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Kylo Ren missed out on a starfighter in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he only had 75104 Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle, but nothing to pilot himself. It seems that in The Last Jedi, he will be getting to put those flying skills to the test, indicated by the release of 75159 Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter.
As with other sets in the LEGO Star Wars: The Last Jedi subtheme, very little information is known and this new starfighter, although its alternative name has been revealed as the TIE Silencer. Without knowing whether it will have a dynamic role in the movie like Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter did in A New Hope, or if it will be a minor plot device like General Grievous’ Starfighter in Revenge of the Sith, fans currently have to weigh up how much they like this ship purely as a LEGO Star Wars set.
The Lucasfilm concept team must be struggling to find new designs for TIE Fighters that still fit the audience’s understanding of what a TIE Fighter is. The design of Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter feels like a more square and angular imagining of the TIE Interceptor. The LEGO design team has done a mostly excellent job of accurately representing the movie design here, with the angles and proportions all looking to be a good match.
Surprisingly this set utilises a few printed pieces, including the top hatch, front viewport and circular hatch details. Stickers are included to finish off the sides of the viewport, which is a shame as it would have been nice to just go the whole way and have every piece printed – many fans would happily trade the Stormtrooper for a few more printed elements. What is particularly odd is that the printed viewport section sits above a row of trans red tiles, that are not accurate to how the viewport looks in the movie – it gives a flavour of the ship’s appearance, but is not a close match. It would probably have made more sense to have a one-piece printed viewport than settle for this strange compromise.
The rear of the TIE’s wings have an odd choice of grey plates used, which is bizarre considering the ship – aside from the framing – is entirely black. LEGO designers use alternate colours inside the vehicle where it cannot be seen to make finding parts easier, but usually ensure the colours that show are an accurate match. When these plates could have just as easily been black, it is a head scratcher.
Anyone who built 75154 TIE Striker will have an idea of how this set comes together, with each of the wing sections and central cockpit built separately, then combined to complete Kylo’s bat-like starfighter. As is usual now with TIE Fighters from the LEGO Group, the connection between the wings and the cockpit is extremely sturdy, reinforced once it is attached to ensure that it will take some serious battle to cause any damage to the vehicle.
Kylo Ren is a must-have character for fans looking to recreate the movie on their shelves, with the minifigure delivering the basic black outfit and newly scarred face print. He has the pasty skin and angry eyebrows that help the character stand out. The other two traditional minifigures are the usual First Order goons, always welcome to help bulk out those armies.
The character highlight in 75179 Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter is BB-9E. The same type of astromech droid as BB-8, BB-9E has an excellent black and silver colour scheme that is very striking. Little is known about the character, who graces a few different products in the Star Wars: The Last Jedi range, other than the droid’s loyalty is presumed to be to the First Order.
Of all of the sets in the new movie collection, 75179 Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter is the set that fans will have a good idea whether or not they want as soon as they see the box. Any LEGO Star Wars collector who has built a recent TIE Fighter release will have a good idea of how it goes together, and will know what it can be expected to do. It looks striking, includes some desirable minifigures and can be used to re-enact exciting space battles. There may be a few little design niggles, but as a ship that will probably not be revisited unless it appears in Episode IX, fans of the TIE Silencer design should get it while it’s hot.