While the vast array of capital ships in the Republic, Rebel and Resistance fleets are reasonably well represented within the LEGO Star Wars theme, the variety of the navies of the Empire and First Order has always been limited to big gray triangles, long, thin gray triangles or a dark gray balls.
It’s true that the naval architects responsible for the starfleet of the Galactic Empire opted for a particular aesthetic – one that stemmed from the ships that were launched at the start of the Clone Wars – and barely made any deviation from it during the course of events bookended by Order 66 and Operation Cinder, it hardly seems fair that fans of LEGO Star Wars have been limited to eleven different Star Destroyers (in mini, Microfighter, midi, System and UCS scales), a single Super Star Destroyer and four Death Stars (including the Planetary series version).
That all changed with the release of the Summer wave because LEGO has expanded the armada with a small gray triangle!
Simply designated an Imperial Light Cruiser – a classification that covered a broad swathe of ships in the Imperial navy – the warship in question, which was first introduced in season two, episode nine of The Clone Wars animated series (and later made appearances in Rebels, Battlefront II and The Mandalorian), is an Arquitens-class command cruiser.
First developed as a light cruiser for the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars, they served as detached patrol vessels and escorts to larger capital ships during the conflict. Following the ascension of the Galactic Empire, the Arquitens-class light cruiser saw limited deployment and were recalled – shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star – for extensive refits in order to better meet the increasing threat of the Rebel Alliance.
During their refit program at Kuat Drive Yards these light cruisers were gutted and their powerplants, drive platforms, armor and weapons systems were upgraded to improve speed, maneuverability and combat ability. Additionally, entryways at the bow allowed for the deployment of jumptroopers. These improvements upgraded the Arquitens-class light cruiser to a capable command cruiser that soon became the flagship of many system fleets, while still retaining its ability to support larger sector fleets, though few survived after the Battle of Endor.
All of these factors – and likely more – influenced Imperial remnant leader Moff Gideon to utilize one of these as his flagship for operations in his sector of the Outer Rim.
75315 Imperial Light Cruiser
Open up a galaxy of Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2 adventures for fans with this LEGO® brick-built model of the Imperial Light Cruiser (75315). It features a bridge that doubles as a handle for flying, 2 rotating turrets with spring-loaded shooters, plus 2 mini TIE Fighters and a launcher. A hatch gives easy access to the cabin which has a hologram table and storage for the electrobinoculars and other accessory elements. This premium-quality set comes with 5 LEGO minifigures: The Mandalorian, Cara Dune, Fennec Shand, Moff Gideon and a Dark Trooper, plus a LEGO figure of the Child (Grogu), affectionately known as Baby Yoda. Cool weapons include The Mandalorian’s Amban phase-pulse blaster and spear and Moff Gideon’s darksaber for hero vs. villain play.
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian fans can recreate epic hero vs. villain battles from Season 2 with the first-ever LEGO® brick-built model of the Imperial Light Cruiser (75315).
- Includes 5 LEGO® minifigures: The Mandalorian, Cara Dune, Fennec Shand, Moff Gideon and a new-for-August-2021 Dark Trooper, plus a LEGO figure of the Child (Grogu), affectionately known as Baby Yoda.
- The starship features a bridge that doubles as a handle for flying, 2 rotating turrets with spring-loaded shooters, 2 mini TIE Fighters and a launcher, plus a hatch to access the cabin.
- Cool weapons and accessory elements include The Mandalorian’s Amban phase-pulse blaster and spear, Moff Gideon’s darksaber, 2 thermal detonators and electrobinoculars to inspire creative play.
- This awesome, creative building toy makes the best birthday present, holiday gift or fun treat for trend-setting kids and any Star Wars™ fan aged 10 and up.
- The Imperial Light Cruiser measures over 5 in. (13 cm) high, 22.5 in. (58 cm) long and 8.5 in. (22 cm) wide. It’s fun to build solo or with friends and makes an attention-grabbing display piece.
- Thinking of buying this 1,336-piece, buildable playset for a Star Wars™ fan who is a LEGO® beginner? No problem. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions so they can build with confidence.
- LEGO® Star Wars™ sets are great for creative kids and adult fans to recreate scenes from the Star Wars saga, play out their own fun adventures and display the collectible building toys.
- LEGO® components meet stringent industry standards to ensure they are compatible and connect consistently – it’s been that way since 1958.
- LEGO® bricks and pieces are tested to the max to ensure they comply with rigorous safety standards.
Set yourself up with a decent amount of space and put aside three or four hours to complete this build, because it is as expansive as it is absorbing.
Overall the build is fun and with each bag opened there is a real sense of progress. Starting with the lower hull (along with The Mandalorian and Moff Gideon minifigures), the staged construction sees the addition of the forward structure, the framework and plating for the bridge spire and aft section (and includes Fennec Shand and Cara Dune minifigures), interior detailing and exterior hull features (and adds Grogu/The Child and the Darktrooper minifigures).
Those fans with long memories will remember that it was 6211 Imperial Star Destroyer that, in 2006, introduced the first Star Destroyer with an interior play area. Accessed by a flip-top upper deck, the internal structure boasted a meditation chamber, command areas, a hanger bay with an escape pod as well as a separate bridge. This open-to-play functionality was repeated with 75055 Imperial Star Destroyer (2014) and 75190 First Order Star Destroyer (2017); both of which had similar features and areas that augmented the play value of the set.
However, the inside of this set is far more limited; with only one room – presumably the command deck where Din Djarin, Cara Dune, Fennec Shand and the rest of the boarding party retreated, along with Moff Gideon and Grogu, to when they were fighting their rearguard action against the Darktroopers – and the absence of any number of chambers (including the Darktrooper’s storage compartment) that were seen in season two’s finale is notable.
The assortment of minifigures in this set is acceptable; The Mandalorian, Cara Dune, Fennec Shand, Grogu/The Child, Moff Gideon and a Darktrooper are all perfectly explainable characters to include, and allow for the bulk of the action depicted in The Rescue to be acted out to some extent.
Three of the six minifigures (The Mandalorian, Cara Dune and Grogu/The Child) have already been provided in previous sets in The Mandalorian collection, but three of them are original to 75315 Imperial Light Cruiser.
An adult might be bothered that there aren’t enough Darktroopers to properly represent the danger the protagonists were in, but a child wouldn’t care – they’d just get on and leg godt to their heart’s content.
Where 75315 Imperial Light Cruiser is an improvement on the previous three Star Destroyer vehicle/playsets is that its bridges can be used as a handle. While the previous three sets are larger and have more internal detail, the nature of their hinged hulls means that they are difficult to pick up – not so with Moff Gideon’s flagship, which can be carried in flight mode and swooshed all over the place.
The cloven bow of the set, just like the one seen in The Mandalorian live-action series, acts as a launch tube for the two tiny TIE Fighters (which originally came with 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer). Curiously the set’s two hanger bays are on its right and left side, meaning that they have to be “flown” to the bow before being mounted in the launch tube. Even more strangely the mechanism to propel the TIEs is inside the interior compartment, making the launcher incongruous to flight mode.
In reviewing the exterior of 75315 Imperial Light Cruiser, comparing it to the outside of 6211 Imperial Star Destroyer is pointless because the design work going into this new set is superior to this or any of the previous sets. Using light and dark gray colors and a mixture of plates, tiles and wedges the designer has managed to really capture the militaristic nature of this vehicle. The detailing on the edge strips really captures the right amount of texture without overloading the model (or adding too many of the dreaded x2s to the instruction book), and having rotatable and articulated turbolaser cannons on the dorsal hull not only adds to the display value of the set but vastly improves its playability.
With a 0.12 dollars per brick average, 75315 Imperial Light Cruiser doesn’t exactly demonstrate good value. While the outside of the set is decently showy the effort put into the inside feels like the designer ran out of time – particularly since the rear half of the model isn’t utilized as anything more than a counter-balance when the set is being carried by the bridge/handle – and even though it comes with six minifigures (three of which are unique to this set), their play value all points to the stand-off in the single cabin in Moff Gideon’s cruiser, and don’t lend themselves to any other scene-based roleplaying.
More play value along with two more minifigures, or a price point is a few bills closer to $100 would make this set more appealing to both fans who spend to collect and parents who buy for their children.
If you’re not put off and still want to add 75315 Imperial Light Cruiser then head to LEGO.com, Amazon.com, Walmart, Target (United States), BigW, Kmart, Zavvi and Toys “R” Us Canada to purchase this set now, or to Entertainment Earth where you can pre-order it.
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.