Well… A new season, a new wave of LEGO Star Wars. With the recent release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the Mandalorian, and the final season of the Clone Wars, fans of this theme have anticipated a wave for months where they can finally get certain characters and ships from these recent movies/TV shows. In addition, Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, celebrates its 40th anniversary. So this wave should be astounding right? Well, today I’ll answer that question – as a LEGO and Star Wars fan. I’ll be your guide, to help you determine what sets you should or shouldn’t buy from the LEGO Star Wars summer 2020 wave.
On a side note, these sets have undetermined release days in different countries and are not widely available yet at the time of writing this, so you may or may not find these in store shelves by the time this is published. So let’s get into it!
Another disclaimer, I only buy my LEGO sets on sale (at least 20% off) which is a discount that most LEGO sets get. So even though I may love a set, I will 100% of the time recommend you buying it on sale. Finally, I will not be covering the new Mandalorian sets, nor will I be covering the Advent Calendar – just these six new LEGO sets in this summer 2020 wave.
501st Legion Clone Troopers (75280)
The first LEGO Star Wars set of the summer 2020 wave is 501st Legion Clone Troopers, and it has quite a story – but I will not get into that. Josh has written a great piece called “501st Battle Pack: From Campaign to Production” which I highly recommend you checking out. Let’s just discuss the set.
We receive three updated 501st Legion Troopers in this set, with a very accurate helmet, torso, and leg printing to the Clone Wars TV Show. The set also gives us a variant of this trooper – the 501 Legion Jet trooper. He has quite different printing the other three on his entire armour, and has more blue accents than the rest. All the clones use new faces, to more closely resemble the actor who played them in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Finally, LEGO was kind enough to throw in two battle droids for the troops to fight. So the figure selection is amazing in my book, 10/10.
The ATRT is quite similar to the version released back in 2013, however is much smaller, and uses a stud shooter as its front cannon. It’s a solid build, and I cannot complain about it. The same goes for the BARC speeder. Like the ATRT, it is accurate to the actual vehicles throughout Star Wars and is well built with stud shooters at the front. So do I recommend this set? Yes! It’s something for both kids and adults to enjoy. If you’re looking to build a clone army, and love the Clone Wars, chances are you’ll love this set. It’s just perfect. Amazing minifigures and amazing builds, all for $30 USD. It’s basically a double battle pack, and I will definitely pick up a few of these.
Anakin’s Jedi Interceptor (75281)
The other $30 USD set of this wave is Anakin’s Jedi Interceptor. We get a new Anakin. Technically it’s new as it uses prints from two previous Anakin minifigures and combines them together, making it a ‘new’ variant. It’s quite lazy that they re-used the torso and legs from Anakin vs. Obi-Wan Duel on Mustafar (75269) as this set is based on the first few minutes of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, whereas the other set is based on later on in the movie, making the burn markings on the torso inaccurate. Rant aside, the R2-D2 minifigure is quite good, and I have no complaints although it has been re-used multiple times. I do wish we got a third minifigure to increase the appeal of the set as the selection here is lacking.
The Jedi Interceptor is basically the same build as the 2014 version. In fact, the minifigures are exactly the same, except Anakin’s inaccurate torso and legs in this one. There are only a few minor differences, and when placed next to that version is hardly noticeable. Like the previous version, the cockpit can open and there are spring-loaded shooters below the wings that can launch at enemies. So should you buy it? Maybe. If you have the 2014 version, I’d say skip this one out. If you don’t, it’s a solid set, and you’ll have fun with it. However, if you had to choose between this and the 501st Legion Clone Troopers set, I’d choose 501st any day.
Armoured Assault Tank (AAT) (75283)
If there’s a second set that I completely recommend from this wave, it’s this $40 beauty. First, the minifigures. We finally receive another Ahsoka after years! The older variants used the ugly animated styled heads, so we never received a good-looking one. In addition, the old Ahsoka minifigures have skyrocketed in value, so it’s nice to finally receive her again. The longer headpiece suits her Season 7 look better, as she is now much older. The torso and legs are also quite accurate. The Ahsoka Clone Trooper (also known as the 332nd trooper) is another stand-out of the set. It uses the same head, torso, and leg printing as the previously mentioned 501st trooper. However, there is a new, orange printed design for this helmet, making this a very collectable minifigure. Finally, two Kashyyyk battle droids are included in this set with cool green printing.
The AAT is the most refined version of this vehicle to date. LEGO has vastly improved on its design, and it looks awesome. The top cannon can spin 360 degrees horizontally, and the side cannons also spin 360 degrees vertically. Below the build are two hidden spring-loaded shooters, which can be shot out through the push of a grey Technic piece. However, one drawback is that the cannon is way too long, and definitely should’ve been designed shorter. I can’t say much about the set, as it is just a solid build. So I completely recommend this, especially if you’re a fan of the Clone Wars, season 7. You will want to get your hands on Ahsoka, the 332nd trooper, and the Clone Wars AAT. This is a definite purchase for me.
Knights of Ren Transport Ship (75284)
So now we arrive at two sets that I’m not particularly hot on. This $70 USD set only has 3 minifigures. That is… bad. Absolutely abysmal. So let’s take a look at what we get. The set includes a repeat of the Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker Rey minifigure which is fitting for the scene I guess. However, the main draw is the two final Knights of Ren minifigures. Each of them has a new helmet mould with phenomenal torso printing and a built-up weapon. However, I don’t see them as a justification for buying this set. LEGO could’ve at least included Chewbacca, Poe, Finn, D-O, C-3P0 or R2-D2. The amount of minifigures here is just lacking for the price you pay.
The Knights of Ren’s Transport Ship, also known as the Night Buzzard, is decent. For $70 USD, it nails the overall look and aesthetic, although it is severely undersized. The black colour scheme is quite menacing. There are spring-loaded shooters at the front, that can be activated by pushing Technic axels. I would like to state that there is no interior space, whatsoever. There are two flaps in which both the Knights of Ren can sit inside, with their heads popping out. But that’s it. Looking at the underside, the only visible thing is the Technic frame. So, for $70 USD, I don’t see much value in this set. Yes, the Knights of Ren are quite expensive on third-party sites, but this set is expensive as a whole. I just do not recommend it, even though its exterior is good-looking.
General Grievous’s Starfighter (75286)
Like the Knights of Ren Transport Ship, the $80 USD General Grievous’s Starfighter is not a great value. We get a General Grievous minifigure, which we have received many times before. However, I do wish he was coloured in tan this time, to differentiate the minifigure, making him more desirable. We also get Obi-Wan Kenobi, who, like Anakin Skywalker in Anakin’s Jedi Interceptor (75281), is inaccurate, based on the scene. Again, Obi-Wan fights Grievous earlier on in Revenge of the Sith and hence would not have any burn marks on his clothing. LEGO just decided to cheap out here.
The final minifigure is the Airborne trooper, who is cool to get, with great printing from the helmet to the legs and a waist-cape. However, I, like most other LEGO Star Wars fans would’ve loved to get a Phase 2 armoured Commander Cody minifigure and two Magna Guards. Six minifigures would’ve made the $80 USD price more digestible.
The re-design of the ship is great. It’s our best version of the Starfighter to date. It is impeccable, I love it. It has an opening cockpit to fit General Grievous, and stud shooters on both sides to shoot enemies. On the side of both wings, there is an opening flap to store the lightsabers included in the set. As MandRproductions pointed out in his review of this set, there is a hinged part below the cockpit that can be adjusted to fight and landing position. It’s a solid set overall. What I don’t love, however, is the $80 USD price. This should’ve been $60 USD at most. Even so, the minifigures are severely lacking and really take away the draw to buy the set. So yeah, I don’t recommend it. I’d probably only buy it at 30% or 40% minimum.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, LEGO released a new AT-AT for $160 USD, our most expensive one yet. We received two Snowtroopers, two AT-AT Drivers, Luke Skywalker in his flight suit and General Veers. All of them are great figures with good detailing, however, they don’t really excite me.
The real reason to purchase this set is for the AT-AT. It’s a beautiful build – but isn’t worth the large price hike from previous versions. All of its legs can be adjusted accordingly to display or play with it. The head can fit three minifigures – the AT-AT drivers and General Veers. Below the rotating head, there are also spring-loaded shooters. The main body section has five seats to fit the rest of the minifigures, including the Snow Troopers. Both of the side panels on each side are able to be opened to do so. The speeder bike included in this set can also fit inside the midsection, in addition to the turret build.
Finally, using a series of gears near the head, a rope can be deployed from the AT-AT which can attach to minifigures. Using the pulley system, you can wind up the rope to create the iconic Empire Strikes Back scene where Luke grapples onto the AT-AT and throws a grenade. There is even a small trap door below the walker to throw the printed 1×1 circular tile grenade into. And that’s the set. I do wish we got something else to balance the large increase in price, like a snow speeder or a rebel base section. But do I recommend it? Yeah, I guess. It is our best AT-AT to date, and although it is way more expensive than previous versions, getting it on sale will definitely be great. I will 100% be picking this up because I don’t actually own one yet, so it’ll be nice to have.
Death Star Final Duel (75291)
The most surprising LEGO Star Wars set revealed in the summer 2020 wave definitely has to be the $100 USD. Nobody saw this coming. This set is more of a re-release than a remake, although many aspects of it were done slightly differently. We receive two of the Emperor’s Royal Guards which have always been cool minifigures. We get a re-used Luke (I’m pretty sure it’s re-used), a new Darth Vader with arm printing, and a new Emperor Palpatine as he uses the new hood piece.
The whole set can be contracted, using clips to lock it in together, and can be opened up. The front consists of sliding doors which is built up nicely. On the left side of the set, there is the iconic pit where the Emperor is thrown off by Darth Vader. At the bottom of the pit, it is not completely plated off, so you can easily remove Palpatine. The right side has an elevated walkway which can be knocked down by dislocating a support beam. Below it, there is a minifigure launcher. Basically, you place the minifigure on it, and push down on the plate, launching the minifigure onto the elevated platform.
Finally, the midsection is quite reminiscent of the movie set, with the different panels and detailing everywhere. The Emperor’s throne is quite menacing and can be spun around. There are clips on the side of it to store any lightsabers or other accessories. Below the actual set, there is lots of space for minifigures to be posed, however, it’s very barren and hollow. So do I recommend this set? Maybe. If you have the 2015 version, don’t buy this. There’s no point to it. You can just Bricklink the minifigures when it releases. However, if you don’t have that version, like myself, I’d say that you can’t go wrong with buying it on sale.
And that’s it for the new summer 2020 wave of LEGO Star Wars! Yeah, we are getting The Razor Crest, The Mandalorian and the Child Brickheadz and the Advent Calendar. However, they are not officially part of this wave and will be released later this year. I don’t believe that this is the best wave of Star Wars ever, but the 501st Legion, the AAT, and the AT-AT are all A+ sets in my opinion, and will definitely be on my purchase list. I hope I helped you decide which sets to buy from this new line. If you’d like, drop a comment below because I’d love to hear which ones you are all buying. That’s it for my first Star Wars article! I’ll see you next time!
Images from Brickset