The Mandalorian: What’s Next (Part II)?

With the exciting climax of The Mandalorian’s second season tucked away – and the mind-numbing reveal made public – it’s time to look at what potential sets the most recent season might bring.

Before that we should consider the sets we already have in The Mandalorian collection and how they timed.

When the series was first announced and clippage was revealed at Star Wars Celebration 2019 in Chicago it was very clear from the outset that the Razor Crest was going to be central to the storyline, encouraging fans to expect this spaceship as one of the early sets. It wasn’t to be, however, and the first sets to be released were the AT-ST Raider and Mandalorian battlepack in mid 2019 and early 2020 – neither of which were super high on fans’ want list.

After more than half a year the remaining four sets from The Mandalorian were released: 75317 The Mandalorian & The Child (August 2020), 75292 The Mandalorian Bounty Hunter Transport (or Razor Crest if you prefer in September 2020) and 75318 The Child (October 2020).

Even after eight months after the end of season one, none of these – with the exception of the Razor Crest – are essential to the story-telling of any of the events – but why is that?

For starters, LEGO is always working behind the curve. The production material – in the form of digital stills and 3D renders – comes only after Lucasfilm has finalized the design, which is often only once filming has begun (and on several occasions running changes has meant that the finished LEGO set differs from the on-screen version – 75104 Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle in 2015 and 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank in 2016 are two recent examples) meaning that the LEGO Star Wars design team is starting their design work six months or more behind schedule.

Then there are the strict criteria that “only the best is good enough” which LEGO enforces upon itself – they don’t rush their own development and all care is given to ensure that the final product is safe, fun, accurate and represents value for money. The six months that were needed to design 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina, a subject that has been part of the Star Wars universe for over 40 years and has huge amounts of reference material available, is a perfect example of the pace that LEGO works at.

Through all of this LEGO has to liaise with Lucasfilm and Disney as part of an external approvals process to make sure that all the stakeholders involved are happy with the product – from concept, to design, development and finally production.

This final stage is perhaps the one that consumes more of a set’s lifecycle than any other, because LEGO has to dovetail the machining of molds and injection casting of new elements, collection of existing pieces from their stockpiled inventory, the printing of minifigure parts and the collation of all these stages into a finished product. Nearly all of this is automated and very few hands are involved – but it does have to be timed with the company’s own interests as well as those of their licensed partners.

The lesson from this is that the earlier the LEGO Star Wars team can begin their development cycle the more timely a set’s arrival will be – and 75299 Trouble on Tatooine is a great example of how an early start can land a set at almost the right time. It’s a shame that they aren’t being given the opportunity to get models from The Mandalorian out while the set is relevant.

The opening chapter of the second season introduced us to Cobb Vanth, marshall of Mos Pelgo and wearer of Boba Fett’s armor, who – together with The Mandalorian – took on a quest to rid the region of a krayyt dragon who has been attacking human and Tusken settlements. When the pair headed off into the Tatooine desert, Vanth rode a speeder bike that had a distinctly podracer aesthetic.

Looking very much like it’s constructed of scrap metal – or a bunch of spare LEGO elements even – this homemade version of Vanth’s speeder is hosted at Rebrickable.com, complete with inventory and a Stud.io file to help you assemble it. Separate from the speeder build is the minifigure, which has a purist recipe that’s easy to follow.

It’s hard to believe that the first episode contained so much content that can be utilized by LEGO, and while we already have the Trouble on Tatooine set coming out in January, fan’s are hoping for a bantha that is an improvement on the 75265 T-16 Skyhopper vs Bantha Microfighters dualpack that came out in 2020.

One of the earliest custom creations was created by Baron Sat over 15 years ago and still a go-to model. When a proper one does come from LEGO, it will likely be along the lines of the dewback that was included with 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina, but until then this brick-built one is a perfectly good replacement.

Whether it’s repurposed war materiel or a specially modified AT-AT, the OI-CT variant – seen in the third episode of the season – that raised the Razor Crest from the briny depths of Trask’s ocean looks like it has just strolled off the Oakland wharf , where the container cranes are said to have inspired the Imperial walkers seen in The Empire Strikes Back.

Adding to the amazingness of this model is the fact that the leg joints are all articulated, the crane can be repositioned and the winch works too! Completing the mini-scale vignette, the plans for which can be purchased at Rebrickable.com for a mere $3, is a tiny Razor Crest. Hopefully, if LEGO was to produce this it would be on a much larger – but still affordable – scale.

Whether it’s transporting Colonial Marines, clone troopers from the Grand Army of the Republic, First Order stormtroopers, or has flown out of the Expanded Universe, everyone loves a dropship, don’t they? The new model that delivers the Imperial Remnant stormtroopers, under the command of Moff Gideon, would be well received by fans who want to play out the battle fought on the slopes of the Tython seeing stone temple in episode six.

Complete with cockpit, a troop staging area, landing ramp and rotating ventral laser turret, this amazing custom build – the inventory and instructions of which are on Rebrickable – is made of less than 900 parts.

In the penultimate episode of the season we are treated to the sight of an Imperial Combat Assault Transport – aka Juggernaut 5 – racing through the jungles of Morak. Commandeered by The Mandalorian and Migs Mayfeld, a convict on day release, it runs the gauntlet of marauders who are trying to hijack the precious rhydonium cargo.

Designed by u_brick, and hosted on Rebrickable.com, this fan-made model has a cockpit large enough for two minifgures, a rear hatch to access the carriage roofs and rhydonium storage with cargo hatches that can be opened.

With such an exciting season and only one set revealed – so far – the LEGO Star Wars design team have a huge amount of potential sets to deliver. All jokes of a pile of loose gray bricks aside, what could they include in the expanded The Mandalorian line-up? At the very least we should expect to see a new Slave I, complete with an updated Boba Fett and Fennec Shand minifigures at some point. Hopefully, a released 9525 Pre Vizsla’s Mandalorian Fighter and 75078 Imperial Troop Transport are on the cards too.

What sets are you hoping for? Post your wishlist below – you never know who is reading the comments.

Entertainment Earth

1 Comment

  1. I would like to see the lava boat scene with the ferry droid from the end of Season 1 as well as the Cobb Vanth/Mando speeder scene. I can’t wait for a re-release of a Mandolorian Fighter so am planning to Bricklink a 9525 and mod it as required to match the ship from the last Chapter. I only have a Jango Slave 1 so would jump on a Boba Fett version, especially if it follows the trend of the 2021 X Wing and TIE Fighter as the last release at £110 was just too expensive.

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