75093: Death Star Final Duel review

Set score

Building experience
Parts
Minifigues
AFOL appeal
Value for money
Review summary
This is a great, well thought out set with the right kind of features. The door is completely wrong but that won’t stop your kids from sending waves of Elves to confront the Emperor.

4.1

Our score

I don’t normally go for static sets, they never seemed to me to be as much value as a vehicle; I mean they just sit there; and during the ‘first phase’ of my Star Wars buying, I also found the static parts rather underwhelming, lacking substance. So it was with some trepidation that I opened a set claiming to offer a play experience from one of the most iconic finales from the saga.

Official description

Play out the epic final duel in Palpatine’s throne room!

Reenact the epic final duel between Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine from the movie Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. This amazing LEGO® Star Wars recreation of Emperor Palpatine’s throne room aboard the second Death Star features loads of great play details, like swing-out side sections for easy play, opening entrance doors.

Force Jump function, collapsing stairs and bridge, reactor shaft, and detachable throne section with rotating throne and hidden Lightsaber pop-up function. Can Luke overpower the Royal Guards? Will Lord Vader rescue his son from Palpatine’s deadly Force Lightning attack and send the evil Sith Lord tumbling down the reactor shaft? Only you can decide! Includes 5 minifigures with assorted weapons: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and 2 Royal Guards.

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  • Includes 5 minifigures with assorted weapons: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and 2 Royal Guards
  • Throne room features swing-out side sections, opening entrance doors, Force Jump function, collapsing stairs and bridge, reactor shaft, and detachable throne section with rotating throne and hidden Lightsaber pop-up function
  • Weapons include 2 Lightsabers, 2 Force pikes and 2 Force Lightning elements
  • Also includes an authentic 2-part helmet for Darth Vader
  • Overpower the Royal Guards
  • Activate the Force Jump function and surprise the dark lords!
  • Use the Force to collapse the stairs and bridge
  • Watch out for Palpatine’s deadly Force Lightning
  • Act out the iconic final battle between Luke and his father
  • Decide Luke’s fate for yourself
  • Send the evil Emperor tumbling down the reactor shaft!
  • Will Lord Vader overcome the evil power of the dark side?
  • As featured in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  • Throne room (opened out) measures over 5”(14cm) high, 12” (32cm) wide and 11” (30cm) deep

The review

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If you didn’t know before hand, the box certainly makes a point of showing one of the big selling points of this set; yes, it’s a minifigure. I got the first Darth Vader minifigure in the Y-Wing/Vader’s TIE set all those years ago so I was keen to see if it really was that much better. The first thing you notice is how much the printing has come along; new Vader has such finer detail on the front and leg printing to embellish the character. It makes the original look positively plain. I think the original choice of medium stone grey (light blue-ish) for the head was better though; white works well for the Inquisitor, but not here so I’ll be swapping that one out as the facial features aren’t so different. It’s the helmet though, that sets this Vader apart, now coming in two pieces for authentic Vader helmet removal. The design is simply wondrous: not only do I think it’s better proportioned than the original (it doesn’t look quite the same) but the two parts fit together so perfectly, it’s a great example of LEGO’s rigorous pursuit of quality and precision.

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The single bound instruction manual was unexpected but welcome and the build was fun, albeit unchallenging, except for when my daughter did her usual trick and had off with some of the bricks to MOC with. While I was building a base section, she’d already clued how the circular window attached to the 10×10 octagonal frame and soon, she was inspecting things with a techno-magnifying glass. While I wait for the bricks I need to come back, I examine the base section, please that they’ve gone plate layer / brick layer / plate layer. Older playsets would just have a plate base but this thicker, sturdier choice, fittingly coloured and detailed to tie in with the set’s theme almost had an air of ‘AFOL’ about it and certainly makes the set present itself better.

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The set comprises three window sections, the stairs with iconic control stations and a walkway to the doors. While not an accurate model, each section has been designed to add a play feature that reflects the narrative of the final duel. In the centre, the throne and steps provide the main stage, and should your duel move under the gantry, the whole top section lifts off to access the space underneath where they’ve also replicated the control station details. To the left is a walkway section on a loose hinge with a cleverly designed prop that can be swiped sideways, causing the walkway to collapse: remember when that happened?

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Then on the right, the elevation is used to recreate the chasm down to the core. It’s in the wrong place but it bricks the feature in in a compact and practical way.

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The walkway section is extendable for (I assume) storage reasons so it lacks the railing from the film and has a hinged flicking section to make figure jump through the air. It feels like an afterthought really and doesn’t add much. Finally, we have the doorway and it’s a curious thing. The sliding mechanism works just fine but suddenly, the grey of the Death Star has been replaced with Deep red doors and… is that carpet? There’s gold ornaments outside the doors too, why are they there? I distinctly remember Vader and Luke arriving in a lift but this looks astonishingly like the doorway to Palpatine’s office in Episode III, complete with gold ornaments either side; looks like someone on the LEGO Star Wars design team watched the wrong duel.

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Remember I said I don’t like playsets… Oooooo, I’ve changed my mind because doorway issues aside, this is actually a great set. It’s been designed really well to recreate the location (except the door) and add in features that pull directly from the narrative which is the right way to do it. For a static set, you’ll definitely get plenty of play-time out of this, we’ve already done the final duel with four Elves in tow and Farran’s been thrown down the reactor more times than he’d care to recount.

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LEGO SYSTEM A/S

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