Review: 75017 Duel on Geonosis

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75017 Duel on Geonosis

In my second review of the Summer 2013 LEGO Star Wars sets I will be taking a look at 75017 Duel on Geonosis. Priced at a (surprisingly) reasonable £39.99 or $39.99 and boasting 391 pieces, this is one of the mid-sized sets of the selection this Summer, and I am rather impressed with it.

Naturally, being a set based on a scene from the Prequel Trilogy, the appeal of this model is limited. Nevertheless, I have found it to be a very enjoyable set, much more so than I had initially anticipated. The actual Geonosian hangar is not at all bad, including plenty of play features and a smattering of details which are most welcome.

What really makes this set for me however, as with most Star Wars sets in fact are the Minifigures, which are about as good as you can get in my opinion. Much like set 75015 Corporate Alliance Tank Droid there are stand out Minifigures which make the set particularly desirable, those being Yoda and Count Dooku, who have both been in dire need of an update since 2002 (excluding Clone Wars editions of the characters).

Box and Contents

The box is exactly the size one would expect for a set at this price point and features an action-packed shot of Yoda and Count Dooku in the midst of a Lightsaber duel. As with all 2013 Star Wars sets the lovely green border is featured along with a shot of Yoda diving into battle. Along the bottom of the box we also get the usual Minifigure gallery, complete with all four Minifigures, each of whom is appropriately labelled as 'new.'

The back of the box displays all of the features and shows off Count Dooku's Flitknot Speeder bike, as well as giving us a couple of images of the characters in action much like we see them in the films, although a certain amount of artistic license is employed here.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

There is only need of a single instruction booklet, and construction is split into three numbered bags, with the inclusion of one large 6 x 16 tile loose in the box. No stickers are included in this set. Interestingly, the instruction booklet is made of a similarly good quality paper as found in 9496 Desert Skiff last year, with a rather nice gloss to each page.

Minifigs

Four Minifigures are included in this set, each of whom is new as I previously mentioned. Perhaps the most anticipated of these has been the updated Yoda Minifigure, who is just about flawless. His head mould is brand new and elaborately printed with some highly detailed eyes and a patch of wispy grey hair on the back of his head. The entire component is made from a slightly rubberized plastic cast in olive green, and his ears are slightly flexible because of this. The torso is very similar to that included in set 75002 AT-RT for the most recent Clone Wars edition of Yoda, although some changes have been made. The folds in the fabric for instance are much finer than previously and look more realistic, as does the addition of some green flesh around his neck. The back of the torso is also printed with a hood and plenty more creases. As with every Yoda Minifigure, the character utilises short legs which are not poseable, but they look perfect. Of course, he also includes his green Lightsaber.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

This Minifigure is by far the best edition of the character we have yet seen, and the detail included is extraordinary. I highly doubt a better Yoda Minifigure will be released than this one for some years to come.

The second Minifigure is the FA-4 Pilot Droid. This is a character which need not have been included; however I am very pleased that LEGO chose to do so. His head is the same mould as that of the Commando Droid Minifigures, but is printed quite differently in order to capture the look of the droid in the film, which I think is achieved quite accurately. While his upper body is a mixture of dark bluish grey and dark brown droid components, the lower half consists of a few LEGO System parts which recreate the treads on the droid in the film. All in all, this is another superb Minifigure, albeit not a particularly interesting character.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

Next we have the Geonosian Poggle the Lesser. As the Archduke of Geonosis and perhaps the most prevalent Separatist leader other than Nute Gunray and Count Dooku this is a Minifigure which I am actually very impressed with and to have the character in LEGO is excellent. His head is a brand new mould and is highly detailed with a rather regal crest and his wattles both being particularly accurate to Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The dark tan piece is printed with some black and tan highlights, and much like Yoda, the piece is slightly rubbery.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

He includes the same plastic wings as found in 9491 Geonosian Cannon on Geonosians from that set and his torso is printed with a great deal of detail on the front and back, including the various gemstones and chains which are visible being worn by Poggle the Lesser in the film. His legs and hips too are printed with metallic armour which is as detailed as the torso. He comes with two accessories, a reddish brown cane (which is supposedly made from the bones of a political rival in the movie) and a small orange hologram showing a plan of the Death Star. I much prefer the piece included in 8039 Venator Class Republic Attack Cruiser, on which the printing of the Death Star was much clearer. However, the inclusion of the accessory is very welcome. As you can see in the image below, he looks excellent heading up a group of Geonosian Warriors, and although they are actually based on the Clone Wars, they nevertheless match up very nicely with their leader Poggle.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

Finally, we have the nefarious Count Dooku. I am delighted with this Minifigure, and in a completely unexpected turn for me, this is in fact one of the best Minifigures of the last year or two in my opinion as the character in the film is brilliantly captured by the LEGO version. His hairpiece is perfect for Count Dooku and it looks wonderful in white to me. The head is printed on both sides with two different expressions, one of anger (which looks very evil indeed) and the other fairly neutral. There are plenty of little wrinkles on each side, as well as a realistic mixture of white, grey and black for his facial hair.

75017 Duel on Geonosis 75017 Duel on Geonosis

He wears a standard brown cape and his torso is accurate with a rather nice chain to keep his cape on. He also has a rather nice belt with some pouches and a few creases here and there. Unfortunately there is no back printing but the cape obscures this regardless, so it is of no consequence really. His legs are plain black and he carries his unique curved Lightsaber which looks fantastic as always, as well as some force lightning which is nice to see.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

The Build

This set is very easy to build, and lacks any particularly interesting moments. The manner in which the impressive Geonosian architecture is recreated using arched bricks is impressive, but other than that there is little of note that I can find. The build takes about forty minutes and is enjoyable if you prefer building with standard System pieces, although for Technic fans there are other Star Wars sets which offer far more from the perspective of an entertaining construction phase.

I did in fact spot a very minor error in the instruction manual, or in the box photography depending on how you look at it. The small triangular fins towards the rear of the Flitknot Speeder are attached the opposite way round in the instructions to how they are on the box. Personally, I prefer the attachment of them as shown in the instruction manual (which is what you can see in the photos below of the completed model) which also seems a little more accurate compared with the vehicle in the film.

The Completed Model

As a playset, the actual model is not particularly accurate or impressive for display; however there are plenty of features and lots of fun to be had with the model. As I mentioned a little earlier on, Count Dooku's Flitknot Speeder is included which is rather nice, being very durable and therefore swooshable. The bodywork looks superb, and Count Dooku can sit down at the front holding on to the handlebars with his cape either pushed up over the body of the speeder, or folded behind his back, neither of which damage the cape as long as he is not left sitting there for days on end.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

The actual hangar contains some nice features, including flick fire pieces of scenery to recreate the brief force duel which takes place between Dooku and Yoda in Episode II. We also have a box in which you can store the Death Star plans or Count Dooku's force lightning if you would prefer, which is hidden behind a rock. Next we have the collapsing column which comes close to killing Obi-Wan and Anakin but for the timely intervention of Yoda. By pushing the grey lever beside the tower one can control to what extent it collapses as if Yoda is using the force to catch it as in the film. Also, and somewhat bizarrely if you ask me, there is a small button at the back of the model which can be pushed to launch a section of rock from the wall. This is a slightly superfluous feature but it takes nothing away from the appearance of the model and is therefore welcome in my opinion.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

Lastly when it comes to features, and perhaps most interestingly of all, a rather long pole is included which can be connected to Yoda's back using a neck bracket, allowing you to recreate Yoda jumping around the room as he duels with Count Dooku. These are all fun features if you prefer to play with your sets, although for display this set is lacking in my opinion.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

There are also some nice details such as the landing platform outside (which lines up nicely with the Republic Gunship by the way to recreate the dropping off of Anakin and Obi-Wan), a chandelier style light fitting over the large archway door, and some nice piping details which add to the industrial appearance of the hangar. The architectural styling of the model is in fact rather attractive and very reminiscent of Geonosian architecture from Episode II. The entire set can fold up to form either an expansive play area, or a more realistic and densely detailed recreation of the hangar in which this scene takes place.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

Overall Opinion

I have mixed feelings about this set in many ways. Although the Minifigures are beyond reproach in my opinion, being just about perfect, the detail is somewhat lacking in the model itself. For play this is a superb model with loads of excellent features and of course everything required to recreate one of my favourite Lightsaber duels of all six films, between Yoda and Count Dooku. Perhaps Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi might have been included to truly complete the set, although I think that this is a somewhat unreasonable expectation however as they both come in 75021 Republic Gunship and we already have an excellent Minifigure selection in my opinion.

75017 Duel on Geonosis

In the simplest of terms, the Minifigures are 'must haves' if you ask me, and if you are looking for a set with play value then this is among the best of this wave. However, for display alone, the set is lacking in the 'wow factor' which one finds with other sets sometimes, and there are certainly others from this wave which are better suited for display.

Parts: 3 - Plenty of brilliant parts for the Minifigures, although nothing of universal usefulness as far as I can see.

Playability: 5 - This is where the set shines, numerous features and the Minifigures make this a very enjoyable set.

Building Experience: 3.5 - Nothing much of note really, but certainly not a repetitive build at any point.

Value for Money: 5 - You get plenty of parts for your money and the Minifigures are well worth the price.

Overall: 4 - Not an iconic set by any means, but the Minifigures are well worth purchasing at the very least.

32 comments on this article

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By in Europe,

Another great review captain! I love the photos to show the comparisons! Great job

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By in United States,

Thanks for the detailed review. I hope the new Yoda shows up in an OT set at some point.

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By in United Kingdom,

Excellent review. I think the future of Star Wars Lego information is safe on this site with you about.

Incidentally I ordered this set and the Corporate Alliance Droid with Jango Fett in last night.

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By in United Kingdom,

if this set had anakin and obi-wan it would have been an essential purchase

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By in United States,

I loved the review can't wait to buy it when it comes out in the U.S. can't wait to read the review of the republic gunship.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review again Cap,

I like this set very much but I've now reached the more sets than space issue so i may source the minifigures alone as they are first rate.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review captain I can't wait for the others what you reviewing next.

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By in United States,

This is probably my favorite set from this release because unlike the other sets it isn't a remake from a set in the last five years.

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By in United Kingdom,

Is the speeder bike design the same one the Commando Droid has in the BARC Speeder with Sidecar set?

Also, that Death Star print on translucent orange is awesome.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for the comments everybody.

@lego ed - Next up will be 75021 Republic Gunship. I was initially going to review the sets in size order, but that seems to be the set which everybody wants to read about.

@Psymon - The speeder bike design is very similar to the one in 75012. Some of the cockpit details are slightly different and on this edition there are no stickers of course.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review Cap N Rex, currently bought the gun ship for my collection and look forward to more reviews soon.

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By in United States,

Pretty cool.

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By in United States,

You have already talked me into getting the Corp. Alliance Droid set and moved this set from 'I think I will want that' into 'I definitely want that'. Really dig the Dooku figure, looks great.

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By in United States,

After seeing the new Jabba and Rancor, they've really raised the bar on figs in general lately. I was hoping a Geonosis set would include either Reek, Nexu, or Ackley!!

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By in United Kingdom,

Sweet can't wait for the next review.

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By in United Kingdom,

I was guaranteed to buy this set anyway as it is my favourite of this star wars line up, but this review definetly confirmed my purchase. Great job and I can't wait for the gunship review as I'm looking forward to buying that too.

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By in New Zealand,

Thanks for the review! This set really caught my eye when it was announced - mainly because of the mini-figs. I've been peering over photos so it's great to see it unpacked. Speaking of which I've just opened up 79005 The Wizard Battle and discovered that Saruman's two sided head is - correct me if I'm wrong - the same as Count Dooku's. Which is both unexpected because on the box the bottom half of his face is covered with beard and kinda cool given that both characters are played by the same actor!

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By in United Kingdom,

Awesome review,I thought the minifigures themselves are excellently designed and this will be main selling point. It's a set I will probably purchase if I can get it half price as I usually display them only and doesn't seem ideal for purpose. I'm quite looking forward to Sail Barge review myself :)

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By in Canada,

This set doesn't appeal to me much, but the Yoda figure is excellent, despite the fact that it looks like Chinese plastic.

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By in United States,

@ CapnRex101 - Thanks for another terrific review! You inspire me to write more reviews, as it is also something that I enjoy doing.

I am a huge SW fan in addition to being a Lego fan, and I would love to communicate more directly with you about that at some point. This is one set in particular to which I was looking forward, and I am grateful for your just and honest appraisal.

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By in Indonesia,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does this leave Wat Tambor as the only significant Separatist leader who haven't got a LEGO form? Great review though. This was, since the moment it was unveiled, at the top of my SW wish list for this year.

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By in United States,

Episode II is actually one of my least favorite Star Wars films (it's still a good movie, but just... not really up to Star Wars standards, IMO), but I think it has quite a potential for numerous LEGO Star Wars sets. I'm surprised they haven't capitalized on it more!!! :P

@fikko3107:
A Wat Tambor minifigure would be excellent! :D

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By in Netherlands,

Those figures... Wauw! Just... wauw. Thanks for the review. Looking forward to the gunship.

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By in United Kingdom,

I have to say, I know this will be against the grain, but I don't really like the new Yoda. The head does look fantastically accurate, but it seems far too big and looks too much like an action figure head so it doesn't really look like it fits in a Lego set to me. I think you're spot on about Lego not changing this one any time soon though so hey, I'll have to make do with the old one. Nice review as always by the way!

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By in United States,

If I can have one Star Wars set for the rest of this year it'll be this one. Thanks for the review Huw!
By the way, is that a dark brown cheese slope I see!?

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By in United Kingdom,

@rancorbait - They are identical except for the copyright symbol which is on the wings, one of which is dated 2012 and the other 2013, as far as I can see.

@The_Creator - It is indeed. I had no idea they were new, so did not pay them much attention. Great spot!

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By in Puerto Rico,

Good set line up, I want to see the RoTS.

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By in United Kingdom,

Surprisingly reasonable at £39.99?! Back in 2006 you'd have been able to buy Slave 1 for that amount!

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By in United Kingdom,

@Timbus - Prices from 2006 are not a reasonable comparison. Had this set been released in 1999, I expect it would have been priced around the £24.99 mark, but LEGO nowadays is of course more expensive than that, hence the £39.99 price. Compared with other sets at this price point, I believe you get more for your money here than you do in set 75004 Z-95 Starfighter for instance.

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By in United States,

Another great review Capn! I liked this this set from the second I saw the images, though I do think it would've been nice for the hanger to have stud room so that they can actually stand.

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By in United Kingdom,

@CapnRex101 A fair point, I guess economies change... Strange to think that it's only been 7 years though. Here's to hoping the prices don't rise too much in the next 7!

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