Is The Force With 75329 Death Star Trench Run Diorama?

When movie-goers first witnessed Luke Skywalker’s flight across the Death Star surface and down into the trench that held the battle station’s Achilles heel, it was an experience like no other thanks to the ground-breaking work of the special effects wizards at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).

Created by George Lucas in 1975 specifically to realize his dream of creating a science fiction movie like no other, ILM was founded by special effects photographic supervisor John Dykstra in a vacant warehouse in Van Nuys, California.

Starting in May, when the fledgling company began work on the models they would need for the movie, it took nearly 10 months to design, build and program their prototype camera system – and another year and a half of perfecting the controls before they would begin shooting the climactic Death Star Trench run and surface attacks.

Utilizing their brand new, state of the art, computer-controlled camera rig, ILM took three months to capture the dynamic motion of the Rebel’s last-ditch attempt to stop the Galactic Empire’s planet-destroying battle station and combine the shots of the detailed models with realistic optical and practical effects to give audiences a thrill ride like no other.

With the trench run so pivotal in the story of Star Wars, several licensees have provided fans with opportunities to recreate the gripping scene of Darth Vader’s pursuit of Luke Skywalker through the narrow and heavily defended canyon that held the lightly protected thermal exhaust port that had been engineered by Galen Erso, the battle station’s unwilling designer, to create an exploitable weakness, but until the release of the new Diorama series, a subset of the Adult Collector subtheme, LEGO Star Wars collectors have never – except for a highly limited model auctioned off in 2003 and an in-store make & take version – had a chance of their own.

Having been on the rumor lists for nearly half a year, the announcement of the Diorama series was pitched at the growing adult fan base that LEGO had been attracting.

“The Diorama series is really something special, and something we are very excited about,” says Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, LEGO Star Wars design director told in a recent interview.

“As these models are intended for adults, we can use relatively complicated building techniques, and by that take the detail level a bit higher than on our regular play-theme models,” said Frederiksen, “These are our first dioramas, and we have already created a lot of prototypes for more potential dioramas to come in the future.”

75329 Death Star Trench Run Diorama

Channel Jedi-like focus and recreate a memorable moment from Star Wars: A New Hope with this Death Star Trench Run Diorama (75329) building set. Capture a snapshot of that gripping scene in intricate detail, from the surface of the Death Star to the brick-built models of Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced fighter and 2 TIE fighters in hot pursuit of Luke Skywalker’s X-wing. Attach the plaque bearing Darth Vader’s words (“The Force is strong with this one”) to complete a nostalgia-inspiring centerpiece. This build-and-display model makes a super treat for yourself or a gift for other adult Star Wars™ fans and experienced LEGO® builders, and it comes with instructions to guide you through every step of the complex build. It began a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Now the saga continues in your own home with LEGO Star Wars sets. Explore the stellar array of sets designed specifically for adults, including other new-for-May-2022 dioramas.

    • Death Star Trench Run Diorama (75329) – Summon up your creative Force and recapture the drama of an iconic Star Wars: A New Hope scene with this build-and-display LEGO® model
    • Focus on the intricate details – Take your time to recreate the surface of the Death Star and the pursuit of Luke Skywalker’s X-wing by Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced fighter and 2 TIE fighters
    • Designed to inspire nostalgic memories – To complete this centerpiece, attach the plaque bearing the words “The Force is strong with this one,” as spoken by Darth Vader
    • Build your collection – This set is part of a collectible series of LEGO® Star Wars™ build-to-display diorama models, each depicting a memorable Star Wars moment
    • Gift idea – Treat yourself or give this premium-quality, 665-piece set to an adult Star Wars™ fan or experienced LEGO® builder as a holiday gift or birthday present
    • Made for display – This buildable Star Wars™ scene measures over 4 in. (10 cm) high, 8.5 in. (22 cm) wide and 6 in. (15 cm) deep
    • Step-by-step guide – Clear, illustrated instructions are included to assist you with this complex build
    • From a galaxy far, far away to your fingertips – LEGO® Star Wars™ sets for adults are designed for people like you who enjoy mindful, fun, creative activities to unwind
    • Premium quality – LEGO® bricks and pieces comply with rigorous industry standards to ensure they connect simply and securely
    • Safety assurance – LEGO® components are dropped, heated, crushed, twisted and analyzed to make sure that they meet demanding global safety standards

Ages Pieces VIP Points Item Minifigures Value

Encased in the classy black packaging that personifies the approach that LEGO is taking to grab the attention of the growing adult market are the instructions, the three large plates, and the six bags of parts that go into this 665-piece detailed model.

Starting with the base, the build slowly fills in the details that epitomize the heavily greebled surface of the Death Star’s trench, with the random vents, conduits, pipework, and cooling structures that ILM made out of assorted plastic parts and biscuit foam – captured beautifully in ABS. The second half of the bags complete the trench wall and adds the turbolaser cannon and the four starfighters.

While a focussed builder can complete this set in an hour and a half, the average adult should expect to need an extra hour to complete this build in a relaxed or distracted fashion.

Despite a large piece count, this set’s inventory is largely made of small elements, and once the base is complete the number of pieces a builder is confronted with seems to deplete very slowly. Stick with it though, because the finished product is with the effort.

Differing from the other two Diorama series models, 75329 Death Star Trench Run Diorama lacks any minifigures. Instead, it has four mini-scale spaceships: three mini-scale TIE Fighters (including Darth Vader’s prototype TIE Advanced) and Luke Skywalker’s own X-Wing Fighter. While there’s only so much a LEGO designer can do with a handful of parts, Jme Wheeler has done a great job of finding new ways to capture both the starfighters and sense of the dogfight.

Even though adding the details take a lot of concentration, it is highly rewarding to see the greebles – which are made up of tiles, ingots, grills, small plates and other light and dark-bluish gray pieces – build up to add the minuscule details that successfully capture the texture of the Death Star.

If there’s one thing lacking in this diorama model, it’s the ability to rearrange the surface detail to create new exteriors. This practice was utilized by ILM, who made a number of 3″, 12″ and 24″ squares covered in random detail, so that they could create a seemingly infinite and original plain for their cameras to track across.

Successfully replicating the static Imperial aesthetic and the dynamism of the fight-and-flight down the metallic gorge, 75329 Death Star Trench Run Diorama is a wonderful set to build and look at – but buying it does come with a sting, because the abundance of small elements for a high price point degrades the value of the set and has prompted criticism that LEGO is catering to the adult wallet rather than the adult community.

Available now, 75329 Death Star Trench Run Diorama is available through for (US$59.99 / CA$79.99 / UK£54.99 / DE€59.99 / AU$89.99, Walmart, Target, BigW, Kmart, Toys “R” Us (Canada and Australia), Argos, Smyths Toys (United Kingdom and Germany) and The Entertainer.

Purchases made through the above links may generate a small affiliate income – at no cost to you – which helps to pay for our hosting fees.

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