Happy Friday! Enjoy the new The Last Jedi wave of merch and don’t be a scalper. New Lego, Black Series, and more are available in stores and online now!
Anniversary: Year One in Review
The Empire’s Elite has turned one year old! Starting this blog and sharing my Star Wars thoughts has been a lot of fun and I wanted to share some favorite moments from the past year, plus some things to look forward to going ahead. Check it out, meatbags!
Grand Admiral’s Return: Thrawn Review
Questionably canon. Definitely an article. Dive into a book that rides the line between new canon and old legends. This novel has all the space pirates and political backstabbing you could want, plus the untold story of the original Grand Admiral – but more importantly, how’s the read? And how well does it flesh out its place in canon?
50 Pages Down
Thrawn is Coming
Talk about the Empire’s Elite, am I right? I just preordered my copy of the Barnes and Noble exclusive version of the upcoming Thrawn novel and wanted to share the details for anyone who hasn’t heard the word yet.
Lego Star Wars 2017 – AKA Why My Wallet Cries
The official set pictures and box art are out, so it’s time to talk about them! For the sake of brevity, I’m just going to post the images of the sets themselves and not the boxes. In no particular order, here they are!
The Phantom (75170)
First and foremost, we’re finally getting a Grand Admiral Thrawn minifigure! I’m going to ignore the fact that in this picture, his eyes don’t appear to be red – it has to be something with the lighting or angle of this shot, because I seriously doubt Lego would mess up the most crucial detail of his face aside from it being blue. The uniform looks great and the actual blue hair, not black, is a great touch. We also get Kanan in his season 3 appearance with the visor/mask he wears after being blinded by Maul. Chopper is here as well, but it doesn’t appear that there is an astromech slot on this ship (much like the original Phantom.) That doesn’t bother me terribly but I believe there is one on the show, though I could be wrong. The colors of this ship look great, and the fact that it’s a Neimoidian (think Trade Federation) design shows how rough and tumble the Rebels are. They don’t have the advantages of the Empire and can’t make all their ships uniform. Looks like the set also includes some thermal detonators and a small storage crate, which probably uses a sticker for that tiny Imperial insignia on the lid.
Dual of the Fates (75169)
I don’t have very many Episode I sets, so I’m happy to see this set instead of another Naboo starfighter right now. It’s a location, which Lego is trying to pepper in between the usual ships and vehicles, which does a decent job of recreating the fight scene from the movie. Do I love it? Not really. The figures look good and I will probably part this one out honestly. However, the figures this time around look better with the updated printing and ditching the capes. The laser barrier looks a little off but I don’t hate this set. It just won’t be the first one I buy.
Yoda’s Jedi Starfighter (75168)
I loved the arc of the Clone Wars (part of the Lost Missions) where Yoda goes on a journey on his own, delving into the mysteries of the Force and his own Dark Side. I would have appreciated the set maybe coming with one of those spirit guides of the Force, or maybe a Darth Bane specter-ghost-thing, but this set still looks good to me. In canon, I don’t understand why Yoda needs this chubby, weird little starfighter just because he’s shorter than everyone. But as a collector, especially one who likes Jedi starfighters? I like this a lot. It’s chubby and weird and oddly cute. You get the excellent recently-revised Yoda figure (accurate to the movies, not the cartoony Clone Wars style) and R2-D2.
Battle on Scarif (75171)
Now this is a good location set. It looks to me like a bunker entrance or small landing pad on the tropical planet Scarif, which is a totally new planet from Rogue One. In addition to what looks like a blast door, there’s some details such as palm trees, sandy walkways, some kind of antenna or generator, and a drawer-like section that reveals storage for weapons and accessories. Figures included are Cassian Andor in his normal brown jacket (not the bulky blue parka he wears on Eadu,) Jyn Erso disguised in Imperial ground crew attire, and two new Scarif stormtroopers/shoretroopers. It’s worth noting that they do not have the blue rank printing like the one included with the TIE striker, meaning these guy are army-building grunts. It looks like you get plenty of gear, too – another orange (Kyber crystal storage?) crate, blasters, thermal detonators, and the Death Star plans to name a few. I’m definitely going to build this one and maybe even find a spot for it in the Star Wars corner of my apartment.
Y-Wing Starfighter (75172)
Here’s one where my wallet and I will have words. I already have the last Y-Wing from a couple years back, but this one comes with so much more! It includes a pilot, a blue-complected Mon Calamari named Admiral Raddus, a Y-Wing pilot in navy blue, a stormtrooper, a rebel astromech droid, and the Gigoran mercenary Moroff. I want that Moroff figure bad. As I’ve said before, I love weird mercenary characters, and a towering white Wookiee looking guy with a backpack full of blasters is as weird as they get! There’s also a grounds crew vehicle included to truck around all the extra ammo for the Y-Wing. I don’t know where I’m going to put it, but I’ll be buying this one too.
Rebel Trooper Battle Pack (75164) and Imperial Trooper Battle Pack (75165)
Another good-looking battle pack I will probably buy five of. Here we get two regular stormtroopers and a pair of Death Troopers. These Death Troopers differ from the specialist variant included with Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle – they have different printing and lack the black pauldrons. Actually a nice touch to differentiate the two, since it is rumored there are only about five or six Death Troopers in the movie – probably an elite squad with a handful of unique troopers. As usual, I can kind of take or leave the actual build in this pack. It’s a weird little walker, like a small open-cockpit AT-ST with big guns and stud launchers.
This is another great rebel battle pack. I thought the Battlefront one was good (and it is) but this is also great. Like the Battlefront pack, you get a good variety of troops. No aliens, but there appear to be four different face prints here – black beard, brown beard, no beard, and no beard with a dark skin tone. The bodies are also totally different and you get two unique helmets. The build itself isn’t bad either. A speeder bike and a nice little piece of scenery with the gun emplacement? Sold!
The big figs. I kinda want the shoretrooper, but I could take or leave a lot of the buildable figure line. Like everyone says, the helmeted characters look pretty good, especially as shelf pieces. But the actual human faces look a little weird.
And the Microfighters
The microfighters are cute but I don’t buy a lot of them, usually just for the good figures. The most exciting ones here are the rebel pilots in their new blue flight suits, which is a striking visual change from the usual bright orange. Also, the Y-Wing is getting an official release! A similar kit was released as part of a book but it is now officially part of the microfighter line.
So is everyone ready to be broke in 2017? Let me know what you think of these kits in the comments! And as always, thanks for reading!
Watch “Face to Face with Thrawn” – Star Wars
They’re really doing the character justice, which is very important for a big name character being inserted from the Legends timeline. I can’t wait to watch this weekend!