Whether you chose to believe that the first Death Star was created by Raith Sienar, built by Wookiee slaves in the Geonosian system, and fuelled by ancient Mygeetan crystals, or you prefer the canon explanation that robots and Geonosian workers constructed it, and used Kyber crystals to power it is immaterial because the origin story of 75339 Death Star Trash Compactor is far more conclusive: designed by LEGO, built by fans and energized by creativity.
When it comes to the world of toys, the first Death Star was designed by Kenner Products, assembled by workers in China and used imagination as its main source of energy. Retailing at US$17.99, a staggering amount for a toy in 1978, in the United States and Canada, the tall, four-floored Death Star Playset featured (from top to bottom) a turbolaser cannon and tractor beam controls, extendable bridge with rope swing, security control room with escape hatch, and a working elevator and trash compactor.
Due to the playset’s size and production cost, it was only sold in the United States and Canada, with many other countries opting for a simpler cardboard version, produced under license by Palitoy (United Kingdom), Meccano (France), Toltoys (Australia and New Zealand) and Kenner Canada. This three-leveled semi-sphere had a gun turret at its pole, a mezzanine floor, an enclosed corridor and plastic chute, and a hanger and trash compactor.
Despite the popularity of the trash compactor, a term that has been trending amongst Star Wars fans for many decades, at no point in Star Wars: A New Hope is the waste recycler that Han, Luke, Chewbacca and the recently rescued Princess Leia ever called a trash compactor – it’s actually a garbage masher – and is one of those rare fan-canon examples (much like Jedi Bob) that has transcended into officialdom.
With a 23-year long license, the surprisingly long list of Death Star sets is mostly made up of playsets, and those rare changes of direction – like the Star Wars Celebration IV vignette and May The 4th Be With You ’20 micro-build – to get the attention of adults have been exclusives that required special effort.
Now, however, LEGO has come to terms with the fact that the growing adult market is one that deserves special attention, and to do so the LEGO Star Wars team has created a subset of the Adult Collector subtheme – the newly minted Diorama series.
75339 Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama
Begin a creative mission to recreate a legendary Star Wars: A New Hope scene with this Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama (75339) set. It is packed with authentic details, including moving walls and a dianoga’s head. Place Luke Skywalker and Han Solo (both dressed as Stormtroopers), Princess Leia and Chewbacca inside Garbage Compactor 3263827, and C-3PO and R2-D2 at the compactor’s controls trying to switch it off. Attach the plaque with Han Solo’s dry quip (‘‘One thing’s for sure. We’re all gonna be a lot thinner.”) to complete a nostalgic display piece.
For your building pleasure
A delightful gift for yourself, other fans of the classic Star Wars™ trilogy and experienced LEGO® builders, the set includes step-by-step instructions to guide the complex build.
Galaxy of joy
It began a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Now the saga continues in your living room with a collection of top-quality LEGO Star Wars sets for adults, including other buildable dioramas depicting classic scenes.
- Awaken your creative Force – Build the drama of a classic Star Wars: A New Hope scene with this Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama (75339) build-and-display model
- 6 beloved characters bring the scene to life – 5 LEGO® minifigures: Luke Skywalker and Han Solo dressed as Stormtroopers, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO, plus an R2-D2 LEGO droid figure
- Authentic details – Includes moving walls, a dianoga’s head, compactor control panel, plus a plaque with Han Solo’s “One thing’s for sure. We’re all gonna be a lot thinner.” line
- Expand your collection – This set is part of a collectible series of buildable LEGO® Star Wars™ diorama models, each depicting an iconic Star Wars moment, to spark nostalgia for any fan
- Gift idea for adults – Treat yourself or give this 802-piece set as a Christmas gift or birthday present to a friend who has a passion for Star Wars™ or is an experienced LEGO® builder
- Built for display – This buildable Star Wars™ memorabilia measures over 10 cm (4 in.) high, 22 cm (8.5 in.) wide and 15 cm (6 in.) deep
- Illustrated instructions – Step-by-step 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 creative people like you who enjoy fun, hands-on projects to unwind
- Quality assurance – Since 1958, LEGO® components have met rigorous industry standards to ensure that they connect simply and securely
- Safety first – LEGO® bricks and pieces are dropped, heated, crushed, twisted and analysed to make sure that they satisfy strict global safety standards
With a glowing red background, glossy print, and the epitomal black box that calls to adults, and after years of scratching their heads LEGO has finally delivered the pinnacle Death Star trash compactor in this new Diorama series set.
Comprised of 802 pieces, this set comes in four bags that assemble the base, back wall and both sliding sidewalls. This, being the simplest of the three Diorama series sets and more akin to a typical LEGO Star Wars playset, only takes an experience builder an hour and a half to complete.
The floor of the 26 x 18 stud base is decorated with an assortment of tiles – reddish-brown for the stained metal surface of the trash compactors substrate and translucent to stand in for the murky waters that swill around the trash – and chunky piles of debris.
The back wall, with its magnetically sealed door (which sadly doesn’t open), has the wear and tear that you’d associate with a battle station that had taken over 20 years to be constructed. Though the bulk of the back wall’s rear is unadorned, set designer Michael Lee Stockwell included the control panel that R2-D2 used to shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level.
The sides have the corresponding grooves and have the brick-built contents of the compactor attached to them. The piled-up scrap is deceptively clever – and very convincing – and through careful design glides across the floor as the walls, which are on rails, close.
Complementing the final model are five minifigures – R2-D2, C-3PO, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker in stormtrooper armor, Princess Leia and Chewbacca – three of which have upgraded designs for 2022.
If there’s any fault to the set, it’s the inclusion of C-3PO and R2-D2 minifigures. Their presence is extraneous to the location and having to leave them tucked around the back detracts from the essence of the diorama’s purpose.
The base colors of the diorama might not be as eye-catching as 75330 Dagobah Jedi Training, but they are a big improvement on the greyscale 75329 Death Star Trench Run, which accompanies the set in location and style.
The exclusion of loose bricks in the compactor is very welcome, and the cleverly arranged debris (including the head stalk and beady red eye of garbage masher 3263827’s resident dianonga) which allows the walls to close is particularly effective.
“Replicating a static mess is one thing, but building a function that works repeatedly without jamming, required coming up with a solution that would somehow control the mess. Inspiration for the final solution was taken from live theater — imagine recreating the movement of ocean waves with the use of stage props.” said Stockwell to StarWars.com when the series was revealed.
It would have been nice if Return of the Jedi had been represented in the trilogy of Diorama series sets, but as Star Wars team lead Jens Kronvold Frederiksen stated to StarWars.com “we have already created a lot of prototypes for more potential dioramas to come in the future” so it’s likely that we’ll see Endor, Tatooine, Hoth, Bespin and Yavin IV in the years to come, now that the LEGO Star Wars license has been extended to 2032.
Like the other three Diorama series sets, the price is a big sticking point. With the other two, their inflated cost seems to be balanced out by the much larger part count, but the addition of the two droid minifigures in this set really can’t be justified.
Available now, 75339 Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama is available through LEGO.com for (US$79.99 / CA$119.99 / UK£79.99 / DE€89.99 / AU$149.99) and Walmart (United States and Canada), Argos, Toys “R” Us Australia, and Smyths Toys Germany.
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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.