February 13, 2016
LEGO 'Star Wars' Relives Battle Of Hoth With Massive 'Empire Strikes Back' Playset

Rumors have abounded among Star Wars fans for years that a massive LEGO set featuring the icy Hoth scenes of The Empire Strikes Back was in the works, but now the stunning playset has been revealed in its entirety, with a street date just a few months away.

"Assault on Hoth" will be released in May, according to USA Today, bringing several key scenes from the earliest part of Empire to life in the LEGO universe. The modular playset features a shield generator and ion cannon (naturally), as well as the infamous Wampa cave (from which characters can be hung upside down, of course) and key sections of Echo Base, including battle trenches and weapons emplacements. Each section is designed to be connected in multiple ways, so the Hoth scenes can be recreated in any manner that you see fit.

The set comes with no less than 14 mini-figures, including several characters that are known only to the most hardcore of fans. While snow troopers and generic rebel soldiers are represented, Luke, Han, and Wedge Antilles are also included, clad in the cold weather gear featured in those scenes. Princess Leia is conspicuously absent, though a Wampa (with removable arm, of course) and a Tauntaun round out the set's creatures. Droids K-3PO and R3-A2 are featured, as well as Toryn Farr (the woman responsible for the ion cannon) and Wedge's snowspeeder co-pilot, Wes Janson. While several of these figures have been released in past LEGO sets, these versions feature improved facial features and new details, setting them apart from their predecessors.In keeping with the iconic battle scene that capped the first act of Empire, a snowspeeder is included with the LEGO Hoth set as well. The package doesn't feature an AT-AT or an AT-ST (briefly seen in only one shot during the snow battle, but better remembered as Ewok prey in Return of the Jedi), the inclusion of which would have only increased its price, as Gizmodo points out. Already comprised of 2,144 pieces, the set will retail for $249. While that makes it one of the more expensive LEGO Star Wars sets, it is by no means the priciest; Out-of-production kits like the Super Star Destroyer Executor command sums approaching $1,000 in some markets.Last year, several videos of LEGO Star Wars sets being destroyed circulated online, after a clip of a Super Star Destroyer crashing was released by Wired as part of their May The 4th celebration. Meant to replicate the climactic scene of the ship's destruction in Return of the Jedi, the crash was filmed in slow-motion, revealing the 3,000 piece vessel shattering upon impact, as the Inquisitr reported at the time.

In the lead up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year, LEGO also released a number of products meant to tie-in with the film. Widely reported at the time as part of the Force Friday event, the LEGO sets were poured over by fans, who attempted to extrapolate even minor plot points for the then-anticipated film. In the past, LEGO has manufactured a seemingly endless number of other Star Wars-themed sets representing locales and vehicles from the original and prequel trilogies, ranging in size from the smallest of fighters to the Death Star itself.

[Photo by Nick Royer via Flickr | Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 2.0]