13 September 2023

LEGO® Star Wars™ build review: 75355 X-Wing Starfighter™

Posted by Tom Loftus

Today I'll be completing my review of 75355 UCS X-Wing Starfighter. Having analysed the set's new moulds, recolours and prints in part 1, it's time to focus on the minifigures, build techniques and finished model.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® Star Wars™ 75355 X-Wing Starfighter™
US$239.99/ £209.99/ 239.99€/ AU$369.99
1953 parts
May 2023
Buying from LEGO.com? Please consider using our affiliate links, we may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

The minifigures

The set features two minifigures that need no introduction: R2-D2 and Luke Skywalker appropriately dressed in his orange flight suit.

This iteration of Luke features a new torso design with printed arms (6443847 | 76382) and is the first rebel pilot figure to have dual-moulded legs (6447834 | 104670). The result is great and it's hard to imagine this classic flight suit getting any better, although I wouldn't object if LEGO were to have another crack at the helmet style with moulded visor. 

R2-D2 is significant only for having the torso with back printing (6339214 | 77797) which, given its appearance in 75360 Yoda's Jedi Starfighter, is hopefully the new norm. At some stage I'd love to see an alternate R2 dome with battle damage to play out his unfortunate fate at the battle of Yavin. However, his generic appearance is more than good enough for a display-centric set.

Speaking of, let's build this monster. 

The build

The construction follows a pattern common among big sets. We start with a sturdy LEGO® Technic structure that becomes the core for the length of the model. I always enjoy the "well, I guess that'll make sense later" moments when building sections like these.

The wing mechanism is simpler than I expected. 4x4 round plates with centre cut out allow each pair of wings to rotate. Each one is connected to the opposite wing by a single Technic brick - upper right to lower left, lower right to upper left.

Placing the curved brackets introduced by LEGO® Friends was quite satisfying. They sit snugly over 1x2 curved bricks and lock both ends of the wing mechanism in place. Note the red elastic bands which provide tension for the mechanism.

Greebles galore! This rear plate might be my favourite area of the model. It feels as though the designer splurged a bit. Lots of small parts, including that recoloured games controller, pretty faithfully replicate the kit-bashed details of the real thing.

Just two clips connect each half of the sizable nose section to the rest of the model. I hesitate to call the build flimsy, but there are quite a few moments like this, where large areas are attached with fewer connection points than I expected. 

A clever trick is used to align the two sides of the fuselage. The protruding 1x2 curved wedges and coffee stirrers nest inside locators in the nose cone as it slides into place on these red Technic axles.

The rest of the build is spent on the wings, engines and cannons. It's mostly a case of stacking the same plates and SNOT bricks four times over. It's not the most exciting thing to do but a bit of repetition is expected considering the design of the real ship.

The completed ship

"You sure you can handle this ship?"

No Red Leader, I'm not!

Fully assembled, this thing is quite the beast - holding it aloft qualifies as a light arm workout. Swooshing is possible, but its a "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" type of thing - and not just because of my weak arms!

Many of the hull panels can become dislodged and the wings tend to sag in odd ways if you apply pressure in the wrong places. While a bit annoying, these hiccups with stability matter less here than they would do on a play-focused set. The X-wing is a display piece first and foremost after all. 

In that regard, the set surprised me with its proportional accuracy. It's not flawless by any means, but the prominent engines and angled fuselage are generally huge improvements over its UCS predecessors. I've got the model mounted on the stand 'incorrectly' above, to show off one of its more favourable camera angles. The default orientation is shown at the start of the article.

Sticking with the positives for now, here's that gorgeous greeble plate in place at the rear of the ship. Another detail to admire back here are the interlocking 'teeth' on the back of the wings, achieved with pentagon tiles. It's one of my favourite little areas on the real X-wing so I'm pleased to see them included in the brick form at last.

There's some neat brick-built colour blocking on the wings with the Red 5 markings and the light bluish grey sections. An extra 2x4 wedge plate per wing would've been nice to avoid that step-down on the rear edge towards the engines.

There's a great level of detail inside the cockpit too with two console stickers, pilot's chair, control stick and targeting computer.

Even though the scale is way off, I'm glad to see it fits a fig. Luke does have to sit forward of the actual seat, and sadly there are no studs to secure him. 

Proportionally, the astromech dome should be 2.5 modules in diameter. A 3x3 dome with R2 head print would've been my preferred choice, if only for novelty's sake, but the minifig compatible R2-D2 isn't far off the mark either. I just wish he sat a little higher in the slot. 

Along the same nit-picky lines are the cannons. While I appreciate the return of the useful flipper colour, I feel they make the cannon tips a tad oversized. Of course, it's easy enough to simply leave them off, so no biggie.

Despite not being especially accurate, as a result of the funky proportions of the canopy piece, the forward fuselage still looks pretty sleek. It's just a shame that top surface couldn't be smoother. I'd love to see the stepped wedge plate/tile combo replaced with a shallow incline of tiles and plates attached at an angle, for a cleaner look.

Shots like this do a good job at highlighting how good some of the fuselage shaping really is. Unfortunately, they also highlight a bigger problem: the dreaded wing droop! 

Considering the size of the model, and the limitations of the brick, some sagging is inevitable. It is alarming just how far they drop when the wings are closed and the elastic bands are no longer pulling their weight though. Thankfully, it's far less noticeable with the wings open - handy since that's obviously how most will want to keep their X-wing on display.

Closing thoughts 

This set is the definition of the term 'large display piece'. The build techniques used are geared towards generating the biggest model possible, however tricky decisions like, "Why have 3 connection points when two will do?" can be felt throughout the build experience.

It's not inherently a bad thing; such an approach is necessary to achieve the size and visual impact people expect of a UCS-level set, all while avoiding bumping up the already high price tag. For those already engrossed in the realm of big sets that push the limits, it's a fine addition to the existing line-up. At the same time, I feel it's unlikely to convert skeptics to the cause.

At the very least, for the MOCers in both camps or in-between, it does introduce some great new parts and recolours for us to enjoy! 

LEGO® Star Wars™ 75355 X-Wing Starfighter costs US$239.99/ £209.99/ 239.99€/ AU$369.99 from LEGO.com. Please consider using our affiliate links, we may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

READ MORE: All the new parts in the LEGO® X-Wing Starfighter™ 

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  1. I love their funny tricks like that controller

  2. Haha, I'd never seen those pieces described as "coffee stirrers" before!

  3. While the techniques and new parts have interest, yet another X-wing is showing an unimpressive level of laziness on TLG's designers. What number does this one make?

    1. This is a bad take. Getting tired of remakes is fine, but it's not "lazy" to take something that sells and improve upon it. It's not the designers' fault that Star Wars is still popular, and they aren't the ones who choose what the most iconic elements of that franchise are.

    2. I mean let's be real here, a lot of star wars ships are already kind of boring in their design, and more often than not trying to translate that to brick form just leaves you with what looks like a large monochrome box that only ends up having room for figures in a tiny cockpit area. There's only so many designs you can do to keep it interesting, so may as well make it an iconic one.

    3. There would be more interest and innovation if the designers actually designed, this is just reengineering for no other reason than to perpetuate an overused and abused IP. A new theme with unique and creative ships would build more value for Lego as something other than another product line OF Disney. While there is no way to predict what will sell and be popular, the historic and universal love for the classic themes and 90% of the rest should tell TLG that the effort pays off in dividends and recognition unique to the brand. Making something iconic is not lazy, taking something iconic is.

    4. "If the designers actually designed"... as if original themes like Ninjago, Friends, or Dreamzzz don't exist. The designers of Star Wars sets work just as hard as the designers working on original themes, calling them "lazy" simply because they were assigned to a theme that requires more recreation versus one that requires more creative liberties is rude and unnecessary.


    5. "As if original themes...don't exist." Yes, they do, and they prove my point. Do you believe that they require LESS innovation, creativity, and design than something that already exists and has been reengineered several times before? I put it to you as well if given a choice of a new theme with original builds or another X-wing, which would draw your attention? Those other themes also succeed importantly at being uniquely Lego and something that on the whole the designers can prove complete effort. I would also pose the question to these designers if they preferred working on this X-wing over working on one of those new themes. Which would you prefer? Speed Champions would be the closest analog here and I give them FAR more credit for effort, engineering, and design as they never repeat the same car. Would you be interested in another sports car if it was the same model for the twentieth time, but with more printing on the driver?

      The only people that can claim to have designed the X-wing are Ralph Mcquarrie, Colin Cantwell, and George Lucas. The designers of Star Wars Lego do not design, they reengineer. And I'm sure they work hard at it too. And that's fine, it has value. But they're just turning the X-wing into the Corolla of the Star Wars universe. Yes, it's a reliable car, it's iconic, and it sells; but the only thing new on it are modern bells and whistles that still leave you with a boring Toyota. That's lazy on their part, it's lazy on TLG's part, and it's ultimately lazy on our part when we buy it giving them all the false impression that we want another X-wing. So, the only thing rude and unnecessary is yet another X-wing.

    6. you can just not buy it, man. being this angry at is mere existence is uh weird.

    7. It's truly amazing that you don't fall down more often. I am doing what is called in the adult world debating a topic. I am not angry, I have no clue as to why you would make that up given my comment above, but given your ability to construct a sentence, I'm not surprised. What I am is disappointed that Lego continues to churn out the same model expecting the public to buy it in between meals of paste. So, bon apetit!

      If expecting more from a company that built its reputation on the imagination of its patrons makes me "uh weird", then I am very, VERY "uh weird".

  4. It’s incredible that Lego is still using these misshapen X-wing canopies, even as they’re carefully honing the other parts of the ship. You can’t make a correctly shaped fuselage if you start with a shovel-nosed canopy. Maybe next time 🙄