Star Wars: Republic Gunship
Mini Figures: 7
9 numbered bags of Lego bricks
2 Instruction booklets
Lego Star Wars Poster with the latest Star Wars minifigures on one side and a drawn action scene with the gunship on the other side.
If you have followed the reviews for the latest wave of Star Wars Lego sets, you may have noticed that majority of them have involved the Battle of Geonosis and therefore Episode II – Attack of the Clones. This seemingly odd grouping can be explained by the fact that 2013 was supposed to be the year the Episode II 3D version was to be released in theatres before the sale of Lucas Film to Disney. Disney clearly wanted to wipe the slate clean and cancelled the 3D releases in favour of concentrating on the Episode VII release in 2015.
Presumably Lego has to lock down their up and coming sets well in advance and so us Lego fans have therefore been inundated with Episode II themed sets this year. Having said that, I have been very impressed by the Geonosis sets this year and the The 75021 Republic Gunship only further reinforces this view.
The set depicts the gunships that Yoda uses to come and save the overwhelmed Jedi fighting on the Petranaki arena after the capture of Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padme and the subsequent rescue by the Jedi led by Mace Windu. The gunship bears a large resemblance to the real life helicopter gunships like the AH-64 Apache combined with the personnel carrying ability reminiscent of the Huey helicopters as depicted in particular in the Vietnam era movies. Therefore the gunship is one of the few “land based” space craft in the Star Wars universe beside the memorable snowspeeders in Episode V.
Not only have Lego produced an impressive minifigure scale representation of this craft measuring about 15 inches in length excluding the protruding guns at front and rear, but they have also included 7 minifigures out of which all but the two super battle droids are unique to this set. The two clone troopers are nice new variants, in particular the captain who has terracotta arms and helmet markings to match the gunship colouring. Anakin is the first Episode II version made, showing him as an adult but before starting to wear only black and losing his hand in the duel against Count Dooku. Obi-Wan looks similar to most versions of him but he has a printed legs and long red hair instead of the hood or the gray of the original trilogy sets. The best figure however is Padme in her post battle ripped clothing with one sleeve completely missing and the scratch marks on her back from one of the beasts on the arena. Previously we have only had Padme in her full Queen Amidala get up and a cartoonish version from the Clone Wars sets, so this is a nice variant to have.
The build as usual for this size sets is a mixture of Technic and normal System build where the Technic pieces and methods are used to give structural stability so the built set can not only take its own weight but also be inflicted with the usual stresses of play. As a symmetrical space ship, there is some repetition in building the wings and engines, but nothing excessive for a set of this size. The central part of the ship can be accessed by several opening hatches which have very well designed swing arm mechanisms that actually move the hatch away like a bus door and not just the usual hinges opening them up and down. At the rear there is a compartment with a small speeder bike adding another play feature to the set. The turret pods on the two sides of the main body look a little odd with only the front half of the ball shape, but this has presumably been done to give better access to them and consequently it is easy to fit a figure to the gunnery position. Final feature worth mentioning is a small carry handle which can be pulled out from the top. This is an excellent idea for this kind of larger play set which are always going to be difficult to handle and allows for easy and safe movement of the ship around despite the size. It really doesn’t look too bad either which might have been expected from this kind of feature.
It seems whenever sets are done to true minifigure scale they really end up looking great and this ship is no exception. Of course, at this scale, it will probably look quite big next to other sets but with this model it really shouldn’t matter. The set has a really good likeness to the films and several good play features which should be sturdy enough for all but the youngest fans. Of course at £100+ it is going to be out of reach for many but overall still seems good value with its size and the unique minifigures for those that can save up for it or who still have space on their Christmas present lists. The fact that it is based on a prequel trilogy ship will turn off many adult collectors and the ship is clearly designed to be more of a play set than a display set. However, the gunship is one of the best looking crafts from the prequel trilogy and this is definitely the best Lego version of it so it definitely deserves to find some display space in my collection at least.