Last February, it was announced that the Republic Gunship would become part of the LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series (UCS), giving collectors an opportunity to add the prequel era vehicle to their collections. It topped a fan poll, beating out two other Star Wars ships not yet released in the UCS range. The LEGO Group have been quietly working on the model since and have now provided an update.
Today, the team shared an update on the set’s progress. LEGO Star Wars Design Director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen confirmed that the set will be released in 2021: ‘And I can tell you we have definitely not. Everything is working as it should. And you can expect to see the Gunship coming out sometime this year.’
The first pieces from the set were shown, although images have not been provided. Used in a number of sets over the years, including in 10215 Obi-Wan’s Jedi Starfighter and 10227 B-wing Starfighter, the curved cockpit piece will be used in the Republic Gunship twice as the cockpit pods. They will be decorated, so fans won’t have the stress of applying stickers to the clear elements.
Beyond that though, the design team was remaining tight-lipped. Representatives from websites and video channels asked about the number of minifigures, the length of the ship, the time until release, but none of the questions got an answer.
So what was revealed? Well Jens pointed to the picture of the ship used in the original LEGO Ideas poll when asked about the source material it would be based on, meaning that this will be a Republic Gunship as seen in Attack of the Clones.
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The team also clarified that UCS sets are not usually intended to be in minifigure scale. ‘When we are looking at UCS models, in general, what we’re thinking is we want to make an impressive display model,’ explained Jens. ‘And some models by coincidence we can adapt them to fit minifigure scale. But in other cases, they are not in minifigure scale.’
‘I’d say if we were to have minifigures in scale with what a UCS model would be, the minifigures would have to be twice as big,’ said Hans Schlömer, the model designer responsible for the Gunship. ‘So it wouldn’t even make sense to have an army of clones to go along with a model like that … any figure we choose to throw in, maybe is just for display purposes.’
He reiterated that it is going to be a sizable set: ‘I recommend buying a coffee table along with it for display. I have it in my home.’
One thing that the design director was clear about is how much of a margin the Republic Gunship won the poll by: ‘I think it was, for us was a bit of a surprise how big the [margin] was because it was really, really clear. The opponents in that voting were also some that we consider as being really strong and sought after models. So it was a surprise that it came out as such a strong winner.’
The three options that were given in that poll – the Republic Gunship, the Nebulon Frigate and the TIE Bomber – were carefully selected based on feedback. ‘We were looking at what fans really wish for,’ Jens said. ‘So it’s actually based on what we have seen have been most requested. That was how it was narrowed down. Then we also wanted to select three models that have never ever been done before as models.’
Stay tuned for more news on the set, which has been added to the LEGO 2021 checklist.