Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finally, Another Capital Ship!

7964 Republic Frigate
The Chronicler's Rating - 4/5
Price ~ $120.00
Year Released - 2011

I must confess that I had a good laugh when the first incarnation of this set (7665 Republic Cruiser from 2007) came out, "how many seconds of screen time does that have?  Maybe 10?  And isn't most of that it blowing up?".  But the joke turned out to be on me. 

The original 2007 version
That set was one of the first of what has become a whole pantheon of the, how shall I say it... more obscure Star Wars ships made into Lego form.  Since 2007 that original model has been locked in close competition with such sets as 8096 Palpatine's Shuttle, 8036 Separatist Shuttle, 6205 V-Wing Fighter, 10195 Republic Dropship With AT-OT Walker and many others for the apparently very prestigious title of "set-that-has-the-least-amount-of-screen-time-in-any-of-the-6-movies.  Competition for this title is incredibly fierce.  All joking aside Lego has seriously produced sets of ships that have so little screen time I have never been able to find them in any of the movies. 

Now my more observant readers will be quick to point out that this set, although a reincarnation of 7665, is actually a depiction of that craft as it appears in the Clone Wars TV Series (which I have never watched, I am not that big of a Star Wars fan).  And my observant readers would be right.  In comparison to its predecessor this set benefits from two major improvements: better parts and better colors.  Star Wars has spawned numerous new pieces and between 2006 and now a lot of parts have been created which this set takes advantage of to more realistically depict the graceful curves and shapes of the ship as seen on screen.  I am guessing the TV show also includes a different paint job as this ship is grey as opposed to its predecessor.

The main reason that your kid will probably want this set is the figures as Lego has continued their trend of placing exclusive minifigures in each of the new Star Wars sets (in this case Yoda and 2 other Jedi that I do not recognize).  I personally do not think that exclusive figures alone are reason to get a set (most kids will differ with me on that point, to each their own) but the good news is that in this case the set itself is excellent so it is a win all around although it is a little pricy due to those figures. 

An absolutely vital part of any space collection, Star Wars or otherwise, is the capital ship, or if you can manage it, several capital ships.  Yes swooping dogfights pitting your different fighters against one another is fun but sooner or later your stories are going to need to include those fighters in a desperate all out battle against a large, heavily armed and heavily shielded capital ship.  Before Star Wars every subtheme of Space (Ice Planet, Space Police II, Exploriens, UFO, etc.) had a large spaceship so capital ships were fairly easy to get. 

Ice Plant's Deep Freeze Defender
Space Police II's Galactic Mediator
Explorien's Explorien Starship
UFO's Alien Avenger
It is hard to depict the capital ships seen in Star Wars in Lego form due to their size.  The two glorious exceptions have been 6211 Imperial Star Destroyer from 2006, and 8039 Republic Attack Cruiser from 2009 which have both employed the "scale down technique".

2006's Imperial Star Destroyer

2009's Republic Attack Cruiser
 As you can see the chance to get a good Star Wars capital ship has been few and far between.  Although technically not a capital ship in the films or show this set can fill that role in your collection.  For the price this is a great opportunity to get a set that can do that!

While not the most prominent or well known ship in the Star Wars universe this set presents the potential buyer with a unique opportunity: to obtain a ship which can legitimately be used as a capital ship in their collection.  With an excellent assortment of pieces in good colors and some exclusive minifigures for those who are into that, this set is an excellent choice that I would highly recommend. 

Happy Building
The Lego Chronicler

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