LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber’s strange minifigure line-up explained

At first glance, the minifigure line-up in LEGO Star Wars 75347 TIE Bomber seems completely random – but it may actually have precedent in the wider Star Wars universe after all.

The newly-revealed January 2023 set seems to draw from The Empire Strikes Back, as the box art places its eponymous ship among the asteroid field through which the Empire pursues the Millennium Falcon. But there’s a Return of the Jedi 40th anniversary logo in the top corner of the packaging, and to confuse matters even further, the included minifigures draw from seemingly all corners of the Star Wars universe.

Alongside the customary TIE Bomber Pilot, 75347 TIE Bomber includes Darth Vader, a Gonk Droid and Vice Admiral Rae Sloane – a character who’s only ever appeared in wider Star Wars canon, such as books, comics and video games. This combination of characters seems pretty bizarre at face value, but taking a deeper dive into that wider source material potentially sheds some light on the LEGO Group’s thinking.

In 2020, Del Rey published an anthology book titled From A Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, featuring 40 different stories set during the events of Episode V. One of those stories, titled Lord Vader Will See You Now, focuses on Rae Sloane’s role in the Empire’s pursuit of the Millennium Falcon through the asteroid field – the sequence in which the TIE Bomber first appeared on-screen, and seemingly the same sequence depicted on the box.

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Given both Rae Sloane (notably as Vice Admiral, as was her rank during this period, rather than Grand Admiral, as she would later become) and Darth Vader are included in 75347 TIE Bomber, it seems pretty safe to assume this short story was the inspiration for the minifigures in the 2023 set. It’s a pretty niche reference for the LEGO Group to draw from, but then the LEGO Star Wars theme has never been a stranger to obscure source material.

That still doesn’t explain that Return of the Jedi 40th anniversary badge, though…

75347 TIE Bomber launches January 1, 2023 for £59.99 / $64.99 / €64.99. Check out all four new LEGO Star Wars sets arriving next year in the table below, or click here for a complete list of LEGO sets confirmed for 2023 (so far).

LEGO setPricePiecesRelease date
40615 Tusken Raider£9.99 / $9.99 / €9.99152January 1, 2023
75344 Boba Fett’s Starship Microfighter£8.99 / $9.99 / €9.9985January 1, 2023
75345 501st Clone Troopers Battle Pack£17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99119January 1, 2023
75347 TIE Bomber£59.99 / $64.99 / €64.99625January 1, 2023

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Chris Wharfe
I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then.

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then.

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