Adorned with the starbird symbol of the Rebellion, their eyesight protected by a yellow-tinted visor that cut down the glare of laser beam flashes, and held on tightly by a chinstrap, the standard flight helmet of the Alliance’s starfighter corps made them stand out in a crowed hanger – and now LEGO has created their own version of the iconic helmet that Luke Skywalker wore when he destroyed the Death Star.
Based on the Gentex APH-6B flight helmets issued to United States naval aviators during the Vietnam War, the base for the cranial costume was readily available as surplus in the mid-1970s when the conflict ended.
Wanting them to have a more sci-fi and less Cold War look, costume designer John Mollo (who won an Academy Award for his work on Star Wars) made a mold from an original APH-6B helmet and contracted plastics fabricator Andrew Ainsworth to add detail and make copies. The initial design provided by Mollo incorporated the original APH-6B’s mouthpiece, but this was dropped and the visor raised so the actor’s faces could be seen, writes starwarshelmets.com.
Ainsworth, who had the specialized vac-form equipment at his kayak factory in Shepperton, London to make the helmets (including those for the stormtroopers, TIE Fighter pilots and Death Star trooper), worked on the consignment during Spring of 1976 while principal photography on the Mos Eisley cantina scenes (which would be later reshot at The Lot studio in California) was completed, and delivered to the studio just as the shooting on the Death Star scenes began.
Made from white ABS, Ainsworth added the central mohawk ridge, front detailing, acrylic lens – which was amber on the Luke Skywalker’s, Biggs Darklighter, Wedge Antilles, and the other character pilots but grey for the other performers – and the chinstraps from standard off-the-shelf canoe helmets. The art department at Elstree Studios added screen-printed decals and handpainted details to give them the used universe look that George Lucas was trying to achieve.
Surviving records from the production of Star Wars shows that 20 of the X-wing/Y-wing pilot helmets were made, with at least six being converted into hero helmets for Luke, Biggs, Wedge, Jek Tono Porkins, Jon “Gold Leader” Vander and Garven “Red Leader” Dreis, and the rest used for background and stunt costumes.
With the bulk of the LEGO Star Wars collecting community having aged more than twenty years since the licensed theme was first launched, LEGO took a long look at what their fans were buying – and the motivations they used for their purchases – and came to the conclusion that the increasingly important market of adult collectors deserved some attention.
Having dipped their toes into the grown-up market at the start of 2020 with the first trio of helmets in the Adult Collector subtheme, this 75327 Luke Skywalker (Red Five) helmet is one of three new bucketheadz being added to the LEGO Star Wars theme in 2022.
75327 Luke Skywalker (Red Five) Helmet
Feel the power of your creative Force as you build the collectible Luke Skywalker (Red Five) Helmet (75327). This buildable model of Luke’s iconic pilot headgear is the first-ever hero helmet or open helmet in the LEGO® Star Wars™ collection. Channel your inner Jedi to recreate authentic details, including a brick-built microphone and interior padding, plus translucent red visor elements. Add the integrated stand with nameplate to complete a striking display piece. Clear instructions are included so you can relax and enjoy the construction process. And when you’re ready for another building mission, look out for the other new-for-March-2022 LEGO Star Wars helmets. It began a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Now the saga continues in your own home with a collection of premium-quality LEGO Star Wars sets for adults. Explore the range to discover a variety of holiday or birthday gift ideas for a Star Wars fan or passionate LEGO builder.
- Awaken your creative Force – Channel Jedi-like focus and mindfulness as you build this highly detailed LEGO® Star Wars™ Luke Skywalker (Red Five) Helmet (75327) model
- Made for display – Spark memories of Star Wars™ saga scenes as you replicate authentic details of Luke Skywalker’s helmet in LEGO® bricks, and display it on the integrated stand with nameplate
- Build your collection – This set is part of a series of collectible LEGO® Star Wars™ build-to-display helmet models, each offering a fun and immersive creative experience
- Gift idea – Treat yourself or give this premium-quality, 675-piece set as a gift to an adult Star Wars™ fan, passionate LEGO® builder and/or collector of LEGO Star Wars helmets
- Brick-built Star Wars™ memorabilia designed to make a big visual impact – This collectible Luke Skywalker helmet replica measures over 7.5 in. (19 cm) high, 4.5 in. (12 cm) wide and 5 in. (13 cm) deep
- Step-by-step guide – Are you a newcomer to LEGO® construction sets? No problem. There are clear, illustrated instructions in the box, so you can build with the confidence of a Jedi Master
- From a galaxy far, far away to your living room – Premium-quality LEGO® Star Wars™ sets for adults are designed for you, the discerning hobbyist who enjoys hands-on creative projects
- Quality assurance – Since 1958, LEGO® components have met rigorous industry standards to ensure they are consistent, compatible and connect securely
- Safety compliance – LEGO® bricks and pieces are dropped, heated, crushed, twisted and analyzed to make sure that they comply with demanding global safety standards
Before breaking the seals and dumping the four bags of bricks, three tubes, sticker sheet, and instruction book out, take a minute to savor the elegance of the box.
With the majority of LEGO sets packaged in landscape boxes, the portrait aspect ratio projects value. It’s obvious that LEGO has delved deeply into the psychology of packaging before they launched the Adult Welcome range because the form, color, and graphics on these boxes do more to draw the grown-up eye than that of a child.
That said, it’s what’s in the box that really counts, and both the build process and finished model are a joy.
Each of the four bags corresponds to a particular section of the build. Beginning, as usual, with the base, progress turns to the back of the helmet, followed by its top and the visor, before completing the left and right sides, stickers, and adding the printed nameplate.
Lacking the interior block of studs, this helmet’s progress is a bit quicker – and certainly less monotonous – than the other helmets.
Taking our 14+ builder just under 3 hours (or a full day in teenage time) to complete, the suggested 18+ age designator on the set shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Applying the stickers to the curved surfaces didn’t cause our builder any hassle, though making sure the yellow accent tubes on the mohawk did add some extra seconds to our builder’s time.
The overall dimensions of the helmet are spot on, and the mix of white, yellow, orange, and red really makes this stand out from the other helmets that LEGO has released. The smooth, curved slopes on the interior really work well as padding and the chin strap is magical. The set’s designer, César Soares, has done a top-notch job.
The finished product wasn’t without its challenges admits Soares, who told starwars.com that he found the central ridge was hard to capture.
“With white stripes on the top, red sides, and a bright yellow line across it, it meant that we really had to be creative. We ended up using bow elements in red with a white decoration on top and flexible yellow tubing for the side stripe.”
With five of the existing helmets being Imperial and the other two from the Mandalorian school of design, it’s nice to see the Rebel Alliance represented at last. This is also the first open-faced helmet of the subtheme, with all of the others released since 2020 being closed-off buckets. Fans knew that LEGO would have to address the lack of Rebel helmets and numerous discussions about how the lack of a head would be achieved – so far the feedback is positive.
How long will it be before productive LEGO builders figure out how to modify this set to create helmets for the other Rebel pilots? What other helmets would you like to see released? Share your wish list in the comments section below.
This set is available now from LEGO brand stores on their online shopping portal for US$59.99 / CA$79.99 / UK£54.99 / DE€59.99 / AU$89.99, and can also be purchased at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target (United States and Australia), Toys “R” Us Canada, The Entertainer, Smyths Toys (United Kingdom and Germany), BigW, Kmart and Argos.
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.