Price: £74.99 / $84.99 / €79.99 Pieces: 746 Available: Now
75202 Defense of Crait is one of the costlier LEGO Star Wars sets released in the 2018 winter wave. Whilst it still comes in at a price point below four of September’s releases, is it a set at £74.99 that any of us can justify picking up, considering the hammering our wallets have taken in 2017? Unfortunately for our bank manager, most likely yes. A combination of design accuracy, scenery and minifigure choice gives 75202 an air of authenticity and legitimacy, which others in the LEGO Group’s range for The Last Jedi may lack (cough cough 75177 First Order Heavy Scout Walker).
The main focus to 75202 is the V-4X-D Ski Speeder, which is built at minifigure scale as can be, if not even slightly too big in the mid-section and the mounted blasters at the far end – this latter issue perhaps due to the spring loaded shooters built into it. The unique wing shape is captured effectively in a complex construction, whilst the stickers used feel necessary rather than irritating.
As it is, the final model feels more fragile than it is, which makes it all the more surprising that there aren’t more play features to it for bits of it to fall off – these are beaten up, stripped down speeders, rather than shiny new vehicles. As it is, you can remove part of the engine in a very hidden play feature, and there’s always the option to manually break bits off yourself.
Weight distribution is a little uneven, with the cockpit proving heavier than its opposite end, meaning those wishing to swoosh it along a white carpet with the stabiliser strut deployed (the thing in the movie that keeps the Ski Speeder balanced and kicks up that red dust) will have to make some adjustment to their usual swooshing technique. This is Grade A nitpicking, because there’s not much beyond subtle aesthetic changes and weight distribution that the Ski Speeder needs changing.
Yes, the scale of the Ski Speeder will clash with that of the AT-M6 from 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker, but this disproportion is an issue more to do with that walker than this speeder. Also, consider the many Hoth battles re-enacted in LEGO with AT-ATs at one scale and Snowspeeders at another… We just have to wait for UCS releases on walkers to be fully satisfied, and truly poor.
The command tower is an interesting piece of scenery, with three levels to it, including a delicately printed chart on a trans-clear window. Once built, the tower comes in at about half-scale to its movie equivalent, as does the rotating laser cannon that is connected to a small section of trench. Beyond the scale, which again the aforementioned AT-M6 also suffers from, the entire section of the base at Crait is surprisingly true to its source material, offering an authentic taste of a climatic moment to The Last Jedi. It’s modular in a way that more successfully pieces the sections together than 75205 Mos Eisley Cantina and will likely have you considering ways of picking up multiples of the set.
Five minifigures are included, starting with two First Order Snowtroopers. With an army of these guys building up, you have the chance to certainly do more with them than they have so far done in this sequel trilogy. For 75202 Defense of Crait they provide the reason for its defence, whilst the solitary Resistance Trooper is backed up by named(-for-toy-reasons) character Admiral Ematt, whose likeness and uniform is captured expertly here. Captain Poe Dameron completes the line-up with the same torso, legs and head as in 75189 First Order Heavy Assault Walker, but with a black-haired version of the duel-moulded hairpiece with headset. The printing across the top of this is remarkably on point with what Poe wears in the film. The line-up of minifigures is true to the scene from The Last Jedi that this set portrays, as are their respective designs.
Combining the minifigures, sections of scenery and the centerpiece Ski Speeder, 75202 Defense of Crait serves as an even point of contact – and Resistance – to the First Order’s selection of vehicles already available in LEGO form, and it will probably have you looking through your dark red and white bricks to build up more of the unique landscape of Crait.