It does feel like that at any one time, chances are that the LEGO Group is working on a new Landspeeder set. Whilst the number of X-wings, Snowspeeders and Millennium Falcons that come and go in LEGO Star Wars can grate a little, their position as iconic ships in the Star Wars universe, and therefore ideal entry points for young LEGO fans as they discover this hobby, makes their prolific release rates understandable. And, in the case of the X-wings and Falcons, there is enough room within the piece count each time to make reasonable advances in design that can have a noticeable impact on quality and play experience.
But the Landspeeder? It certainly enjoys a lot of screen time during the first act of A New Hope, particularly in transporting Luke Skywalker from one iconic, character-defining moment to another. But, it’s not the most interesting vehicle…and across 20 years of LEGO Star Wars, 75271 Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder is the sixth rendition of the vehicle to appear as its own set or as part of a larger set.
The problem with reproducing sets so often is that when placed in the hands of those of us who have built previous editions, scrutiny is greater, both for the quality and detail of the build in question, and for what else is included in the set, to perhaps offset the over-familiarity to it.
Regarding the first point of focus, full credit to the LEGO Star Wars design team. They are most aware of the proximity in release dates from Landspeeder to Landspeeder and almost every time, perhaps out of their own boredom, they have devised new construction methods for the vehicle. This year’s edition is an almost complete overhaul at that, even if somewhat disappointingly it relies on stickers a little more so than previous versions have.
However, even if we could compliment the set for its cockpit, the new technique for the main body and how the engine pods are constructed, it still all comes together to create the sixth Landspeeder. We’ve seen the final model too many times before and the changes made, however expert they are (and they are), that at this size of a build your eyes can’t differentiate enough to fully appreciate it. If it’s your first Landspeeder, lucky you, it’s the best one. For everyone else, it’s Number Six.
In that case, what about the other things included in the set? Do they entice the more learned LEGO Star Wars fan in? For this 2020 release, the supplemental material comes in the form of Luke Skywalker (again), C-3PO (again) and a Jawa minifigure, as well as a small side-build of a part of rocky terrain, for the Jawa to hide in. But wait, this Luke is different to those other Lukes, because this one has a poncho. That could go a long way to justifying picking up this set, even at £30. But, it would do so a whole lot better if the torso it sits over has at least dark tan arms to more accurately reflect how it rested on Luke on screen.
Better than that, how about a new dark tan torso print of the poncho, to then place the poncho on top of? As it is, the poncho is halfway between gimmick and good. And really, given this is the same Luke that has appeared elsewhere, strapping a poncho on him doesn’t change that. It really just makes the only appealing and genuinely new thing in the set the piece of cloth.
And then, given that Poncho Luke is generally seen in Mos Eisley, your mind starts to wonder as to the other possible characters glimpsed in that town that have yet to be made into minifigures, and then you really start to resent seeing another C-3PO included, complete with side-glance.
75271 Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder is wonderfully designed and includes a great trio of minifigures for any LEGO Star Wars fan just getting into the hobby. Truly, a mark of where LEGO Star Wars design is heading into its third decade. However, there’s not enough here for anyone with any prior experience of a Landspeeder to justify picking this up. And there are a lot of us with prior experience of a LEGO Landspeeder.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.