Review: 75229 Death Star Escape

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View image at flickr

LEGO Star Wars is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year and almost every scene from throughout the entire series has already been represented in a set. For instance, 10188 Death Star and 75159 Death Star both contain depictions of Luke and Leia's escape from the original Death Star.

Nevertheless, it seems that 75229 Death Star Escape has captured the attention of Star Wars fans. This is not surprising given its excellent minifigure selection and relatively modest price, costing £24.99 in the UK or $29.99 in the US. However, I have reservations about the appearance of the model based upon official images.

Minifigures

Numerous versions of Luke Skywalker have appeared during the last twenty years but this minifigure is unique, wearing a white belt stolen from a Stormtrooper around his waist. This element was created for Batman in The LEGO Batman Movie but looks magnificent here and Luke's white tunic is accurate when compared with the movie. I also like the bands around his knees and the double-sided head is excellent, featuring a smile on one side and an angry expression on the other.

View image at flickr

Leia Organa is among the most important characters from the Original Trilogy but appears in relatively few Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope sets. The torso has therefore only appeared once before and it looks superb, featuring a metallic silver belt and a hood on the back. I think some subtle fabric creasing on the legs would have been a pleasing addition but this plain white design is suitable too.

View image at flickr

The textured dark brown hair piece looks fantastic, faithfully replicating Leia's iconic hairstyle from the movie. I like the head underneath as well which includes determined and smiling expressions. Leia is armed with a standard blaster rifle while Luke wields a blue lightsaber and a trans-clear bracket fits around his neck, allowing you to attach a grappling hook cord alongside a hand grip for Leia.

View image at flickr

LEGO released the first Stormtrooper minifigure in 2001 and these faceless soldiers have since been updated on several subsequent occasions. However, the latest alteration is the most significant as the classic helmet has been replaced with a new dual-moulded element. This helmet is very detailed but I found the older component to be perfectly satisfactory so am not wholly convinced that a change was necessary.

75229 Death Star Escape

Comparing the two pieces reveals several notable differences, the most significant of which is probably their shape. The new element, shown on the right, seems much sharper around the air supply nozzles and the vocoder is larger. Furthermore, the black lenses have been moved and are more pronounced on the 2019 minifigure. The new design therefore seems slightly more accurate to the source material but it remains unable to turn which feels like a missed opportunity.

Fortunately, the printed designs on the torso and legs remain unchanged. The white armour appears accurate and features lovely shading around the abdomen while the legs are decorated with differing knee protectors, corresponding exactly with the films. A standard Clone Trooper head lies underneath the helmet and this Stormtrooper carries a blaster rifle, as usual.

75229 Death Star Escape

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

Locations in Star Wars are often notable for their enormous scale and that can create challenges when designing an associated LEGO model. The cavernous air shaft which appears in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is a particularly difficult example but this rendition captures some integral details from the scene, including an extending bridge and two air intakes where Luke can attach his grappling hook.

View image at flickr

A large doorway occupies one section of the structure. This takes inspiration from the platform where Luke and Leia stand and it looks alright from this angle, featuring a light bluish grey frame and several trans-red lights. An open area would have been preferable to the black base but that was probably not possible given the presence of a hinged function, allowing you to open or close the chasm.

View image at flickr

The other side of the doorway is less appealing. Some red pieces are found here and they look awful, although these elements do identify one of the most enjoyable functions. Pushing the red Technic axle down will release the door, thereby preventing any pursuing Stormtroopers from catching the heroes. I love this feature and it works perfectly but the mechanism should have been implemented more neatly.

View image at flickr

Furthermore, a couple of 1x2 plates with rails obstruct the door so it cannot close properly. That does occur in the movie as Stormtroopers open the door but I would rather it could close all the way. Even so, the rails hold the bridge in position and it slides smoothly. There is probably enough room for a geared mechanism but the sliding function is fun and I like the textured 1x2 grille tiles on the bridge.

View image at flickr

Of course, the most important feature is definitely Luke and Leia swinging across the chasm! The hook fits securely onto the air intakes above the platform, thereby allowing the two minifigures to swing quite easily. The string is not actually long enough for the figures to reach the opposite platform but I believe that was intentional as a longer string would have made it difficult to display these characters over the air shaft.

View image at flickr

The second platform is simpler than the first but it looks reasonable, featuring a rack for Stormtrooper equipment and a Mouse Droid. This droid is similar to the rendition from 6211 Imperial Star Destroyer which is interesting as an updated model appears in 75251 Darth Vader's Castle, although I prefer this design. Its tiny 'mouse hole' is a wonderful detail too and the entire Mouse Droid can fit inside.

View image at flickr

Stormtroopers shoot at Luke and Leia from an elevated platform during the movie and a corresponding platform is included. This can be accessed using a ladder and there is plenty of room for minifigures to stand on top. However, the red Technic gear shown below activates another function which will fling a minifigure from the platform! Every available space has been used efficiently on this model but the red highlights do detract from its appearance.

View image at flickr

Overall

75229 Death Star Escape is certainly a set which has been designed primarily for play and it excels in that regard. The functions are simple but they are enjoyable and I am impressed by the effective use of space within such a small model. Moreover, the minifigures are excellent and I like the new Stormtrooper, although becoming accustomed to his updated helmet might take some time.

View image at flickr

Unfortunately, the model is less suitable for display. It looks alright from certain angles but there is very little detail and the Technic mechanism for the door has been integrated poorly. Nevertheless, younger Star Wars fans will probably enjoy this set and I would recommend 75229 Death Star Escape to those who do not already own this version of Princess Leia.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.

 

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55 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Hanging on to each other via a couple obvious clear pieces is a little...

But then again it is better than nothing.

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By in United States,

I think these new Stormtrooper helmets are terrible. The eye lenses are way too high on the head. It's no wonder they can't see a thing out of these helmets.

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By in United States,

Cheap Leia! I know a lot of people do not like the new stormtrooper helmet, but I for one don't think it is that bad.

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By in United States,

I wasn't a fan of this when it was first shown as it seems too small for being the chasm scene. After this review It still seems too small unfortunately and doesn't do the scene justice. The one in the big Death Star sets is a lot better in my opinion, even if those don't include a walkway or door.

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By in Austria,

I'll be getting it for a neat scene and the ANH Leia figure, which I don't have yet. The ST helmet is terrible, as @MrJackson said, the "eyes" are positioned even higher than on the old one, where they were already out of line with minifig eyes. In total, especially with the overbeating double chin on the front, the helmet makes the stormtroopers look way too derpy for lack of a better word. Someone compared them to the STs from the Family Guy Star Wars parodies, and I can definitely see it.

Is Leia's face print new? I don't recall seeing this one before. If it is: neat. Because I think it's a better fit for her than the one used previously (Tydirium, Hoth Chamber)

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By in Netherlands,

Set is servicable as a playset. The minifigs are what sells this to me though.

I like these medium price ranges setpiece sets as a way to fill up the gaps in your minifig collection. I did not have an episode IV Leia yet. Would like to see one with Padmé next.

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By in United Kingdom,

I must say, I think that helmet is an improvement.

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By in Canada,

The way I see it it's the cheapest way ever to get the updated Leia instead of spending $500+ on the Death Star

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review! Very thorough.

Don't be too hard on the designers about the door not closing completely; this is actually remarkable attention to detail: at the moment that Luke & Leia swing across in the film, the door has partially opened at the bottom.

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By in United States,

Great Set. NOW my wallet hates me.

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By in United States,

I agree, the set is poorly suited for display. However, I love the mouse hole, especially when you consider that, even though it is not a difficult build, the MSE-6 unit (mouse droid) has never been featured in any sets excluding the two Death Stars.

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By in Germany,

Ugh, you really can't build an armee, when ever two years there new molds and prints.
And the new battle packs didn't help at all.

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By in United States,

I’m a sucker for playsets (especially one with play features) so this is definitely my kind of set. I do think having dual molding on the inside of the Stormtrooper helmets is a tad unnecessary, though.

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By in United Kingdom,

Its quite good i like the minifigs especially..

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By in United States,

In my opinion the new helmet mold is much more accurate to the original movies design, especially around the eyes.

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By in United States,

Good set for the updated minifigs, especially Leia. The new Stormtrooper helmet seems unnecessary. Can't say I'm really impressed with the build outside of the iconic scene it portrays.

PS: The Mouse Droid appeared in the two System-scale Imperial Star Destroyers as well as the 2011 Advent Calendar.

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By in Ireland,

I noticed a small spelling error 75251 Darth Vader's Castle is instead spelled as 75251 Darth Vader's Case

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By in Sweden,

I like how the new helmet seems to cover more of the head, i.e. less flesh colour is visible.

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By in United Kingdom,

@MrJackson I completely agree that the Stormtrooper is terrible. For me the Black is too pronounced so it looks like an older figure from the early 2000s

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By in Portugal,

Although I do not really like the new version of the stormtrooper I hope LEGO does a battlepack with the new stormtrooper and another with the new rebel fleet trooper.

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By in United Kingdom,

Leia in a cheap set - it's a fun play set with some display potential.
Certainly on my wishlist

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By in Switzerland,

I love this set. It became too hard for me to keep huge models so such miniatures displaying iconic scenes are perfect for my place.

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By in United Kingdom,

Ah, the original article's been modified and now I look like a plonker...

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By in United States,

Not a fan of the new helmet design...

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By in United Kingdom,

@Fulinkazan - Thanks, that has been corrected.

@bananaworld - That did occur to me while writing the review but I highly doubt that it was a factor in the design of the set, hence its initial omission.

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By in United States,

I'll get this for the minifigs, the scene will become parts fodder for my bins, unless I can incorporate some of it into the UCS Death Star set.

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By in United States,

Nope, Not gonna buy it. Last I checked Luke didn't wear a backpack for Leia to hold on to. Besides when they give Luke the Utility belt, and the back clip piece, he just looks to tall, plus, "isn't he a little short for a storm trooper?" I don't like this set mainly because good sets are supposed to look cool and have a purpose besides to make people happy to play with it. It's another one of those sets where the main function is lame and would work better if you imagined the action.

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By in Germany,

Wasn't a huge fan of the Naboo 30€ playset and this is more of the same - just a static vignette for only one scene to replay. The Ahch-To and Dagobah sets were so much nicer. These were free standing buildings and you can easily build some more scenery around it or imagine it, also they offered much more play value, especially the latter. I wonder why they don't make more small buildings like a small Endor bunker, small Ewok tree house, Wampa Cave, Ben's hut. Also, there are still some 30€ vehicles I'd like them to do, like the Cloud Car, blue A-wing, just to name a couple.

About the Stormtrooper, one could argue if it's an improvement. I just don't like that they seem to prevent people easily army building. Why changing the FO helmet after only 2 years? I'm collecting LSW since 1999 and I cannot count the little design changes on Stormies anymore. What's the reason? At least make a big improvement and finally print the hips, and then stick to it for at least 5 years please. Just my 2 cent..

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By in United States,

Anybody bothered by the alignment of the gray print on the helmet nose and back?

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By in Canada,

I seem to be in the minority here, but I like almost everything about it. Sure, the bright red action feature mechanisms are a little unsightly and out of place, but I feel like they should be an easy fix. It's LEGO, after all—just modify it. Also, I like not spending hundreds of dollars on big sets and appreciate being able to get scenes and minifigures like this in small doses.

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By in Canada,

I love these vignette sets. They remind me of the classic Micro World Kenner sets from the early 80's. And the more sets based on the Saga instead of the Disney sequels and spinoffs, the better!

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By in Russian Federation,

Luke has packs above his packs.

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By in Spain,

FInally, my favourite version of Leia in an affordable set, I can't wait to have mine!

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By in Canada,

Notable New Hope things I hope for:
- a Leia figure with white hood up. Maybe some hair such as with that Ninjago hood.
- Lars homestead with a model of that odd looking black speeder
- sections of the Millennium Falcon that can connect with each other.
- Obi-Wan vs Tractor Beam Power

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By in United States,

Why is all the Star Wars stuff, pretty much garbage?

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By in Brazil,

I'll buy it. Farmer Luke, ANH Leia and a upgraded Stromtrooper? Hell yes. I prefer much more sets that represent locations or scenes than vehicles. The Stormtrooper helmet is not bad, if you see the movies you'll se how big they are, specially when compared to clone trooper's. It wasn't necessary to upgrade but is a welcome change.

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By in United States,

Is it me or do the new stormtrooper helmets look like they are the stormtroopers from Family Guy

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By in United Kingdom,

Love it!

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By in United States,

One nice thing I really like about the new ST helmet is that, as Mr Classic points out, it better hides the minifig necks so you don't have to think about replacing all the fleshy trooper heads with black.

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By in United States,

Too pricey! Should have an extra stormtrooper minifig to justify the price.
This is a $20 or $25 set at most, not $30. Boo hiss!

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By in Australia,

@CarolinaOnMyMind - it's an English term for idiot. It was immortalised by a television show called Only Fools and Horses in which the lead character, Del-boy, used to refer to his slightly dim-witted cousin as, "Rodney, you plonker!".

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By in Singapore,

Strange the stormtrooper doesn't also have the utility belt part because that's where Luke got it from, capturing it from a stormtrooper!

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By in Switzerland,

@Nikolaevna
That's because this is stormtrooper Luke stole belt from :)

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By in United Kingdom,

"Quickly! Find the controls and extend the bridge!"
"Uh-oh, I think I just blasted them."
^- Luke Skywalker at his finest, ladies and gentlemen.

I just realised, they gave Luke a lightsaber here - which spends all movie clipped to his belt doing absolutely nothing - rather than the blaster that he and Leia use in the scene. I guess the lightsaber is more iconic, but it feels misplaced to me.

The mouse droid hole reminds me of the bit in Jedi Outcast PC game, where you get to control a one of those droids and they do actually come out of little holes like that. I doubt it's a reference, since anything Legends seems to be in disfavour nowadays... but it would be fun if that was the case.

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By in Norway,

I have an unopened 7110 set, but I gonna try to wait to build it to the 50th year.

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By in United States,

The ST helmet looks like it was designed for Rebels, where these features are exaggerated and the design in general is more "droopy". I don't see it as an improvement, so I'm not sure why they invested the time and money to update it. I think a better use of that money would have been to create a new utility belt and package 2 of them in this set: the Batman belt is serviceable, but pretty far off from the design it's intended to represent.

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By in United States,

This set doesn’t seem bad but it could be better. When I get it I will probably modify it in a few ways. I probably will add some bricks beneath the platforms to make it look more like a deep pit, move the air intakes closer to the center and higher up so it looks more like the movie, change out the bad looking red pieces, and finally use a long string instead of the short one. This way, I feel it will make it work more easily, the minifigures can touch the other side after the swing and it will be more like the movie in depth and colors.

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By in United States,

I'm just happy to see Leia (in her most iconic costume) in an affordable set. I know TLG does big business marketing to girls with Friends and other minidoll-centric lines, but I think they often forget that there are a lot of young girls out there (like my four year old) who love Star Wars--and Princess Leia in particular.

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By in United States,

The new stormtrooper helmet is a big mistake. It looks like someone got a rolling pin and flattened out the old helmet. It's also too long. Honestly, TLG is getting carried away with detail in Star Wars.

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By in Australia,

The Rebels stormtrooper is still my favourite.

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By in United States,

Two questions: 29.99 USD for the set; where is the rest of it?
Why does the new Stormtrooper already look 'yellowed'?
(is LEGO just cutting the time aspect out of the yellowing of parts and just shipping them now in the box that way?)

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By in United States,

When I first saw the pictures of the set I thought it looked awesome, but when i see it from the back and that they changed the helmet piece for the stormtrooper I was just not a fan anymore.

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By in United States,

How could luke throw a grappling hook directly above him? Even then, you couldn't get enough momentum.

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By in United States,

It would be nice if Lego made several sets like this depicting Death Star scenes. Spending hundreds for a giant Death Star set simply isn’t in everyone’s budget, at least not when you want your kids to go to college. Sets like this are really great, although I would prefer a $20 price tag. That said, the price seems fair based on the brick count. Hopefully this set will go on sale sometime in the next year and I can pick one up.

What I would really love to see is a Death Star trench that you can fly an X Wing thru, although it should be at a microfighter scale to keep the size and price manageable.

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