If you saw our last post looking at the LEGO Star Wars Dagobah Jedi Training Diorama, then you might have been waiting excitedly for today's post: our LEGO 75339 review!
This LEGO Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama is one of the most detailed sets you'll see from LEGO, but is it worth the price? To answer that, we're going to do a thorough review of LEGO Star Wars 75339 today, so you have all the info you need to make your minds up for yourselves and decide if you want to pick it up when it drops later this month!
The Death Star Trash Compactor scene from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is one of the most iconic in Star Wars history, and is frequently ranked highly as one of the most tense, exciting, and funny scenes in the franchise among fans.
So trying to recreate it in this Diorama LEGO set was always going to be a challenge. But were LEGO able to achieve it across the 802 piece set they put together? Sort of - and we'll explain why we're sitting on the fence as we move throughout today's post.
Let's start with what's covered here, though, since many of you LEGO Star Wars fans will care as much about the details as we do:
- Moving (yes, moving!) trash compactor walls
- Trash EVERYWHERE - helping to capture the details of the scene
- Movie details - including the long piece of trash they try to use to jam the walls and stop them from crushing them
- 6 minifigures
- One of Han's most famous quotes
- And plenty more to discover for yourself
The 6 minifigures - Han and Luke (both in stormtrooper disguise), Leia and Chewwie, and R2-D2 and C3PO - add a lot to the scene, and what LEGO does really well here is capture the intensity of the scene with these characters brilliantly. And don't get us wrong, we're still excited for you all to get your hands on it when it releases on April 26th 2022. But not everything about this set is perfect...
$89.99 for an 802 piece LEGO set is, frankly, eye-wateringly high. We're not going to beat around the bush with that one. For many people, the price alone will be enough to walk away from this set, and we wouldn't blame them for doing so. Especially when you consider that the LEGO Dagobah Jedi Training Diorama is $79.99, and that's 1000 pieces.
So, the first thing LEGO gets wrong with this one is the price, and there are even more places they miss the mark than just the price...
Thankfully, for all us building fanatics, the building experience itself isn't one of those places LEGO gets it wrong! In fact, they hit this one right out of the park.
For us, the most exciting thing about this set is the moving walls of the trash compactor that allows you to increase the drama in the scene. Whether you're playing or displaying, it's this build feature that's going to make the set feel most like the movie scene. And because it's a build feature that makes it so exciting, the building experience is so much fun as a result.
The exact placement of each brick is really important to allow for the walls to close seamlessly - and they do. Add in all the unique trash pieces you have to build and place in, the dark colors of the set matching the movie scene perfectly, and the way everything looks once it's complete, we'd have to say that this is one of the most satisfying LEGO building experiences in recent years. And we don't say that lightly.
So, on the building experience at least, LEGO gets it right. But what about the minifigures? Well, it's a mixed bag...
Minifigure Deep Dive
With Han, Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C3PO, LEGO are already starting off with a winning combination, since one of these 6 is likely to be in any Star Wars fan's top 3 favorite characters of all time. But these characters have been done so many times before, that giving fans something unique is a challenge for LEGO - and they only managed it with a couple of minifigures here. Let's take a closer look.
Han & Luke
Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are much-loved characters by all - including LEGO. What does that mean? It means the LEGO heads of these minifigures are nothing new, and if you already have stormtrooper minifigures and Luke and Han head pieces, you could create your own easily.
However, LEGO has (yet again) changed the stormtrooper body design here. Is it groundbreaking? No. Would it look out of place to use the old design if you already had it? No. But the new design is a little more textured than ones we've seen before and it looks improved compared to older designs.
Besides that, Han and Luke carry blaster accessories and they fit into the scene well, but there's nothing really exciting about them either.
Leia & Chewbacca
And the same can be said about Leia and Chewwie. They're the same as we've had in previous sets, so if you're a huge LEGO Star Wars fan, then you'll probably already have them both. If not, then these minifigures will be a little more exciting to you.
Leia doesn't have any accessories, which is a shame, but Chewwie does carry the long bit of trash the team tries to use to stop the compactor from crushing them in the movie, which is a nice touch.
Besides that, though, there's nothing new on offer here, and whilst they look great as they are, we can't help but feel that for $89.99, we might have seen some new versions of old favorites.
R2-D2 & C3PO
The minifigures they get right, though, are R2 and C3PO. These are easily the best versions of these characters we've ever got, and the level of mechanical droid detail is off the chart here.
One look at C3PO's torso printing detail and you can automatically tell this version of C3PO apart from older versions. He looks great. And R2-D2 doesn't disappoint either. We talked in our previous post about the Jedi Training Diorama that R2 had new back details for the first time, and he does in the minifigure that ships with this set too.
Obviously this one is minus the Dagoba mud and grime, so he fits in perfectly to this scene and we're still excited about the level of detail on offer, helping these characters feel alive.
Although there is something to be said about the droids having more heart than the humans in this set for sure, we still appreciate that at least some of the minifigures in this set got a much needed upgrade.
Before we reach our final verdict, let's bullet point the best bits about this set:
- The Han Solo quote is one of the most hilarious in the franchise (and he has many quips) - "One thing's for sure. We're all gonna be a lot thinner." - is the perfect quote for this scene and it makes displaying it even more fun.
- The trash compactor closes - we've said it before and we'll say it again: this makes the set what it is and without it the piece would fall flat.
- C3PO and R2-D2 - not only do they look great but they get their own private section at the back of the set where the droids work away in the movie to try to stop the compactor from crushing the others - and we love that this mini scene was included here.
- The level of detail and atmosphere of the set are absolutely perfect.
- It's a great display piece with plenty of places to pose the characters (and yes, the closing trash compactor walls helps with this too, so you'll never get bored if you use this as a pure display piece, since you can make it look different each day).
There's no denying that there are bad points too:
- The door of the trash compactor doesn't open - for display purposes, this is fine, but for those of us who like to play with the sets, you can't recreate the portion of the scene where R2 is successful, stops the walls from closing in, and opens the compactor door. It would have been a nice touch to have the trash compactor door open in some way.
- The price is more than the Jedi Training Diorama, and with fewer pieces (and arguably less detail, too).
- The eye of the Dianoga - for fans of the movie, you might notice a nod to the Dianoga creature in the trash compactor with the 'eye'. However, this lacks so much detail and context from the rest of the creature that it actually just looks like another piece of trash. We're all for LEGO including nods to the movie (they do this especially well in the Jedi Training Diorama), but they miss the mark here.
- Lack of new minifigures for Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewwie - enough said.
Overall, would we recommend you pick up this set? If you have a spare $89.99 lying around, then sure. It's an accurate depiction of an exciting movie scene that captures the tense atmosphere of it perfectly. But likewise, if you're looking at this from just a LEGO perspective, then no, we wouldn't recommend the investment.
It's far too pricey for what you get, and we can't see this set being particularly useful for a LEGO Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama MOC either, since there's so much being reused here from old sets.
For us, if you only had the money for one of the two Dioramas we've reviewed so far, then we'd have to recommend the Jedi Training Diorama: it's cheaper, a bigger build, more interesting, and more detailed in our opinion.
Still, if you wanted to complete the Diorama collection, then this set definitely still has a lot to offer and we do love it. We'd probably just love it a lot more if it was $60 instead of nearly $90.
Of course, if you are going to get this set, then you might look for different ways to make it more exciting, and we can definitely help you there. Here at Lightailing, we have everything you need to create a LEGO Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama light kit that will really bring this scene to light.
In the movie, the lighting is important, and we don't understand why LEGO doesn't include a light brick at least with the orange 'lights' above the compactor door. Well, their oversight can be fixed by purchasing a light kit from us. And since you're in control, you can make the light kit work for you to capture a unique atmosphere and really show off this set and its drama!
So, if you do choose to buy LEGO Star Wars 75339, remember to pick out a light kit with us to make it even more memorable!