(See what I did there...?)
Anyway, haven't posted in a while, but here's a good reason for another!
First of all; remember my first post on LEGO Star Wars' Buildable Galaxy range?
Basically it's a post giving the line some love, but I also explored potential future releases that they could very well knock together. In the final weeks of December, I managed to get the last two sets for Series 2 and, not to be wanting more (but I may have a craving for it, you never know), but I wondered what was next for the sub-line as I hadn't heard anything. But after having a quick look, I realised that, from San Diego Comic-Con (Summer time!), they had announced not just Series 3, but Series 4 as well!
My initial reactions to the specific sets were a healthy mix of everything good! In terms of Minifigures, planets and vehicles, there are a few very imaginative ideas (and some combinations you wouldn't necessarily have thought of). Some of the vehicles themselves do seem to be larger than previous versions...Great for value! And just as Series 1 had a focus on The Phantom Menace (for the 3D release), Series 3 has a focus on Attack of the Clones.
Plus, out of my 'potential releases' wish-list, they have come up with versions or variations of half of them!
(Oh and like my previous LSTBG post, here's a Wookieepedia tab to keep open if you're unclear on certain things! Haha)
On to show 'n' tell!
From Series 3 (I've actually seen these ones in person! Haha):
Kamino - R4-P17 - Jedi Starfighter (Delta-7)
Kamino is one of the planets I had in my wish-list...But I also said I'd like to see Slave I and Jango Fett, both of which I feel are more related to the planet than the Delta 7 and R4. However, the Starfighter has been updated from the version years ago and it's larger too; the build looks to have been improved greatly. And in terms of characters, I would've never thought of going for R4! It's very cool to have her in the set, since we've never had a full R4 before (at least, not a physical one). I would complain that she didn't have a full body during Episode II, but from Series 1 we had a TIE Interceptor (not seen until Episode VI) with Episode IV's Death Star! But yes! I very much like this combination!
Coruscant - Clone Trooper (PI) - Republic Assault Ship
For a moment you may think 'Clone ships over Coruscant? Wasn't that Episode III?' But think about the finale of Episode II and this is what it represents. This has to be one of my favourites for Series 3; everything about it is so right. It sums up the end of Episode II (and the beginning of war) in a nutshell. I love the detailing on Coruscant; the representative nature of it is basic, but with lots of detail! Plus, we see a return to a 'live-action' based Clone Trooper after all the animated-styled sets from The Clone Wars. And the best thing has to be the inclusion of the Republic Assault Ship (democratic name for 'Early Star Destroyer'). The first time LEGO have ever produced the vehicle. And it looks brilliant! When I get this, you can be certain I'll be checking the scale to see if it goes with my mid-scale Star Destroyer! ^^ Makes one wonder if they'll be coming up with a larger version later in the year...
Asteroid Field - TIE Pilot - TIE Bomber
With this planet...Wait, what? Planet?! *Ahem* Well, as you can see, we don't have a planet! In fact, the inclusion of the asteroid field is one of the better elements of this set. This is one of those 'out-there' ideas that actually works and I'm glad they've done it! (I imagine that was either this or try make the orb look like a single, irregular asteroid.) We've had the TIE Pilot before, so I'm not too excited about him; this is the first duplicated minifigure in the sub-line and I was rather hoping they'd avoid it. But at least it's not an individual character. The TIE Bomber has been available before in the earliest mini-vehicle ranges; back then it was assembled after you got four seperate sections from all four sets. Although redesigned since then, this is the first time it is available whole.
And from Series 4:
Hoth - Snowspeeder Pilot - Snowspeeder
Another from Episode V and to my mind, it's a great-looking set! This planet was on my wish-list too, but with a more important character! Hehe Anyway, Hoth will certainly stand out from the other planets (or 'orbs' if you want to be all-encompassing). It'll be interesting to see how much difference there actually is between this Snowspeeder Pilot and the X-Wing Pilot from Series 2. And finally, the Snowspeeder itself; it looks wonderful and, going by other mini-kits, it looks huge! Certainly much bugger than their first mini Snowspeeder!
Endor - B-Wing Pilot - B-Wing Starfighter
Like any Star Wars fan, we've all heard the debate; is the 'Forest Moon of Endor' a moon orbiting the planet Endor, of is the moon itself called Endor? Unless they've released two versions of one orb, LEGO have helped settle the debate and has just made lots of fans rich or poor through betting on it! The previous 'Endor' in Series 2 is very clearly the forest moon (hence green), whilst this new one is very clearly blue. Also helpfully, the names in Series 3 & 4 have 'planet' in front of them, probably due to this very reason. Approved! And because of this, it makes me wonder how they could do a Y-Wing (based on Episode IV), if they need to (like I mentioned in my last post) and the answer is actually simple; include the actual planet Yavin! (A red orb would look absolutely gorgeous!) Now, the B-Wing pilot; I like the look of it! Especially his green visor! But I love the B-Wing itself; one of those vehicles that has never been miniturised before, so can't wait to check it out!
Alderaan - Rebel Trooper - Tantive IV
And this is the third of the ideas I had on my wish-list but, like Hoth, instead of an important character, we've got a bog-standard trooper. I'm not against troop-building, but like I've said before, it would've be nice for someone more...Unique. Anyway, as for Alderaan itself, you could very well hang it up on it's own and use it as 'Earth'! And I do like the retooled Tantive IV; we first saw the mini-vehicle in the massive UCS Star Destroyer and it's brilliant that after all this time, we can finally get one that's affordable!
And there we are! Interestingly enough, I'm starting to see a pattern with all four Series...We started with Series 1; two sets based on The Phantom Menace and one Imperial army builder (mainly based on A New Hope). Then with Series 2, we get a set based on each episode of the original trilogy. And now with Series 3 we have two sets based on Attack of the Clones and another Imperial army builder, but now based on The Empire Strikes Back. And later we'll have another three kits each based on a different episode of the original trilogy.
So what does that mean for the future? I'm only estimating but Revenge of the Sith with be released in 3D soon after Episode II. As such, all merchandising will start to sway towards it (mainly as an after-effect though) and we may very well see a Series 5 & 6 to follow suit. If so, Series 5 will have two sets based on Episode III and an Imperial army builder based on Episode VI, whilst Series 6 will have another three sets based on the original trilogy...
Not only does this mean we'll only have two vehicles from Revenge of the Sith (better make them count, LEGO! Haha), but that means they'll have gone and done the sets from each film of the original trilogy! That means (if 5 & 6 do follow suit) in total we'll have had two sets from each prequel film and four sets from each original film! They won't need to continue the sub-line past Episode III!
Unless they begin The Clone Wars...
So there you go; six new kits for this year, leading up to the release of Attack of the Clones in 3D. Series 3 is on the shelves now with Series 4 later in the year. And like always; best wait until they start having offers/sales with them. Happy hunting!
(All images courtesy of Brickipedia and, of course, LEGO Group)