The LEGO 75159 Death Star is almost a carbon copy of its predecessor

In what must’ve been the worst kept secret ever, LEGO have finally revealed 75159 Death Star for 2016. And boy, is being underwhelmed the understatement of the century.

When photos of the 2016 Death Star first started leaking onto the internet, I was pretty confident that it was an elaborate hoax. I though that there is absolutely no way that LEGO would re-release a set that has barely been retired for a year.

It looked like the old Death Star, just with a few new minifigures and minor cosmetic changes. Turns out, the joke was on me and everyone else. 

Check out the individual product pages below:

LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Box LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Box Back

LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Minifigures

For all intents and purposes, it’s the exact same model as 10188 Death Star, just with a few new updates. LEGO are positioning this set as being an updated version of the 2008 with a few improvements incorporated by LEGO designers. So what’s new? LEGO have added over 200 bricks and elements as well as 3 new minifigures. 

LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Front View LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Back

LEGO are also confident that the 2016 version offers a great building experience for fans of the original, or those new to the LEGO Star Wars universe. Strangely, there was a short line included in the communications sent out that “This is not an indication of any future re-releases or set updates”. Make of that what you will.

As you may have guessed, the LEGO Death Star’s price has gone up slightly and it will cost US$499.99, CA $599.99 and UK £399.99. Not cool. I don’t think that an extra 200 pieces and 3 new minifigs warrant such a price bump.

Update: The Australian price for 75159 UCS Death Star is AU$799.99. 

The release date for the 2016 Death Star is 30 September and it will be available via and in official LEGO stores as per usual. LEGO VIP members get early access to the set on 15 September. 

Here’s some official information from the press release:

  • Includes 23 minifigures: Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Imperial Navy Officer, Imperial Officer, 2 Stormtroopers, 2 Death Star Troopers, 2 Emperor’s Royal Guards, 2 Death Star Gunners, Death Star Droid, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO, Han Solo, Han Solo (disguise), Luke Skywalker (Tatooine), Luke Skywalker (disguise) and Luke Skywalker (final duel), plus R2-D2, an Imperial Astromech and a Dianoga trash compactor monster.
  • Features a superlaser control room, Imperial conference chamber, hangar bay with moving launch rack and detachable TIE Advanced with space for Lord Vader inside, Emperor Palpatine’s throne room, Droid maintenance room, detention block, trash compactor, tractor beam, cargo area, turbo laser with spring-loaded shooters and seats for the 2 Death Star gunners, and 2 movable turbo laser towers.
  • Weapons include 3 Lightsabers, 4 blasters, 3 blaster pistols, 4 blaster rifles, 2 force pikes, 2 Force Lightning elements and a bowcaster.
  • Load up and fire the turbo laser’s spring-loaded shooters to keep the rebels at bay.
  • Maneuver Lord Vader’s TIE Advanced into position and prepare for launch.
  • Battle the Royal Guard in the throne room and then take on Palpatine himself!
  • Help Leia escape from the detention block and swing to safety with Luke across the chasm!
  • Will Obi-Wan shut down the tractor beam and help the rebels defeat the Empire?
  • Can you spot the Dianoga trash compactor monster?
  • Recreate other unforgettable scenes from the classic Star Wars films.
  • The perfect addition to any LEGO® Star Wars collection.
  • This set offers an age-appropriate building experience for ages 14 and over.
  • Measures over 16” (41cm) high, and 16” (42cm) wide.


LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Superlaser

Okay, I’ll try and dial down the negativity and be a little objective:

Why 75159 Death Star is a good idea

  • For LEGO and Star Wars fans who missed out on 10188, it provides another opportunity to get ahold of the set.
  • Speculators and LEGO investors who have been hoarding boxes of 10188 are effectively screwed as they will have trouble moving their inventory
  • The updated minifigures are pretty cool. The minifigs on 10188 were a little dated.
  • 10188 is considered a classic LEGO Star Wars set and is well-liked by fans. An upgrade should therefore be good
  • LEGO Star Wars fans will have more money to spend on Rogue One sets as you can completely skip out on this and Assault on Hoth

LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Conference Chamber LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Chewie in Chains

Why 75159 Death Star is a terrible idea

  • It’s just lazy. Structurally, it doesn’t look like much has changed.
  • It brings nothing really new to the table.
  • 2016 will forever be known as the worst year for Star Wars UCS
  • It still has a very blocky dated design. Some added curves would’ve been nice
  • No tie-in to Rogue One
  • The price increase
  • Another wasted UCS slot
  • Two UCS “playsets” in a year
  • The new minifigures aren’t even that exciting

LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Leia Interrogation

Anyway, there you have it. Very, very disappointing on LEGO’s part – and I’m not even the biggest LEGO Star Wars fan. This just made me go “meh”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to re-releases, in fact, I welcome them when done for the right reasons such as to address scarcity issues – I loved 10249 Winter Toy Shop despite owning the original. I just feel that a set that has barely been retired for a year warranted such a quick re-release.

Even if they HAD to, I would’ve liked to have seen a lot more improvements and changes, so much so that when you put these two sets by side, you can at least tell that they’re different versions.

LEGO 75159 - UCS Death Star

2016 has been a cruel year with so many celebrities dying. I think it’s fair to say that 2016 has killed the pedigree and reputation of the Star Wars UCS label. I don’t know what’s in store after this, but LEGO have a LOT to make up for in 2017 for LEGO Star Wars UCS fans.

Let me know in the comments how you feel about this set! There are more photos below as well for you to check the set out in more detail!

LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Throne Room Battle

LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Obi Wan Being Shady LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Darth Vader's TIE Advanced LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Cannon LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Turbolasers LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Trash Compactor LEGO 75159 UCS Death Star - Throne Room Battle

53 responses to “The LEGO 75159 Death Star is almost a carbon copy of its predecessor”

  1. Old Ben says:

    In my world luck doesn’t exist

  2. Old Ben says:

    In my world luck doesn’t exist

  3. Cotton Whiteford says:

    I guess the it’s a little disappointing that they barely added anything new, but the mini figure changes are completely necessary, as they look much improved.

  4. Owen says:

    Got this set for 600 Aussie dollars 25% off

  5. Bren says:

    Just picked this set up; had previously looked at the prices of the regional set just prior to the update/rerelease – way too pricey. The rerelease coupled with a built Death Star model in the windows of my nearest official Lego store finally convinced me to shell out (that and rewatching Rogue One again). Whilst the set is precey, it’s still cheaper than buying the original set second hand would have been (doubly so for an unopened original set).

    I appreciate that owners Of the original set are taking issue with the value of the new set and he price increase in particular. For this first time owner though, this is a great model that promises many hours of build pleasure. Pricey? Yes, but in for a penny in for a pound. Paid full whack for the Force Awakens Falcon last year and loved every minute of building that.

    I’m not qualified to argue if the set merits the UCS badge (the Death Star doesn’t look as film authentic as say the new Snowspeeder or Slave 1), but for this first time owner, I’m good.

    Appreciate the review/overview regardless!

    • Jay says:

      Hey Ben, glad you had a great experience with this set! It’s definitely good value for those who are new to Star Wars and the small updates are also really nice that befit a modern set.

      I think it definitely merits the UCS Badge, unlike Assault on Hoth!

  6. dane says:

    Lepin third of the price !

    Lego is a rip off !!

  7. Eric says:

    I bought the previous Death Star just before it was retired and still havent opened it. Should I try selling it to buy this one?

    • Jay says:

      It depends if you can get a good price. What I’ve noticed on a lot of LEGO marketplaces is that people are trying hard to sell the older version. But given that the new one is actually the superior version, it’s probably going to be challenging to get a good price for the original.

      Only hardcore collectors are going to want the original, but most hardcore collectors would already have it.

      I would definitely try selling it to buy the new one if you can!

  8. Ebren says:

    I own the old Death Star, so I won’t buy this one, but I hope that Lego Will release the : “10188 to 75159 Update Set”.

    Mmm ? What do you mean by : “You’re dreaming” ?

  9. Jaime says:

    I’m glad they released this set again but they should have been honest they were simply doing an update. Many collectors were expecting something totally new. I had the old one but sold it and regretted it. Now I was able to get the new one with updated mini figures. It looks awesome in my Lego Room with my other UCS sets. I have around 340 sets and I consider it kinda the crown next to my Disney Castle and Helicarrier.

    Just like with the earlier release of the Hoth “UCS” set, I recommend this if you are either a completist or need a Death Star. It seems Lego is allowing us newer collectors to play catch up with the older collectors. A smart move to keep the longevity of their brand going by making popular sets acceptable. 200-500 bucks is much better than 600 or 800 or 5000 in some cases.

    • Jay says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yeah, it’s definitely still an awesome set, and it looked like you lucked out as you now have the newer version with the nicer minifigs.

  10. VaderFan2187 says:

    Thanks Jay for this review. I personally like this a lot, as the minifigures are more detailed than 10188. I get the price bump for y’all is terrible, but where I live it is still $899.99: same as 10188!!! That, in my opinion, makes this better than 10188.

  11. Ben says:

    Thanks for the review Jay. I appreciate your comments and as an owner of the original 10188 set, my first reaction to this set was very similar to yours. Thanks for your insights and confirming my initial concerns. I will also agree that if you don’t have the 10188 set, then this is definitely worth consideration.

  12. Svetlana says:

    Great article. Thanks a lot.

  13. Spiritfire says:

    When you wrote: “so much so that when you put these two sets by side, you can at least tell that they’re different versions.”
    I was hoping to scroll down to see an image from the 10188 set.

  14. Cobbles says:

    Really was looking forward to this as I only recently got into Lego and missed the previous one, but au$800 is outrageous, there’s no way I can justify spending that on a single set. Really disappointed.

    • Jay says:

      Fingers crossed we get this at a retailer known for discounting sets. It’s very dear, and probably only aimed at the top tier of Star Wars fans.

  15. Roy Leung says:

    Disappointed but also excited, so that I can own a brand new Death Star in a lower price, cuz I missed the original one. Actually I thought the 2016 version of Death star could be like 10143. Anyway I will get one.

  16. Andy says:

    I didn’t own the original, but wanted one ( desperately ),
    They took it away before i could save up the cash, i like that the minifigs have been updated to current standards,
    and thanks to target having no ewok village this year, i still have $500 left over from the toy sales, and look forward to owning this set soon.
    I was hoping Lego would release a mega sized frame for the death star, and you could purchase and insert the rooms separately, like the death star final duel set.
    I understand the frustration with the UCS branding, but if you are spending $300 -$800 or more on a toy, then surely you would treat it more like a collectable.
    My red five X-wing that i haven’t opened yet doesn’t have a UCS label on it, but almost everyone says it is a UCS set,
    Seriously it’s just a little gold badge on the side of a box, Lego are not trying to ruin your life by putting it on their boxes.
    I am loving Lego at the moment, but the pricing this year seems to be offering less value for money.

    • Jay says:

      Ah cool, I’m glad that you’re looking forward to the set. Hopefully it comes to a retailer who discounts it at a good price with a decent amount of stock. When Big W used to stock the old one, it was nearly impossible to get ahold off as they seemed to always be out of stock.

      You raise a good point about that little gold badge, but to collectors, these things seem to matter the most. I just think that LEGO are slapping it on every “exclusive” Star Wars sets so that there’s no ambiguity any more about what constitutes an UCS set.

  17. Icepacklady says:

    I didn’t get the first one and was interested in this set coming out until I saw the price tag. No thanks.

  18. Nick says:

    Interesting article!
    Of particular interest is that you found both the three additional minifigures both “pretty cool” and “aren’t even that exciting”.

    Thanks for such a comprehensive review.

    • Jay says:

      Hey Nick, I meant that the updated minifigures are really nice looking. I really like Han’s new hairpiece and Leia’s minifig. The new minifigures like that blue astromech droid are kinda meh.

  19. Dan says:

    LEGO has done a brilliant job in 2016 of destroying the prestige and reputation of the regarded star wars UCS line. UCS Hoth is trash with a golden badge for $399 & a copy paste UCS Death Star that actually tops that turd Hoth set with a stand here bend over please price of at least $749.99.

    Surely TLG can not screw up the 2017 UCS Snowspeeder which is hopefully followed by something mega for the 40th Anniversary.

    • Jay says:

      To be fair, I don’t think the Death Star is a bad set. It’s just released so close to the original being retired that’s a little disappointing.

      With how LEGO Star Wars UCS has been going, I’d really not get my expectations up – especially with these UCS Falcon rumours floating about.

  20. Kay says:

    I can understand the frustration as UCS is the only theme that some AFOLs collect and look forward to. That is now two wasted quota for 2016.

    My only hope is that 2017 will bring the UCS snow speeder and the much anticipated re-release or update of UCS MF.

    As I collect multiple themes, I’m not too fussed with 2016 since there is already plenty of great sets doing damage to my wallet. The Disney castle, Big Ben and GBHQ plus I am still catching up on old UCS and modulars.

    • Jay says:

      Yup, you nailed the overall sentiment with UCS this year. Not a single display-centric set which is a little sad for fans who aren’t into playsets.

      LEGO have a LOT to make up for to Star Wars fans in 2017!

  21. Warmongurl says:

    Star Wars Legos are the main theme that I collect. I was so disappointed to see that this set is basically a repeat of the recently retired one. I knew a new UCS Death Star was on the horizon, but I was hoping for another display model like the Death Star II that came out in 2005 or a Starkiller base. My Lego dark age of only sporadic set collecting ended last year. Since then I’ve added multiple UCS Star Wars sets to my collection, like Slave I, really my dream UCS set. I was looking forward to more UCS sets this year, but all we got was a cobbled together Hoth set and now this repeat.

    Ah well, you did make me laugh in your post, pointing out that now I have more money to spend on Rogue Squadron sets. Always a bright side! 🙂

    • Jay says:

      I’m so sorry 🙁 A lot of Star Wars fans are up in arms over this and I totally understand why.

      Oh well, hope 2017 is a lot better! And we finally get a new AT-ST, so it’s not ALL bad!

  22. Mark says:

    Best comment I saw on Eurobricks…”UCS Death Star: Attack of the Clones”. As a fan of the original trilogy it pretty much sums up my feelings towards this set. I can’t wait to see the designer video, for all the wrong reasons. On the plus side of this year’s Star Wars UCS dissapointment I can now consider sets like Porsche GT3 RS, Ghostbusters HQ and Disney Castle.

  23. Adele says:

    I have the old set so ill just add the lego minifigures to my “to get” list.

  24. Matt Merrill says:

    Wow, thanks, Lego…the price of the original was prohibitive, this has set the likelihood of me ever owning it straight up there with me walking on the moon. I would have loved to see some Death Star scene sets like the throne room or trash compactor done the same as the Carbon Freezing Chamber, designed for display at a reasonable price. Even if I could afford it, I’d never find room for this colossal overpriced monstrosity!

    • Jay says:

      Yeah, pretty pricey, but as an owner of the original, it’s still a really great set. Some room updates would’ve been nice too and I just wish that the “improvements” were a lot more substantial.

  25. Monty says:

    At the end of the day, this is an AWESOME play set and Lego had it for over 8 years, so obviously a set in demand by people and it did need an update. So updating a play set of this calibre is really awesome of Lego and Lego should not, I think, be dissuaded from updating popular sets that people want.

    However,as an AFOL I was hoping for something more akin to a modern 10143. Two play sets and no display UCS in one year is, I will agree very disappointing for those of us who look forward to the engineering marvel of really awesome SW UCS sets. Large play sets are great, but need differentiating from UCS sets I think.

    Apparently I read somewhere that in 2014 Lego made a public announcement that the UCS tag would be used for ALL exclusive sets – but I cannot find that statement. Shall search, but if that is true, then these sets, while still disappointing from an AFOL perspective make a little more sense.

    • Jay says:

      Yup, no denying that this is a great set. I have the original and I’m very fond of it.

      Unfortunately, I just wish that they’d put in more effort into giving it a new look and not make it look like an exact clone.

  26. Michael says:

    I hate the blockiness of it – always have. I can’t believe they didn’t just cheese slope it up to give it some curves.

    I also really wanted a shell. I know Megabloks are the enemy, but seriously – this is how you do a collector’s edition –

    Very disappointed, and that’s even before we get to price! Do we have an AU price yet? I’m tipping over$800.

    • Jay says:

      Yeah, it’s not a bad model…but I just wish they had put in more effort so it didn’t look like a complete clone.

      Just got the Aussie price, it’s $799.99!

  27. Duncan says:

    I was planning to get this copy, since I don’t own the first one, but the 100 dollar price jump scared me. My mom would never allow me to buy such an expensive set.

    • Jay says:

      Well, hopefully this one will be a long for a long, long time, so you can take your time to save up for one. It’s still a great set and if you don’t have the original one, still a must-buy for any Star Wars fan!

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