LEGO® Announces the Newest UCS X-Wing
On April 5, LEGO® officially announced the upcoming Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) X-Wing Starfighter™. The set (75355) is to be released on May 4th for $240, and contains 1,949 pieces. This marks the third UCS X-Wing Starfighter™ in LEGO®’s history, making it the most reproduced of the UCS sets by breaking a tie with the Star Destroyer, Y-Wing, Millennium Falcon, Snowspeeder, and Death Star, each of which have 2 unique UCS editions. I suppose it was inevitable that one of these icons would receive a third edition, but it’s not something I was really looking for out of LEGO®, these sets have had their shelf time.
Digging into the history of the UCS X-Wing, the first edition (set 7191) was released back in the year 2000, and marked the first ever UCS set alongside the TIE Interceptor. The set boasted a scale larger than anything previously released and at 1,300 pieces became by far the largest Star Wars™ set. For reference, the next highest piece count was the TIE Interceptor with 703 pieces.
Then in 2013, LEGO® released a new edition which greatly improved the aesthetic and color accuracy. Don’t get me wrong, for what the state of LEGO® was when the original was released, it was fantastic. But put it side by side with the 2013 version and it looks quite plain and blocky. The big success though with this rerelease was the significant step up from its predecessor. Even if you owned the original, you couldn’t deny how great this new version was, and likely felt the need to upgrade. And that’s where the 2023 UCS edition appears to fall short.
When comparing the new version to the 2013 set, there’s not much of an upgrade. The only notable upgrades visible from the promotional images are a more accurate body shape and engine size.
The angling along the ship’s body and up to the nose and the larger engines are more accurate reflections of what is seen in the films. But the set otherwise falls a little flat for me and doesn’t appear to improve the level of detail, which is the main thing I was hoping for when this set was announced.
This set doesn’t visually appear to be a failure when looking at it as a standalone UCS X-Wing, but as soon as you put it side-by-side with the 2013 version, it’s just a disappointing upgrade. A bit of the disappointment also stems from the other possibilities for this UCS set release. I understand that this set is a companion to the 40th Anniversary of Return of The Jedi, but there are so many other options. Seeing that the rumored promo to come alongside the X-Wing is a Death Star II, it feels like a pretty big blow. It’s almost like LEGO® knows a new UCS Death Star needs to hit the shelves, but refuses to give us one. I don’t think I’m the only one that would be willing to go out there and say a UCS Death Star II with an X-Wing promo would have blown this out of the water. I’m aware that there’s a few reasons why that doesn’t make sense as a release just yet (mainly the abundance of premier-priced sets at the moment), but that would have just been too good to resist!
Having been an owner of the 2013 UCS X-Wing, I can’t see myself purchasing this set. But it’s an incredible opportunity for anyone who missed out on that set to get a UCS X-Wing for a pretty reasonable price considering the set has over 1,900 pieces. While I’m happy for everyone who will be able to get a UCS X-Wing for the first time, the overwhelming feeling I have is disappointment that we could’ve gotten a great Return of The Jedi UCS Set, something original, but instead LEGO® went with ole reliable and called it a day.