I’m pretty sure my feelings about Episode I as a movie are fairly well established around here. Spoiler alert… not good. That being said, one of the things I think that Episode I did fairly well was setting up a lot of interesting and fairly unique designs, especially compared to some of the stuff we got later. Naboo was simply gorgeous, with an aesthetic that was fairly diverse and definitely unique compared to the rest of Star Wars that we saw.The Naboo starfighter was an fairly interesting ship, that unfortunately only a player for about 10 minutes in the movie (though spread across far longer, because everything was).
We didn’t get to see a whole lot, other than the fact that the Naboo never felt the need to install parental controls, lockout programs, keys, or any sort of protections on their military hardware. Well, that and that they valued style over function big time, what with the sporty paint job and the chrome and leather option. It really matches the rest of the movie in that whole look over purpose… but it also did the look really well. Even though it’s kind of slick, it was a ship I could believe was there more for parade looks than military prowess. In other words, I’m suggesting that the military on Naboo is made up entirely of Blue Angles pilots. So maybe Anakin really did see an angel.
We’re a bit late on getting around to reviewing this set; I bought it during the May the 4th sales, mostly because it was on sale and I didn’t buy the last version (I have multiples of the one before that, and even the original 1999 version)… mostly because, while I like the ship well enough, as a build and LEGO set, it was always sub-par and fragile. But since there wasn’t a lot else to buy to get above the limit I needed for the VIP set they had, it went on the pile. At $49.99 and 442 pieces, and what feels like somewhere around seventeen million figures (3 minifigs, 3 Battle Droids, R2-D2, and 2 Droidekas), there is probably a lot of value hiding in a set that most of us would overlook just because of the source… but who really needs more yellow parts?
No one. Like Batman said, we only need Black and Dark Gray (or go Archer, with Black and Slightly Darker Black). Though in truth, I probably use yellow and black about equally in the rare times that I build… sparingly. I was actually very surprised with this set, to be honest, when I built it. My purchase was mostly grabbing things for review or filling spaces in what I’d gotten recently. A couple of Droid Soda Cans, some Microfighters, a few other small sets, and this one to get above the $150 that was needed for the special set. I wasn’t expecting to like this set at all, but I really did.
We get a whole bunch of figures and characters in this. There are some that make sense, like R2-D2 and young Anakin. I don’t mind at all getting a Naboo pilot. I think there was a missed opportunity here in just giving us a generic pilot face. It would have been a nice chance to give us a female pilot (Dineé Ellberger) or a pilot of color (Arven Wendik), since we already have a few other Naboo pilots out there. Obi-Wan is really the strange addition… he had little interaction with the pilots (just releasing them), and Qui-Gon or Padme would have made a whole lot more sense as a named character.
R2-D2 is still awesome. You cannot have too many of him. Plus, I think this is the first time I’ve had the head right on an astromech in a few reviews.
I’m going to refrain from making fun of Young Anakin. Outside the fact that all of the jokes have been done, it’s hard to fault a child actor for the failings of a director and writer (and it’s hard to see what’s become of Jake Lloyd and not feel bad for him). It’s the same version of the character that comes in the Sith Infiltrator set, which Ace wants me to review but I’ve been lazy about purchasing. So eventually I’ll compare it. As a figure, he’s not bad, but the problem with all of the stub-leg figures is that they can’t really be used as pilots, and that’s kind of an important thing here.
It’s not a bad little figure, and he does come with a flight helmet… but also not a figure you’re going to need more than one of. The torso is somewhat non-descriptive, so everything here could be reused, but I’m not a fan of the torso look overall.
Generic Naboo fighter, which has now shown up on eight different Star Wars figures, all pretty equally generic and boring. The Naboo pilots were a fairly diverse group, so it would have been cool to see something more here. They also got a tiny bit of attention in the Shattered Empire comics, when these fighters flew briefly against the remnants trying to wreck Naboo in revenge for the Emperor being a bad people manager.
The torso is unique here, and pretty common between them, so we can get more of them and go make more Naboo pilots, if that’s your thing. Again, they don’t have a lot of military ability, as they were one-upped by a 12-year-old that was flying one of their ships by accident. I use pilots like this in my Rebel displays, though, even more now making Resistance displays. The reused nature of it makes it feel a lot more authentic, and they can easily be made into techs as well.
This is the same Obi-Wan figure than came in the terribad MTT set we got in 2014. I still don’t get the angry face at all, since the pretty consistent feature of Obi-Wan throughout the movies was that it was pretty hard to get him worked up. He screamed when Darth Maul made a slight slip during some emergency appendectomy surgery, but was immediately 100% Jedi after that.
Even the main look really isn’t accurate. You need that kind of a smug smirk that makes you want to punch him to get Obi-Wan correct. I still prefer Episode III Obi-Wan as a look, but it’d be easier to make a bit more with this figure… except that stupid little Padawan braid hangs down, so that’s the only type of Jedi you’re going to build here.
Reviewing all of these figures makes me want to do my best Ron Popeil voice and throw out a “but wait… there’s more!” Seriously, when you build this thing, it’s sort of shocking the sheer value that it gives for play. You get both good guys and bad guys, a ship to swoosh around, and little accessories. Here, we get a pair of Droidekas (which are different from previous versions I think, though I don’t have any of them close at hand to really compare).
Battle Droids haven’t ever really changed outside the addition of the straight arm to hold the blaster and a bit of printing variations. Here, we get a battle droid commander, a very convenient feature to add so your adversaries always know which robot to target first. I’d say you can’t have too many of these guys either, if you were trying to build a big clone display (which I have done), but they’re kind of a pain to position. Plus, if you’ve been collecting for a long time, you have hundreds of these guys. Still, not a bad variety to throw into a set, and they do fit with the idea of this being part of the hanger escape.
The droidekas are similar to the previous versions, and we get two of them here. They were the most interesting of the droids in Episode I, and its a shame that they weren’t featured all that much in the later movies (they were there occasionally in the Clone Wars cartoon). They were the one that was far more effective, since the weapons were built in, they had shields, and could actually take down their targets.
The fighter itself, at first glance, looks pretty similar to the previous versions, but looks can be a little deceptive here. The engines have a lot more rigidity compared to the others, with stops inside so the parts that aren’t connected with ins do not rotate. There’s also the addition of the spring missile launchers as well, which are very neatly integrated into the build.
The underside has a little launcher to pop R2 out of his spot, which is weird, but I think works better than putting the sides on hinges so you can get him out. The biggest upgrade, though, is the change to how the backs of the fighter and engines all look, with the retiring of those awful antenna that always fall off if you happen to be breathing within sixteen feet of the model. I liked the previous Naboo fighters, but it was those parts that always kept me from putting it on display.
An upgrade was made to the thicker staff bars in yellow, and combined with the new rigidity make this one solid little build. The previous versions have always felt a bit fragile, and those one is pretty much the opposite. That’s certainly been a trend with the most recent remakes in the Star Wars line, with the feel of a ship just being more solid.
There are still stickers on the ship, which is just a reality of the line, but they’re not as overbearing as some other sets. The Naboo fighter has always had some accents, like the missile launchers on top, but at least they line up to the play features like they should (unlike what we got on the Falcon).
I love the little stand that comes with the set, which was included in the last version. However, that version had some plates on the side that were a bit odd, and the angles setup made it a bit wobbly. This one, it’s just a setup underneath, and the set sits on there quite nicely.
Event better are some of my favorite bits, the accessories that go with the ship. I like the stairs, and even once I put this Naboo fighter into storage (don’t have any PT or Clone Wars displays going right now), these went up next to my Rebel/Resistance hanger. Even the transport for the missiles, which normally are a low point, just looks nice on a hanger deck. The biggest knock is more of a part limitation than anything, since the hose has too little flexibility to sit like it’s pictured on the box. There’s enough tension on the hose that it can’t twist around, and it can push it askew on the stand if you fix it to something heavier. If it’s not fixed, it has to sit to the side like the picture you see above. Still, for flavor on a set, it’s basic but adds a bunch.
This is a pretty weird set in the end. It’s most certainly an improvement on previous versions; not as much from the one in 2011, which was an exclusive set, but a lot from the previous ones. The added bits and the huge lineup of characters add a lot of value, but there’s nothing in that lineup that really make this a “must get” set. The pilot is unique, but there are other Naboo pilots. The rest of the figures have been in other sets, and there have been multiple versions of the droideka. Even the accessories, which I really like, can be built out of fairly common parts. Really, the set sits somewhere between a three and a four, and I’m going to round up to a four out of five. It’s a solid set, but I can see passing if you already have the figure or the fighter. However, if you do have a chance to get it, especially on sale, you won’t really be let down.
What I Liked
- A rock solid and swooshable ship, which is incredible for a Naboo Starfighter
- So many figures and little touches that make it a great ship and a great playset
- All of the extra accessories make this a good display piece
What I Didn’t Like
- Pilot feels like a missed opportunity to inject some variety, instead of giving us yet another Generic McGenericface
- With the exception of the pilot, all of the figures are available elsewhere, so nothing really sets the ship apart
- Up the price a touch and add a Vulture Droid and this would become a perfect sort of set
Verdict: 4 out of 5. You can pick up 75092 Naboo Starfighter right now on Amazon.com, where at the time of this writing has a decent 14% discount.