Emperor Palpatine's Shuttle
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
The Theta-class shuttle is a small interstellar personnel transport, typically used by Republic government officials for quick hops between star systems when a larger ship would be cumbersome and/or impractical for their needs. It has a standard crew of five, with a mass limit of 50 tons for cargo, or seating for 16 passengers, with enough consumables to last all aboard for two standard months in an emergency. As discrepancy is a primary factor, it is lightly armed and armored- only two forward-facing quad-barrel blasters and one getaway blaster in back- but the stabilizer wings are filled with powerful deflector shield generators to keep the diplomats inside safe from harm whether in flight or on the ground. To provide this extra shielding coverage, the Theta-class's wings will fold diagonally in flight for overall protection, while they will retract upwards to double the coverage when on the ground. Years later, the Theta-class would be succeeded by the Lambda-class lightweight shuttle, also designed by Sinear Fleet Systems.
This particular shuttle, variant T-2c, has been modified for exclusive use by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. The highly-respected Warthan’s Wizards made changes to include unique, specialized, and even covert equipment including an advanced communications system, and sensor ghost projectors which hide what is inside. Palpatine would often send the T-2c to transport other persons of interest or even him secretly across the galaxy. Additionally, during the Clone Wars, because of his status as leader of the Republic, the Chancellor's shuttle was often escorted by Nimbus-class V-wing starfighters.
One notable journey in this shuttle took place the day after the Clone Wars ended, where now-Emperor Palpatine travel to Mustafar to recover his loyal right-hand man, Darth Vader, who was severely injured during an extended lightsaber battle against one of the last of the traitorous Jedi Knights.
Both landing skids can be extended & retracted manually. It will balance just fine when the wings are raised; no display stand is provided or needed.
Both wings can be lowered & raised manually.
The single aft blaster can swing side-to-side and also turned upwards for 180-degrees of coverage both horizontally and vertically.
The cockpit canopy can be raised, and the Clone Pilot placed into the seat.
A pair of latches in front and back holds the roof in place.
There are two seats provided for minifigs, though the Medical Droid cannot be seated in either one. (There is enough room inside to have the droid stand upright when the roof is reattached if you want to.) Between the seats are two parts that can stow the provided red-blade lightsabers.
Battle-damaged Darth Vader can be placed on the bio bed, and his helmet placed into the rubber grip at the back of the cabin. Then when the poles extended from the back of the shuttle are pressed inwards, Darth Vader’s helmet will be placed over his head!
Battle-damage Darth Vader
One year ago, I e-mailed LEGO to congratulate them on their fantastic work on both the then-debuting Power Miners line and retiring Exo-Force line. Per a long-standing company policy, non-employees are not allowed to submit designs to be made into official LEGO sets; this to prevent people from claiming they ‘stole’ their ideas. Nevertheless, in that same message, I “suggested” that I’d like to see some other Star Wars ships made into sets (and more-or-less begged them to reissue the Ultimate Collector’s Series Imperial Star Destroyer).
"...One that I would like to see in the future is the Theta-class tri-wing shuttle seen for a few moments in "Star Wars Episode III- Revenge of the Sith"- the one that transported a beaten Anakin Skywalker to Coruscant, where he dons the black Darth Vader suit. I imagine the minifig-scaled set having wings that are geared together in a similar fashion like those on the Imperial Landing Craft (#6759), preferably retractable landing gear, and including Anakin on a stretcher (missing an arm?), Emperor Palpatine, one-or-two Clone Troopers, and a Pilot..."
And part of the response I got was--
Well, actually I can’t seem to find it. Dammit. Anyways, it was a very generic “Thank you for your interest!”-type response I got back, but they did hint that I should watch the line closely in the future... And sure enough, a few months later this set was announced! Problem solved.
Like most LEGO Star Wars sets, this one is also designed primarily around working with minifigs, so proportions are usually off. In this case, the wings are about one-third smaller than they should be, and the landing skid struts are about two-thirds smaller. Oh, and those helmet-attaching shafts in back aren’t there either. (I won’t get into minor surface details and shapes because, obviously, these cannot be recreated entirely due to the parts they used.) But, all around, I am not disappointed at all in this set!
There are three things that bug me, though. The first is that the wings are not geared together like most movable-wing Star Wars sets are nowadays. Booooo! The second is that I was not expecting the Coruscant-emergency-room scene recreated here because they’d already done that with the [bare-bones] #7251 – Darth Vader Transformation set (which I didn’t get because it was too simple). Put Vader on a stretcher, throw in a few guard Clone Troopers, a Palpatine, a Pilot, and call it good. But, noooooo- they had to waste another set on something that no one bought the first time around! (For as important as that scene was, Set 7251 warmed the shelves for over a year…) And the third is the choice of a few pieces they used. There are about six transparent pieces used in construction that are completely hidden in the end result! Like the later Lambda- and Sentinel-class shuttles, the Theta-class also has navigation beacons on the tips of its wings, but this set doesn’t have any! Oh sure- they’ll put a lot of effort into giving it that worn-and-used hull-look, but no transparent parts except for the exhaust? No excuse. Period. /rant
But still, this is a marvelous set. It doesn’t have the gimmicks like I thought it would, but Emperor Palpatine’s Shuttle is a nice average set, just what I needed to fill that particular gap in my LEGO collection.
|Posted 11 February, 2011 - 16:36 by EVA_Unit_4A|