Use the Force to build this bunch
When George Lucas chose a percentage of the merchandise over his standard director's fee on the original Star Wars, he not only amassed himself a ton of cash, but also paved the way for an entire empire of toys and collectibles. Never before had a franchise exploded so successfully via its tie-in paraphernalia.
While certain examples - a Threepio tape dispenser, really? - failed to catch on, one strand of Star Wars merch that's survived throughout the years are Lego sets. There's hundreds. Some released way back in the late seventies now go for extortionate amounts, whereas more recent ones remain an affordable way for Force fans to collect. For the latter, here's ten of the best Star Wars Lego kits.
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10. Darth Vader
The Lego set: Bring about chaos and destruction to the Rebels by constructing the Sith Lord, Darth Vader. This set earns points for its basic design concept: you actually build Vader as opposed to noodling about with a pre-made minifig. It incorporates Lego Technic elements to offer the helmeted baddie a better range of motion, that gives him a touch of real menace. Clocking in at 160 pieces, the assembly on this kit is more intricate than simply making sure his cape shimmers with evil.
Coolest detail: The articulation on Vader's limbs. Play by the book and relive the end of Jedi battle. Or, you know, make it look like he's dancing the Rhumba.
The Lego set: Brown isn't exactly a flattering colour. Then again, who's fussed about the muddy tones of this kit, when you get to toy around with the behemoth Sandcrawlers typically spotted chugging away across the dunes of Tatooine. As you might have guessed by its size, the Sandcrawler won't take half hour or so to construct. This build is lengthy - it took one Amazon reviewer (who stresses their Lego experience) 22 hours to complete. Well, would you expect any less for a 3,296-brick set?
Coolest detail: Every one of the transport's actual functions are recreated via nifty little contraptions. Lower the ramp, open the roof and sides, and best of all, use that swingin' crane.
8. Poe's X-Wing Fighter
The Lego set: One of the first sets linked to The Force Awakens. Poe Dameron's X-Wing is an absolute corker once fully constructed. It incorporates a mix of black and orange components to mimic his vehicle. The build is further complemented by three detailed minifigs; Dameron himself, who comes with a stubbly visage, a second unnamed pilot and a ground crew member with a distinctly alien feel. It's a worthy addition to a collector's set, especially when compared to previously-released X-Wing kits.
Coolest detail: The lil' BB-8 droid minifig, housed just behind the cockpit in the same spot that R2-D2 typically sits in during missions. A neat throwback to the original trilogy.
7. Imperial Star Destroyer
The Lego set: The airborne home of Darth Vader is recreated in its second Lego iteration. Whereas the first kit now fetches up to $1000, this version comes with a much more reasonable price tag and a far more accurate representation of the Imperial ship. It might take you a few nights to finish the build, and based on the amount of detail that's gone into its creation, you won't be disappointed. Minifig wise, there's seven in total. That includes a Darth Vader complete with his angry, pasty face beneath the helmet.
Coolest detail: This is a toughie. The eight cannons you can blast simultaneously are up there, but it's got to be the hologram version of Emperor Palpatine that's the best nod to the movies.
6. Ewok Village
The Lego set: Those furry little creatures are the source of much derision among Star Wars fans. And yes, while their antics pulled away from the main Endor action in Jedi it's hard to dispute their appeal in brick form. Their tree dwellings are a blast to complete as there's so many add-on features to get carried away with; a secret treetrunk cubby, a ton of spiderweb nets and all the typical quirks dotted throughout the forest homestead. Of all the sets available, the Ewok village is easily the one most suited to adaptation; bring in the Star Destroyer to wipe them out for example. Too dark?
Coolest detail: Who needs the Force when you have an arsenal this big? Seriously, the Ewoks pack heat. Lightsabers, spears, blaster rifles, blaster pistols, and a bow and arrow.
5. Mos Eisley Cantina
The Lego set: Everybody's favorite stop-over during a hectic intergalactic route. Han pops in for a drink and a shady meeting, then winds up initiating a decades-long debate about his actions. The Mos Eisley Cantina is a must-have set for fans. Why? Because it's the Cantina! C'mon, this location is one of the most cherished across all the movies to date, and with good reason. There's eight minifigs included in the 615-piece set, that spans the club's legendary entrance, the booth where the incident takes place and Luke's speeder. This set was recently retired by Lego, so scribble this one onto your Christmas lists.
Coolest detail: This is a no-brainer: the minifigs of Han and Greedo. Despite what Lucas has recently said about the matter, take things into your own hands. You decide who shoots first.
The Lego set: It's only right that the action-packed Battle of Hoth gets a look in on the Lego front. It's a detailed recreation that will have you stomping around your living room smushing everything in sight. With a few clever touches to the vehicle's head and legs, there's option to customise and move it around as you like. The second AT-AT set released - the first is now deleted - also packs in a total of five new minifigs. Just in case you needed another reason to fork out for it.
Coolest detail: A couple of spring-loaded missiles tucked away beneath the head of the vehicle. Perfect weapons for obliterating opponents (Luke's speeder, perhaps?) and easily retracted to avoid retaliatory damage.
3. Imperial Shuttle Tydirium
The Lego set: Millennium Falcon, X-Wings and TIE Fighters are all well-known airships in the Star Wars universe. Which is what makes this set stand out. For dedicated fans of the series the Tyridium will of course be familiar; it's the stolen ship the Rebels snag to knock out the second Death Star. Of all the Imperial Shuttles released to date this is the only one that comes with those very same Rebels.
Coolest detail: The inclusion of a brilliant Leia minifig - decked out in her Endor camouflage poncho - and another for Rebels' Sabine.
2. The Millennium Falcon
The Lego set: Alright, so maybe the Tyridium is a little too inside baseball for your tastes. Fear not, as there's an alternative to satiate your need for a rollickin' giant Star Wars ship. The Millennium Falcon - aka Han Solo's rustbucket - is so popular in brick form, it's been released multiple times over the years. The Ultimate Collector's Edition is centred around the original trilogy, and harks back to specific moments in those films. On the other hand, the newer (and more affordable) The Force Awakens version includes Rey and Finn minifigs alongside the iconic characters. Both allow you to tinker about in the cockpit and kick back for some circular chess.
Coolest detail: The Force Awakens set has a greying (yes, really) Han Solo minifig.
1. Death Star
The Lego set: Aka a Star Wars mirrorball. The designers behind this extensive spherical construction went above and beyond to score major points with fans. There's no element of the Imperial battlestation that's overlooked; rows of laser turrets, various decks for acting out hand-to-hand battles, the conference chamber for when you want to hash things out with a strongly-worded argument. They're all included, along with a ton of minifigs to act it all out. Of course, it might take you a while to reach that stage: the 10,000 pieces ought to keep you busy building for a few weeks.
Coolest detail: Crack it open and gaze upon an intricate world of evil. It's stunning to consider all the specifics that went into recreating the Imperial station. And that trash compactor is pretty damn neat.