The year was 1999 and Lego had just announced that it would release set based on it first licensed product Star Wars. I initially bought the first few sets as they came out and as I did my passion for them grew. According to brickset.com there are a massive 760 different Star Wars sets and the Star Wars brand continues to be a top selling theme for the company according to Lego.com. Eventually I got rid of most of my Star Wars collection (don’t worry I kept the good stuff) and focused my collecting on Lego Star Wars sets. I have been collecting since then and have amassed over 400 Lego sets.
Over the course of my next few articles I will be giving you my opinion of the best and worst sets from each of the movies. These are sets that I personally own or have built and of course it is all just my opinion. All prices that I have included are the retail price of the set in US dollars when it was released. I will not include on these lists the Ultimate Collectors Series (UCS) sets since they them selves are designed to be models or display pieces. So with out further ado, here we go.
1. A New Hope
Set Number: 6211 The Imperial Star Destroyer.
Retail Price: $99.99
Rating: Hotter than Mustafar
This was an amazing build. The Sheer size of it was worth it. Long ago the most expensive sets (excluding UCS) were no more than $100. Prices of courses have gone up due to inflation, but you could always count on not having to spend more than that on a set. It came with 9 minifigs including Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, Stormtroopers, a couple of droids, royal guards, and an imperial officer. way that the engines were built shows excellent technique and makes the displayability of this craft a piece anyone would want to have in his or her collection.
Set Number: 75271 Luke Skywalker’s Land Speeder
Piece count: 236
Retail Price: $29.99
Rating: “Into the garbage chute fly boy”
This set was released in January of 2020 and was announced earlier in 2019. When it was announced most fans I knew were adamant about not buying this set for several reasons. One was that this was the sixth land speeder with Luke and the droids that Lego had produced. The second reason was the price of the set. At $29.99 it puts the price per piece at over 12 cents per brick and that is somewhat high. The use of rehashed figures also made this one less desirable to the fans.
2. The Empire Strikes Back
Set number: 10178 Motorized AT-AT Walker
Piece Count: 1137
Retail Price: $129.99
Rating: So cool it makes Hoth look like a beach destination.
Actually any variation of the AT-AT walkers I absolutely love. It is far and away my favorite vehicle in the Star Wars universe. There was one different AT-AT released prior to this one but they really stepped up the game on this one. There was a motor unit that gave it the ability to move on its own. There was storage in the body of the beast that was given up for the motor unit but seeing that thing move across the table on its own was enough to give you goose bumps.
Set Number: 75208 Yoda’s Hut
Piece Count: 229
Retail Price: $29.99
Rating: “Is there a garbage chute? A trash compactor?”
This was one in a series of the huts. No I don’t mean Jabba I mean like house huts. They were all released within an 18 month period and included this one, Obi-wan’s hut from A New Hope and Luke’s hut from The Last Jedi. The idea was sound and these were in the movies but the problem was that each one of them looked suspiciously like the other as far as the build was concerned. There were rather minor changes here and there to make it look like they did in their respective movies but they were essentially all the same.
3. The Return of the Jedi
Set Number: 8038 The Battle of Endor
Piece Count: 890
Retail Price: $99.99
Rating: “Yub Nub”
Ok this was such a fun set to build, play with and display. The shield bunker had pop-out panels to give the effect of exploding. Came with and AT-ST, two speeder-bikes, an Ewok catapult, and a plethora of minifigs. In essence everything you needed to recreate the famous battle that brought the fall of the Empire.
Set Number: 4480 Jabba’s Palace
Piece Count: 231
Retail Price: $30.00
Rating: Thrown into the Sarlacc pit
I know that at this time Lego Star Wars had only been released for a few years and they were still trying to find their footing and trying newer sets but this was just a poor attempt. It did not feel like a Jabba’s palace it was mostly a suspended platform with Jabba sitting on top. There was not much to it and the stairs and torches just seemed to throw off the vibe and feel of the model. However this is Lego and the designers are always coming up with new versions of the ships and play-sets. Jabba got the palace he deserved along with an attachable rancor pit in 2012.
4. Honorable Mention
Set Number: 10123 Cloud City
Piece Count: 698
Retail Price: $100
Rating: A first of Lego and a grail among collectors.
When this set was released there was something about it that Lego had never done before. The Boba Fett figure and the Luke figure both had printing not only on their torsos but on their legs and in the case of Boba his arms as well. This makes for a highly sought after minifig. The Fett figure can fetch $400 or more on the market today. The set itself now can be sold for between $800 and $1800 depending on the condition that it is in.
I hope you have enjoyed my look at some of what I consider to be the best and the worst of the Original Trilogy. Please comment on your favs. Join me again next time as I explore the Prequel Trilogy. Until then Happy Building!!!