LEGO 75243 Slave I – 20th Anniversary Edition [Review]

Star Wars is one of the flagship themes that has kept LEGO fans on their toes every single year since its first appearance in 1999, and there seems to be no end to it. 2019 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Star Wars joining the LEGO lineup. In celebration, the latest wave of sets feature nostalgic packaging and some unique exclusives to commemorate the early years of LEGO’s best-selling license. Today we’re taking a hands-on look at the largest set, 75243 Slave I – 20th Anniversary Edition , which comes in at 1,007 pieces and is available starting April 1 for $119.99 US | 159.99 CAD | 109.99 UK .

The Box, Packaging, and Instructions
The box is impressive and comes with a fresh ‘old’ look. It really brings back the old classic look and feel of the Classic Star Wars Trilogy.
Two silver lines extend out from the main Star Wars Logo to wrap around the edges of the box, which is a very similar retro look to the old Star Wars 3.75 inch Kenner-issued action figures.

On the top right of the box is an updated, monochrome version of the classic LEGO Star Wars logo, now in pseudo-metallic silver.
Two other designs on the box stand out. The front features a highlight of the set’s exclusive Princess Leia re-issued minifigure. On the back, there’s a throwback to the first 7144 Slave 1 release from 2000.

The set comes with 8 similar-sized bags and an instruction booklet with the sticker insert.

The instruction booklet has an additional few pages to describe the history of the LEGO Star Wars collaboration and a nod to the previous Slave 1 sets. The first fold is an introduction to the anniversary sets. The second fold reveals the first Slave 1 released in 2000 with a comparison to the current set.
The highlights of the 20th Anniversary Edition mentions 3 key aspects that are new to this design:

Extra Playability – Slave’s 1’s flight mode incorporates a handle for maximum ‘swoosh’

New Feature – Spring-loaded shooters are triggered from the base when in flight mode

Updated Design – A more screen-accurate design, with far more pieces and a new sloped brick developed just for this model

We will explore these features in the review as we go along.

The third fold showcases the 4 other sets that are part of the 20th Anniversary series, while the fourth fold shows a few key film scenes, including a large image of the ship on the Cloud City landing platform as carbonite-frozen Han is loaded into the cargo bay.
The sticker looks a little sparse (a good thing indeed), to the point that it almost seems unnecessary.
The Build
Bag one consists of the parts for the base frame of the Slave 1. Consisting of large elements, a quick build around the structure is up first. Bag 1 also contains 2 minifigures, the pre-frozen Han Solo and Boba Fett. We’ll come to the minifigures a little later.

Technic Liftarms are also strategically placed for stability and strength, which will basically hold the structure of the entire build. Laying out the plates reminds me of the silhouette of a midi-sized Millennium Falcon.
But once the familiar dark reds are placed strategically at the edges, the outline of the Slave one starts to takes shape. Bag two builds another layer above. We get to see a little more of the bulk and curves that shape the Slave 1.

A smaller part is constructed to be the bow (or front–at least when landed) of the ship and eventually attached to the main body.

Once the pieces are attached, a more distinct outline of the ship comes alive to give a good indication of the eventual footprint and scale of the Slave 1
Bag 3 focuses on the underside of the ship, which starts out with a flat and unfinished look.

Detailing and add-ons for the thrusters and jets give the ship a little more life. The large Technic liftarm that goes down the middle is actually a handlebar that slots out for a grip of the Slave 1 for better play handling.
Bag 4 is where the buildup of the cockpit area takes place. Further layering to give the body a little more shaping is added while a myriad of Technic liftarms are put in place for the eventual connections of the cockpit section.

The cargo section is covered with a door which lifts up and down. This is the space where the precious cargo of frozen Han Solo will be held.

The fifth bag starts with the construction of the vertical cockpit beam.

A little asymmetrical layering with the sand green and dark green slopes clads the internal structure, giving the exterior its characteristic weathered look.
The cockpit beam is finally attached to the lift arms and this point, and the build is quite sturdy and strong enough to be lifted just by the beam. I had to smile a little as I lifted it and it really reminded me of a clothing iron of sorts.
Bag 6, contains the build for skinning the cockpit beam that covers up the currently exposed internals. Once the skins are placed on, the only remaining builds in this bag are the twin-blaster cannons.

Bag 7 consists of the engine section built with large earth green coloured 6x6x2 round arch bricks, which have been used in almost every other Slave 1 build including the massive UCS 70560 Slave I .

The inner structure of the wings is also then constructed and fitted to both sides of the ship. Some texturing is done using the 1×2 grilles

Bag 8, besides having the final parts that need to complete the Slave 1, holds the rest of the mini figures: 4-LOM, Zuckuss and the special throwback Leia. The build consists of the wing extension and detailing of the repulsor lifts and the front of the cockpit.

Placing these final pieces and securing the transparent cockpit cover completes the Slave 1. But in case you haven’t noticed, there’s something that’s missing – the stickers! I left them off during the construction, just to see what the completed build would look like without the stickers. Honestly, it didn’t look like anything was amiss!