Warning: There might be spoilers for Star Wars The Force Awakens in this review of Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle. These would be accidental since I haven’t seen the movie. Plot twists mentioned in this article are purely hypothetical and based on guesswork.
Clouded, Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle’s future is.
We don’t know yet what Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle will do in the movie and the importance of its owner is shrouded in mystery. Who is Kylo Ren? And what’s with the strange lightsaber? His crew might tell us something about his importance. Included in the box is half a general staff including General Hux, a First Order Stormtrooper Officer, a First Order Officer and two extra crew members. Is Kylo Ren the successor to Darth Vader? Is he a bastard son of Emperor Palpatine or one of Han and Leia Solo’s children that chose the dark side of the Force? We can see a wooded environment on the box. Does this mean we’re on Kashyyk, the home planet of Chewbacca? (Remember “Chewie we’re home” from the trailer.) Or is it Endor? Maybe the planet of the New Jedi Order Yavin IV? We can only guess.
Let’s check the contents.
Seven seperate bags smile at me. And the most surprising: no stickers! Extra points for Lego. How long has it been since we’ve seen that? (Editor’s note: The pieces of the first Star Wars Lego sets were printed, but to cut costs Lego decided to include stickers instead of printing. These stickers started to crumble and loosened which is why some old sets are not as glorious as before.)
The first bag of Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle alone makes buying this set worthwhile: the brand new First Order Stormtrooper Officer. The trailer already showed us the new Stormtroopers, but this one has a red shoulder pad! And the details are magnificent. The new helmets are beautifully designed, but somehow they remind me of Donald Duck’s face. Secondly, Kylo Ren himself. Let’s look what’s under the helmet. Do we recognize a face? Is it a human? An alien? Stop guessing, because Lego won’t spoil it. Kylo Ren’s face is printed with the pattern that we can see on the helmet. Probably to mimic the effect on the box where we see Kylo with a hood over his helmet. The box contains a cape which you can put over Kylo’s head instead of a helmet. That’s a bummer. The lightsaber handle is also disappointing, because except for Count Dooku, there is not one Lego Jedi or Sith lightsaber with a unique handle. Lego just created a cruciform laser-part to mimic the the special lightsaber beams. The colour of Kylo’s lightsaber handle is a unique dark metallic grey.
The other bags contain more figurines, like the two crew members. They are completely clothed in black, wearing some strange headgear. They look like Imperial Gunners from the Death Star, but the helmets are a bit oversized. Something else is remarkable when we look at what is under those helmets. The First Order seems to employ people of all skin colours and sexes! You’d almost think the First Order is more diverse than some technology companies in Silicon Valley! Do we even know what this First Order is? Are these followers of Palpatine? A tough group still fighting for the Empire?
Talking about the fun of toys, building this set was quite boring and technical. This is due to this set’s form and structure. Most of the time I had no idea what I was doing. The hull of the ship contains a lot of elements, so you won’t see how everything fits together until you reach the end. This is the same for the wings. But everything fits really well. The wings are too big and heavy, which results in building for stability rather than for fun. The pieces are mainly dark grey, with sometimes a red helper piece, but there isn’t a lot of variety.
The cockpit is well built, with nice greebles on the outside. The roof opens in two ways, but the inside is small and doesn’t lend itself for much playing.
There’s an opening in the back, it is so small that only children will be able to fit their hands inside. Do notice the hook under the lid to secure Kylo Ren’s lightsaber.
There’s also a pilot seat and trapdoor, which both have a nicely detailed. There’s not much else on the inside. The cockpit opens on both sides, but there’s not much room to move around. Don’t even try to fit in all six figurines. The trap door opens nicely by pulling a handle, but because the shuttle doesn’t have any landing gear the bottom of the ship is really close to the floor. Maybe that’s why the crew members’ helmets are that huge. They would just bump their heads when embarking.
A “Mind your head” sign would be nice here!
You can fold the huge wings downwards. This doesn’t work with a hinge, they just turn straight down. They go back up with a nifty, well thought-out handle. This does make me assume that you need an engineering degree in product design to design and build these sets. The most simple mechanism -and a classic by now- is the flick-fire missiles. All the Star Wars Lego sets have at least one. However, in Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle they are nicely hidden in each wing in order not to stick out so much. That way they’re not as in your face. Most of the projectiles in other sets are way too long, so that they don’t fit in the model. But here, they aren’t visible and a tiny opening in the wings is just big enough to activate the mechanism and shoot the fluorescent green bolts.
The figurines from Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle
These 6 figurines are really well designed with a great and highly detailed print. The print goes neatly from torso to the legs. But, like I said before, Kylo Ren’s lightsaber could’ve been better and the same pattern on helmet and face is strange. Lego missed some opportunities here. The First Order Stormtrooper is really nice! The new helmet is really pretty, but the face is similar to all the other stormtroopers, clone troopers, etc. General Hux has a new kind of hat. His uniform, like all of the First Officer’s uniforms, reminds me of the nazi uniforms by Hugo Boss. They are looking sharp.
Like I said before, the First Order Officer is a woman. Good job, First Order! Women in a position of power is something we can all cheer for in this man’s world. Her hat is the same as the General’s but in grey just like the rest of her uniform. The two crewmembers with their oversized water closet helmets are more sober, and I can imagine that the army will contain a lot more of these. In short: nice print and unique elements. This set’s strong point is the figurines (Of course, if the movie shows us the importance of this spaceship, we may have an instant classic here).
Have we told you everything?
The MSRP is $119.99 (1004 pieces). You used to receive a Star Destroyer, a Tantive Blockade Runner or an AT-AT for that money. Whether Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle fits in with these classics is something we’ll know in December.
Available on Force Friday also known as September the fourth.
Should you buy Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle?
+ Kylo Ren and other important characters.
+ A lot of dark grey elements, which is a change from the existing black and grey elements.
+ Sturdy set which lends to swooshing trough the house.
+ NO STICKERS! (important for the long term value)
– Boring, abstract and really technical construction.
– Not a lot of space to play with the figurines.
– There is no landing gear, so it doesn’t feel “complete”.
– The proportion of the shuttle versus the figurines isn’t correct.
The importance of Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle will depend strongly on its role in the movie. It does have a nice shape and it looks beautiful when you're not playing with it. It's sturdy and big. The fun of playing with it is limited. There's just a few figurines that fit in it because of the limited space. There's a great amount of finish in this set, but I miss the landing gear. The figurines are a big part for the score here. You get six including 5 unique ones. The high officers from the First Order will probably stay rare. Only Kylo Ren's lightsaber is disappointing.