Review: 75236 Duel on Starkiller Base

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The climactic lightsaber duel between Rey and Kylo Ren during Star Wars: The Force Awakens has become relatively popular and 75236 Duel on Starkiller Base should therefore prove to be an outstanding set. Two important minifigures are included and the updated rendition of Kylo Ren is exclusively available here.

Furthermore, the Starkiller Base model appears rather unusual when compared with other official sets. Numerous functions are included but the environment seems more intricately detailed than many comparable products. Hopefully that will result in an enjoyable set.

Minifigures

Three different versions of Rey have been produced since 2015 and this minifigure is based upon her original appearance. The dark brown hair piece looks fantastic when compared with the film, featuring considerable textured detail, while the head includes smiling and determined expressions. The simple freckles are an accurate inclusion as well.

75236 Duel on Starkiller Base

Rey wears dark tan robes and a contrasting dark orange belt around her waist. The design is relatively plain but looks perfect and I like the light bluish grey sections beneath this layered cloth. However, dual-moulded arms would have been a welcome addition, potentially representing Rey's exposed shoulders. The minifigure carries a blue lightsaber and a stud shooter that corresponds with the Stormtrooper rifle used briefly during this scene.

75236 Duel on Starkiller Base

Kylo Ren appears in several sets but this example is unique, wearing tattered robes. The difference is subtle but I appreciate such attention to detail and the damage looks realistic. Metallic silver details are printed on the belt buckle but the villain should be wearing gloves during this scene so the presence of flesh hands is somewhat disappointing.

75236 Duel on Starkiller Base

Moreover, this minifigure includes an exclusive double-sided head. One side appears angry while the other is decorated with a prominent scar which looks nice, although its position actually reflects Kylo's appearance during Star Wars: The Last Jedi rather than The Force Awakens. Nevertheless, I am very satisfied with this version of the character and he wields an excellent crossguard lightsaber.

75236 Duel on Starkiller Base

The Completed Model

Rey encounters Kylo Ren in a forested area near the thermal oscillator. The essential features of that environment are represented here, including some trees and exposed rocks, but it appears fairly bland in my opinion. Nevertheless, the combination of studs and smooth surfaces is effective and the layered plates beneath the ground provide a sturdy base.

View image at flickr

Two rotating platforms are included, enabling the minifigures to duel. This function is simple but works perfectly and I love the trans-orange streak running between them, representing the shattering crust of Starkiller Base as the planet begins to collapse. The contrast between trans-orange and white plates is very striking, although I was hoping the magma could be hidden until the model actually opens.

View image at flickr

Hinges allow you to expand this fissure, separating the minifigures and accurately recreating a pivotal moment from the movie. The environment looks great in this configuration but I think different building techniques might have enabled the designer to include more trans-orange elements which could slide underneath the opposing surface. I am quite pleased with this feature though and it certainly provides significant play value.

View image at flickr

Additional functions are hidden among the trees. The tallest tree on the left side can be knocked over, reflecting the damage which is inflicted upon the forest during the lightsaber duel. Once again, this function is simple but it does correspond with the film and the rocks behind the tree provide an attractive background for this climactic scene.

View image at flickr

Toppling one of the smaller trees will reveal a storage area underneath, demonstrating impressive use of every available space. The trees themselves seem rather plain but the combination of green leaves and white ones is brilliant and I like their textured trunks too. Of course, the trees can be reconfigured easily so you can adjust their relative heights for different displays.

View image at flickr

Overall

Relatively few LEGO Star Wars sets are focused upon locations and this example seems particularly unusual given its small size. However, I am very pleased with 75236 Duel on Starkiller Base. It looks superb on display and includes some interesting functions, my favourite of which is undoubtedly the expanding crevice between Rey and Kylo Ren.

View image at flickr

The minifigures are marvellous as well. Rey is fairly common but has not appeared wearing this attire since 75178 Jakku Quadjumper was released in 2017 while Kylo Ren is unique and his double-sided head looks great. This set costs £17.99 or $19.99 so appears to offer reasonable value, although I think the actual model feels quite small for that price. Even so, this is an enjoyable set and I would recommend it following a discount.

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

27 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

good review

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By in United States,

I like the updated Kylo, but its a missed opportunity to have an updated Rey.

Not sure how I feel about these vignette sets. They look a lot like the stuff a MOC builder would make in a "fit a scene on this small of a baseplate" challenge stuff you see. Its a clean, neat and compact model... but the playvalue is almost nill. Maybe Lego is hoping adults will pick this up as an office desk toy, or teens who might see the more playset focused range (Action Attack) as to juvenile will find this vignette style more to their taste. Or maybe its an attempt to get Rey and Kylo out in cheap sets before the lead up to Rise of the Skywalker later this year?

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By in United States,

Interesting set, but kinda pointless too. These minifigures can be found in a few other sets and the build is cool but unsubstantial.

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By in United Kingdom,

I maintain that LEGO Star Wars sets are only as good as the quality of the ship or scene they use as source material.
The source material for this set is, unfortunately, very poor. I'd love to see a vignette like this for any of the OT/PT battles, though!

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By in Brazil,

I was eager to put my hands on this set, but found it today for 24€. Too small for this price range, so I'll keep on waiting even though I'll probably end up having to buy it in R$, which is always more expensive.

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By in United States,

The design of this set seems very different than other similar sets. It almost feels like it should be some kind of exclusive (like ComicCon) giveaway. New designer maybe? Whatever the case, I like this style.

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By in United States,

Missed opportunity. Should've included Ben Swolo

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By in United States,

Hoping they make a mustafar duel set!!

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By in United States,

Is it a cool set? Sure. Do I want it? Yup.

Will I pay $20? Hell no.

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By in Denmark,

There's a little Lord of the rings feel about this set.

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By in United Kingdom,

It’s an interesting idea for a set, but personally I’d like something a bit more expansive. A forested area isn’t something Lego have really done on a meaningful scale without sticking a load of buildings in there.

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By in United States,

Cute little set.

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By in United States,

I do like this set but I feel the colors chosen for the trees don’t fit the mood of the scene and I think really throw it off. Dark brown elements with dark green would have been more fitting.

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By in Australia,

I normally avoid the SW line (I'm not really a fan of the franchise, and they're all so hideously over-priced), but there have been some good ones this year, haven't there?

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By in United States,

I would love to have this set. When first announced, I kept staring at it over and over. Thanks for reviewing it.

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By in Brazil,

In 2015/2016 I thought to myself "how the hell they didn't make a Rey x Kylo set?" When I saw this, I was very pleased, at last. I do hope this sell welll and inspire more $20 duel moments like Anakin x Obi-Wan, Vader x Obi-Wan, Vader x Luke at Bespin. I think I'll buy this one, even though it was one of the worst fights in the saga. And it's a shame indeed that the magma isn't fully hidden when the floor is closed.

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By in United States,

Best set of the spring Star Wars wave IMO.

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By in United States,

Great set! Wish there had been more of this approach during the early Force Awakens waves.

Only issue is the ongoing Rey figures - just doesn't look right without the shoulders look. That goes for both her original TFA minifigs and TLJ. They did a great job with the face and hair (though a new facial expression here would have been great!) but the torso pieces have never looked right.

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By in United States,

"Pivotal moment," I see what you did there

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By in Australia,

Great review!
I was worried for a moment exactly in which film the tallest tree on the left side was knocked over, reflecting the damage which is inflicted upon the forest. I thought maybe Rogue One? Ghostbusters II? Or, even Maid in Manhattan? But no, you cleared it right up. Thanks for that.

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By in Australia,

^ To be fair, a lightsabre duel in "Maid in Manhattan" would've made that movie a thousand times more watchable.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thankyou for the review, and I think the summary is pretty much what I thought when the images first came out, I want it, it looks good but seems a different style to most other sets, and small. I suppose being Lego you could always buy 2 and make a bigger scene / trees. Interesting to see the "following a discount" at the end. I wonder how many people pay retail price for sets? I wonder how many Lego.com sell of their own sets, compared with Toy shops or Amazon etc. I wonder what the average selling price is for such a set over its first year. As many do I wait.... until its at least 25% in general, unless its combined with another offer......

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By in United States,

I’m sorry but $20 for a set that size is a little ridiculous to me.

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By in United States,

Maid in Manhattan did have Bionicles in it through...

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By in New Zealand,

I love this set! I thought this is one of the better Star Wars sets recently. I’ve done a review on this too. https://youtu.be/feOGNJdTONY

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By in United States,

I think it looks great. Definitely would have to be discounted to pick up, which I’ve already seen it for $15.99. Thanks for the review!

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By in United States,

I love Star Wars as a franchise, but almost never buy any of the sets, but this one is an exception, it is a cheap display piece with the main character and villain. I still need to pick this one up, and I hope that there are more sets in this style to come.

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