Walking out of multiple cinema screenings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I realised that I’d become very fond of the new part-time villain, part-time emo kid Kylo Ren. His combination of Sith-like aggression and trademark Skywalker whininess was quite endearing and I really liked that he was a very well-rounded 3-dimensional character.
That obviously meant that I had to own a Kylo Ren minifigure (I had the large buildable Kylo Ren which I really liked) but I was unprepared to shell out for the pricey (and inaccurately coloured) Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle. Luckily, the new wave of 2016 Star Wars sets included 75139 Battle on Takodana, which features not only Kylo but also Finn, 2 Stormtroopers and Maz Kanata.
Name: Battle on Takodana
Set Number: 75139
Price: AU$89.99 (AUS LEGO.com link) | US$59.99 (US LEGO.com link)
Theme: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Buildable Figures
Year of Release: 2016
Instructions: 75139 Battle on Takodana
I’ll be honest, I picked this set up purely for the minifigures and managed to get it at a decent enough discount (20ish % off) so it stymied the blow slightly. At AU$90 RRP for a 400-piece set, it’s incredibly pricey as it only contains one exclusive minifigure (Maz Kanata) but I managed to find some value in it as it’s currently the cheapest way to get the Kylo Ren minifigure.
Here’s the lineup of minifigures, which is Battle on Takodana’s strongest features. There are 5 minifigures included – Finn, which is the same version as the one in the Millennium Falcon, Maz Kanata, who is exclusive to this set, 2 Stormtroopers and of course, Kylo Ren.
If you’re a casual LEGO Star Wars fan like me and missed out on the Falcon and Command Shuttle, this set is a great way to add Finn and Kylo Ren to your collection. Maz is a nice bonus, and you’ll always have a need for additional Stormtroopers.
This is Finn, who is dressed up in Poe Dameron’s stylish leather jacket. I really like Finn’s new afro-textured hairpiece which is a really suitable hairstyle for black minifigures and characters. It’s a lot less… over the top than previous afro hairpieces like Series 13’s Disco Diva.
The printing on his torso is sharp, with a very acceptable level of detail. I would’ve liked some additional printing on his arms but it looks good as is. For weaponry, Finn has Luke’s old lightsaber which he wields for the first time as Takodana comes under attack by the First Order as well as his weapon of choice, a blaster rifle.
Finn has a dual-sided head which has a slightly annoyed and irritable face. There’s back printing on his torso which has more fabric and texture details of the jacket.
Being a primary Star Wars character, I’m quite pleased to finally own Finn and am this much closer to finishing up most of the main characters from The Force Awakens. Another great use of Finn is to slap on his head onto a Stormtrooper’s body to transform him into his old occupation.
The 2 Stormtroopers included in the set are brilliant – I’ll never complain about getting more Stormtroopers as you can never get enough of them. I’m a fan of the new Stormtrooper designs, JJ Abrams and his design team did a great job maintaining the iconic Stormtrooper look, with just a few stylistic updates to the helmet to keep it fresh and most importantly contemporary looking.
LEGO probably would not have predicted TR-8R’s meteoric rise to meme and internet fame. TR-8R you may ask? The Stormtrooper with the twirling electric anti-lightsaber baton that has cemented his character in Star Wars legend.
If you don’t remember, watch this Instagram video.
TR-8R comes with his trademark swirly baton, which is only made out of 4 elements and can be easily constructed out of the most basic of parts. If it were me, I’d modify the white bulb part and use a transparent blue piece instead to make it look like its charged up with electricity.
And yes, I couldn’t resist making a very rough GIF of TR-8R’s baton twirling skillz!
Kylo Ren is one of my the main reasons why I picked this set up and I am extremely glad to add him to my collection. The Kylo Ren minifigure is brilliant and I think that LEGO have done an amazing job scaling down the emotionally turbulent Sith-wannabe into minifigure size.
His helmet is an exquisite LEGO accessory, the moulding and printing is nearly flawless and captures the unique shape of the original extremely well. On his torso and legs, the printing is sharp enough to make out the subtle fabric lines and his oversized wrestling champion-esque belt.
Kylo Ren’s crossguard blade lightsaber is also another fascinating new (to me) accessory and looks equally as fantastic.
Unmasking Kylo Ren reveals his face, complete with exaggerated eyebags that seem to plague evil Sith-like LEGO Star Wars characters. He also comes with an alternate hairpiece, so you can switch between the two as you like.
Turn him around and you can see Kylo Ren’s alternate angry face, and also back printing which is mostly obscured by his ratty cape. Speaking of his cape, it’s quite an oddly shaped one with its asymmetrical cut and tattered look but it’s actually very close to the movie version.
I have to say that I love the Kylo Ren minifig – it’s just an impressive overall package and nails everything about the character that I’ve come to love. His cult-like popularity should ensure that he becomes as popular as his idol Darth Vader – provided if Disney carefully work on his character growth in the next two movies.
Edit: Thanks Ken for pointing out that this is the first Kylo Ren with Ben’s face under the mask. I didn’t realise that the previous version only had his mask as an option.
Last but not least is Maz Kanata, the exclusive minifigure in Battle of Takodana. She’s the one that die-hard LEGO Star Wars completionists will be after in this set, due to her rather memorable few minutes on screen in The Force Awakens. “I like that Wookie.” is one of my favourite lines in the whole movie.
Maz Kanata is a diminutive and mysterious alien who is both half sage and half bar owner. Her most striking features are her large perceptive eyes which are magnified with her goggles as well as her wrinkly leather skin that betrays her age – over a thousand years old!
Maz Kanata’s minifigure has some really nice details, such as the fine wrinkly skin texture on her head (which is thankfully made out of hard ABS plastic) and her silvery goggles. Her eyes give off a very concerned and ancient look, and her torso has plenty of detail.
It’s unfortunate that the printing for her dishtowel doesn’t continue on to her shot legs. The abruptness of the printing is slightly disconcerting but isn’t a complete dealbreaker.
This view of Maz Kanata should give you a better look at her custom moulded head, which also has the back of her head enclosed in a fabric bun. The printing on her back is a continuation of her front and there’s also more abrupt printing that ends at the legs.
With 5 exceptional, useful and relatively useful minifigures, Battle on Takodana is certainly stacked in the minifigure department. Even if you’re a Star Wars completionist and only getting this set to add Maz to your collection, it should be relatively easy to offload Kylo and Finn (I expect more people to keep the Stormies) since they’re main characters and some LEGO fans just want the minifigs instead of paying for the entire set.
Very impressed by the minifigure lineup. Battle on Takodana is one of those rare LEGO sets where I’m glad to have all the characters included. None of them feel like filler at all.
This is the forest castle of Takodana, aka Maz Kanata’s intergalactic
cantina watering hole. It’s a relatively basic build consisting of the main entrance, and an adjustable wall section that you can position in different angles to cleverly create the feel of a courtyard.
There are also two large spires which flank the entrance and help break up the monotony of the entrance, which otherwise would look two dimensional and empty.
There’s also a tall tree with orange leaves at the end of the wall section, which gives the set a bit of greenery. Personally, I would’ve liked a bit more foliage included in the set, mostly because the planet of Takodana was covered in lush greenery and plenty of trees.
The forest castle is mostly defined by plenty of dark tan bricks and slopes that’s punctuated by a bit of orange and dark grey bricks. When I first assembled the entire build, I was honestly quite underwhelmed by the size – it’s a lot smaller than what you’d expect from an AU$90 set.
This is the sticker sheet included in Battle on Takodana – only 2 stickers, both of which are relatively easy to apply.
The first sticker, a wall computer console that look very much like an intercom is placed in a fairly nondescript location near the main entrance.
I realized that I placed the fabric flag in a slightly incorrect position… it’s supposed to be further to the right which shows you where the second sticker is. Woops.
Anyway, the top arch of the doorway has a fabric flag hanging from a curtain rod-like piece, which gives the entrance a bit of flavour. In the movie, when the main characters first walk into Maz Kanata’s forest castle, they’re greeted by an entranceway that’s littered with dozens of different flags. The idea of this singular flag works well to remind you of this location in the film.
Here’s the back of the Forest Castle section. There’s nothing too interesting to see here, save for a few play features.
The first play feature is kinda lame, just the doors opening by pulling them apart. It doesn’t really add much to the set and could be completely be done away with. No idea what the designers were thinking here. Who gets excited about opening and closing doors that they had to devote so many pieces to achieve this bit of playability?
There’s also a black bit of brick that sticks out below the door. It’s a button that activates another play feature in the front. Pushing the button in forcefully causes…
An explosion of black studs. What. The?
If you thought opening and closing doors was fun, wait till you see this sneaky pit of black studs popping and scattering all over the entrance. Again, this is yet another questionable play feature. I’m not too sure what this is supposed to be – some sort of booby trap? Simulation of debris?
It’s lame and absolutely mind-boggling.
The next play feature involves this cunningly hidden crate that’s embedded into the wall.
Tada! The crate pops out when you turn a lever! Compared to the first two play features, this is an absolute riot. It’s not the worst play feature to be baked into a LEGO set, but I can appreciate that it’s hidden quite well and has SOME relation to The Force Awakens.
This is supposed to be the crate that contains Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber…so yeah, there’s some connection to the movie at the very least.
The other side of the wall contains two of the major play features of the set. By twisting the tan Technic wheel and activating the complex gear system, you can topple the wall’s top sections to come crashing down over unsuspecting individuals. The second play feature is activated by just twisting the Technic lever to send the tree crashing down.
Here’s how they look in action.
The falling wall section is kind of awkward, cause you have to twist the Technic gear in opposing directions to topple both wall pieces. It works well, although I’m not a fan of the wobbly wall bits when the play feature isn’t in use. They tend to pop out with the lightest touch, especially when moving the set around.
This is my favourite play feature, mostly because who doesn’t like to send the tree crashing down on unsuspecting Stormtroopers. I obviously added the ice cream and coffee cup in for comedic purposes..
Maz is in the background because I think that this particular play feature was supposed to tie into her supposed force-sensitiveness. Obviously, Maz Kanata didn’t exhibit any sorts of Force abilities in the movie, but I personally think that she was supposed to show off some Force powers when her forest castle was under attack. The falling tree mechanism just seems to point towards that theory.
What I liked:
- 5 great Star Wars minifigures
- Plenty of useful parts used in the build
- Cheapest way to get Kylo Ren and Finn
What I didn’t like:
- Questionable play features
- Expensive price tag
- Bland design
Final thoughts: Battle on Takodana was quite a tricky set to review, mostly because I’m quite torn about it. I bought this set mostly for the minifigs, of which I’m extremely happy about.
In today’s LEGO landscape, minifigures are the currency of value and this set actually scores decently if you look at it that way. Just to give you an example, at the time of writing, the average price on Bricklink for all 5 minifigs comes up to about AU$82.
The minifigure selection is incredibly strong, and I do have to argue that it kind of balances out the argument over the perceived value of this set. With 5 desirable minifigures in this set, including two who have been previously gated in large expensive sets, I will not be surprised if Battle of Takodana becomes one of the most popular The Force Awakens sets this year.
That said, the set kind of unravels if you look at it as a whole package. The design of the forest castle is bland and unimaginative to say the least. You’re really only looking at a door and a wall section with a questionable visual identity. From afar, it’s small and just looks like a bunch of tan and dark grey bricks hastily stacked on one another.
The play features are kiddy and apart from the tree, adds little to the overall experience of the set. It almost feels like you need 2 of these sets to combine them together to achieve a more respectable forest castle look.
This of course is compounded by the set’s expensive AU$90 price tag. Minifig-value aside, it just does not feel like a AU$90 set at all thanks to the unremarkable and diminutive model. If you already own the Millennium Falcon and Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle, you’re much better off just purchasing the Maz Kanata minifigure off Bricklink.
If you don’t own the Falcon and Command Shuttle, this set becomes a lot more appealing, which is why I can’t quite fully lambaste this set as I fall into that category.
There is also a nice consolation, that despite it being a relatively ugly and visually unappealing set, you can at least salvage the set for useful LEGO parts. The dark tan and grey elements that make most of the set are almost always in demand for MOC builders thanks to their versatility and usefulness if you’re looking to build structures or terrain.
If you can get this set during a 20% off (or more) sale, the tone of this review rapidly changes as it feels much more worthy of a $70 price tag. As it stands, I’m going to have to give this set a score of 3/5, with the minifigures weighing heavily towards how much I like it. If I had owned the Millennium Falcon and Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle, this set would’ve gotten a 2/5.
Thanks again for reading this review! Hope you got something out of it. If you own this set, let me know what you thought of this set in the comments. Is it worth the relatively high pricetag?
Going to be taking a break from Star Wars reviews after this! Look out for a theme that I haven’t reviewed for a long long in my next one. Peace!