The highlight of the annual May the 4th celebrations has to be the release of a new Ultimate Collector Series set. This year also aligns with the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi. The latest ship to be transformed into a highly detailed LEGO build is another X-wing. The last time this iconic ship got the UCS treatment was back in 2013. The X-wing is a ship which has been portrayed in many different scales and obviously, the Ultimate Collector Series versions offer the most detailed builds. But can an updated version offer anything new compared to past sets? Here’s an early look at the upcoming LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series X-wing Starfighter.
Recall exciting scenes from the Star Wars™ trilogy and Star Wars: The Mandalorian as you build this stunningly detailed Ultimate Collector Series version of an X-Wing Starfighter (75355). Channel the focus of a Jedi to recreate authentic details using LEGO® bricks, including the opening cockpit, space behind the cockpit for the R2-D2 LEGO droid figure, and wings that can be adjusted from flight mode into attack mode at the turn of a switch.
Made for display
The X-wing measures over 55 cm (21.5 in.) long and comes with a buildable display stand featuring a plaque showing X-wing technical data and space for the new-for-May-2023 Luke Skywalker LEGO minifigure with his lightsaber.
- Set Name: X-wing Starfighter
- Set Number: 75355
- Pieces: 1949
- RRP: £209.99/$239.99/239.99€
- Number of Bags: Bags x 10 + Loose Elements
- Stickers: Sheet x 1
- Minifigures: Rebel Pilot Luke Skywalker & R2-D2
- Instructions: Booklet x 1
- Availability: LEGO Stores & LEGO Online VIP Early Access from May 1st, general release May 4th
X-wings first appeared in the original Star Wars film and have played a key role in many iconic battles. Since that first appearance, the X-wing has been the inspiration for video games, books and most recently appearing in Disney+ series, The Mandalorian. Its unique design makes the X-wing instantly recognisable as part of the Star Wars lexicon. Because of its importance to a galaxy far, far away, the ship has also inspired a rather varied amount of LEGO sets. The last time it appeared in UCS scale was quite a while ago. So the X-wing is certainly due to be revisited for the latest UCS set.
Despite being a UCS set the box is quite thin and includes 10 build steps, with some of those requiring a couple of bags per step. The display plate and cockpit canopy are both loose. Unfortunately, the canopy doesn’t have any protected film on it, so expect it to have picked up a few scratches. The sticker sheet has at least been protected as it’s been bundled in with the instructions inside the carded sleeve. As is the case with many of the large-scale sets, the instructions feature a little background on the ship and a brief insight from the LEGO Star Wars Design Team.
The build begins with the ship’s long central core. As building this section of the X-wing you’ll add the interior of the cockpit, which includes the targeting computer Luke abandons in favour of the Force. Just behind this is the set’s main functional element. The X-wing is named so because of, you guessed it, its wings which are configured in the shape of an x. It’s actually built separately to the body of the ship and is connected to it via various Technic pins. It was a little tricky to slot in place but once everything is lined up, it’s securely held in place with additional Technic pieces. Once the X structure is in place, it becomes a working part of the ship thanks to a pair of rubber bands and a twistable handle. Turning this clockwise causes the X to open and close. It’s a complex yet also simple mechanism.
From this point on, the rest of the build is about adding the exterior detail of the ship. This is a mixture of plates clipped onto the core and the wings. There’s a small section which is added to the nose of the ship, which extends it out a little further. This can also be a little tricky to slot on due to the various pieces sticking out from the main body of the ship. Once the various plates are clad around the core of the ship, the build takes a detour as you build the display stand.
The stand is a key part of many of the UCS sets. They provide a unique way of displaying the set and providing a place to mount any minifigures and the display plaque. On the subject of the plate, things are slightly different with the X-wing. Although it still uses the same large flat plate element, the sticker has been replaced with print. It obviously means there’s no chance of applying the sticker in a wonky manner but it also means the ‘spur’ mark is now visible. Admittedly, it appears some effort has been made to make it appear a little smoother.
The stand is also home to a brand new version of Luke Skywalker. During the attack on the first Death Star, Luke joins the Rebel Squadron as an X-wing pilot. The new variant of the minifigure features a little more print detail, including on the arms and legs. He’s joined by trusty Droid R2-D2, this figure was improved last year to add more print detail to the Artoo body. The one included here continues with the updated design. It doesn’t get mounted to the display as Like does, instead, it can be placed behind the cockpit of the X-wing.
There’s a reason why the stand is built part way through the build as it helps with connecting the iconic wings to the ship. Each wing requires a couple of bags to build and obviously, they all have a very similar build so it can get a little repetitive. Although not every wing is exactly the same, Star Wars is famous for its ‘lived in’ looking universe, where ships were a little battered and well-used. Some sections of the wings have tan-coloured pieces to represent battle scars and patch jobs. Personally, I think these elements should have also had either stickers or print detail to make them look more like scorch marks or patch repairs. On the subject of stickers, there are a couple used in the set, on the underside of a couple of the wings and the control panels in the cockpit. The cockpit canopy has details on it, but it’s printed.
There are bits on the wings which I’m not a fan of. Each wing fin has a long forward-facing rod which is the ship’s main weapon system. These use long Technic axles which are partly covered by a series of Technic 1×1 cylinder beams. However, they leave a slight gap between those cylinders and the extender connectors used to string the longer rods together. It doesn’t look like there’s a gap in the instruction images or any of the other imagery of the set. I’m going to see if removing one cylinder and adding one of the small ‘1/2 bush’ Technic connectors covers up the gap.
The wings are connected to the body of the ship in a rather simple manner. Each one slots onto the section sticking out of the ship and are fixed in place with four Technic pin rods. Once connected the method of opening and closing them with the turntable handle does become a little harder but it still does the intended job. Once the wings are attached. The final flourish is the four engines. These stick out quite far adding to the overall footprint of the set.
As always, the announcement of this set was met with a mixed wave of reactions. Some who missed out on previous versions were pleased to have a chance to add a UCS X-wing to their collection. Others were a lot more vocal in their disappointment in having another X-wing. If nothing else, LEGO Star Wars fans are consistent in their gripes. Despite the existential crisis over its existence, overall the UCS X-wing is a nice but not perfect set both to build and display. It has all the detail you’d expect from a UCS set and has enough changes to the build to differentiate it from past versions whilst still looking like an X-wing. The minifigures add very little here although Luke’s design has been updated slightly. But at least Artoo features back print detail. A lot has been said about the display plaque. I like that it’s been printed although it does mean the spot in which the element connects to the print mould is visible, but as mentioned it seems less noticeable. Unlike some of the new Star Wars sets being released next month, the X-wing has a tenuous connection to Return of the Jedi. There again there isn’t really a single ship or vehicle that screams Episode VI. A UCS Desert Skiff would really be pushing it. The set will be available to LEGO VIP members from May 1st before going on general release on May 4th.