LEGO Star Wars fans are in for a treat in 2023, with two new LEGO Star Wars dioramas introduced as part of the Return of the Jedi 40th Anniversary celebrations, and ahead of Star Wars Day 2023, we’re going to take a look at 75352 Emperor’s Throne Room.
75352 Emperor’s Throne Room will be released on 1 May 2023, and features the climax of Return of the Jedi (and Original Trilogy), where Luke Skywalker confronts Emperor Palpatine, gets zapped and turns Darth Vader over to the Light Side of the force.
It’s a brilliant scene, and culmination of Luke (and Anakin’s!) journey, and so a diorama format paying homage to it seems like such an obvious choice, and is in my opinion, one of the best LEGO Star Wars sets that you can get your hands on for Star Wars Day 2023.
Let’s jump the review to take a closer look at 75352 Emperor’s Throne Room!
Who is this set for? LEGO Star Wars and Return of the Jedi fans who want an excellent display diorama model and enjoy interesting build techniques. Also for fans who want to get their hands on the brand new Luke Skywalker wig.
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set over for review.
75352 Emperor’s Throne Room Diorama Set Details
Set Name: Emperor’s Throne Room Diorama
Set number: 75352
Pieces: 807 pieces
Price: US$99.99 / AU$159.99 / £89.99 / €99.99 / CAD$129.99
Minifigures: 3 (Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine
Theme: Star Wars
Release Date: 1 May 2023
Set Designer: Jackson Hughes
There are a few “good omens” in LEGO, and nothing is as pleasant as opening a set and discovering that there is no sticker sheet. You already know you’re off to a good start when you know that there’s all printed elements in the set.
Here’s a look at the the instructions manual, which has the all-white stark design. At least there’s some black graphics at the bottom, but it’s still very plain, clinical and uninviting.
There’s a foreword and introduction by LEGO Star Wars Creative Director, Jens Kronvold Frederiksen and some information on the scene, set and features of the set. Star Wars fans will get a kick out of the old stills and reference imagery in the manual, and evoke some great nostalgic feelings.
75352 Emperor’s Throne Room Diorama Minifigures
The set comes with 3 minifigures, and there’s no filler here. You get Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and Luke Skywalker – the most recent and fully-detailed versions of each.
No complaints about the minifigure selection here, as it’s everyone that was present at the climax of Return of the Jedi, but it’s a little on the low side for a US$99.99 set, and it would’ve been really nice if LEGO had included 2 Royal Guards, which would’ve made this an absolutely well-priced set.
Here’s a look at the Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. Vader is unchanged from his latest outing in 75347 TIE Bomber, but we get a new Palpatine minifigure with some interesting design changes.
Palps has sallow tan skin, and features yellow eyes which look a little weird as they lack his black pupils, so he kinda looks spaced out here.
Zap away, Sheev!
Vader on the other hand, is near-perfect. I don’t own the TIE Bomber set, so was incredibly excited to get my hands on this version, which has really sharp printing on his torso, where the buttons and lights are really prominent, and I also like the arm printing.
Next for LEGO – side leg printing for the perfect Darth Vader minifigure!
The big drawcard of the set is Luke Skywalker, who comes with a brand new wig that is a much better fit for his flatter Return of the Jedi hairstyle. Luke’s a Jedi Master in ROTJ, and I just LOVE his black outfit, and green lightsaber – as a kid, this was such an iconic and heroic look that’s seared “hero imagery” into my brain.
With the 40th Anniversary of ROTJ, it seems like the perfect time to update Luke’s hairstyle, and I’m a big fan of the new mould, and the textures.
Here’s a look at Luke’s back printing, and alternate expression, which has a more serious face.
Here’s a side by side comparison with an older ROTJ Luke, from and 2016 Star Wars Advent Calendar and also 75291 Death Star Final Duel to really illustrate just how big of an improvement the new wig is.
If you’re a long-time LEGO Star Wars fan, it can feel a little disorientating as we’ve all gotten so used to the older style, but it grows on you really quickly.
Here’s a look at the completed model, depicting Emperor Palpatine’s throne room. It’s a great perspective to stage the diorama, and while it has a basic silhouette, contains many hidden and clever techniques to bring the design to life.
It nails the key hallmarks of LEGO Star Wars – lightsabers and plenty of grey!
The angled wall section, circular window serves as great backdrop for the epic duel between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, as Emperor Palpatine watches on.
Here’s a look at the diorama from above. The diorama is pretty simple, with Palpatine’s Throne Room which rests on a raised platform, with steps leading up to it. Otherwise the floor is pretty plain, with a few studs placed in strategic locations to aid minifigure placement.
In keeping with the format of the LEGO Star Wars Diorama Collection, you get a printed LEGO Star Wars tile, and a quote tile, featuring Luke Skywalker’s “I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”, which is a great choice for this diorama.
On each corner are these control stations, which look great, and also serve to provide some visual points of interest on the otherwise flat platform.
The focal point of the Emperor Throne Room diorama is the Emperor’s throne itself, which is framed beautifully by the elaborate window, and wall around it.
Here’s a look at his chair, which has some regal purple upholstery that also swivels around for unmatched views.
The construction of the window was mesmerising, and really interesting, using 2 rings of Technic tubes, that the smaller grey windows are attached to in a ring.
The central window makes use of a printed 10 x 10 dish, which is also lovely, and I hope to see this being used again in larger designs and sets.
It looks mighty fine from the back, and the effect works really well, so that it both looks good when viewed from the back and front.
For fans of novel building techniques, this entire section will be a highlight, and I also enjoyed the clever geometry employed here, and all the fun angles and corners.
Wonder where Emperor Palpatine stores his Force Lightning bolts when not in use? Underneath the stairs, of course!
It’s a cheap party trick that comes in handy whenever pesky Jedi Masters show up announced!
A LEGO Star Wars Diorama often comes down to how good it looks on display, and how well you can set up the minifigures or elements in it, to re-enact your favourite moments from the scene(?) its based on.
I had a blast re-creating some of my favourite shots from ROTJ with the minifigures!
What I liked:
- An incredibly good-looking self-contained model that will look great on display
- Pays homage to a pivotal ROTJ moment
- Great building techniques for the window and walls
- New Luke wig greatly enhances his minifigure
- All printed elements
What I didn’t like:
- Is on the expensive side at full price
- Some Royal Guards would’ve been nice to offset the price
- Not a fan of Palpatine’s yellow pupils and prefer the old style
75352 Emperor’s Throne Room is an incredibly well-designed model that’s an excellent addition to the LEGO Star Wars Diorama Collection.
I can’t think of a more suitable Return of the Jedi scene that deserves the diorama treatment, and with 3 really great minifigures in the Emperor, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, you have everything you need to bring your favourite shots from the ROTJ third act to life.
Luke Skywalker’s new more accurate minifigure is a big draw, and for fans who might not buy every LEGO Star Wars set released, it’s really handy to get Luke, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader all in one set.
The build was engaging, and breezy, with some interesting segments and design techniques that should make for a fun experience, both for new and longtime LEGO Star Wars fans.
The window in particular, is a lot of fun to put together, and commands your eye visually when you look at it.
Alas, despite a really tight design and plenty of display value, the set does fall prey to a relatively high pricetag. At US$99.99, and with only 3 minifigures, it feels quite barebones, and suffers heavily from the Star Wars and adults tax.
Some Royal Guard minifigures could offset the price, and it’s apparent just how much of a premium LEGO are expecting with this set, when you compare it against 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol, another Diorama set, which is only 50% more expensive, but packs so much more in terms of size, features and minifigures.
It’s not a bad set per se, and Return of the Jedi fans will absolutely adore building and displaying it, but the at full price, it may be an impediment to fans on more restrictive budgets.
That said, with Double VIP Points, a decent GWP (gift with purchase), and a couple of extra bonuses for May the 4th 2023, it should be enough to sway fans to part with the US$99.99 / AU$159.99 asking price.
That, or wait for a sale.
Build  – Fun build with some really interesting techniques and solutions to bring the Emperor’s window to life.
Real Value  – Really quite expensive even for a Star Wars set.
Innovation  – Doesn’t really reinvent the wheel, but the build techniques used push the design envelope somewhat
Coolness  – A superb celebration of the climax of Return of the Jedi
Keepability  – Goes great with other dioramas, or as a standalone model.
Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰
Thanks for reading this review of 75352 Emperor’s Throne Room! I’ll be checking out 75353 Endor Speeder Chase next, and Vaderfan will be reviewing the 2023 UCS X-Wing Starfighter, so keep an eye out for an entire week devoted to LEGO Star Wars, as we approach May the 4th!
What do you think of 75352 Emperor’s Throne Room design, and is it worth the asking price?
75352 Emperor’s Throne Room and a whole slew of LEGO Star Wars sets go on sale on 1 May 2023 from LEGO.com. Be sure to check out all the 2023 May the 4th promos and releases to plan ahead.
If you plan on purchasing 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol please consider using the affiliate links found in the post to support the blog, as I may receive a small commission with each purchase.
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John Hood says
I’ll be ordering this and the Executor Super Star Destroyer set during the May the Fourth event!