Price: £99.99 / $109.99 / €109.99 Pieces: 780 Available: Now
This mysterious new star ship, that will feature in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, gives the Resistance the kind of vehicle that the protagonists deserve. Although 75189 First Order Assault Walker and 75190 First Order Star Destroyer are the largest sets in the new range, 75188 Resistance Bomber is a still a sizable set that at a £99.99 price point would still qualify as a significant purchase.
Discussing the set’s size and place in the range as an introduction is to deflect from the lack of information that Lucasfilm and the LEGO Group have released about the set – the official LEGO description for 75188 Resistance Bomber is comical in how little it explains about this new vehicle. The ships do appear in the teaser trailer for a second or two, shown to be significantly bigger than both X-wings and TIE Fighters.
75188 Resistance Bomber is a great new release in the LEGO Star Wars range. The first thing it has going for it is that the set is not entirely grey or entirely black – there is some actual colour in there. The blue and grey scheme is very appealing. Even though the set is more grey than blue, those accents really do make this set stand out on a shelf full of LEGO Star Wars vehicles.
That is not only down to the colour scheme. The unique design, the shape of the vehicle is fresh and interesting, from the forward wings that are not designed to fold down, through the central fin to the two gun turrets. The Resistance Bomber is reminiscent of the B-wing, V-19 Torrent and Nebulon frigate, clearly taking inspiration from these existing Star Wars ships.
Building the set is what a fan would expect, starting things with two huge panels and a central section that produce the large fin running down from the core ship. That central section that makes up the control area is built next, before the rear of the ship and gunner stations finish things off. Having such distinctive aspects to the ship make it a varied and enjoyable set to put together.
Thanks to the sheer quantity of Star Wars sets released, and some repetitive designs inspiring The Force Awakens and Rogue One sets, difference is a quality that cannot be underrated. Offering both a unique build experience and a noticeably distinctive finished model makes this a set very much worth owning.
As has improbably become the absolute norm, 75188 is completely swooshable with a thoroughly solid construction. Many fans will be nervous taking a £100 LEGO set and casually flying it around the house above head height, but the Resistance Bomber can take it.
What will impress fans is that the set can stand on the fin and confidently remain upright. What should be noted though, is that LEGO designers have taken a little artistic licence to achieve this. A base section has been added to the bottom of the fin to ensure that the model stands in a completely stable way. Removing this small section – which can be taken off as a combined piece – will then reveal a move accurate ship, that can still stand independently. It will be nowhere near as sturdy, and should not be placed in a child’s bedroom in this way, but the set designers deserve kudos for making this possible. Why sacrifice movie accuracy for stability, when you can offer fans both?
After marvelling at the shape and flying the set around whatever space is available, it will be time for LEGO Star Wars enthusiasts to engage the artillery. Like 75176 Resistance Transport Pod and unlike 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker, the missile firing function is well hidden with a subtle switch, while a few stud shooters adorn the back. Plenty of non-firing guns spruce up the bomber from a variety of angles.
The best function, that is simple but completely irresistible, is the ability to drop bombs – as the set’s name implies. Another well disguised button delivers the payload, which is loaded at the very top of the craft but dropped from the very bottom. It will not just be children who get plenty of fun from this feature.
The interior of the set offers a little space, that is designed as genuine cockpits and rooms rather than just exposed Technic elements. There are seats for key positions, but it seems wherever a minifigure is seated in this set they need to be hunched over – it is as if the helmets and hairpieces are just fractionally too big for the spaces provided.
Rather than underpopulate the vehicle as significantly as 75189 First Order Assault Heavy Walker does, 75188 Resistance Bomber includes just one minifigure shy of a full crew. The five characters include two generic pilots, Paige Tico, Poe Dameron and Vice Admiral Holdo. With two pilot seats, two command seats and one gunner station, fans will need only one more Resistance crew member to fully equip the vehicle.
The printing on the pilot uniforms and helmets is excellent, and what is more each one has a different face design with flight mask on the reverse. Poe Dameron is not as suave looking as the version in the AT-M6, but wears a distinctive jumpsuit to distinguish the character. Vice Admiral Holdo is a new character to be introduced in the film, with the minifigure sporting an excellent purple hairpiece.
When something that has a cool, sleek design different to what has come before arrives in the LEGO Star Wars line, fans should pay attention. If that set also offers an impressive, stable build, with a decent selection of minifigures, it is a must buy. 75188 Resistance Bomber ticks all of these boxes, suggesting that the Star Wars sequel trilogy design department has space for new ideas and that the LEGO team know how to bring them to life in our favourite format.