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The most recent wave of LEGO Star Wars sets included the massive playset scene “Rathtar Escape.” In stores, the set looks impressive, in a gigantic box noting that there’s 836 pieces inside. But is it really worth that (also massive) $79.99 price tag, especially when the set recreates such a short specific scene in The Force Awakens? It really depends on how much you love that Rathtar sequence.
“Rathtar Escape” boils down to a single hallway of the Ervana, the freighter Finn, Rey and BB-8 find Han Solo and Chewbacca on. Their meeting is interrupted when Bala-Tik and the Guavian Death Gang, who want the dangerous Rathtars Han is transporting. Tasu Leech and Kanjiklub also showed up, since Han owed them too. During Han’s ‘negotiations,’ Rey accidentally let a Rathtar escape.
That’s the scene that LEGO recreates here, although the set is missing several of the main characters. We’ll get to that later, but first, we have to build the set.
Building the set and its features
The pieces are divided in six bags. It’s like building three separate sets and each of them have their own monotony.
First, you build the corridor section. There are no play features here, but it does include a couple of control pads. These are all printed pieces, which is easily the best aspect of this set. There are no stickers! Hallelujah!
Next up is the door section. This is where things get a little complicated. This part includes two of the main features. One is the door itself. There is a red plate that appears to be randomly placed on the back of the door, but when you pull it up, it’s actually a simple locking mechanism. A Technic pin inside a Technic arm on left-hand side of the door frame holds the door place. Push the Technic arm down and the door slams to the floor.
The second feature in the door section is a trap door. It doesn’t work too well. You have to have Mini-Figure sit down on a seat under the door. After flipping the door closed, you twist the knob and the figure’s head pops up. You’ll never get the door to pop open all the way – it only opens slightly. You can’t have a figure standing on the seat, because the door won’t close all the way.
Lastly, there’s the Rathtar cage. Of course, in the real ship, the Rathtar cage wasn’t this close to the doors, but LEGO can be excused for taking some liberties here. This is easily the best part of the build, since it’s more complex and it’s fun to see how things come together. The most fascinating engineering feat is the fuse feature. In the film, Rey accidentally pulls the wrong fuse, letting the Rathtar escape. LEGO attempted to recreate this by putting four “fuses” on the back. If you pull one of these, the front door is unlocked. Unfortunately, the door can’t fall through by itself automatically, but it’s still a cool feature. The front door is also too small for the Rathtar to come out through, so you have to pull up the roof to get access to the beast.
The three parts are only connected through clips and Technic pins, so you can easily rearrange them however you like.
The set comes with five Mini-Figures:
- Han Solo: This is the cheapest way to get Old Han, since he’s only previously appeared in the TFA Millennium Falcon set. He has two expressions, and includes Harrison Ford’s famous chin scar. He’s armed with a small pistol.
- Chewbacca: This is the newer version of Chewie, also recently available in the “Desert Skiff Escape” set. The Wookie First Mate comes with a special bowcaster piece that shoots a stud.
- Bala-Tik: The first LEGO version of Bala-Tik is included here and will likely never be seen in another set. He was only in this one scene in the movie after all. He gets two expressions and a stud-shooting rifle. Stud shooters are usually reserved for battle backs, so it’s surprising to see them here. Some despise them, but if you don’t like them you could always not use the studs!
- 2 Guavian Security Soldiers: These guys might just be the only reason any collector wants this set. These two figures are very cool, with head pieces made exclusively for them. They are both armed with stud-shooting rifles as well.
- 2 Rathtars: The set also includes two brick-built Rathtars – one brown and the other black. The only difference between the two is their colors. You can open their mouths to fit a mini-figure in there.
Overall, this set was surprisingly fun, but it only appeals to those who really loved that scene. While the corridor and door sections could easily be adapted to other environments in the Star Wars universe, it might be a little difficult to find other uses for the Rathtar cage.
Also, the set is missing several characters from the scene. While you can get BB-8, Finn and Rey in other sets, not including at least Tasu Leech or at least another member of the Kanjiklub is a huge mistake. Yes, Tasu Leech was included in the Millennium Falcon set, but so was Han and Chewie.
The set also isn’t too big. It’s just 15″ long when you line the sections up as one long corridor. A big chunk of the high piece total is small studs and other small pieces, and you get plenty of extras.
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