Throughout 2020, LEGO has been celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back with a selection of kits centered around the film. Arguably the most iconic scene from the movie was just recently re-created as one of the latest creations from a galaxy far, far away, with the limited edition Bespin Duel set launching last month. Head below for a closer look at the LEGO Bespin Duel in our latest review and to see if the set lives up to its source material.
Hands-on with the LEGO Bespin Duel set
The Bespin Duel is certainly one of the more unique creations to come out this year, even without its 40th anniversary branding. What was originally slated to be a promotional set for San Diego Comic-Con turned into a widespread release with everything going on in the world. But there’s way more to like about this creation than just its background.
The 295-piece creation assembles one of the most iconic scenes in all of Star Wars, let alone just The Empire Strikes Back. It’s been endlessly quoted, and arguably everyone knows Darth Vader’s line “No, I am your father.” But now LEGO has finally brought this scene into brick-built form by itself. And boy does it not disappoint.
LEGO’s Bespin Duel set mainly re-creations the catwalk area on Cloud City in the most authentic way we’ve seen in the past. There have been quite a few different versions of this scene in the past, but none have quite done it justice like this. Aside from expanding into a larger Cloud City set, which we’ve actually seen before, there’s not too much LEGO could have done to up the ante here.
It faithfully re-creates the setting from The Empire Strikes Back and manages to pack in a surprising amount of detail for a build of its size. Once assembled, everything only measures over 9 inches wide and 8 inches tall. Despite that, there’s still plenty of eye-catching parts usage that’ll make sure it looks great up on a shelf or elsewhere in your collection.
On top of the main build, there’s two minifigures included here. Of course, you’re getting Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, both of which feature some of the best printing we’ve seen from the characters in their LEGO forms. While the figures aren’t exclusive to this set in particular, it’s one of the more affordable ways to bring home a Bespin version of Luke. Both include their lightsabers as well.
Much like we’ve seen from the 40th Anniversary Empire Strikes Back theme so far, the build packs a black stand with a memorial plaque. Unfortunately, it’s a sticker unlike what has been included on other models. It’s certainly not a deal breaker, but if there had to be one negative thing to say about the build, it’s that.
Should you buy it?
Unlike our typical LEGO reviews, diving into the Bespin Duel is a bit more complicated than whether or not you could buy the set. It’s more a question of is it worth the premium that secondhand sellers are charging for the limited-edition creation. Up until now, LEGO has only issued two release waves of the set, and there’s no telling if this is one we’ll see come back in stock anytime soon. Or ever.
It’s hard to recommend paying inflated prices for LEGO, but this is a pretty solid model that’s worth all the hype surrounding it. I mean, there’s a reason it’s been sold out since debuting. But luckily, there isn’t a single exclusive piece in the set and the entire instructions are up on LEGO’s site. So if this is one you want to add to your collection, you can head over to LEGO’s official site, enter in the set number of 75294, and buy the individual pieces yourself.
If there’s one point to get across from this review, it’s that the LEGO Bespin Duel set is easily a must-have for collectors and older fans. That is, if you can get your hands on it. The creation is a wonderful display piece and depicts arguably the most iconic scene in all of the Original Trilogy. Plus, the final model is really solid for $40, even if the part count doesn’t appear to be perfect on paper.
Even with its availability issues, this is a fantastic set that LEGO will hopefully learn from. Sets geared toward adults don’t have to be on the pricier end like the UCS lineup, and this just goes to show how popular more affordable kits of this nature could be. And speaking of, take this as a lesson to make sure if you’re interested in picking up the Nebulon-B Frigate set that’s on the way, that you won’t hesitate to pick it up.
Check out the Bespin Duel set featured in this review over at LEGO
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