2022 marks 20 years since Star Wars Attack of the Clones was released in cinemas. During the movie, audiences saw Obi-Wan Kenobi hopping around the galaxy in his starfighter as he tried to uncover who was trying to assassinate Senator Padmé Amidala. This ship was released in LEGO form in 7143 Jedi Starfighter, which marked the beginning of a long history of these ships being released. This is journey has recently come full circle with the new release of 75333 Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi Starfighter – Blocks, the LEGO magazine for fans, explores this journey below.
7143 Jedi Starfighter from 2002 was the first set of this type, and it does a sound job of capturing the ship’s angular design. These are sleek, almost elegant ships, designed less for dogfights than the later interceptor models, the first of which was released in 2005 with 7256 Jedi Starfighter with Vulture Droid. With the later set, it was Anakin’s turn to become the pilot and, even better, he had an enemy droid to shoot down.
Read our review of the new 75333 Jedi Starfighter in Issue 94! If you take out a subscription to Blocks, the LEGO magazine for fans, you’ll get each issue first and at a discount, plus other perks including a free digital subscription and the chance to win LEGO prizes every month.
Jedi Starfighters and Interceptors are small ships that aren’t capable of hyperspace travel and as such require a hyperspace transport ring. This large set-up was captured in the next starfighter set – 7661 Jedi Starfighter with Hyperdrive Booster Ring, which had a blue Interceptor (the one Obi-Wan uses to confront Grievous on Utapau) and the first Kit Fisto minifigure, which began an interesting tradition of including unexpected minifigures in Jedi Starfighter sets (more on that soon).
The next set in this chronicle is 7669 Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter, which had the yellow-black colour scheme of 7256 with the longer ship design of 7143. This marked the beginning of Starfighter sets based on The Clone Wars TV show, in which the Jedi generals of the Republic were pitted against the relentless forces of the Separatist army.
As such, it should be unsurprising that there were many Jedi starfighters during the show’s first run (from 2008 to 2013). The Starfighters released during this period included 7751 Ashoka’s Starfighter and Vulture Droid, 8093 Plo Koon’s Jedi Starfighter, 7868 Mace Windu’s Jedi Starfighter and 9498 Saesee Tiin’s Jedi Starfighter (which included a bonus and exclusive Even Piell minifigure). The appeal of these sets was strong – you received the named Jedi, which often required a moulded headpiece, in an inexpensive set with immense swoosh-ability.
Overall, this range of sets kept the same design, although alternative colour schemes and minor changes to the features and aesthetics of the ship kept new versions fresh (unlike a particular landspeeder). During this period, the Starfighter design became more and more refined, offering a sharp contrast to the blocky design of the very first ship.
At the same time, there was also a range of Jedi Interceptors released over the years, including 2012’s 9494 Anakin’s Jedi Interceptor, which also functioned as a minor Mustafar duel set (with a rather snazzy Note Gunray minifigure), 2014’s 75038 Jedi Interceptor and 2016’s Obi-Wan’s Jedi Interceptor.
One of the most unique and distinctive starfighters however came in 2015 with 75087 Anakin’s Custom Jedi Starfighter, which was based on Star Wars: Clone Wars, a 2003 animated television series from the creative mind of Genndy Tartakovky. The ship, named the Azure Angel, had a variety of modifications, including two hyperdrive thrusters and four laser canons, all of which are included in the set. Plus there was a Asajj Ventress minifigure based on her earliest appearances.
Another different starfighter came in 2017 with 75168 Yoda’s Jedi Starfighter, a set that had been seen in The Clone Wars but that was also a playable ‘hero ship’ in the Star Wars Battlefront 2 videogame. As might be expected of the diminutive Jedi master, the starfighter itself is compact and charming, a reminder, as always with Yoda, that size matters not.
With a few exceptions (for example, 7661 Jedi Starfighter with Hyperdrive Booster Ring), these starfighter sets have often held steady at the mid-price point of £20-40. That’s not to say, however, that there’s not been some variation in this – in 2010, the ship received the UCS treatment in the form of 10215 Obi-Wan’s Jedi Starfighter. The set cost £94.99 (a modest sum by today’s UCS standards) and measured 47cm in length.
But size isn’t everything, and we’ve also seen starfighters in miniature, for example the mini 4487 Jedi Starfighter & Slave I and 75006 Jedi Starfighter & Planet Kamino from the planets series. At the point of writing, the Jedi Starfighter has not appeared in microfighter form, athough that’s not to say it would be impossible.
Given there’s been so many starfighters over the years, and with The Clone Wars being on-again, off-again since 2013, it’s somewhat unsurprising that any recent versions of the ship have been repeats, for example 75191 Jedi Starfighter with Hyperdrive (2017) and 75214 Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter (2018) and 75281 Anakin’s Jedi Interceptor (2020).
These Jedi ships have become a mainstay of the LEGO Star Wars license for 20 years, but that’s not to say the starfighter sets can’t still surprise. 75333 Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi Starfighter brings us back to where this history began, but with a new minifigure – Taun We, the first Kaminoan minifigure. You’ll need to read our review in the latest issue of Blocks magazine to find out how this new set compares to the others listed in this article, but regardless it seems that the starfighters and interceptors will continue to be a key part of the Star Wars license.