybe this is the time to jump in. But the high price and lacklustre minifigures are putting me off. Maybe me and the AT-AT just aren’t meant to be.
Imperial Star Destroyer
I love Star Destroyers, and the 2006 Imperial Star Destroyer is probably my favourite LEGO set of all time, at least that I own. So it really saddens me that this one looks so bad.
Not only is it more expensive than the 2006 version, but it looks worse, has fewer minifigures and, based on what I’ve seen from the interior, has significantly less playability.
If you never owned the 2006 version and want a Star Destroyer, my advice is to go to eBay and buy the 2006 version. You can find it much cheaper than this one and you definitely won’t be disappointed. It’s bigger and better than this lame imitation.
I don’t really count this as a set and I didn’t even get a chocolate advent calendar last year so I doubt I’ll be bothering with this one, though I’ll admit that Darth Vader as Santa has an odd charm to it. Wading through 23 awful mini sets to get to it doesn’t appeal to me though.
A mixed bag is on its way. The best thing I can say is at least we’re not getting any more Prequel or Clone Wars sets just yet. This wave seems very much immersed in the Original Trilogy which is a good thing if you ask me. I’m interested in some sets, but for the most part I think this wave’s quite disappointing, even if it has got me considering buying more LEGO for the first time in a while.