Cracking Into 75343 Dark Trooper Helmet

New to the Star Wars galaxy, the latest Imperial weapon has been added to the Adult Collector subtheme as the newest buildable helmet, and though they are known for their climactic appearance in The Mandalorian, their roots reach back to the earliest days of the Expanded Universe.

Now consigned to that arm of ex-canon material known as Legends, the original Dark Troopers stem from the original Dark Forces video game released in 1995 and made available for the PC, Macintosh, PlayStation, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.

In this first-person shooter game, the player controls Kyle Katarn – a rogue and smuggler who was once an Imperial stormtrooper – in a quest to discover the source of a new weapon and destroy its wielders; the Dark Troopers. Battling through a series of ever increasingly difficult levels, Katarn fights his way past the three different versions (or phases) of advanced combat droids that the Imperial weapons project has developed in its determination to devise the ultimate warrior.

The three phases of Dark Troopers (Source: Wookipedia.com)

Bridging the decades between the last century and the new Millennium was Battlefront, the story-less first-person combat video game released in 2004, which retconned their development and transformed clone Stormtrooper veterans into cyborgs as part of the Phase Zero project.

Left fallow for 10 years, the Dark Trooper project returned to the popular consciousness in 2014 when they appeared in the birds-eye-view strategy game Commander on Android and iOS devices. While the events of the game were not considered canon, the locations and characters – including the Phase II Dark trooper – were. These body-suited humans were eventually replaced by the Phase II version, which was an experimental battle droid.

Making its most recent appearance in the second season of The Mandalorian, the all-droid Phase III Dark Trooper developed by the Imperial Department of Military Research didn’t see active deployment until Imperial remnant leader Moff Gideon dispatched a squad to retrieve Grogu, the Force-sensitive foundling, from his protectors. Kidnapped and taken aboard Gideon’s light cruiser, the Dark Troopers were used to defend the ship and repel Din Djarin, Fennec Shand, Bo Katan and her Mandalorian warriors, and Boba Fett, who were trying to retrieve Grogu.

Ultimately, the last remaining known Dark troopers were destroyed by Luke Skywalker, an encounter that has been captured in 75324 Dark Trooper Attack, which is also currently available.

This new helmet from LEGO is not the first Dark Trooper toy, which actually took the form of a Dark Trooper (Phase III) action figure, based on the Dark Forces video game, as a part of the Expanded Universe range from Hasbro in 1998. The same action figure was re-released in 2007, as part of The Saga Collection, to mark the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, and was revisited in 2009 when Dark Trooper (Phase I) was released. The next year five double-packs in The Legacy Collection’s Droid Factory assortment included the parts to convert the Phase I toy into a Phase III figure.

75343 Dark Trooper Helmet

Take a trip to the dark side with this buildable LEGO® Star Wars™ Dark Trooper Helmet (75343) model for adults. Enjoy mindful quality time recreating the distinctive contours of the helmet as seen in Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2. Evil red eyes, constructed using translucent red LEGO elements, and the slight forward tilt of the helmet on its brick-built stand deliver an authentic menacing look.

Top gift idea
This build-and-display model makes a great treat for yourself or a gift for other adult LEGO Star Wars fans and experienced LEGO builders, and comes with clear instructions to guide you through every step of the fun, creative building experience.

Galaxy of fun
It began a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Now the saga continues in your living room with LEGO Star Wars sets. Explore the exciting range of sets designed specifically for adults, including other new-for-March-2022 helmets to add to your collection.

  • Take a creative journey on the dark side – Immerse yourself in a hands-on project to build a LEGO® Star Wars™ version of a Dark Trooper Helmet (75343) with authentic details
  • Build and display – Relive tense Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2 scenes as you recreate the iconic features of a Dark Trooper’s helmet and display it on the brick-built stand with nameplate
  • Get that distinctive Dark Trooper look – Use a combination of translucent red LEGO® elements and white LEGO bricks underneath to evoke the shining eyes of a Dark Trooper
  • Build your collection – This Star Wars: The Mandalorian collectible is part of a series of LEGO® Star Wars™ build-to-display helmet models
  • Fun gift idea – Treat yourself or give this 693-piece set as a birthday present, holiday gift or anytime surprise to an adult Star Wars™ fan and/or experienced LEGO® builder
  • Compact size and designed to make a powerful visual impact – This brick-built Dark Trooper Helmet model measures over 7 in. (18 cm) high, 4.5 in. (12 cm) wide and 6 in. (15 cm) deep
  • Step-by-step instructions – Clear, illustrated instructions are included to guide you through this complex build
  • From a galaxy far, far away to your home – LEGO® Star Wars™ sets for adults are designed for people like you who enjoy fun, mindful, creative activities to unwind
  • High quality – LEGO® components comply with demanding industry standards to ensure consistent, secure connections and robust builds
  • Safety first – LEGO® bricks and pieces are tested to the max to make sure that they satisfy stringent global safety standards
18+693390753430$0.09
Ages Pieces VIP Points Item Minifigures Value

As with every LEGO Star Wars set, it is always worth the time to appreciate the effort that has gone into the packaging – especially the graphics, and 75343 Dark Trooper Helmet is especially worth a moment or two because the glossy image of the helmet, with the subtle red aura around it, really jumps out from the matt black packaging.

Being the largest (by piece count) and most intricate build means 75343 Dark Trooper Helmet needs a bit more time than the other two Adult Collector sets released this year, so set aside at least an hour and three quarters to complete this model.

In terms of assembly, LEGO has continued to change the order with the core and the visor first, followed by the top of the helmet, then the stand, with the mouthpiece (which uses some very spurious connections and a light touch is needed to ensure it holds together while you’re fitting it) and sides coming in last.

Perhaps different construction order is due to three different designers – each of whom takes a different approach – working on these three helmets, but like all the others the core uses different colored bricks to help the builder maintain orientation.

This is particularly helpful with this being a monochromatic build, as an aspect of the build that designer Hans Burkhard Schlömer found very challenging who told starwars.com that “Designing uni-colored models has its ups and downs, especially with black elements. It helps with the overall shape as it makes everything blend together more easily but makes it difficult for details to stand out. The biggest design challenge was probably the snout/mouth of this helmet due to its complex shape!”

It’s an odd choice for LEGO, given that all but The Mandalorian helmet (which we’ve had time to welcome into the fold) come characters and roles that are long-established in Star Wars canon, while the Dark trooper has only had a few episodes of screen time.

Being an exclusive set, 75328 The Mandalorian Helmet is limited to LEGO.com (priced US$59.99 / CA$79.99 / UK£54.99 / DE€59.99 / AU$89.99), Target in the United States, BigW in Australia, Toys “R” US Canada, and Shop Disney (United Kingdom and Europe). Making a purchase through some of these links may generate an affiliate income, at no cost to you, that helps to maintain this entirely volunteer-run blog.

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