Price: £129.99 / $149.99 / €139.99 Pieces: 1376 Available: Amazon
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, the X-wings and TIE Fighters in the movie made it clear that the emphasis here was on classic vehicles with a new twist. That continues in The Last Jedi, as the upgraded version of the AT-AT will come stomping onto screens in the form of the AT-M6 – or as the LEGO Group prefers, the First Order Heavy Assault Walker.
The box art for the LEGO set shows the new walker doing battle with Rey and Poe on the new planet Crait, that the trailers indicate will indeed be a location that sees conflict between the First Order and the Resistance. New design features have been incorporated into the AT-M6, with the forward legs better armoured than those of the AT-AT, to ensure that the First Order do not get tripped up by tow cables.
The build starts with the sturdy rectangular core, putting something together that will actually hold up the brick behemoth. Technic bricks then add to its height, angled in such a way that the panels will be appropriately shaped to reflect the movie design. The rear legs are built first – both are identical, which works as they are symmetrical. The front legs have to be built one by one, in order to get the relevant left and right shapes. Once the head is built, the final panels are added to finish off 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker.
This set is impressive when complete – the LEGO Group has always had success with Star Wars walkers, and that continues here. The head is packed full of detail and character, a more jagged, evil looking cockpit than the sleeker AT-AT version. What’s more, its movement is similar to that of how the AT-AT moves in The Empire Strikes Back, suggesting that the AT-M6’s head will have a similar range of motion. One pilot can be seated inside the cockpit, which features a printed 2×2 tile.
75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker’s exterior is different to what fans are used to from the classic Imperial version. The two sides are not entirely symmetrical, and the top of the walker features some nice details. There are canisters at the back, perhaps fuelling the vehicle, perhaps additional weapons. Little details abound, with a mix of studded and tiled pieces giving a nice sense of texture.
On the very top of the AT-M6 is a cannon, from which the vehicle gets it official name – All Terrain MegaCaliber Six – which in LEGO elements is represented by a six-stud shooter. The cannon can be controlled with a dial further back, providing a really good range of motion and the means to fire off the trans red studs. The six stud shooter is used very effectively in this instance and combined with the functionality makes for the set’s best play feature.
The legs are interesting, as the front two are different to the back two. The rear legs are very close to the classic AT-AT legs, but the front legs are very different. They are larger, more aggressive looking, with feet that curve underneath – this vehicle was dubbed a ‘gorilla walker’ when its appearance was first discussed, and these front legs certainly reflect that kind of posture. How these will come into play in The Last Jedi is intriguing indeed.
The range of movement with click-hinge joints is good, certainly improving on previous LEGO AT-AT releases. A variety of poses are possible, largely thanks to the shape of the front two legs meaning that this is more stable than previous walkers. The poses that this LEGO set is able to strike are certainly reflective of the gorilla inspiration.
In terms of an interior, 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker has very little to speak of. It is easy to get at the inside, as the panels are nicely hinged and less liable to accidentally fall off than on previous LEGO walkers. But although they open easily, there is very little usable space to access. A minifigure or two can be stood inside, some accessories can be stored, but that is about it.
In-universe, the AT-M6 is much larger than the AT-AT, but this LEGO version is almost exactly the same size as 75054 AT-AT, the most recently released version of the classic vehicle. It makes sense for the LEGO Group to go for this kind of size, as it still looks impressive and towers over a minifigure, but keeps the set at what passes for a realistic price point.
The minifigures in 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker are some of the most appealing in the range, with Rey in her Jedi robes one that fans will be drooling over. The new hair piece included reflects her new look. Poe Dameron continues to rock the hero-casual vibe, in a way that conveys the character in minifigure form perfectly.
There are actually more Resistance minifigures than First Order minifigures in this set, despite it being a First Order vehicle. Battle Packs are needed to properly service the AT-M6. The troopers are all as expected, with the First Order Walker Driver standing out thanks to a striking grey and white colour scheme. The grey stripe down the helmet looks particularly neat and distinguishes the driver from his infantry buddies.
Legged vehicles in Star Wars are adored by fans, with the AT-AT of course the memorable icon that is the most beloved. This LEGO AT-M6 shows how the design has developed from the classic trilogy to the sequel trilogy, offering something with a recognisable profile but plenty of difference that will make the upgrade stand out. Although it feels like it could have benefited from additional elements, and fans will no doubt go about building bigger and badder versions, at this scale this is a great version of a recognisable but distinctive new vehicle from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.