27 December 2023

LEGO® Star Wars™ set review: 75371 Chewbacca

Posted by Eero

LEGO® Star Wars™ sets are stereotypically expensive horizontal Light Bluish Gray, Dark Red or Dark Blue objects made of wedge plates and featuring detailed minifigures. Alongside those, there have also been sets of larger figures, almost since the theme's beginning. I remember looking at 7194 Yoda in a catalog 21 years ago in 2002 when I was seven and wondering how many pieces it would have... it has 1075, which doesn't sound that much in 2023.

In comparison, 75371 Chewbacca has 2319 pieces - over twice more - although it doesn't look much larger. Of course, many modern parts have been made character building a lot easier than it was in the bricky 2000s. How does our first large-scale LEGO System model of Chewbacca manage to capture the classic first mate of the Millenium Falcon?

Products in this article were gifted by The LEGO Group; the author's opinions are their own. This article contains affiliate links to LEGO.com; we may get a small commission if you purchase.
75371 Chewbacca
US$199.99/ £179.99/209.99€/ AU$319.99
2319 parts
1 September 2023
Set 75371 on LEGO.com

New prints and recolours

It should be no surprise that Chewbacca includes a lot of brown pieces, and that most of the innards are done with other colours. However, as this set is mostly limbs and similar appendages, there isn't as much volume that the colourful innards would overwhelm the brown cladding, part-wise. Therefore this is a great parts pack for builders who want to make organic things in brown like tree trunks, people, landscapes, animals and so forth. Good for me!

  • 1x Plate Special 6 x 12 with Studs on 3 Edges with 'STAR WARS Chewbacca', Stats print in Black (105032 | 6178pr0009)
  • 2x Tile Round 1 x 1 with Chewbacca Eye Pattern in Dark Brown (104336 | 98138pr0373) - with 1 extra
  • 1x Ribbon 23L in Sand Yellow/Dark Tan (6456626 | 80130)

There are no new moulds. The textile element is the same shape as the ink strip in the LEGO Ideas typewriter. Fortunately, the plaque is printed, and the third, extra eye makes it possible for Chewie to find the Intergalactic Consciousness. 

However, the real treasure is the great number of recolours in Dark Brown and Reddish Brown.

  • 11x Plate 4 x 10 in Dark Brown (6452319 | 3030)

Large Dark Brown plates are uncommon, despite being useful for landscaping and architecture. 11 isn't a bad amount at all.

  • 47x Brick Curved, 3 x 1 with 1/3 Inverted Cutout in Dark Brown (6452320 | 70681)

47 of a new, unique and useful recolour is very welcome! I've used this piece a lot in Tan/ Brick Yellow, both on character and architecture models. Concave shapes appear in organic things as well as convex shapes, but they have been fewer in number in parts; classic arch parts are not as useful, as their concave surfaces are hollow. But these pieces have the wonderful smooth curved surface.

  • 32x Plate 2 x 2 Corner in Dark Brown (6454543 | 2420)

Corner plates and bricks are another one of my favourites, enabling simple, strong connections. It was about time to get some in Dark Brown, and not just 2 or a half dozen but a total of 32; nice.

  • 18x Plate Special 1 x 1 with Handle on 2 Ends in Dark Brown (6458904 | 78257)

This handle plate is less universally useful, but might prove worthy at building limbs (human, animal and plant). There are barely any joint pieces on Dark Brown.

  • 32x Plate Special 1 x 1 with Clip Horizontal [Thick Open O Clip] in Dark Brown (6460688 | 52738)

The horizontal clip piece compliments the handle plate above; a welcome recolour in good quantity. I don't use this as much as the vertical clip one, but good nonetheless.

  • 38x Brick Curved, 3 x 1 with 1/3 Inverted Cutout in Reddish Brown (6452321 | 70681)

And finally, the above praised concave slope appears in Reddish Brown. They make me think of boats.

Rare parts

The rare parts are not as numerous nor exciting, but useful.

  • 1x Plate 4 x 6 in Dark Orange (6426644 | 3032) - in 2 other sets
  • 1x Brick Special 1 x 2 x 1 2/3 with Four Studs on 2 Sides in Dark Bluish Grey / Dark Stone Grey (6430926 | 80796) - in 2 other sets
  • 5x Wedge Plate 2 x 2 Right in Reddish Brown (6385262 | 24307) - in 2 other sets
  • 5x Wedge Plate 2 x 2 Left in Reddish Brown (6385263 | 24299) - in 2 other sets 

The build

The building process is straightforward and somewhat repetitive, but not horribly so. The limbs are SNOT structures with fixed, slightly angled joints, and pretty much everything is covered with the fur. This fur pattern consists of curved slopes, both convex and concave, with a plenty of "cut-out" baby bow wedges in between. The transitions between Reddish Brown and Dark Brown areas work very well.

The model is sturdy. Structurally my only gripe is the nose area, which feels a bit loose. It doesn't fall off, but it wiggles about. Not a big issue, though. 

The arm pose is fixed with well-hidden, small ball joints in the armpits. The head can turn, and it's the only "play function" to be found here - if you don't count adjusting the bandolier and the pouch, which is not a very fun function.

There is nothing much to the seen on the back. The hair on the back of the head doesn't flow quite as naturally as elsewhere.

There is an angle on the knee (and ankle) "joints", fixed with 2x4 wedge plates. It makes Chewbacca a lot more life-like than he would ever have been with straight legs. 

The most interesting techniques are found on the ankles, anchoring the Wookie safely to the base, as well as in the face. I also really like the bit of colour the Dark Orange pouch gives to the model. I must confess I was not aware that the pouch is part of the bandolier - I always assumed it was just a normal bag.

 Seen as a whole from some distance, Chewbacca is an impressive model. It's big and sturdy despite being a relatively simple model structurally. The fur is well done, the colour scheme looks good, not too busy, not too monochromatic. The pose is decently dynamic.

The initial reception to this set among adult fan was, however, mixed - if not mostly negative. I think the negative aspects got more attention than the good ones, but then again I was thrilled to see a large Original Trilogy model on a non-robotic character (and a sweet parts pack for organic building). But there are major shortcomings in this set, and they're found at the detail level.

Chewbacca's face was claimed to look terrifying by many. I do not think it looks especially scary, but neither does it look very much like the real thing. The main issue is the eye slot, which is deep and dark and, well, slot-like. The real mask has two eye holes not much larger than the eyes. The eyes on the LEGO version appear to be quite far apart, while the real Wookie's eyes are as close to each other as any human's, as there is in fact a human inside the suit. Sorry if I ruined someone's childhood right there. 

Photograph on the right from the instructions, ®&™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

Earlier I proclaimed that the transition between Reddish Brown and Dark Brown flows naturally, but this is not true of the head. This is not surprising; a smooth gradient is much harder to do at small scales. But this looks like Chewie would have Dark Brown hair oiled and combed straight back, probably even with an invisible hair band. In the real thing, the hairs flow from the nose and around the eyes, arching downwards on the sides of the head. Furthermore, the real Wookie doesn't have a darker muzzle but a darker actual moustache under the nose. Also, the nose itself should be larger. The fangs and the beard look nice though. 

I think some round tiles such as 1x1 quarters and 2x2 macaronis could have been used to achieve the curving hairs. It's not a simple problem to solve, and some simplification and stylising is definitely in place here, but nonetheless they should have gone through a few more versions with the face.

Mechanical things are easier to construct in the brick medium than organic characters, and the bowcaster looks perfect - at least to person who is not an expert in Star Wars weapons. Use of the ink strip as its strap is ingenious, and it's useful piece to have around, too.

I have a minor gripe with this hand, though. Chewie's fingers are not generally visible, and they don't appear on this set. The hand grippling the bowcaster is fine, but this one just looks... somewhat puny, like he was missing the hand. I think the proportions itself are decent, but probably just a bit more mass and more hair in the end of this would have looked more natural.

 The feet with their black claws and spreading hair look fun, though!

As is usual with +18 LEGO Star Wars sets, a plaque and a minifigure are included. The mini-Chewbacca is a common figure - no baiting with exclusive prints here - but the printed plaque is obviously unique. 6 x 12 tile with studs on 3 sides feels a budget alternative of a 8 x 16 tile, but that doesn't bother me, as the smaller size feels more fitting.

I am, however, a bit befuddled by the fact that Chewbacca was born exactly 200 years before the battle of Yavin, but then again that's exactly the kind of fact you'd find in Wookiepedia (fittingly enough), and that's not the set's fault.


As the final image of this review, I present a comparison image with 75371 Chewbacca from 2023 and 8010 Darth Vader from 2002. While they have some similar aspects - ball-jointed neck, legs fixed in somehow angled pose and weird eyes, the development during two decades is unquestionable. 

Despite introduction on many fantastic organic elements during these years, the facial expression of a hairy person is still hard to capture with bricks. In this aspect Chewbacca is far from perfect. Fortunately most other aspects of it are very good. It is a refreshing deviant among spaceship- and minifigure-oriented LEGO Star Wars sets, and for the price of US$199.99/ £179.99/209.99€/ AU$319.99 for 2319 parts  - 179 of which are recolours - it is also a very good parts pack.

Review outcomes are always personal opinions, and here probably even more so than usual. I was specifically drawn to Chewbacca, as a character builder and also as a MOC-maker who has plenty of uses for organically shaped Reddish and Dark Brown parts. I understand that collectors who like to keep their sets in original design state don't appreciate Chewbacca's face very much, but for collectors who like modifying their sets, Chewbacca is an exciting nut to crack. Definitely different to fixing Millenium Falcon blasters for more accurate designs.

If you enjoyed this review and are considering buying Set 75371 on LEGO.com, please consider using our affiliate link. We may earn a small fee.

READ MORE: LEGO® NINJAGO® 2024 mech sets 71806, 71807 & 71808

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  1. Terrifying Lego version... Well, to be fair, Chewbacca looks quite particular even in his Cinematic incarnation...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Weird decision for a set, but at least it isn't another X-wing.

  3. Nice review! Personally I love the look of this set. It may not be a perfect recreation but it's still remarkably lifelike—no small feat for such an organic, fluffy character! My favorite parts use here is probably the use of lipstick pieces for Chewie's prominent teeth.

  4. LEGO Chewbacca is really creepy. (I accidently replied to another post instead of making my own, sorry for that!)

  5. I think the main issue is that it hits the uncanny valley a bit. It's not cartoony or exaggerated enough to feel like a comfortable parody, but not close enough to escape notice. The head sort of reminds me of Preston from Wallace and Gromit, with the angular features and how the brow is situated. Could also be that I've never been an original trilogy enthusiast and don't have much fondness or nostalgia for Chewbacca as a character.

  6. When I saw this set in person at lego store i changed my mind about it. It looks very good, organic and big. I was really surprised how photos of it have been deceiving.