Rebels Review: Twilight of the Apprentice

Star Wars Rebels continues tonight with the premiere of its third season, and to celebrate the show’s return, we take a look back at the season 2 finale which the series left off on.

Twilight of the Apprentice

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What did you think of the Plot?

BEAVeR: Just take a minute to appreciate the title of this episode. Isn’t it incredible, meaning so much. It invokes vagueness, ambiguity, mystery, and to me perfectly sums up the episode. Continue reading

An Imperial Jaw Destroyer

Imperial Star Destroyer, presented by OliveSeon, on Flickr

 

Did it hurt when your jaw dropped to the floor? My guess is that you don’t remember because you were too busy enjoying the incredible Star Destroyer above. It’s over 2 meters/7 feet long, over 50 kgs/110 lbs, composed of 42,000 bricks, designed by BrickInside and built by OliveSeon, of whom we’ve come to expect only the best… Reading about this creation is enough to get you excited. Still, it can’t prepare you for the stunning pictures.

Of course there are the awesome greebles, that are different on every Star Destroyer MOC but always spot on and pretty to look at, especially with this creation. What’s special about them is that the greebles aren’t homogeneous all over the ship: clearly different areas have a distinct flavor. The trench at the side has a lot of technical tubes and vents going on, while the details on the raised parts resemble more windows and form more regular, isolated blocks. In the back everything is bigger and more robust. Often, you just skim over vast expanses of greebles, just getting the overall feel of chaos, complexity, texture and beauty. But here it goes farther: you don’t skim over them, but investigate them. I love how the greebles become more than just pretty details and make you want to understand the structure of the ship better. A structure that is true to the actual way the ship works as well! They make the ship much more real and therefore menacing. Not that it needed those greebles to intimidate. The shapes are clean, the lines sharp, giving it something terribly effective and inescapable. They make those small elevations on the body pop as well, making sure the vast expanse of grey never looks boring and always looks huge. That’s also thanks to the clever play of tiles, with the 4×4 variants and all and some gorgeous areas where there is a series of tiles with some nice gaps between them, redefining what you can do to detail a smooth and flat surface. This Star Destroyer is a stunning piece of work, so good that it makes you forget it’s made of bricks and so educational once you realise it is. And also so beguiling that I still don’t feel the pain in my jaw. If you already do, I think the best remedy will be to lose yourself in the pictures of the beast on Flickr.

The Rebel Bloggers Are Recruiting!

Rebel

 

Is LEGO Star Wars something you’re truly passionate about? Can you keep staring at its MOCs and keep talking about them? Do you delve right into Wookieepedia whenever an unknown creation captures you? Are you up to date with all of the latest news? Are you active in the community? And are you enthusiastic to show the world what kind of fan you truly are? I’d keep reading if I were you.

You see, the blog you are reading at this very moment is looking for people like you! We’d like to be able to bring more and faster content to you with a fresh perspective. That’s why we’re accepting applications right now. All you have to do is to write two articles that could appear here and send them to us, and maybe you’ll become our new contributor. Make sure to read all the details in the announcement topic in the forum.

Don’t hesitate if you have what it takes! You’ll get to share your passion with the world, receive a fine, exclusive Rebel Blogger tag, learn useful skills and get to chill work with the rest of us on this blog we hope you enjoy reading as much as we do writing for it! We look forward to meeting you.

[UCS] Blockade Runner – A New Hope!

 UCS Blockade Runner, by mortesv, on Eurobricks

 

Way back in about 1983, and before the days of DVDs and even VCRs being commonly available, I first saw Episode IV.  I was only about 8 years old, and it was the first time that it had been shown on television.  Perhaps I should mention that there was only 4 channels available in the UK at the time, just to give you an idea of how much things have progressed since then!

I was instantly captivated by the opening sequence of the Blockade Runner fleeing from a Star Destroyer, and that moment became the catalyst of my Star Wars obsession in the following decades.  TLG released 10019 in 2001 as one of the first UCS sets; it was a brave attempt, but clearly hampered by a relatively limited array of parts available at that time.  Scroll forward 15 years and it’s clearly in need of an upgrade, especially when compared against the newer models, so hopefully it will be on TLG’s ‘to do’ list in the next few years.

In the meantime, one of Eurobricks most talented builders has stepped in to fill the void.  Despite being rather busy in his personal life, mortesv has managed to create this masterpiece, which is undoubtedly worthy of the ‘UCS’ designation.  Comprising 2,800 elements and 250 different part types, it’s a beautiful replica of the original studio model.  As you’d expect, it’s crammed with details; the engine block is in a different league to the original, and I love the little top-mounted antenna.  My only reservation is mortesv’s choice of mounting system; the trans-clear cylinders and blocks don’t look overly stable!  Head over to the dedicated thread and take a look at the other images of it.

75159 UCS Death Star Revealed

75159 UCS Death Star, as discussed in the 2016 Pictures and Rumors topic, on Eurobricks

 

LEGO has come out with the official high-resolution images and press statement of the 75159 Death Star, this year’s second entry in the Ultimate Collector’s Series. With the press release came a statement that this is an update of the previous version that was so successful, instead of it being a completely new entity. The set indeed looks almost identical to the previous one, with the difference being an extra 200 pieces scattered across various scenes, a needed update of all the minifigs, the addition of three new ones and a heftier price tag. Now the set contains 4016 pieces, making it the second largest Star Wars set to date, after the UCS Millennium Falcon and before the previous incarnation of the Death Star. The 23 minifigs are a new record though, and they all look fabulous, with a wonderful new Tarkin, Han with a stellar hairpiece, the long awaited updated Leia and some droids and Imperial crew you’ve never seen before. The increase in price brings it to 499.99 USD / 499,99 EUR / 399.99 GBP. As for the build, it’s largely the same although new spring loaded shooters have been incorporated. In short, it’s a fix for all of those parts of the old version that were desperately out of date, but not a bit more than that. It’s certainly a set to be remembered though, with all of the debate that has been going on about it for weeks already. And who knows, maybe this is the first in line of older sets being rereleased with minor updates, even though LEGO has explicitly stated that “this is not an indication of any future re-release or set updates.” I’m sure there is a lot to be watched, read and discussed in the news thread!

Remakes are a Dish Best Served Cold

T-47 Snowspeeder, 2016 Edition, by Brickdoctor, on Eurobricks

 

Being an AFOL comes with a host of happy moments. However, there are sad ones too, like when you realize one of your favorite builders hasn’t uploaded something in a long time. I had such a sad realization with Brickdoctor, who used to create awesomely accurate midi and minifig-scaled Star Wars vehicles and has been a constant inspiration to me, and whom I have learned to know by working on this blog and in the forum. Apart from the happy and sad moments, there are also ecstatic ones. I lived such a moment a week ago, when I saw the magnificent snowspeeder above and saw the name of its creator.

It was definitely worth the wait, because this version blows his previous one out of the molten snow! Actually, it’s better than any rendition of the snowspeeder I’ve seen, with those absolutely perfect wings. The angle of them is right in every direction, while there are no studs and the edges of the wings are perfectly smooth, a combination that has never been achieved before. The subtle angled lines on the surface of the wing make for an interesting texture as well. Another lovely area are the intakes with the smooth shape and perfect separation of colors, in which nothing gives away it’s made out of plastic bricks. I love how this model uses techniques that are far from straightforward and that must have required a lot of work to incorporate without any gaps just to give it that extra touch I love so much in Brickdoctor’s work. The way he details his model is incredible as well, exploring options no one has thought of before. The laser cannons look so good thanks to – who would have guessed? – train axles, and a look at the back of the model with the perfectly fitted old ribbed Technic bushes is enough to convince you that not a single area was finished before the optimal solution had been found. Not the detail on the lower airbrakes, not the tiny asymmetric features I’ve never noticed before, not the tiny inward angle of the cannons. This is what happens if you don’t create anything for years: your creations ripen. You take your time to finish a creation even though it’s rather small. You can combine the observations of years of watching other creations to come up with something new and sensational. Something that delights me with every new picture I encounter in the topic. Something that makes me ecstatic. If years is what it takes for such a glorious return with such a creation, I’ll gladly wait them out. Turns out that moment years ago wasn’t a sad one after all.

I Want to Make Free

Scavenger, by Cole Blaq, on Flickr Eclipse, by Cole Blaq, on Flickr

 

They say it’s pretty good, but I must confess I haven’t seen The Freemaker Adventures just yet. What I have seen are the sets of this summer’s wave that are based on LEGO’s own animated Star Wars-based production. In fact, the Star Scavenger and Eclipse Fighter with their interesting designs look like the most interesting sets of the summer to me. Designs I appreciate even more after seeing Cole Blaq‘s stunning pocket-sized replicas of them. He captures every aspect I love about these ships I barely know with just a couple of bricks. The unique fins and bulky head of the Scavenger and the intriguingly aggressive shape and striking paint job of the Eclipse. The cobbled together look of the first and the unsettling alien vibe of the second. The shape is very elaborate for creations of this size, thanks to the use of a variety of larger curved parts that give the ships a solid and pretty big, even a bit intimidating appearance. The apparent size is enlarged as well by giving the ships a lot of disjointed patches of color without interfering with the cohesion of them. It makes these small creations inferior to bigger models only in physical size. In fact, I think these small models may even break free from the source material and have more character than their bigger brothers. The cockpit of the Scavenger looks way more firm with that perfect marriage of unexpected pieces, and the color scheme of the Eclipse is more jagged and pointed thanks to that great use of those slope pieces. And no matter how you turn it, if the images on the boxes of the official sets would only look remotely like the professional presentation of these marvels, the already nice designs would become irresistible like these gems. Yes, irresistible is the word. So do yourself a favor and give in to the urge to take a closer look at these small wonders.