What It's Like Building the New 'Rogue One' Lego TIE Striker

Lego Rogue One TIE Striker - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of Lego
It's time to assemble the Empire's newest fighter from the first 'Star Wars' standalone film.

The Lego Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sets are coming September 30, and Heat Vision has a hands-on look at set 75154: TIE Striker, which is an all-new design for the first stand-alone Star Wars movie. The TIE Striker set has 543 pieces, including four minifigures. It will retail for $69.99. The set measures 2” high, 16” long and 9” wide. In total, Lego is releasing eight Rogue One sets ranging in price from $24.99 to $89.99. (Also see an animated Lego Rogue One video and contest below).

How it builds
The set consists of five numbered bags and a dreaded sticker sheet (featuring eight stickers). The first two bags are for the basic cockpit. It is a fun build with lots of technic for the frame and some neat techniques to get the detailing right. Bags three and four build the wings. The wings are huge, which makes them fun to build, though the second time around it is a bit repetitive. Bag five adds supports for the wing and finishes the cockpit. Attaching the wings is a bit tricky, involving lining up some technic pegs and then building the supports (which are movable). It feels flimsy as it is being built. But the end result is solid and it feels satisfying when it is completed. A real sense of the ship emerges once the wings are attached. Most of the stickers are used in the last bag for cockpit detailing and are a bit of a pain to line up properly but from a distance it doesn't look bad even if it isn't lined up exactly. Building time took a couple of hours.

The completed model
Fully built, the TIE Striker is pretty awesome. The long fanger wings are striking and give the ship a suitably menacing look. There’s a lever in the back to adjust the wings into two different positions. There are good play features, including three hatches (two for the pilot and one for the storage area) and two spring shooters. It is a big model, bigger than the Force Awakens X-wing fighters but one inch shorter than the new Rogue One Rebel U-wing fighter. The model feels very solid. The wings are well attached and they are well-reinforced so it feels like they will hold up well over time.  

TIE Striker vs. TIE Fighter
For a comparison of scale, here’s a TIE Striker photographed with a First Order TIE Fighter from A Force Awakens. See also how the design mirrors traditional black/gray color scheme of the TIE fighters on the wings and has a similar cockpit and solar panel design. It tinkers with the familiar with its cylindrical cockpit (versus the traditional ball shape) and the long fanger wings. (The ship is touted as an atmospheric fighter and for the defense of imperial bases).

The minifigures
The set includes four: TIE Pilot, Imperial ground crew, Imperial Shoretrooper and a Rebel Trooper in Endor outfit. The minifigures are fine, a bit generic but not bad. The draw here is the ship not the minfiigures.

Excellent. The build process has some complicated (Lego recommends an 8-14 age range and it definitely feels like it needs a builder with experience) that keeps it fun. The finished model is cool to look at, has some nice play features with spring shooters and multiple cockpit hatches and feels like it will hold up well to repeated playing (or look nice on a shelf).  

Here's a Lego Rogue One video that just debuted. It is the fourth and final chapter in the "Go Rogue" series of videos made from Star Wars toys. For the "Go Rogue" contest users submit their own Rogue One inspired videos and the winner gets a trip to San Francisco to see Rogue One