Runabout, Recovery & Recon: 75302 Imperial Shuttle Reviewed

Including the digitally retconned Imperial shuttle that ferried Darth Vader to the Executor in the closing scenes of The Empire Strikes Back: Special Edition, there have been precisely seven appearances of the unforgettable Lambda-class shuttle in the Skywalker Saga that transferred Darth Vader and his boarding party to The Produndity in Rogue One, delivered Vader to the second Death Star on his mission to get the construction program back on track, later brought The Emperor on his Imperial inspection tour, let the commandos of the Rebel Alliance sneak themselves onto the Sanctuary Moon and destroy the Imperial shield generator, transported a captive Luke Skywalker to his fateful meeting with the Emperor and was presumably the same one that Luke used to bring the remains of an armored Anakin Skywalker to his final resting place in Return of the Jedi, and – as seen in The Rise of Skywalker – ended up in the wreckage of the second Death Star.

Keeping up with the Imperial Shuttle trivia trope, fans of the criminally truncated Half-Life series of computer games will immediately recognize the origin of this vehicles military designator, but for those who aren’t fans of the game, lambda (λ) is the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet and bears a distinct resemblance to the eponymously designated spacecraft. Those who are addicted to the Star Wars: X-Wing and TIE Fighter video game series are still happily calling it the IMP/SHU.

Matching the popularity of this ship, LEGO has produced nine different versions – from the pocket-sized Mini-Scale to the mighty Ultimate Collector Series – to fulfill nearly all of the scenarios the Imperial shuttle has appeared in.

Don’t forget to check out our Imperial Shuttle retro-recap for our full synopsis of these tri-foiled transits, or read our review of 30388 Imperial Shuttle, which was also released in 2021.

75302 Imperial Shuttle

Fans can play out exciting scenes from the classic Star Wars™ trilogy with this buildable Imperial Shuttle (75302) model. The elegant design of the shuttle is beautifully recreated in LEGO® bricks, with an opening minifigure cockpit, opening main compartment with space for 2 LEGO minifigures, foldable wings for flight and landing mode, plus 2 stud shooters. Between playtime adventures, it makes a cool display piece.

Role-play fun
This awesome building toy for kids also includes Darth Vader,Imperial Officer and Luke Skywalker LEGO minifigures with lightsabers and a blaster pistol.

Awesome gifts
The LEGO Group has been recreating iconic starships, vehicles, locations and characters from the Star Wars universe since 1999. LEGO Star Wars is now its most successful theme, with fun, creative gift ideas for fans of all ages.

  • Build a LEGO® brick version of the elegant Imperial Shuttle and play out scenes from the classic Star Wars™ trilogy with this action-packed building toy for kids (75302).
  • Includes 3 LEGO® minifigures – Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, both with a lightsaber, and an Imperial Officer with a blaster pistol, plus a handcuffs accessory element – for fun, creative play.
  • The Imperial Shuttle features an opening minifigure cockpit, opening main compartment with space for 2 LEGO® minifigures, foldable wings for flight and landing mode, plus 2 stud shooters.
  • This awesome building toy makes the best birthday, holiday or surprise gift for kids and any Star Wars™ fan aged 9 and up. It’s fun to build and play with solo or with family and friends.
  • The Imperial Shuttle measures over 10 in. (25 cm) high, 9 in. (24 cm) long and 14 in. (35 cm) wide. Kids will be proud to display their creation in their bedroom between playtime adventures.
  • Thinking of buying this buildable playset for a Star Wars™ fan who is a LEGO® beginner? No problem. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions so they will soon be building with Jedi-like confidence.
  • There are LEGO® Star Wars™ sets to delight people of all ages, whether they want to recreate memorable scenes, role-play their own stories or just build and display the striking construction models.
  • LEGO® components satisfy stringent industry standards, meaning that they are compatible and connect consistently for robust builds.
  • LEGO® components are dropped, heated, crushed, twisted and analyzed to ensure they meet some of the highest safety standards here on Earth – and in galaxies far, far away!

Within the chunky box, decorated with the new Imperial Shuttle set against a background depicting the Battle of Endor, are six brick-filled bags and a hefty instruction book that starts with the main body and hinge mechanism, sloped cockpit, engine intakes, tail and wings. The build’s design is an update from the construction techniques used in 75094 Imperial Shuttle Tyderium, the previous System incarnation of this set.

Surprisingly, there are no stickers in this set. Not that there’s a profusion of printed pieces either, though, with only one decorative brick – the air intake below the giant vertical dorsal stabilizer.

In realizing this set, certain concessions had to be made – the minifigure count has been cut down to just three and there is no retractable landing gear (instead there are three points of contact instead of the more appropriate two feet that 10212 Imperial Shuttle, from the Ultimate Collector Series, had). On the upside, the crew compartment is accessed from above (with armchair seating for two minfigures), rather than the more restricted gunport-style flaps that 75094 Imperial Shuttle Tyderium sported. However, anyone hoping to finally get an extending boarding ramp is going to be disappointed.

Like the UCS version of the Imperial Shuttle, the cockpit opens like the hood of a fancy European sports car, and while the cockpit’s structure doesn’t replicate the dropped angle that all of the previous iterations had, the clever use of angled plates does a good job of creating the right effect.

The rest of the model replicates all the main features – the raked wings, the twin double-barrelled laser cannons, the wildly awesome dorsal stabilizer, and the tinted canopy – without complaints.

Filling the role of ferrying a bound Luke Skywalker – along with his father/captor and an Imperial officer – to the Death Star, the minifigures included are appropriate.

As first seen in the exclusive 75294 Bespin Duel set released last year, the Darth Vader minifigure has the same torso and legs, but has plain black arms instead. Similarly, the Imperial Officer is one we’ve seen before (in 75221 Imperial Landing Craft), but with fewer lines that the 2018 version.

Perhaps this set could have been augmented with a pair of stormtroopers and an Emperor Palpatine minifigures, but that would have unnecessarily pushed the price up a notch or two. Regardless, stormtrooper minifigures are cheap and easy to come by and the most recent LEGO Star Wars Magazine in Germany (and next month in the United Kingdom) has an Emperor minifig.

Is there room to make improvements – like a mechanism to raise and lower both wings simultaneously (as 7659 Imperial Landing Craft did in 2007) or a more accurate cockpit angle (like 7166 Imperial Shuttle from 2001) or maybe an integrated handle (such as the original Kenner version and the 75243 Slave I – 20th Anniversary Edition had)?

Without a doubt, but only with sacrifices.

It’s easy to hold this new Imperial Shuttle up against the light cast by its older brothers and find flaws and room to further better the next, but for the fan who wasn’t around 20 years ago or couldn’t afford the much higher price tag of one of the more recent releases, 75302 Imperial Shuttle presents a chance to get an updated model of a set that hasn’t been around for nearly 5 years, at a cost of nearly 25% less than the last version.

All told, this solid set – which is available at, Amazon (USA/Canada/United Kingdom/Germany/Australia) and Target (USA/Australia) now – will look equally good on the shelf of an adult collector or being swooshed by a child.

Entertainment Earth

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