You’d be forgiven for thinking that buildable characters inspired by those featured in the Star Wars universe are a fairly new addition to the LEGO® Star Wars range. But buildable characters actually have a long history within the theme, although some of the early attempts are extremely crude compared to today’s offerings. Most recent buildable characters have been inspired by smaller scale builds including Droids or alien creatures. The latest buildable Star Wars character takes the concept one step further by offering a unique and larger-scale LEGO take on the galaxy’s most loyal Wookie. Here’s a closer look at the LEGO Star Wars Chewbacca set.
Mark the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi by creating a fitting tribute to a legendary Wookiee with this LEGO® Star Wars™ Chewbacca (75371) build-and-display figure. Channel your creative Force to recreate his hairy body in LEGO style and build his bandolier and giant bowcaster. This impressive buildable LEGO figure stands over 46 cm (18 in.) tall and has a built-in display stand. The set also includes a plaque with information about the character, plus a Chewbacca LEGO minifigure with a stud-shooting bowcaster.
- Set Name: Chewbacca
- Set Number: 75371
- Theme: Star Wars
- Pieces: 2319
- RRP: £179.99/$199.99/209.99€
- Number of Bags: 17
- Instructions: Paper Booklet + Builder App
- Stickers: N/A
- Minifigures: Chewbacca
- Availability: LEGO Stores & LEGO Online from September 1st
In 1977, George Lucas introduced the world to a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars transported moviegoers to an amazing world of space battles, laser swords, robots and the mystical Force. Many of these concepts were inspired by things closer to home. The space battles echoed War World II dog fights, the Jedi were similar to galactic Samurai and Han Solo’s loyal Wookie partner was inspired by George’s pet dog Indiana. Just like a dog, Chewbacca has become a much-loved character from Star Wars. Originally portrayed by the gentle giant and former hospital porter, Peter Mayhew, beyond the movies, Chewbacca appeared in comics, video games, animated series and numerous LEGO sets. The set includes 17 bags and a single instruction booklet. Although the instructions are quite plain, I did enjoy having Chewie peeking into frame. There are a couple of pages offering a little background on the character along with a short introduction from the set’s designer.
The set is built from the base up, with the body of Chewbacca built in sections. Although this is a buildable character, it lacks the ability to move limbs etc. despite them being individually connected to the body. This seems largely so that the set can recreate Chewie’s furry coat and I’ll say it’s the right choice for the set. If it had to incorporate the ability to allow moving, it would have distracting gaps between joints. In its current form, each section joint is virtually seamless. I’d much prefer a detailed static model than one that would need to lose those details just so you can move an arm or the head.
The head is surprisingly detailed, especially the core. This is to allow some of the finer details to be incorporated into the head. The use of ‘lipstick’ elements for Chewie’s teeth is very clever and I quite like how his nose is peeking through his ‘fur’. The eyes may seem a little odd, but they actually represent how they appeared in the films, with Peter Mayhew’s kind blue eyes added to the character’s charm.
As mentioned, Chewie is built in sections so there’s the base which anchors the entire model. Both legs are then slotted into this. The body is another section on which the arms and head are also connected, each via a larger ball joint. Chewbacca’s ‘man bag’ is built separately and hooks over the head. Each section represents an ammo pouch, with grey elements used for the metal parts. It could have looked a little better if drum-lacquered silver elements were in place of the standard grey elements.
Chewbacca’s weapon of choice is a Bowcaster, which is a laser-firing crossbow. It’s a pretty imposing weapon but also one which is quite unique. The version included here looks great and I expected it to be a little fragile, due to the elements used to create it. But it’s really sturdy and it also makes use of a material piece, first created for the LEGO Ideas Typewriter set. The ink ribbon from that set has become the strap for Chewie’s weapon and it really finishes off the impressive appearance of the set.
Finally, as many of the high-end, display LEGO Star Wars do, the set also features a display plate. This uses the new printed plaque element but still features a blueprint-style image of the set, along with a couple of facts about the character. This also includes a Chewbacca minifigure. This separate section offers a level of consistency with other LEGO Star Wars sets but I would have liked it, if it had been incorporated into the stand of the set.
I was a little unsure about the set when it was first revealed. There’s no getting away from the fact it features a lot of brown elements. However, the mix of elements gives the set a lot of texture and does a surprising job of recreating Chewie’s furry coat. There is also a little repetition in some parts of the build. But the end result is definitely worth it. I can understand why people are a little amused by the set, myself included, but I must say it was quite fun to build. The inner core is perfectly hidden by textured brown plates that clad it and even Chewie’s bandolier and bowcaster are really well done. Most of all it manages to capture Chewbacca’s imposing stature as a fearsome warrior and his fuzzy charms, which isn’t easy with LEGO bricks. It’s also a set which doesn’t photograph well, that includes the official product images, it’s far more interesting in real life than it seems in a photo. As much as I enjoyed the build and the finished model, I can see the set maybe falling into the same category as the Black Panther bust and other similar sets.
The LEGO Group provided this set for review purposes. The thoughts within this review are those of BricksFanz.com and do not reflect those of the LEGO Group. Providing the set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.