Did you know LEGO nearly went under in the late 90s? As crazy as that sounds, the iconic toy company was not at the top of its game; their original themes were hit-or-miss with kids and they needed a shot in the arm to reinvent the company. Fortunately for LEGO, Star Wars was returning to theaters with Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, and anyone alive at the time will tell you that it was the marketing blitz of the decade. From fast food toys to car accessories, you could find almost any product imaginable with a Star Wars logo on it.
LEGO and Star Wars partnered to create LEGO sets depicting scenes and ships from The Phantom Menace, as well as iconic models from the Original Trilogy. The LEGO x Star Wars partnership marked the first time that LEGO ever created a line of licensed sets, and since its inception over 20 years ago, Star Wars continues to be one of LEGO’s best-selling themes year after year.
With over 20 years of sets to choose from, today we’ll be taking a look at some of my picks for the best 20 LEGO Star Wars sets of all-time. Before that, let’s set some ground rules:
1.) Bigger does not always mean better; there will be some sets in here that are smaller sets, but ones that I feel elevated and/or game-changed the LEGO Star Wars theme. Not every set has to be as big and grandiose as the Death Star!
2.) Certain sets like the Slave 1 or Millennium Falcon have been released several times with different builds, figures, or aesthetics altogether. I will be including what I consider to be the best version of whatever models make the list, so some decisions could be split-hair choices.
3.) The beauty of LEGO is that some sets will resonate with us more than others. If you agree or disagree with my list, I’d love to hear from you and talk about it! Here’s my IG – let’s connect!
Jumping from a small set to one of the largest in the LEGO Star Wars line, the Imperial Star Destroyer commands your attention. I don’t own this set personally, but I have friends who do and I can attest that the sheer size of this set lands it on this list. The interior is a tangled web of Technic pieces that build an inner framework to keep it together, and the exterior has some surprising detail factored in, but overall the set wins points for its looming presence. It’s not one of my personal favorites, but certainly among the best ever to be offered.
The X-Wing is one of the most iconic Star Wars ships ever, and the UCS version of the X-Wing delivers on every level. The size is immaculate, the detailing is incredible, and it’s the kind of set that will be instantly recognizable on your shelves should you be willing to shell out a few hundred to get it now that it’s retired.
The Imperial Shuttle is among Star Wars’ most iconic ships, and this set is the biggest LEGO version of that ship to date. While the minifigures from this set haven’t aged well, the build itself remains top tier for the LEGO Star Wars line. The wings and middle fin use a unique blend of LEGO bricks and Technic pieces to create large sprawling wings and reinforce them with a sturdy, functional backbone.
This is a set that flew under a lot of people’s radars but has since become one of the most sought-after LEGO Star Wars sets ever. Jam packed with Clone Troopers, this set made for an incredible army builder. Pair that with the functionality of being able to use the Republic Gunship to pick up and/or drop off the AT-OT walker, and this set was guaranteed to bring hours of entertainment to anyone who was lucky enough to build it. Definitely one of the more ingenious LEGO Star Wars designs!
With nearly 3,300 pieces, this set is one of the few UCS sets that feels truly to scale with the minifigures it includes. The set comes with several exclusive droid minifigures in addition to an exclusive Uncle Owen. It’ll command a lot of shelf space should you choose to display it, but it is definitely among the best from the LEGO Star Wars theme.
Bringing the opening battle of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back to life, the Snowspeeder is packed with awesome detail and a solid build. I was actually surprised by how sturdy the build is, not to mention how well the orange details on this set really pop. It’s a great set, and when it released for $199.99, it definitely delivered on the value.
This set is incredibly rare these days, and for good reason. It’s a rare occasion when LEGO combined multiple sets into one, larger offering. This set combined “Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter and Vulture Droid” with the “Droid Tri-Fighter,” added an extra Vulture Droid for measure and included an exclusive version of Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter. On top of this awesome combo set, it perfectly recreated the opening sequence from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which added an extra layer of specialty to this set.
This set was a LEGO Store and LEGO online exclusive for the majority of its shelf life, and I passed on it multiple times. The display didn’t “wow” me, and the price felt too high for what it was. Take this as a lesson: I was an idiot. This set is now toward the top of my Most Wanted list, and I regret not getting it when I had the chance to buy it on sale a few times. That said, I’ve seen and interacted with this set several times since then and it certainly deserves praise. From its wide array of minifigs to its immaculately-detailed rooms, this set offers more than the average LEGO Star Wars set and I’m still kicking myself for not nabbing it.
Based off the final chase scene from Episode II: Attack of the Clones, this set is an incredible display piece and one of the most sturdy LEGO sets I’ve ever owned! On top of a great visual set, it includes several highly sought-after minifigs like Padme and the red Clone Trooper Captain. While there aren’t a ton of play features, in my mind the entire set is a play feature; every time I see mine sitting on the shelf, I am tempted to pick it up and swoosh it around my room—and I do that more than you might expect!
This set is still pretty new, but man, what a great build and display piece it is! It is jam packed with exclusive minifigures and offers tons of play value. As you may have learned from this list, I am a real sucker for “location” sets rather than vehicles, so this set scores major points with me. I’ve not built it myself, but I’ve seen it at friends’ houses and am blown away with the scale, detail, and display value this set has to offer.
Is it cheating to lump two sets into one place on this list? Maybe, but these sets go together like two peas in a podracer. Jabba’s Palace was released first, then shortly after, the Rancor Pit was released and the sets were designed to interlock with one another to create one, larger play set. The floor in front of Jabba’s throne can be slid out, causing your LEGO Luke Skywalker to fall right into the Rancor Pit just like he did in Return of the Jedi! It’s rare that LEGO releases two sets that are meant to be combined like this, so for the execution and the display value of these sets, they’re sharing the #5 spot on this list.
Based off its first appearance in Rogue One, Darth Vader’s Castle takes us back to the volcanic planet of Mustafar. With five detailed minifigures, a scaled-down version of Vader’s TIE, and nearly 1,100 pieces, this set is packed with play value and display value, which makes it among the top tier of LEGO Star Wars sets.
Among the most expensive LEGO sets ever, this $799.99 set has over 7,500 pieces and will require a table of its own to be displayed—I’m not kidding! At the time of its release, it was the largest LEGO set ever made, but has since been usurped by the Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle and the Colosseum, respectively. Still, as the largest set in the LEGO Star Wars theme, it’s hard to imagine this set being anywhere else but the top three!
Arguably among the coolest sci-fi ships of all time, it’s no surprise that the Slave 1 is ranked so highly on this list. One complaint I have about nearly every Slave 1 model is that it’s a very hard ship to display, but this set comes with its own stand to display the ship on, which scores it mega bonus points for me. It comes with an exclusive Boba Fett figure with some immaculate detailed printing, and over all it looks incredible. Definitely one of the best LEGO adaptations of all-time.
When I think of LEGO and Star Wars, my mind immediately snaps back to growing up in the “prequel” era and playing with every LEGO Star Wars set I could get my hands on. Being a fan of “location” sets rather than vehicles, the Death Star takes the cake for me as the best LEGO Star Wars set of all time. How could it not be? You get nearly every main character from the original trilogy, Vader’s TIE Fighter and a massive LEGO build that showcases so many iconic Star Wars scenes all at once. This set was a blast to build, even more fun to play with, and encapsulates everything great about the LEGO Star Wars theme into one 4,000+ piece behemoth of a set.