Thursday, 9 October 2014

LEGO Star Wars: Jedi Starfighters Episode II

With the prequel movies over, LEGO had barely scratched the surface of the Jedi Starfighters that they would release. The various coloured ships seen in Revenge of the Sith and regular Jedi adventures in The Clone Wars gave plenty of designs to base sets on. 

Part 1 of this article is available here.

The next Jedi Starfighter came along in 2007, but at an extremely hefty price tag, triple that of Jedi Starfighter and Vulture Droid. The reason for this was that the Hyperdrive Booster Ring was much bigger than the ship itself, and Jedi Starfighter with Hyperdrive Booster Ring (7661) also included a Kit Fisto minifigure to entice anyone who was on the fence. As it was Obi-Wan’s blue craft from Revenge of the Sith, this shows that LEGO had started to realise the benefit of including extra minifigures that were not necessarily relevant to the set. Despite the price, the set does look impressive displayed and with the repetitiveness Star Wars sets tend towards at least it has a good point of difference.

The following year saw The Clone Wars movie released and the TV series launch, with the Jedi Starfighter back in a big way. Anakin flew a yellow ship – as he had in Revenge of the Sith – but the design was similar to the version from Attack of the Clones but with the astromech droid location moved. Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter (7669) was the sneak preview vehicle as Obi-Wan’s had been in 2002, which meant that it was released in two different boxes. Improvements in design and building techniques were evident when compared to the 2002 release, with the set being a good basis for the many Jedi Starfighters to come from The Clone Wars

In 2009 Ahsoka’s Jedi Starfighter (7751) was released as a frustratingly short lived exclusive and came with a Vulture Droid (as Anakin’s had in 2005). Plo Koon’s Jed Starfighter (8093) was a mainstream release and featured blue and white colouring in 2010. Mace Windu’s Jedi Starfighter (7868) came along in 2011, like Ahsoka’s as a short run exclusive set. Each of these Jedi Starfighters was based on The Clone Wars version and had very similar builds.

Thankfully to spice things up in the midst of year after year Jedi Starfighter from 2008 onwards, the impressive Ultimate Collector Series Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi Starfighter  (10215) was based on its appearance in Attack of the Clones. It was the first prequel vehicle to get released in this scale, cementing its reputation as an iconic vehicle from the saga. This release was a far cry from its original release in 2002, and adds a nice splash of colour to the UCS series which as typically favoured the grey.

Green was the colour in 2012, with Saesee Tiin’s Jedi Starfighter (9498) from The Clone Wars released with an Even Piell mini-figure also included, and Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter (9494) racking up the mini-figure count even higher with Anakin, Obi-Wan, R2-D2, Nute Gunray and a Battle Droid included. This has completed the collection of hero Jedi Starfighters from Revenge of the Sith, but that didn’t stop Anakin’s Yellow Jedi Starfighter (75038) getting another go-around in 2014.

Finally we come to 2015, and Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter (75087) is back yet again. This is perhaps the most surprising choice of Starfighter yet, but it’s a pleasant surprise. Like other Star Wars licensees, LEGO have moved focus from The Clone Wars to new TV series Rebels. Yet this Starfighter will be based on a design not from The Clone Wars TV series, but from the cross-media 2003 version of the Clone Wars, when Hasbro worked with Lucasfilm to come up with a Starfighter that Anakin had customised from the Attack of the Clones style version. It’s in blue and white, and although an odd choice, it will at least be different to the rows of Jedi Starfighters that fans have adorning their Star Wars shelves.

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