Out of the many years of LEGO Star Wars sets – these are the best.
LEGO has been making Star Wars sets since the long-ago past of 1999. The release of the Phantom Menace and a new, revitalized era of Star Wars fandom opened up the limitless potential for everyone’s favorite maker of small plastic caltrops. Over the intervening 21 years, the company has put out a ton of LEGO Star Wars sets, some have been meh, many have been serviceable, and some have been downright amazing. Let’s take a look today at some of the best sets of all time.
This TIE Fighter & Y-Wing set came out during the first wave of Star Wars set back in 1999. It’s proved popular enough to get remade at least two times since then. Now there have been better versions of both the TIE Advanced and Y-Wing, but this was early days and this simple set was a great preview of what was to come.
It’s blocky fighters filled old-timers like myself with nostalgia. Plus, it was one of the few sets to give you two ships in one set meaning you didn’t need anything else to get going. Pop the box, build the set, and space battles were right there for a kid.
7181-1: TIE Interceptor -2000
This TIE Interceptor was the first ship in the Ultimate Collector Series (which you’ll hear more about in this list). Though the X-wing also came out in 2000, the Interceptor has an earlier number, and I believe it was released slightly ahead of the X-Wing.
While it is not the best of the UCS collection, it showed how big and grand LEGO Star Wars sets could be and was the first of them really aimed at an adult audience and made for display rather than play. I had one as a kid and have longed to get a replacement, but they go for around $1,500 used on Amazon.
Jumping forward to 2004, we have the TIE Fighter Collection. Again this was still early days, so these may not be the best versions of all the ships you can find. This set was fantastic for giving you four ships in it, and of a different type. This lets you build out a fleet of TIEs or have some crazy epic battles. It’s also one of the first, and few, set to pull elements from the Expanded Universe as it included a TIE/D. As far as I know, this was the only LEGO version of that often forgotten ship.
The TIE Crawler or TIE Tank is such a dumb vehicle. It’s never shown up in a movie or show, though it has been in video games, and is kind of a joke among fans. I can’t believe they actually made a set of it. This is the maverick, we can sell anything that is a LEGO Star Wars set. I love it.
3152 pieces. Micro Star Destroyer for scale. IG-88, Dengar, and Bossk minifigs. This was what the UCS was made for. This is why man invented mantelpieces. Drool.
There have been many versions of the classic X-Wing made into LEGO sets over the years. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if its the ship with the most versions made. Out of all of them, I think this is my favorite. Sure either of the UCS versions is technically better, and if you want a pure display piece, maybe go with one of them.
However, the 2012 version mixes good looks with affordability and playability. It’s a set you can still play with and whoosh around with. It looks really good and is less blocky than the older versions. There is a more recent version of the X-wing from 2018, but I think it looks worse, with very dinky laser cannons. Also, this one comes with Jek Porkins, a big plus in my book.
Sometimes the simplest things are best. This TIE bomber was part of a series of around 12 ships, released in 2012-2013. I think they were supposed to double as Christmas ornaments and came in their own little world ball you could hang. The sets where cheap, something like $9.99 at the time, came with a cool minifig, display board, ship, and ornament/world (one had the Death Star, for instance).
It was a great bang for your buck, and unlike a lot of the micro or other tiny sets, these ships looked good and not all deformed. They were great if you wanted to make a diorama or buy up some kinda fleet of cheap ships. The Bomber was small enough and had a couple moving parts that it was fun to just fidget with.
This is a nice looking set and a great tie into the Rebels show. The big thing that sets it apart is that in addition to the Gozanti, the set went the extra mile and included the four TIEs the Gozanti can carry. That little bit extra not only makes it a find display piece but gives it a ton of playability, making it great for adults and kids.
Speaking of playability, we have the 2016 Death Star set, the second, and better iteration of this idea. This set isn’t great at first look, you can tell it’s the Death Star based on its shape and primary weapon, but it’s not what we’ve come to expect from UCS or most Star Wars kits. However, this kit is pure genius.
It contains within its Death Star shaped being something like a dozen different “rooms” all showing famous parts or scenes that could be found on both Death Stars. It’s jammed packed with details that let you play out a ton of climatic moments for the movies, with a bunch of clever moving parts. It’s a master class in design and cool factor. There is also a similar Cloud City set, which is worth checking out, though I think this is a better choice myself.
This is, without a doubt, the Holy Grail of LEGO Star Wars sets. At a staggering 7541 pieces, it was billed at the time as the largest ever LEGO set. It’s a missive, to-scale, full detailed replica of the Falcon. The set has got detailed interior sections and can be built as either the OT Falcon or the Sequel Trilogy ship. It’s a monster to build (Adam Savage and his team took more than 10 hours). I don’t have more words for this thing.
30383-1: Naboo Starfighter-2019
Again sometimes small things are the best. The Naboo Starfighter is a sleek looking ship and this little guy is a nice micro representation of it. At only $4, its a real steal and just small enough to fiddle with in an off-hand or get a few for your kids to battle with. I cursed the BOLS office with one and enjoy the winces I get every time I swoop it around our computers yelling, “NOW THIS IS PODRACING.”
This is another stunning massive (4784 pieces) intricately detailed classic Star Wars kit. I love Star Destroyers, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. This is the best version of the LEGO one you can buy, so it’s a clear win for me. Nuff said.
Crikey, look at that bird. The Republic Gunship is a classic Clone Wars ship and one of the best designs in the franchise. It looks cool and spacey, and also somehow super Vietnamy. This new massive set, 3292 pieces, brings the ship to life. What is a real stand out here is how both massive and light the ship looks. Its got amazing open interior spaces that really nail the look of the ship.
A-Wings are just cool. They are fast and small and classic ships. As the newest of the UCS line, this is a super detailed and great ship that displays well and is just small enough that you can whoosh it around. I admit I’m a tad biased here as I got mine last weekend and just finished building it.
It’s only the second UCS I’ve owned (after the Interceptor 20 years ago). But it lived up to the series and was a ton of fun to build. I’d say more about it, but it keeps asking me to woosh it around some more. And those pew-pews aren’t going to make themselves.
Let us know what your favorite LEGO Star Wars set are, down in the comments!