Following months of rumours and speculation about a new set based upon Cloud City, 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City has finally been revealed today! This 2812-piece set seems to be dividing opinion which is not entirely surprising as there has been tremendous anticipation building for a model like this one.
I have certainly been looking forward to seeing 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City and am impressed with the official images on the whole, although there are a few areas in which I think the set could be improved. Take a look at the official images and read Brickset's initial analysis after the break...
This set shares numerous aspects of its design with 10188 Death Star and 75159 Death Star, combining several different scenes from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back in a single model, the external shape of which loosely resembles Cloud City in the movie. The absence of a detailed exterior may disappoint some people, although that may restrict the space inside so I think an open design was probably the most practical alternative.
Almost every scene based around Cloud City is included, ranging from the brightly-furnished dining room to the sombre interrogation chamber. They are connected by a series of doors and passageways so minifigures can travel between the different rooms, just as they do in the movie. The layout of the model seems logical, beginning with a landing pad which is connected to the dining room, an apartment and the chamber in which C-3PO encounters a squad of Stormtroopers.
Each room is intricately furnished with details from the film. I am particularly impressed by the light fixture on the wall in the dining room and the miniature rendition of Cloud City is lovely, despite not appearing in the original movie. In addition, the circular windows look perfect in relation to the onscreen location but I am not sure what the balcony outside is intended to represent. Perhaps this relates to the neighbouring carbon-freezing chamber.
Speaking of which, the carbon-freezing chamber looks fantastic in my opinion. Its shape matches the movie very closely and I am pleased to see another carbon-freezing function included, not unlike that from 2003's 10123 Cloud City! I am disappointed that the Technic elements beneath the floor have not been concealed, although exposed Technic liftarms do not feel wholly out of place in such an industrial environment.
The climactic duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader on Cloud City is among the most pivotal scenes in the entire Star Wars saga. Unfortunately, it occupies a relatively small section of this set. The atmospheric sensor balcony, on which the duel comes to an end, is impressively detailed but I think the control room, where Darth Vader hurls objects at Luke using the Force, could have been expanded.
The next quadrant includes the interrogation chamber, a prison cell and a landing zone for the Cloud Car. I am not convinced that the latter feature was necessary but this area could also be used for the duel between Darth Vader and Luke. The interrogation chamber is only shown clearly on the back of the box but looks great, including a rotating torture device and room to stand some supervising Imperial personnel.
A circular landing platform occupies the final section of this model. It looks fairly plain but matches the source material and I like this rendition of the Slave I, despite its small size which reminds me of 7144 Slave I. The colour scheme looks brilliant and I am impressed with the shape of the dark red engine cowling. Of course, 75060 Slave I remains the definitive model of Boba Fett's famous vehicle but this version is far more suitable for play.
75222 Betrayal at Cloud City also comes with a Twin-Pod Cloud Car which is designed at a realistic minifigure scale. The shape of the bodywork looks good but I believe dark orange would have been a more appropriate colour than dark red. Admittedly, the craft does appear red in certain material but dark orange has been used consistently in recent years and looks far more interesting to me.
Eighteen minifigures are included, along with R2-D2, an IG-88 assassin droid and Han Solo frozen in Carbonite. The selection is reasonably comprehensive and I am pleased to see that multiple versions of Han Solo and Princess Leia are included, especially since the smuggler is the first Star Wars figure to feature dual-moulded legs! Unfortunately, neither Leia minifigure sports the jumpsuit that she wears during her escape from Cloud City in the film.
Moreover, Leia's hair piece requires improvement and the Han Solo in Carbonite element has not been updated to reflect the character's new hair style. A new backpack containing C-3PO might also have been included for Chewbacca. Otherwise, I am very satisfied with this minifigure selection. Lando Calrissian stands out in particular and the Cloud Car pilots make clever use of an existing helmet which looks great. The only obvious absentee is everyone's favourite background character, Willrow Hood!
I am quite impressed with the official images of this set and am looking forward to actually building it next month. The interior detail is marvellous and I think the individual rooms have been arranged in a sensible manner, loosely replicating the order of each scene in The Empire Strikes Back and allowing minifigures to travel between them.
However, I also understand the criticism which has been levelled at 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City. The model appears unsuitable for display which is disappointing and its colour scheme seems rather muddled in certain areas, although the individual rooms look fantastic when compared with the source material. Despite these issues, I remain optimistic about the set and am excited to add it to my Star Wars collection!
Are you looking forward to 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City or do you think there is room for improvement? Let us know in the comments.