The Imperial Military Complex on Scarif forms an integral part of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 75171 Battle on Scarif is therefore an appealing set. Not only does it include some of the most important characters from the film but it also offers an impressive model which looks unlike any other from the LEGO Star Wars range in recent years.
As a result I have been very excited to take a closer look at the set and am delighted to report that it does not disappoint! Please note that this review is spoiler free and I would ask that the comments are kept similarly free of spoilers as a courtesy to those who have not yet seen the film.
The first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story concluded with a shot of Jyn Erso wearing an Imperial Ground Crew uniform and she appears sporting that same attire in this set. The printing on her torso and legs is identical to that of the Imperial Ground Crew in 75154 TIE Striker but it looks great and a helmet is included to complete the disguise so she is completely indistinguishable from other Imperial personnel.
However, removing the helmet reveals Jyn's double-sided head which features a determined grimace on one side and a neutral expression on the other. This reddish brown hair piece is not ideal for the character as she appears in the film but it is certainly the best choice without the creation of a new element.
The back of the torso includes printed holsters for a pair of traffic wands but Jyn is instead equipped with a standard blaster which is cast in black to match other Imperial weapons, contrasting with the pearl dark grey colour of most Rebel armaments.
This is the second appearance of Cassian Andor in the nine Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sets which have been released to date. The figure found in 75155 Rebel U-wing Fighter is considerably more detailed than this one but the simple attire worn here is faithful to Cassian's Rebel Alliance uniform in the movie. His rank is denoted by an indicator on the jacket and the legs are also printed with an accurate holster design.
Cassian's head features some brown stubble on both sides and can be reversed to reveal a smile. The back of the torso is decorated with a continuation of the jacket and he is armed with a pearl dark grey blaster rifle for eliminating Imperial targets. It might have been nice to see Cassian sporting a stolen Imperial Officer's uniform, as he does in the film, but this clothing is more versatile as he wears it on several different planets during the movie.
Shoretroopers protect the vital Imperial facility on Scarif and two guards are included in this set. Their design differs from that of the Shoretrooper which appears in 75154 TIE Striker as they wear ammunition pouches on their right thigh and their armour is not decorated with the sand blue markings which designate a captain.
The torso and legs are highly detailed, with intricate armour designs as well as some minor scuffing around the edge of each panel. The helmet piece is shared by these figures and the Imperial Hovertank Pilot from 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank so the shaping is not perfect but I think it looks pretty good on the whole and the accurate inclusion of a red symbol on the crown of the helmet is particularly pleasing.
Each trooper is armed with an E-22 blaster rifle, represented here by a double-barreled pistol with a pair of binoculars placed over the muzzle in an effort to recreate the dual barrels of the rifle in the movie. They look great when assembled into a squad and I will certainly be looking to purchase some more of these troops next year.
The Completed Model
Landing pads are scattered across the landscape which surrounds the Scarif Citadel and one such location forms the focus of this set. These sites are much larger in the film but the model is impressively detailed and I think it looks brilliant even at this scale. The combination of light and dark bluish grey panels is quite effective, especially given the attractive contrast with the surrounding beach.
A control station is attached to the edge of the landing platform and this includes a large red button alongside a lever and a 1x4 tile which is printed with some dials. The terminal plays a vital role in the film so I am pleased to see it included and it also serves to add some extra detail to the model.
Tabs are hidden on either side of the control panel and these can be lifted to unlock a tray which slides out, revealing storage for a pair of blasters and a thermal detonator. This is a tremendous use of the space beneath the landing platform and the model remains sturdy even with the storage area removed.
Another function is hidden closer to the doors. Pushing down on the dark bluish grey Technic beams will cause the platform to explode, as shown in the image below. It is pleasing to note that the source of the explosion, two thermal detonators, can be discovered beneath the light bluish grey panels and the feature works very well.
Olive green foliage surrounds the bunker and this includes a large palm tree which is constructed using Technic elements topped with some leaves. The smaller fronds are mounted on reddish brown taps which have only previously appeared in 71040 Disney Castle and these shrubs provide protection for troops on the ground.
The doorway is reminiscent of the shield bunker on the Forest Moon of Endor and uses many of the same sloping elements which appear in 8038 The Battle of Endor. The control panels on either side of the doors are represented using stickers and the yellow markings on the landing platform also make use of several stickers, some of which are quite large. They are easy to apply but printed elements would have been preferable.
A communications tower is mounted to the right of the door and this can be knocked down, unlocking the doors and allowing you to open them for access to the bunker. They slide along channels in the floor and are securely held in place so cannot be pulled all the way out accidentally.
This entranceway leads to a rail transport system in the movie but here it opens to reveal a section of the Citadel. The interior is the most disappointing aspect of the set as it is very small, although the level of detail is quite impressive. I like the exposed mechanical details at the base of the doors and printed control panels are fixed to the wall alongside a clip for storing an accessory.
Another terminal is found on the opposite wall but this one is more important as it contains the plans for the Death Star, represented here by a printed 2x2 tile which previously appeared in 75136 Droid Escape Pod. The plans are found deep within the Imperial complex in the film but their inclusion here offers great play value and it would be unrealistic to expect a much larger interior given the price of the set.
Orange crates litter Imperial facilities across the galaxy and they provide perfect cover for troops during the Battle of Scarif. This crate is identical to that in 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank and is cleverly constructed to ensure the greatest possible accuracy to the movie, with an octagonal shape as well as black handles at either end.
The lid can be removed to reveal limited space for accessories inside. However, the detailed exterior more than makes up for this in my opinion and I am pleased to be able to fill the cargo bed of 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank which has room for two crates but only includes one.
The first wave of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sets was very impressive in my opinion and I am glad to say that 75171 Battle on Scarif continues that trend. It represents an ideal play set in that it is packed with fun features but is also faithful to the location from the film, despite the reduced size of the landing platform. The minifigure selection is quite impressive and it is nice to see the two main characters included, although K-2SO would have made a splendid addition to complete the trio and an alternative uniform for Jyn Erso would have been appreciated too.
Nevertheless, I certainly recommend this set and would even consider purchasing more than one in order to expand the Imperial bunker if the set becomes available at a reduced price. £54.99 or $49.99 seems expensive considering the 419 pieces included but many of these elements are quite large and the final model feels just about worthy of such a cost to me, particularly in comparison with the somewhat similar 75139 Battle on Takodana and 75148 Encounter on Jakku from last year.
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