It seems that with every Star Wars series, there is a ship that is so prominently used it should have it’s own trailer on the set. For the original trilogy, we had the Millennium Falcon. The prequels didn’t have one and probably one of the many reasons why they sucked so bad. The Clone Wars series had the Twilight but admittedly I never watched it so I can’t say how often it was used but regardless of that, it wasn’t exactly warmly received. And now, for Rebels, we have 75053 The Ghost. It’s one of two sets right out of the gate from LEGO based on the upcoming cartoon, the other being 75048 The Phantom which we panned in our review. So how did the Ghost measure up?
Not bad in some ways. Admittedly, it does have a couple of nice things going for it, but there’s too much bad outweighing the good.
Rebels is heavily influenced by the concept art of Ralph McQuarrie and the Ghost definitely has that look and feel, so I give props to the designer. The LEGO model is a pretty accurate representation of it. The design of the ship feels new and at the same time familiar as well. There’s some influence from the Millennium Falcon in there with the escape pods sticking out on either side of the ship. That’s not really surprising since both came from Corellian Engineering Corporation and are both classified as “light freighters”.
The top of the Ghost has some really nice plate and hinge work going on to faithfully recreate the subtle angles that make up a huge characteristic of the ship. The color blocking is a bit of a mess though but I suppose they were going for that used / modified look. Those angled plates don’t really lift up to reveal any interior like the Falcon models are prone to do.
There are these two hinged panels that lift up to show absolutely nothing significant. But the fact that they are built differently can only mean they have some type of function in the show. That’s the hope anyway otherwise these hidden compartments is just wasting time, space, and parts. And this wouldn’t be the first time LEGO’s put something in a set that has nothing to do with the source material. I suppose they could be used for weapons storage when the minifigs are all seated inside the ship.
Those escape pods are surprisingly more detailed than I would have assumed, which is a good thing. They slide right in with a satisfying click. It’s by no means the most solid connection but there’s enough clutch and friction there to prevent the pods from falling out from gravity and/or swoosh time. There is a modest interior to the escape pod but be aware that there isn’t a solid connection between the top and bottom halves of the escape pod shell. It relies on you never actually playing with them to maintain their structure.
There are three distinct points on the ship’s bottom when it’s resting on a surface that serve as landing gear with the two points on the back also housing a spring-loaded missile launcher each. There is also an attempt to dress up the bottom slightly which is kind of a tiny step forward for LEGO considering how normally they just completely ignore that area. It’s a sad attempt however since there is only two angled plates SNOTted in there and that’s pretty much it but it is an attempt nonetheless.
There’s a trap door on the bottom that swings out when you pull on the lever exposing a crate with a holocron cube inside. The trap door is just a terrible play feature since it is so difficult to actually play with. I can’t imagine a kid handling the lever, removing the crate and putting the trap door back together all the while trying to hold the ship up. It’s a bit on the heavy and unwieldy side for both child and adult hands. For a lack of a better way to describe it, there is a dorsal fin that feels way too weak for handling while attempting to access the trap door. The plates and bricks just end up separating while you try and balance the whole ship on that single row of studs. There is an area near the front just ahead of the rear landing gears that has a more grip-friendly structure but the problem with that is that it places the trap door behind your grip-hand making it really awkward to for your off-hand to try and play with. And you can’t exactly play with the trap door while the ship is resting on a surface since there’s not enough clearance for the door to swing open. I can only assume that the ship in the cartoon has a trap door like this cause and the LEGO model is being faithful to that because I would find it hard to believe that a toy maker would purposefully put in such a feature that is virtually impossible for young kids to actually play with.
And you know what else is just dumb about this trap door? You see that tile with the diagonal stripes? That’s a sticker. It’s dumb because there is already a printed tile with that exact same design. There are two of them in fact so you can be twice as annoyed while applying the stickers.
This top gunner’s turret is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in a LEGO Star Wars set and this includes 7127 Imperial AT-ST and both versions of Aldar Beedo. First of all, it’s not even anchored down; the turret spins because it’s not attached to anything. Secondly, there’s no back to it and because there’s no back, you might think it’s possible to just pop the minifigure in out of the chair but you can’t. You pretty much have to dismantle it into three parts to get a minifig in place. And like the cockpit at the front, when the turret is in place it’s not even sealed off completely. And what purpose does that 1×2 white plate on the back of the bubble exactly serve? What’s it supposed to mimic? The back half of the gunner’s tube? This thing is just insanely stupid.
And this gaping hole? This is the primary reason why the Phantom should have been included. If it weren’t so obvious that it was missing something to fill the gap, I suppose it would have been okay. Unfortunately, this is what it ends up looking like without the Phantom so you pretty much NEED to buy it in order to complete the model and make it look whole. Ultimately, I suppose, it isn’t necessary; you could just have this odd receptacle there on the back of the ship with no Phantom to fill it, but it would just be ugly and it disrupts the look of the Ghost with it’s angled panels and tapered design. I’ve said this in my review of the Phantom, but the two ships should have just been bundled together as one set because as it is now, you are more apt to want to buy 75048 to complete an otherwise incomplete ship. So what really was the point of separating them into two separate sets?
Here they are together like they should be. The one gripe I have about this setup is that the Phantom feels much too big for Ghost. It doesn’t just fill the gap, but sticks out quite noticeably. Forum member pointed out this CGI still to me, showing the Phantom loaded into the Ghost backwards with the thrusters pointing out instead of the cockpit. It could be that the split feature so prominently displayed was for this very reason, and it does sort of fit that way sans cockpit module but if that’s the case, what do you do with the leftover cockpit? Throw it away? I tried inserting the Phantom this way but there wasn’t a secure enough connection to make it feel like it was supposed to go this way. The instructions are very lacking in this regard, how you actually conjoin the two. Through trial and error I’ve figured out that you have to lift up the top hinged panel just behind the gunner’s turret, slide the Phantom into place and jiggle it around until it feels somewhat secure, and then flip the hinged panel down so it rests on top of the two cheese slopes on the back of Phantom.
There is one other thing about the instructions that I should mention. It’s not often we would remark about the building process of a set, let alone photograph any of the steps, because most of the time it is an unremarkable process. It’s not rocket surgery: just follow the instructions. But I feel the need to make a note about this ship: right at bag #5, you do a LOT of backtracking adding elements to previously built sections that are in no way dependent on anything built in between. It’s not really that big of a deal but it felt like the instruction makers messed it up the first time and backtracked to cover their mistakes.
The front end of the Ghost has two cockpit sections. Presumably the top one is the pilot’s seat while the bottom one is more of a gunner’s station. The gunner’s seat slides out completely with the canopy bubble where you can seat two minifigs. There’s a section behind the pilot’s seat that looks like additional storage, maybe for weapons, a prisoner, or for Sabine should she ever be released. None of the canopies, and this includes the top gunner’s turret, are sealed off completely trivializing the dangers of the vacuum that is outer space. The gunner’s bubble is especially bad since it the hinge connection is on the bottom and isn’t all that tight so the bubble just sort of falls forward. Unsealed cockpits bother me and when I see them the first word that comes to mind is “lazy”.
Crappy ship aside, let’s take a look at the minifigs.
Let me just start by saying that I for one am glad that Lucasfilm is not making their licensees stylize the figures based off of Rebels in any way that is significantly different from other figures like they did with the Clone Wars characters. All of the Rebels minifigures so far fit right in the established aesthetic of every other Star Wars minifigure that came before it (other than Clone Wars minifigs obviously). And for that I am glad.
Zeb Orrelios is the McQuarrie concept Chewbacca, only done up in purple fur for whatever reason. His weapon had me laughing but not in a good way. I actually did a little research and came across this podcast that describes everything you could possibly every wanted to know about Zeb including his weapon. Basically, his weapon is a transformer. It can change from a double-ended electro bo staff, fold up into a ranged weapon, and then change form again to a storable object he can strap to his back. Knowing this, it makes sense now why it was made from two blasters stuck on the ends of lightsaber handles. Accuracy aside, it’s kind of a stupid weapon conceptually. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of weapons and just makes me think he’s not really effective at using any of the weapons’ modes but knowing how these things go, he will probably be able to melee his way out of any situation no matter how badly he is outnumbered. I know nothing about this character other than what I’ve already put down in this review but if I were to take a guess, he would be the brawn of the outfit because certainly you don’t give a Swiss Army Weapon to the brains so you’ll no doubt see him in impossible combat situations and still come out on top using his S.A.W. And I think that’s the problem with Hollywood these days. Far too often is the hero a master of hand-to-hand combat and come out ahead when facing a horde of enemy combatants. Take first 10 minutes of Man of Steel when Jor-el took down Zod’s soldiers Jason Bourne-style. He’s a scientist for crying out loud and while I can make allowances for scientists to also have an interest in the martial arts, I would find it hard to believe that the most brilliant mind of Krypton could train in an interest to the point where he could be outnumbered and take down ten soldiers who do nothing but train in combat. There might not have been ten; there may have been more or less but I refuse to go back to rewatch the scene. ANYWAYS, Zeb’s weapon is stupid.
Hera Syndulla is the Twi’lek in the set and she’s the owner of the Ghost She comes with an overly cheerful expression on side of her face, the other being in a state of grimace. A blaster is her weapon of choice.
Kanan Jarrus is the Jedi in the group. At least that’s that I can assume based on the fact he comes with a lightsaber. I guess Order 66 wasn’t so successful after all, eh, Emperor? I’m going to take a wild guess on some plot points here, but I’m guessing Kanan is one of the few remaining Jedi and he takes in wild upstart Ezra Bridger to train him in the ways of the force, much like how Qui-Gon did with young Anakin, or how Obi-Wan Kenobi did with Luke Skywalker. This is of course AFTER he takes Ezra’s midichlorian count to make sure. Because Ezra is probably an orphan, didn’t have much of a father figure, and Kanan senses greatness within him. Shrug. Like I said, just a guess. Anyways, he too comes with a double sided head and that is really all there is to say about him.
This set also comes with a Stormtrooper. Remember, Rebels takes place between Episodes III and IV, so it should somewhat look like the evolutionary link between the Phase III Clone Trooper helmet and the Stormtrooper helmet designs and I’d say they somewhat succeeded. It sort of looks like a carnival caricature of a Stormtrooper more than anything. The blue squares are a bit brighter and really that’s about it. I wouldn’t go out of my way to amass these and in fact I’d probably avoid mixing them up with my regular Stormtroopers because they look so odd.
- Construction techniques to achieve angles in the hull.
- Minifigs fit right in with rest of non-Clone Wars minifig collection.
- Escape pods.
I just realized now how lengthy this review is so if you’ve made it this far I thank you. It would have just been too easy to say, “this thing sucks” but given that this is the gateway ship to more Rebels merch, I thought it was important to do a thorough review. So far from what I’ve seen in the sets and all the little preview clips for the show, I don’t think anyone would really feel like they are missing much by skipping Rebels sets entirely since the cast of characters is all new. If you’re a completionist though, you really have no choice, but otherwise, they are an easily skippable affair. Its 1 out of 5 star rating is for both being overall terrible and terribly boring.
Buy or Don’t Buy 75053 The Ghost from Amazon. You should probably spend your money on something else but if you should feel so compelled to still buy it here’s a link: