It's often said that the merchandise is just as much a part of the Star Wars experience as consuming the content itself.
In what turned out to be a masterstroke, George Lucas demanded full control over merchandising rights when he was negotiating with 20th Century Fox during pre-production on the original film. This quickly made him a rich man, as Star Wars toys, books, and games have hauled in a fortune since the franchise took the world by storm in 1977. Hasbro's line of Black Series action figures have been incredibly popular, as have the Funko Pop! vinyl bobbleheads that have accompanied all the latest film and television releases, with more reveals planned for later this month.
But perhaps the most popular brand serving offerings from the Star Wars IP has been LEGO. The brick-building company first partnered with Lucasfilm in 1999 in anticipation of the release of The Phantom Menace, dropping sets for both that film and the beloved Original Trilogy to a hungry consumer base. This tradition has continued ever since, and LEGO Star Wars sets and video games have become a staple in households worldwide.
With LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga expected to release this Spring, it's a big year for the partnership between Lucasfilm and LEGO. The Winter wave of Star Wars sets released just a few weeks ago, and with the exception of a new minifigure for The Mandalorian donning Beskar armor, the LEGO community has responded with resounding disappointment. Initial indications suggested that this sentiment wouldn't be changing for the sets coming down the pipeline, but a look at the coming sets has changed opinions entirely...
The Summer 2021 wave of LEGO Star Wars sets have been revealed via MandRproductions. A detailed breakdown of the listings can be seen below:
75307 - Advent Calendar
The annual LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar is once again making its return. If previous trends are followed, there will be several exclusive minifigures to come from the set, many of which will be keeping the holiday spirit in mind.
75308 - UCS R2-D2
Coming on May the Fourth will be the UCS R2-D2 set, a remake of a similar set released in 2012. In a similar vein as the recent Yoda and Grogu buildable figures, this Ultimate Collector Series R2 will improve upon the shortcomings of its predecessors with a new and improved sculpt. The set will come with the traditional info plaque and R2 minifigure to serve as a comparison.
75309 - UCS Republic Gunship
As voted for by the fans, the next Ultimate Collector Series vehicle build will be the Republic Gunship. Though the minifigures for the set still remain unknown, the set promises to be a comprehensive build that will provide collectors with a great representation of the vehicle that first debuted in Attack of the Clones. While the Gunship comes with a hefty price tag, it will certainly be a bang for one's buck.
75310 - Mandalore Throne & Vault
Minifigures: Maul, Ahsoka Tano
Following in the footsteps of the Duels on Starkiller Base and Mustafar, respectively, the Duel on Mandalore will finally be coming to LEGO. A now iconic battle between Maul and Ahsoka Tano during the Siege of Mandalore in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this set was highly desired among the LEGO Star Wars fandom. A new minifigure depicting Maul's mechanical legs will be among the set's offerings, and following his defeat he can be placed within the LEGO-ized Vault that the antagonist was stored in for his return to the Republic.
75311 - Imperial Troop Transport
Minifigures: Greef Karga, Stormtrooper x2, Mortar Trooper
As seen in The Mandalorian "Chapter 12," the Troop Transport will provide collectors with a new vehicle to add to their lineup of Imperial forces. Greef Karga will more than likely come with new printing, as the magistrate of Nevarro donned a new outfit in his appearance in Season 2. Perplexing is the omission of Cara Dune and the Mythrol, who were both key players in the episode and featured prominently in the season's marketing. The Mortar Trooper actually didn't debut until "Chapter 14" on Tython, but the soldier's inclusion in a set is satisfying nonetheless.
75312 - Slave 1
Minifigures: Boba Fett, Han Solo
In keeping with the newly established trend this Winter, the Slave 1 will be returning to the LEGO line in scaled-back form. This tactic has been employed for both the X-Wing and TIE Fighter, and will once again be seen with this Spring's Imperial Shuttle in an effort to bring iconic vehicles to builders on a cheaper basis. The Slave 1 recently retired as a regular-sized set as part of LEGO Star Wars' 20th Anniversary line, putting the vehicle right back on the market. It's puzzling to see another iteration of the Slave 1 this soon, as The Book of Boba Fett, debuting in December, would certainly be a prime opportunity to do another version of the ship at a normal scale featuring the bounty hunter's minifigure donning freshly coated armor.
75313 - UCS Death Star or AT-AT
There are some discrepancies regarding this set. Prior to the reveal that the May 4 set would be a UCS R2-D2, it was long assumed that the $200 set would be the UCS Gunship, with the $350 set likely being an AT-AT and this set being a Death Star. However, with additional details now on hand, this monster of a set has to be one or the other. As MandR mentions, the set will be over 6000 pieces, making it either an enormous AT-AT or a solid piece count for a Death Star that would likely include exterior panels. The only other LEGO Star Wars set to previously retail for $800 was the Millennium Falcon, and whatever this set ends up being will likely rival everyone's favorite hunk of junk as one of the most highly sought-after sets on the market.
75314 - Bad Batch Shuttle
Minifigures: Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, Tech, Echo
Making their first appearance in last year's final season of The Clone Wars, Clone Force 99 will be returning sometime this year in Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the next adventure in Lucasfilm's animated realm. Naturally, the titular team's vessel would be the optimal choice to coincide with the release of the show, and LEGO looks to be going all out. For $100, the team's shuttle will be well-detailed and should offer several playability options, and exclusive minifigures for all five members of the Bad Batch make for an even more appealing offering from LEGO Star Wars' forthcoming slate.
75315 - Moff Gideon's Cruiser
Minifigures: The Mandalorian, Grogu, Cara Dune, Fennec Shand, Moff Gideon, ?
This is the big boy for those not willing to part ways with the money needed for a UCS set, and it's sounding like a beast. Gideon's cruiser appeared several times in The Mandalorian Season 2 but was the primary location during the events of "Chapter 16," where things changed forever. Mando and Gideon, who will be exclusively debuting with this set, will be able to duke it out for Grogu, and the Darksaber will once again be appearing in LEGO form. Fennec Shand will also be making her LEGO minifigure debut, and she'll join Cara Dune in completing the lineup of heroes in this set. As seen in the episode, there will be mini TIE Fighters accompanying the set that can be deployed from the hangar bay.
The mystery figure is presumed to be a Dark Trooper, which would provide Fennec and Dune an adversary to deal with as Din goes at it with Gideon. However, given the shocking conclusion of final episode, it's possible that the figure could end up being Luke Skywalker. Perhaps, with several months to go until release, LEGO will quickly add Luke and an extra Dark Trooper to enhance playability and entice even more LEGO Star Wars fans.
75316 - Mandalorian Fighter
Minifigures: Bo-Katan Kryze, Gar Saxon, Mandalore Loyalist
With yet another set coming from the Siege of Mandalore arc, LEGO has really answered the calls for more Clone Wars-era sets. A previous iteration of this vehicle was released in 2012 in the form of Pre Vizsla's Mandalorian Fighter, and this set is expected to be another blue Gauntlet Fighter that accurately depicts the one belonging to Bo-Katan. This set will see the debut of Bo-Katan as a LEGO minifigure, as well as Gar Saxon - who will come with a unique helmet that includes the horns representing his devotion to Maul.
75319 - Mystery Set
At the moment, little is known about this set beyond the price. MandR referenced last year's 501st Legion Clone Troopers battle pack with the same price as a possibility for what the set could be, though it's possible that the set is an exclusive being closely guarded, or something from either The Bad Batch or The Book of Boba Fett that isn't quite ready to be revealed.
75369 - Darth Vader's Meditation Chamber
Minifigures: Darth Vader, Admiral Piett, Stormtrooper
This set is designated as 18+, reminiscent of last year's elusive Bespin Duel set - though any forms of exclusivity are unknown. The Meditation Chamber will be as comprehensive as one can be, utilizing Lego Technic pieces to allow the functions of the set to operate as Vader dwells within. Admiral Piett will be returning as a minifigure for the first time since 2011's Super Star Destroyer UCS set and a special plaque will be included with the Chamber, adding appeal to what will undoubtedly be one of the most sought-after sets of the wave. While the price of the set remains a question mark, MandR suggests that it will likely land within the realm of $60.
For more details, MandRproductions' video can be seen below:
WHAT THIS MEANS
Things were looking bleak for LEGO Star Wars given this Winter's weak offerings and the strange variety of prices listed for the forthcoming sets, but these reveals have completely changed the game.
LEGO Star Wars fans were itching for more Clone Wars-era sets, and they've got it. The duel between Maul and Ahsoka was epic, and bringing the Mandalore throne room as well as Bo-Katan and Gar Saxon into the LEGO world is a huge win for fans. The Bad Batch shuttle is essentially coming from both the titular show as well as the arc featuring the unit in Clone Wars, so this will be yet another good addition to that time period.
The Mandalorian is once again represented in this wave, and Moff Gideon's cruiser in particular is a delightful offering. The omission of Cobb Vanth and his speeder in this Winter's "Trouble on Tatooine" set was a major disappointment for LEGO Star Wars fans, but given the reception of Season 2's finale and the amount of time between now and the Summer wave's release, there's still ample opportunity to add Luke Skywalker into the mix with Gideon's vessel.
Ultimate Collector Series fans are being done right this year, as they'll have three different offerings to choose from. The Gunship was a known thing, but R2 coming this soon was quite the surprise, and it's anyone's guess as to what the $800 set could be. Valid arguments could be made for both the AT-AT and Death Star, but given the box art accompanying many of the scaled-back, cheaper sets coming this year, the latter seems to be the more likely option with the Walker something that can come next year.
Vader's Meditation Chamber is a really neat concept, and for any fan of The Empire Strikes Back it will be a must-have. To avoid the heart-ache of trying to get one of these suckers later in the year, it'll be best to jump on this one as soon as possible and proudly display it beside the Bespin Duel.
2021 is shaping up to be a huge year for LEGO Star Wars, and we haven't even seen the official images for these sets yet. With LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga coming in the Spring as well, the year may well be the best for the brand in its 22-year history. Be sure to visit a pharmacy before going to the LEGO store - the dust that will be found in your wallets is bound to get the allergies going.