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The classic Star Wars spaceship is back in the LEGO line, based on its appearance on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Thanks to the filmmakers’ dedication to in-universe accuracy, that makes it the same vessel that appeared 40 years ago in A New Hope, making this a LEGO set that reflects a vehicle instantly recognisable to Star Wars fans.
Y-wings have been part of the LEGO Star Wars lineup since the very beginning. 7150 TIE Fighter & Y-wing was one of the first sets all the way back in 1999. 75172 Y-wing Starfighter is the fifth minifigure scale version of the ship produced with several micro versions and Ultimate Collector Series 10134 Y-wing Attack Starfighter. Without a doubt this most recent version is the best minifigure scale version of the iconic craft yet.
Y-wings have, for a long time, had to play second fiddle to X-wings. While an essential part of the Rebel Alliance’s starfighter fleet, they are few fan’s absolute favourite. Despite that, no other Rebel fighter has an original trilogy era rendition as excellent as this. I have not figured out where to put my Ultimate Collector Series 75192 Millennium Falcon yet, so it has been living in my photography booth. I shot a quick picture of it along with 75172 Y-wing Starfighter as they are actually accurately scaled to one another. This set did not look out of place next to what is arguably the pinnacle of the LEGO Star Wars line. I am now eager for a new original trilogy X-wing at this level of detail, to make an amazing Yavin IV Massassi Temple scene possible.
The primary area where 75172 stands out, both as an individual model and from its predecessors, is the cockpit. Y-wings in the films have a very subtle curve to their cockpits. In every prior rendition, including the UCS model, that curve has been captured using some sort of wedge or slope. While acceptable, the angles have never quite been right. Having built most of the previous Y-wing sets I was expecting something similar this time around, but was instead delighted to find a truly clever bit of building that almost perfectly captures the ship’s proportions as seen on screen.
Having built the UCS Falcon recently I was already sufficiently humbled by the wide canyon that separates my building skills from those of the the LEGO Group’s professionals. Yet they saw fit to surprise me yet again with another design that I could never have thought of. A sideways orientated hinge lines up perfectly with internal clips and slopes to give a very subtle, almost seductive, curve to the Y-wing‘s cockpit. Perfection is not to strong a word for the brilliance of the parts usage.
Even casual Star Wars fans are familiar with the shape that gives the Y-wing its name. We learned from The Clone Wars TV series that originally the engine shafts were completely filled in, as was the LEGO model inspired by that era – 8037 Anakin Skywalker’s Y-wing. By the time of the Rebellion, those coverings had been stripped away leaving only a skeletal structure which the LEGO design team has always constructed using some sort of Technic axle structure. While that same technique is used here, there wis a major difference from previous entries. Rather than using pins to connect directly to the fuselage, clips are inserted and used to tie into a much slimmer rounded bar component. The end result is an assembly that is an aesthetic improvement disproportionate to the size of the change, in a very good way.
While not seen performing this function in the original trilogy, Y-wings are technically dive bombers modelled after those piloted in World War II. As with past models, this functionality has been included, and here again improvements have been made. A small shaft with rotating innards, akin to the old train cars from the mid 1990s, holds the bombs securely and rotating the mechanism deposits them out of the bottom. With correct positioning, the included bombs are held quite securely to the point that vigorous swooshing will not dislodge them. This bombing bay along with the now standard spring loaded missiles are the two play functions included in the set.
A cadre of four minifigures – plus a droid – round out the set along with a small support vehicle. It is pretty obvious that the LEGO Group sought to sweeten the pot a bit here by adding figures that, while desirable, don’t make a lot of sense based on the source material. A heavily detailed Rebel pilot is of course required, but Admiral Raddus was never seen in a hangar before presumably being captured at the end of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Raddus’ slightly odd appearance is nothing compared to Moroff. A mercenary hired by Saw Gerrera to serve as one of his Partisans, Moroff is only seen at the beginning of the film on Jedha. He is not even part of the Alliance and therefore is not even in the same vicinity as the Rebel ships. Considering the wide array of Rebel commanders seen in the film, there are a bunch of other figures that make more sense. Indeed, if the LEGO Group was going to give us a random figure from Jedha why not give us someone who has still not appeared as a minifigure – Saw himself?
A generic Stormtrooper rounds out the bunch and he is the disappointment. Considering a lone trooper is hardly a worthy opponent for the Y-Wing, I believe a Rebel support crew character would have been a better choice. Exactly who is going to be driving the included support vehicle to service the ship in-between missions otherwise? It seems a bit below Raddus’ pay grade and a bit above Moroff’s skill set. Mechanics have been included in these types of sets going all the way back to the first X-wing, and inclusion here in lieu of a Stormtrooper would not have been amiss.
75172 Y-wing Starfighter is an excellent model that is absolutely the best rendition of the source material to date. Considering the rapid pace of expansion within the Star Wars universe right now, it may actually be a while before the LEGO Group gets around to releasing another version of this set – so anyone remotely interested in it acquire the Y-wing should do so while they can.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.