Kylo Ren's imposing Upsilon-class Shuttle looks absolutely spectacular onscreen but the limited reference material has detracted from previous models of the vehicle. 75256 Kylo Ren's Shuttle looks marvellous though, incorporating several intricate details and representing an enormous improvement over earlier designs.
An outstanding selection of unique minifigures are also provided, including Kylo Ren with two enigmatic Knights of Ren. Furthermore, the price of £99.99 or $129.99 seems reasonable, particularly within the UK. On that basis, this should prove to be an appealing addition to the expanding Sequel Trilogy range.
Following the assassination of Snoke, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren has seized command of the First Order. This minifigure combines elements from past versions of the character, including an attractive torso and legs which are decorated with metallic silver stitching. The intricate belt looks excellent too, returning from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and corresponding precisely with the source material.
This minifigure wears an imposing helmet which has been reassembled, hence the component now features red streaks alongside the existing metallic silver highlights. It looks brilliant when compared with the movie and I like the double-sided head, conveying Kylo's intense anger. The scar across his eye appears perfectly accurate as well.
Capes within the latest Star Wars range are made from an unusually stiff fabric, corresponding with those produced before 2015. Softer materials are more suitable for seated minifigures but this looks good and seems unlikely to become damaged. As usual, the villain carries his distinctive crossguard lightsaber which includes a pearl dark grey hilt.
Kylo is accompanied by the mysterious Knights of Ren and two such characters are provided here. These minifigures appear suitably menacing and differ quite dramatically in appearance. One wears dark robes and an intimidating mask so resembles Sith Acolytes while the other seems more rugged and reminiscent of bounty hunters. His pearl dark grey helmet looks absolutely fantastic.
The hooded character includes superb detail, particularly across the torso which compares favourably with the movie. However, his boots end abruptly and could certainly have been improved. The second knight looks similarly appealing, featuring metallic dark grey robes and some interesting equipment on his chest. Removing the helmet reveals an entirely black head, as one might expect.
Promotional images for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker have exhibited numerous exotic weapons which are wielded by the Knights of Ren. Both accessories appear accurate as one knight carries an axe while the other is equipped with a mace. The thermal detonator seems appropriate too, given the presence of similar grenades on the helmeted figure.
General Pryde appears somewhat bland by comparison, wearing an elegant pearl dark grey uniform which corresponds with previous First Order officers. Nevertheless, this design looks lovely, including layered cloth around his neck that matches the only available image of this villain. Dual-moulded legs would have been welcome though.
Moreover, viewing the aforementioned image suggests that dark bluish grey would have been more suitable for Pryde's hair piece, differentiating him from Grand Moff Tarkin. The double-sided appears authentic though, featuring pronounced cheek bones and different expressions that both seem rather cruel. The general carries a standard blaster pistol.
New armoured troopers have been introduced in almost every Star Wars movie and the Sith Trooper occupies that important role during Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. I love the bright red armour and subtle ridges which are printed across each element, closely resembling the onscreen characters. The helmet could have included further texture but the existing Stormtrooper helmet is adequate.
One such First Order Stormtrooper accompanies the Sith Trooper. The helmet design was updated for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and returns here, featuring a narrower mouth than the earlier First Order Stormtroopers. This component looks great and I like the torso decoration as well, featuring accurate textured detail which continues across the legs.
Both characters include Clone Trooper heads, following the precedent established by other troopers. Their weapons are different though as the Sith Trooper carries an unusual blaster rifle which re-uses the tranquiliser gun accessory. Its large scope looks awkward but I appreciate the combination of red and black colours. The other minifigure is armed with a more traditional blaster.
The Completed Model
Upsilon-class Command Shuttles have appeared prominently in both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, along with Star Wars Resistance. These majestic vessels feature black armour which has been replicated nicely here and I think the proportions of this model are reasonable, although the passenger module appears slightly too large in relation to the wings, even when they are fully extended.
Nevertheless, the passenger section has definitely been improved when compared with 75104 Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle from 2015. The modern design appears sleeker and its colour scheme has been updated, more closely reflecting the onscreen craft. The scale has remained consistent though since both models measure approximately 27cm in height with their wings retracted.
The trans-red windscreen represents another substantial improvement, although minifigures cannot actually see through this viewport. It looks fantastic though and I appreciate the asymmetrical details that surround the cockpit. The trans-clear floodlights and twin laser cannons both seem accurate and those cannons are surprisingly robust, despite their fragile outward appearance.
Additional mechanical detail decorates the roof of the passenger compartment, including a rounded structure towards the front which is also present onscreen. The contrasting dark bluish grey sections provide delightful texture but four light bluish grey pieces are visible beside the roof and those should undoubtedly have been concealed or replaced with significantly darker colours.
Opening the cockpit reveals ample space inside, providing enough seating for three minifigures. I like the pearl silver 1x2 grille tiles situated along the floor and the printed control panels are excellent. The secondary crew compartment from 75104 Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle is omitted here but I think this expansive cockpit section is sufficient.
Furthermore, a simple boarding ramp can be deployed from beneath this shuttle. The rearmost seat remains connected to the ramp which is awkward and you cannot access it without lifting the vehicle. Even so, its inclusion is appreciated. Two spring-loaded shooters are located beneath the model and they can be activated by pushing buttons near the engines. Similar weapons appeared on the earlier set, albeit hidden inside the wings and that arrangement was more effective in my opinion.
Two cylindrical thrusters propel the Upsilon-class Shuttle and these look superb, making good use of wheel hubs which return from 75104 Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle. The trans-orange glow looks nice and some attractive details are positioned near the engines, the most notable of which is probably the bullbar piece. A storage container for General Pryde's blaster is also situated here.
Studs dominate the external wing surfaces. This decision might not prove universally popular but the resultant texture seems relatively accurate, particularly when compared with the earlier vehicle which featured several ridges. A simple combination of studs, smooth panels and pearl silver radiator grilles works perfectly though, replicating the monolithic aesthetic of the original vessel.
Unfortunately, the inner surfaces seem rather muddled, featuring scattered dark bluish grey elements and uneven tiles. Ideally, these sections would be smooth to match the external wing surfaces but the designer has included various inverted tiles and Technic pieces to strengthen the structure. The same building techniques appeared on the 2015 shuttle, although the useful landing gear connection points beneath the wings are new.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens demonstrates that the wings of an Upsilon-class Command Shuttle extend during flight and that function is included here. An identical mechanism was found on 75104 Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle and it works nicely as two levers behind the wings can rotate, thereby unfolding the wings smoothly before securing them.
Technic components become visible when the wings are extended and small gaps emerge between these pieces too. That is disappointing but would probably be difficult to avoid without compromising this function. Nevertheless, the shuttle looks magnificent with the wings deployed, measuring almost 40cm in height and closely resembling its onscreen counterpart.
75104 Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle stands slightly taller than its successor with the wings extended, although that can be attributed to the inaccurate flaps situated underneath each wing. I believe there was some potential to make additional improvements on the original model, particularly for the inner wing surfaces, but its most significant flaws have certainly been corrected.
After the wings have been extended, these structures should then be deployed outwards during flight. That function was missing from the 2015 model but has been incorporated beautifully here. Lifting the vessel will deploy its wings automatically because they are connected using Technic beams within the fuselage. The weight of each wing therefore causes them to open together which is satisfying.
However, certain images indicate that the wings on Upsilon-class Shuttles should extend beyond this angle. That may have been more accurate but the wings also appear in this configuration, suggesting that their position varies. On that basis, I am delighted with this design and you can close the wings in unison by rotating one of the engine nacelles, completing an enjoyable function.
75256 Kylo Ren's Shuttle represents an enormous improvement over its predecessor and this model appears absolutely spectacular on display, especially with its wings deployed. The passenger module includes wonderful detail and I like the trans-red windscreen which stands out against the surrounding black armour, corresponding precisely with its intimidating source material.
The minifigure selection is outstanding too, albeit lacking an appropriate pilot for the shuttle. Moreover, this set costs £99.99 in the UK which seems exceptionally reasonable as the 2015 model was actually more expensive. The price of $129.99 in the US is less attractive but this remains a wonderful set and would certainly be worthy of addition to any LEGO Star Wars collection.
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