LEGO Star Wars 75302 Imperial Shuttle Review – Bootlegbricks.com
The LEGO Group has released 75302 Imperial Shuttle, an iconic Star Wars set that the LEGO Group wants to bring to market at a reasonable price. Will this solid model manage to maintain the all-important balance between economical assembly and original design?
The T4-a Lambda-class shuttle is one of the most recognizable and beautiful models of the Star Wars universe. But it is worth noting that 75302 Imperial Shuttle is only the fourth in a line of minifigures produced since 2001. A wave of sales of Star Wars sets forced the LEGO Group to slow down this re-release to keep costs down.
The Imperial shuttle first appears on screen in the opening scenes of Return of the Jedi, when Darth Vader arrives majestically on the second Death Star. That’s why he is a Sith Lord: he knows how to go down in history. The evocative look of the sleek, three-winged shuttle has made it one of the most popular in the Skywalker Saga.
Despite the obvious appeal, the LEGO Group has only released 3 Imperial Shuttle minifigures in the past, most recently the 75094 Tydirium from 2015. The release of the updated model was expected for a very long time, but was it worth it? Yes and no. The 75302 Imperial Shuttle isn’t perfect, but given the discounted price, this purchase is tempting and has many positives.
— Set information —
Series: Star Wars Title: 75302 Imperial Shuttle Release: March 1, 2021.
Price: £69.99 / $69.99 / €79.99 Items: 660 Minifigures: 3
– Assembly –
Inside the rather impressive box are 6 numbered bags, one instruction manual and… no stickers, which is rather strange for a set of this size. The set consists of “bricks” and printed parts.
The build is similar to the aforementioned 75904 Imperial Shuttle Tydirium and 75221 Imperial Landing Craft from 2018. The new set borrows and improves some aspects of their design. You will begin assembly with the body, including the internal footprints. It’s big enough to fit two figures. The seating arrangement shows how reduced this model is compared to earlier versions, where four figures were placed: two in front and two in the back. Here in the cockpit there is only one seat.
Bricks and tiles form the floor, walls and seats with a kind of leather armrests (4 brown panels 1×2). If you’re going to rule the galaxy, you need style and comfort.
The functional mechanism of the set – folding wings – are also attached at the initial stage. Well, “mechanism” is an understatement. The wings have a ball joint for rotation. To control them, you will need to manually fold them up and down. Since they are autonomous, you will have to move one wing at a time. This is good, but somehow too simple. A more complex and interdependent mechanism would make the assembly more interesting, including for the game.
After assembling the hull, we move on to the bow and cockpit. The frame is assembled quickly and without much difficulty. Despite the size, the shape itself very accurately reflects the original appearance of the shuttle, as seen on the screen. Larger 2x2x3 slanted pieces and 8×3 supports help create perfect angles for the front end and a solid look to the model. The windshield is one large black transparent panel. The cockpit is pre-attached at the front with two latches, allowing it to be raised and lowered.
However, the design has a serious flaw that catches the eye. Looking at the model from the front, the cockpit looks just right. But the side view is a strange sight. You can easily think: “Where is the other part of the cockpit?” There are many flaws in the final model: gaps, protruding pins and only half of the cockpit.
The Star Wars model series offers classic versions at a reduced cost and fewer parts. However, the buyer expects the bar of accuracy, detail and sophistication of assembly. But this model falls short on any point. To make matters worse, the official set photos don’t show it. They are created in such a way as to mask these shortcomings, and on one hand they completely cover up the shortcomings.
This is very disappointing, as the Imperial Shuttle is considered one of the best ships in the entire saga, and this model seems to be unfinished. The 75221 Imperial Landing Craft is the same size but has both an enclosed cockpit and a nose. It is all the more surprising that in this model there is neither one nor the other.
If you forget about all the cons, the rest of the assembly is even very well thought out. The rear case opening mechanism consists of a flexible connector assembly with two axles. It is strong enough and securely fixed to the case and can be easily removed.
Cylindrical engine components of six assemblies of 2x2x4 half-cylinders also look solid and are fully assembled and connected. Moreover, the nodes are all different, they are not repeated. The rear engines are also very carefully thought out, including due to the use of light blue tiles – there is a feeling of a blue glow (think of the opening shots of Return of the Jedi).
A huge crest on the top gives the space shuttle its characteristic shape. It consists of several large nodes with levers, bricks and plates. The main part of the comb consists of slanted pieces and 1x1x3 bricks. Once all the knots are assembled, they are pinned together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It’s an incredibly enjoyable process.
The crest is mostly white, but there are light gray details to highlight parts within the original shuttle in the film. It is not made perfectly, however: it is attached to only one pin, and if you look at the model from the front, the comb seems very thin. The same problem was with previous models, and the creators had a great chance to fix it. The sides of the ridge have wonderful details added with thoughtful knots. This gives the 75302 Imperial Shuttle a sleekness and style that previous versions didn’t have (other than the UCS, of course).
Wings, in fact, are also two giant knots. The slanted lift arms are connected to the plates and tiles in such a way that they create the desired shape. Once the wings are fixed, we will unmistakably define the silhouette of the Imperial shuttle. It is worth noting: the mechanism for folding the wings is unfinished, but very durable.
— Characters —
75301 Luke Skywalker’s X-wing Fighter features one exclusive and one highly coveted figure; 75300 Imperial TIE Fighter has an exclusive droid figure, and 75302 Imperial Shuttle… is nothing new.
It’s not that the figures in the set are somehow bad. Darth Vader is amazing. We’ve just seen them. Luke Skywalker hasn’t changed since 2016, and Darth Vader doesn’t even have the new arms that were introduced last year. Given that this is the most expensive Star Wars set in this line, I would like to get the most coveted figures.
The figurines in the set match the contents of the set. We have Luke and Darth Vader, which means there will be epic lightsaber battles, and the imperial pilot just sits nicely in his cockpit.
– Price –
Well, LEGO Star Wars is getting more expensive. Back in 2015, you could buy the larger 75094 Imperial Shuttle Tydirium, which came with 2 more figures and about 300 parts, for the same price as 75302 Imperial Shuttle. But as Obi-Wan Kenobi said: “Things were different” (that was six years ago).
Until recently, we’ve seen high prices for Star Wars sets, and this option seems fair. Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker in Jedi robes, hours-long build, pretty decent Imperial shuttle: £70 is a fair price. It’s not the price range of the 75300 Tie Fighter (Imperial Fighter) or the 75301 Luke Skywalker’s X-wing Fighter, but with all that said, you won’t feel left out.
– Photo –
– Conclusion –
All in all, 75094 Imperial Shuttle is almost a fantastic set. The assembly is very exciting and enjoyable. The model looks very cool, especially the rear engines, hull walls, cylindrical components and the upper part of the cab. However, the design of the external cabin leaves much to be desired. Also, the creators missed the opportunity to make the crest wider. It is also depressing that there are no new figures in the set, the excitement of the purchase disappears a little.
However, for the first time in 6 years, the Lambda T-4a Imperial Shuttle was released. Who missed the last issue can now make a purchase. It has a corresponding price, quite low to offer a lot of gaming options. At the same time, young designers will have to tinker a lot.
If you have the opportunity to buy one Star Wars model in 2021, 75301 Luke Skywalker’s X-wing Fighter is a very good option. But if you want to complete your collection with an iconic model, the 75094 Imperial Shuttle is the best choice. If Vader has already flown it, it suits us all the more.