There probably isn’t a more iconic ship in Star Wars than the Millennium Falcon, at least not a unique one. X-Wings and TIE Fighters certainly are iconic in their own right, and Slave I is recognizable to fans… but the Falcon is the ship that just about anyone recognizes as Star Wars. It serves as a backdrop for scenes in four Star Wars movies, including some pretty important character development (and the best line in all seven movies, but we can discuss that later in committee).
It’s a great ship in the movies, but honestly, the minifig versions have always suffered worse than some of the other vehicles. It’s almost always too small, and play features throw off the proportions and look of the ship. The most iconic things around the ship are usually hard to set up in a display. The pervious version also had what is perhaps the worst lower half of any vehicle ever made.
Originally, I wasn’t planning on getting, or reviewing, 75101 Millennium Falcon. I knew Finn would be coming in a future set, Chewie wasn’t changed, and I had Rey from the fantastic Speeder set. The real draw to the set was Han, and the pirates that were unique colors, but that didn’t seem to justify a $149.99 price tag for 1329 pieces. Yet after seeing the Force Awakens, I knew I had to have absolutely every set there was, and this was no exception. Obviously, going to talk about some spoilers in this review, likely more than the rest.
You know, as much as I love my walkers and the Falcon, those sets are the ones I’m least likely to buy when they are re-released. I have the original falcon, the first “large” set I ever purchased, the UCS Falcon, which is an awesome display piece (for AT-AT I have the motorized version, which is great for scaring my cat… though my daughter has adopted that task in recent years). I actually purchased the last release of the 2012 release of the Falcon after getting it on a very deep discount, building it once, and parting it out.
The minifig lineup includes Finn, Rey, BB-8, a fossilzed version of Han Solo, Chewbacca, a Kanjiklub Gang Member, and the leader of the Kanjiklub gang, Tasu Leech. Han thought it was good to see Tasu, and I agree with that sentiment here. The lineup without the gang is perfect, everyone that we see on the Falcon in the movie. The gang itself isn’t bad, just after seeing the movie, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put them on here without also giving us Bala-Tik and Guavian Death Gang with their cooler armor and his glorious Scottish accent.
For the first few months, this was the only set you could get Finn in. That’s pretty lame, putting a main character (who is a person of color) in the most expensive set. I guess at least we got Rey in the least expensive, but still part of a not-at-all-surprising trend. LEGO is at least doing better than Hasbro, which is still terrible to female characters. Luckily, both he and Kylo Ren (obviously the main bad guy) are available in a far cheaper set now. That aside, I love this little minifig. Great head that can be used elsewhere, that hairpiece if fantastic, and I kind of want my own version of Poe/Finn’s jacket.
Rey is included here, and the figure is the same as what we got in the speeder, just sans a satchel. My opinions of the figure haven’t changed since that review, really, but after seeing the movie I wish we would have gotten a bit of variation between the versions, honestly.
On Jakku and places after, her outfit was more white than it was gray. She got the gray look after escaping Starkiller and leaving the Resistance base to look for Luke.
BB-8 as a character was something I thought was kind of cool, even if a bit silly in the initial trailer. I was very afraid it’d be the comic relief character, a Jar Jar for the next collection of films. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so happy to be wrong about a character in the movie, because I just loved BB-8. It had personality, humor, and that whole thumb’s up scene still makes me laugh and smile.
All of that being said… I’m less than enthused about the minifig for the guy. I really, really, really wish they would have come up with a way to actually roll the figure instead of just sticking together like this. While he looks good (though a bit off for proportions), he’s just a statue. The movement was part of its personality, and there’s no way you can play with this and emulate that, unlike what you can do with R2.
It does look pretty cool next to LEGO R2, and shockingly, the fact that R2 is oversized makes them look better. Of course, rolling would have made for a far more expensive minifig to produce, so who knows. I just know that BB-8 is going to be in all of the main series films at the least, so we will likely get more of our rolling friend.
There’s one big huge spoilery reason that I wanted this set ultimately, and that’s the fact that we’re unlikely to get another old Han Solo figure… for fairly obvious, family trouble-related reasons. It’s a good little figure, and I like the new, older head. The torso is new, just like the jacket, even if Leia didn’t notice.
I love etting that hairpiece in gray… gray and white hairpieces are fairly rare anyway. The alt-face by itself is good, but doesn’t really fit what we saw of Han in the movie. We need more “general annoyance at being in a Star Wars film” or “fatherly sarcasm directed to these young whippersnappers” in an alt-face. That’s more “get off my lawn.”
We’ve only gotten older versions of two characters, and both are pretty great. Akbar, however, is immortal. He got a lot better treatment in Force Awakens than he did in the Extended Universe. The comparison to A New Hope is valid, though I’d question the sentiment from the hater brigade that it was simply “ripping it off.” This was in a lot of ways a soft reboot without time travel, and it evolved a lot of stuff nicely. Han, and his jacket, are no exception.
Chewie is the same, awful, new version. The interesting thing here is a stud-launcher Bowcaster, finally giving Chewie something other than a regular crossbow. Given that the bowcaster featured in the movie as a little (rather funny) running joke, it’s nice to see it. Unlike the other stud-launchers, this one loads sideways… but works about as well.
The pirate gang is great to get, especially as they are asian characters without being absurdly terrible minifigs (looking at you, Indiana Jones sets). I wouldn’t mind seeing a spinoff movie for these guys, or at least a comic book series or something. The generic one is actually the more interesting of the two, with all that pattern and printing, but both are pretty good representations.
Only Tasu has an alt face, which I assume is called “Talking to Han Solo” face. Both characters have parts that could be used for other stuff other than just just Star Wars characters. The downside, obviously, is that if you want to build up the gang… they’re in the most expensive ship. Also, there aren’t any rathtars. That may be a good thing though.
The Falcon itself, superficially, has a lot in common with the previous version. Given that it’s the same ship… well, that’s not surprising. More than anything, this is a ship that suffers for being in LEGO scale and not absurdly priced. Even at nearly 1400 parts, the model is going to end up being off, so it needs to focus more on play features than the size.
There are some improvements to the ship build thanks to some newer parts and methods. The engine wrapper seems to have more bulk, which hides the exhaust well. I’m not a huge fan of going to stickers for the discs on top, but in general, the greebling shows off the age and damage that the Falcon saw while in a junkyard.
The underside isn’t perfect, but it’s still vastly better than the underside on 7965, which is probably the single worst design I’ve ever seen on a LEGO ship. I would love to see a better job giving the underside some structure, especially since it’s the lower cannon that Finn used when escaping (why he didn’t think to go to the top one when the bottom one jammed we may never known)… and the underside just tends to look bad on the shelves.
The biggest complaint I have is the cockpit, honestly. The printed glass is nice, but the cockpit itself doesn’t have enough room for more than one or two figures, tops, and it just feels so unfinished. The cockpit is a focal piece of the ship, and there are some important things happening in it… yet I don’t think it’s ever gotten a good treatment in LEGO. Given some of the other details around this build, it’s unfortunate this gets such a short shrift.
The interior of the Falcon did get some upgrades over previous versions. Unfortunately, it feels like the turrets kind of got a downgrade as part of that. I think once you toss scale out the window, which you have to with this ship, you can do some more interesting things like building a proper gunner’s spot. You know, instead of a flap and a pit of doom. Not even a ladder for Finn to get down there.
What is nice is that the structure of the Falcon feels improved. Despite its size, and the fragility of the cockpit, this is a swooshable and durable ship. The escape pods tie into the structure, and it gives it a very rigid feeling. There’s also a lot of parts used to build up the “scrap” nature of the ship, with pipes and scrap just laying around. It’s an interesting aspect, if a little tedious, to the build, since you’re not just lining up the outside. There is a certain character to doing it like that.
One of the best little parts in the 2012 version was the sabacc table that was included as a tile. This version swaps out the tile for a printed shield, which is both good and bad. It’s not longer a table, per se, but also has more utility as a part. The lounge area features a lot of stickers, which I’m not sure was really needed. In fact, the whole ship is pretty stickered up, yet often in some really random places, like the side slope of one of the escape pods or the back of the turret cover. I don’t know that the stickers actually add anything as little one-offs.
The biggest miss, even more than the cockpit, is the fact that missile launching bricks that were added to the ship. It’s not that they are there, this is a playset, I get adding that… it’s the location on the outside of the mandibles. Every schematic, including the canon ones in the new cross-section book (which is awesome, you should buy it), shows the center section of the ship with a concussion missile launchers. This build has nothing in there… just a gap to the middle of the ship. That section doesn’t even close it up, so apparently they’re running through the noisy vacuum of space when flying.
I get that there was a limited amount of “exposure” that LEGO gets when building these ships, but it still feels like there are a lot of missed opportunity in this set. The lack of the smuggling containers again hurts the ship, especially when they figured in so much with Han and Chewie arriving. Finn and Rey in breathing masks would have just been fantastic here, as would getting members of both gangs. For $150, I don’t think it’s asking too much to include a couple more minifigs in the lineup.
I’m torn on the set, to be honest. It feels decidedly average, though the price and lack of seemingly important play features hurt it and make me want to knock it down a bit. If I would have written this review before the 2016 sets came out, I could talk up how it was the only set with Finn, but that’s no longer true. Now, the unique figures are the gang and Han. Obviously, Han won’t likely get another release, and who knows with the gang… while cool, they aren’t likely to return. BB-8 is in the X-Wing, Rey is in the Speeder, and Finn is in the Maz’s castle.
That being said, there’s still enough to it that keeps it from dropping down to a 2. On a deep enough discount, say 20 – 25%, this is a good set to have, especially if you don’t have an older version or the UCS ship. Of course, I’ve yet to see this particular set hit any sort of meaningful change, and it was sold out in most stores near Christmas, so what do I know. Still, I’m going to call it a three out of five.
What I Liked
- Old Han and the Gang are all great characters, and the lineup of the main characters is spot-on in a big set, for once
- Durable build that’s very swooshable, which is impressive for a set this size
- New bowcaster finally gives Chewie some attention, which is nice given how bad he looks as a minifig now
What I didn’t like
- Despite the size and bulk, it doesn’t feel like it’s worth $149.99, honestly
- The cockpit is just bad, and the launchers are entirely in the wrong location. Also hurt by missed opportunities in play features
- It should have included Bala-Tik and a Guavian Death Gang (who have pretty cool armor), especially given the price
Verdict: 3 out of 5. You can buy 75105 Millennium Falcon, and the rest of the Force Awakens sets, right now at Amazon.com.