One huge instruction manual.
1 small set of Stickers
Four boxes with multiple-numbered bags of Lego for each build stage.
The Death Star is that giant metallic planet shaped battle station, that is no moon; but is fully operational and ready to turn home worlds into space debris. Star Wars Episode IV and VI is what has been combined together for this model set featuring rooms from both films.
12 hours! That’s probably an average build time. Anyone who did it quicker didn’t do it must faster, of sought help. You start from the bottom and work your way up to the top. The four floors all have a fairly straight forward floor structure that you piece together with larger plates. And each floor is not just a layer of plates, its two layers joined with bricks in the middles to make them nice and sturdy. Each of the larger floors you piece together in quarters. So as you completed each quarter section of a floor you also start to add elements of the specific room itself. All are then separated by the eventual walls you build up to divide them.
The base is probably where the least is going on, but you do get to see how the structure will start to come together. But this basement level has no rooms, it’s just a flat space with a few random its and bobs lying around. It’s also you can imagine being the bottom of the chasm that the Emperor found his new home after his fall at the end of Jedi.
Once you reach the next floor the fun really begins as you put together the Trash compactor (great fun and well designed); the bottom end of the gap Luke and Leia go for their famous swing from one end to the other; the mechanics bay below the landing area (with fully functional crane and rising platform, and also a gun bay – home to a rather large gun!
The gun is perhaps the most complicated design and is very fidgety, although the trash compactor is probably the most fun to build. The mechanics bay only adds complicated when you have to add the string element into the lift. So careful with the string!
You will eventually get past the complicated midsection and this is where the really big rooms are. The Emperor’s throne room; The cell bay, the landing area and the control room that projects the large Death Star laser.
The throne room is a fairly easy design. The cell bay is probably most impressive in its design for looking like the real thing and how well it utilizes such a small space to get there. Yes there is even the cell when you can plonk Princess Leia.
The landing bay comes complete with a small TIE fighter which you can just about squeeze a pilot into (although that’s probably the only mini-fig missing from this set. Lucky I had one from the Advent Calendar!)
The only bum note on the design is the giant dish laser. It’s very heavy and can easily fall off. The design surface looks good, but I found the pieces were not talking to each other quite as firmly as you’d hope they would. Any mild tampering will cause it to fall off. So perhaps a lighter design is required if they ever upgrade it. The complicated design may compliment the look, but adds too much weight. The laser effect itself looks a little cheesy, but you don’t have to have the laser in fire mode all the time. Plus the laser effect piece can also easy fall loose.
The top level is home to the meeting room for the Imperial officers, a tech room featuring tools and Darth Vadar’s operating table; Tarkins operations room and a couple of outside surface cannons.
And let’s not forget to mention the elevator that runs from the top to the bottom. The lift shaft is cool, the lift floor itself though is a bit basic looking.
In the end there is so much going on with this design in such a wide variety of rooms that you will never get bored, only physically exhausted.
It’s just beautiful! They have managed to cram in so much detail that it will get original trilogy fans salivating with each. Building it took many an hour and was a pleasure and a thrill throughout (despite the sore finger tips – I suggest doing it over a week and not 2 days like I did). And the great thing about LEGO sets is that you just take them apart and you can start all over again.
The value per piece is actually pretty high considering you’d be lucky to buy a set with a 10 pence per piece ratio. Here you get just over 3800 pieces making that ratio all the better. And check out the size of the manual you get. So big that they had to have it binded instead of stapled!
You will also be hard pressed to find a set that gives you 25 mini-figures as well. Ok you get Luke Skywalker three times and Han Solo twice; and a bunch of simple droid/monster units – but they are fulfilling character requirements for more than one film. 25 is a grand number.
The price then may be high, but the value for LEGO given how much it costs generally is actually very good, and this set gets top marks for design, usability and the hours of fun you will have putting it together. It’s worth saving for!