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  1. Hi everyone! TLG was kind enough to send me the two sets based on The Freemaker Adventures, so this is going to be a review of both of those sets as well as the TV show. There have been many animated Lego Star Wars specials over the years. Beginning with the stop-motion short film The Han Solo Affair back in 2002, the Lego Group has been delighting Lego Star Wars fans everywhere with these humorous cartoons based on everyone's favorite space opera. However, these were usually just spoofs of the movies and didn't offer much original content. They were also just one-off specials that were no more than 22 minutes long. It wasn't until The Yoda Chronicles in 2013 that they expanded their specials into a 7-episode mini series with an original plot. They invented a new character, the Sith clone Jek-14, and two new ships for the series and produced two sets based on it as well as a book and some exclusives. However, audiences were not too impressed since it still focused a lot on making silly jokes rather than telling a compelling story. The next mini series Droid Tales also had an overarching plot, but it only had 5 episodes and focused more on parodying the movies and TV shows again, just with a lot more meta jokes this time (which were hilarious in my opinion). It seemed like they were going backwards and were no longer interested in telling creative new stories... Enter The Freemaker Adventures, a brand new series that centers around a completely new cast of characters and an original story set between Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI Return of the Jedi. This show has 13 episodes, almost twice as many as The Yoda Chronicles had, and tells the story of the Freemakers, a family of scavengers who make a living selling starships that they build out of scrap that they find around the galaxy and one day discover an ancient artifact that the Empire is after, so they have to go on an adventure to save the galaxy. The premise was already intriguing, but I was surprised how good this show actually is. Since they decided to make up their own characters rather than use characters from the movies (although they do get some cameos) gives them a lot of freedom in what they can do with them and I think it really paid off. There is actual character development and lots of good messages about family, believing in yourself, and defining your own path. While the trademark Lego humor is still very much present, this Star Wars special is a lot more serious than previous ones and it balances the comedy and serious moments very well. Over the course of the 14 episodes, you really get to connect with the characters and get into the story which is pretty well written. The voice acting, animation, and music are excellent as well. This show's quality is on par with that of Ninjago and it feels like Star Wars Rebels for a slightly younger audience. Is it a perfect show? Of course not, but it's a lot better than the movie parodies that have come before which have started to get repetitive. I can definitely recommend it. I will give my brief thoughts about each episode below, but be warned, there will be SPOILERS! So if you haven't seen it, please skip ahead to the review of the sets. Episodes 01 - A Hero Discovered 02 - The Mines of Graballa 03 - Zander's Joyride 04 - The Lost Treasure of Cloud City 05 - Peril on Kashyyyk 06 - Crossing Paths 07 - Race on Tatooine 08 - The Test 09 - The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase 10 - The Maker of Zoh 11 - Showdown on Hoth 12 - Duel of Destiny 13 - Return of the Kyber Saber In conclusion, this was a very good show that Star Wars fans of all ages can enjoy and I would love to see more like this! But do the sets based on it live up to its greatness? Let's find out! I will start with the set that includes the Freemakers themselves, the StarScavenger! Set Number: 75147 Name: StarScavenger Theme: Star Wars Subtheme: The Freemaker Adventures Year of Release: 2016 Pieces: 558 Minifigs: 4 Price: $49.99 USD Links: Brickset Bricklink S@H description: The Box The front of the box has the Kylo Ren art at the top like all of this year's sets which doesn't quite fit with the Freemakers theme since Ben Solo wont even be born until a few years after the events of the Freemaker Adventures. The art work is nice though as it shows the StarScavenger flying through space with some explosions and the Freemakers' home "the Wheel" in the background. There is a minifig lineup in the lower left corner, but the character names on it are a bit hard to read as they are printed so low that they are sitting just above the edge of the box. On the back, there are pictures showing off the playfeatures of the set along with some schematics and an ad for the Force Builder app. What I find odd is that the schematics and app pictures are much larger than the play features images, making the play features look like an after thought. I think they could have used the space better to highlight the features of the set more. On the other hand, it makes sense that they are advertising the app here since building with the force is a big theme in The Freemaker Adventures. At the top of the box there is another minifig lineup that is easier to read than the one on the front and it uses Rowan as a size reference. On the bottom there is not much besides a Lego Club ad and some copyright info. On the sides of the box feature a smaller image of the StarScavenger along with a choking hazard warning on the right... ... and the set name in Spanish on the left. Contents Inside the box there are five numbered bags, a sheet of three stickers, and an instruction booklet (which had a bent corner in my copy ). There are a couple of rare parts in this set, such as the A-Wing fins which only come in the latest A-Wing set, a dark tan scoop which is currently exclusive to this set in this color (although it will appear in a Marvel Super Heroes set next year), some inverted, curved 1x2 slopes in gray which only appear in 4 other sets in this color, and a printed double cheese slope which made its debut in two other Star Wars sets earlier this year. It's always a pain trying to apply stickers onto these pieces, so I am very happy they have started to print them now. The instructions are pretty mundane to look at as you can see from this random page since this is a mostly gray build on top of a gray background, but there is enough contrast that you can tell the different colors apart. This is a medium difficulty build, so the complexity of the part callouts range from one piece to five different types of pieces. Minifigures Now let's talk about the minifigures, the Freemakers themselves! I will begin with the main protagonist of the story, Rowan. He is the youngest of the siblings and is the only one who is force sensitive. He is very eager to master the force and help save the galaxy, even though he has a lot of trouble focusing. He is a great role model for kids with a short attention span which there are a lot of nowadays. Like all the Freemakers, he has a light nougat skin and brown hair (Maybe they are Kanan Jarrus's kids? ). Since he is often assigned to be the lookout, his accessory is a pair of binoculars, although they are the traditional kind rather than the high-tech ones usually used in Star Wars sets. His torso has back printing, however he does not have a double-sided head. In fact, none of the Freemakers do. This is a shame as a second expression really would have been useful to recreate some of the more sad/serious moments in the series. A concerned face or that wide-eyed stare he gets when he senses a kyber saber crystal nearby would have been great to get, but I guess this will do. He also comes with a white pilot helmet with goggles. I don't remember him ever wearing such a helmet in the show, so I am perplexed as to why it was included. It would have made a lot more sense if he would have come with the blue lightsaber that he often uses throughout the series. When compared to his appearance in the show, Rowan is pretty accurate except for some minor differences. His legs in the show are olive green to match Kordi's jacket, but here they are dark green, and his shirt is more blue than gray in the show. While it would have been nice to get the short legs in a new color, the dark green works with his color scheme, so I don't mind the change. Also, his animated counterpart has his brown shoulder padding stretch over his shoulders. This is something they easily could have done with some arm printing or maybe even dual molding, but I guess that wasn't in the budget. Next up we have Kordi. She is the manager of the Freemakers' Salvage business and can get a bit bossy. She usually only cares about money, but is also very protective of her brothers. She is a fast talker and has talked herself and her brothers out of trouble on many occasions. Her torso printing isn't as gritty looking as Rowan's, but it still has lots of nice details that continue down to her legs. She comes with a buzz saw even though she never used such a tool in the show (they actually use brick separators to disassemble their salvage ), but it's a tool that makes for a scavenger to have. When compared to her show counterpart, she is pretty spot-on. My only nitpick is that there is some flesh-colored printing missing above her shirt, but I guess this makes her torso more versatile. The third sibling is Zander and he's the oldest out of them. He is the team's mechanic, a racing enthusiast, and the self-described "fastest pilot in the galaxy guy". He builds Uglies out of the salvage they collect which they then sell in order to pay their rent, although he prefers his creations to be called Z-Wings. I like that they brought back the old EU concept of Uglies since they are a very Lego-like idea, creating something new out of the parts from preexisting "official" models. So Zander is basically an AFOL since he likes to build MOCs and gets excited at every rare Lego Star Wars ship he sees. And since he's a mechanic, he comes with a wrench. He has the same legs as Kordi and wears a matching jacket with oil stains on it. His swept hairpiece is exclusive to this set in dark brown. Much like Kordi, his design is identical to that in the show. Again, except for the lack of flesh printing on his neck. Lastly, there is R0-GR, or "Roger", a refurbished battle droid from the Clone Wars who is basically the Freemakers' maid. He serves as the comic relief and as Rowan's sidekick, although he can get quite annoying. If you hated the battle droids in The Clone Wars, you're really not gonna like him as he has the same grating voice and is ten times more slapsticky than them. However, he is very loyal to his family and is of some use to them from time to time. He is often seen sipping on a nice hot cup of motor oil which is why he comes with a mug in this set. Compared to his show counterpart, he is pretty accurate (although it's hard to screw up a battle droid minifig), however he does not have the Freemaker logo on his transmitter pack on his back. This is pretty disappointing since his transmitter plays an important role in the story on multiple occasions. Even a sticker would have solved the problem. The Build The first bag contains the parts for the mini scavenger and the cockpit of the StarScavenger as well as Zander. The Mini Scavenger is a quick and simple build, and honestly it looks pretty bad. It looks very boxy and unfinished. The scoop can be tilted down and the legs can be folded up, but they also look pathetically short, especially the feet look too small. The whole walker is a bit back-heavy, so it tends to fall on its back a lot, especially when the scoop is empty. The set comes with some items that you can put in the scoop including a light blue crystal which is supposed to represent a kyber saber crystal and two white 1x2 bricks which are supposed to represent... well, I have no clue what they are supposed to represent. Some kind of salvage I assume. You can seat a minifigure in the driver seat and there is a spot for Roger to stand in the back. There are also some clips to store accessories. You can't blame the source material for the bad look of the Mini Scavenger because it looks very different in the show. The animated version looks a lot better as it is fully enclosed and it's not a even a walker, It's a small ship. Plus it deploys out of the bottom of the StarScavenger, not the top. How did they get this so wrong? At the end of bag 1, the cockpit of the StarScavenger is complete. So far so good, although it's odd that they didn't include a 1x2 plate to fill the hole under the dark blue curved slope in the back. The second bag contains the parts for the rest of the front half of the ship as well as Rowan. Here are the completed turrets and the hallway sections leading up to them. Once you connect them via the Technic pins to the cockpit, the front section of the StarScavenger is finished. This part of the ship is a pretty solid build. The third bag contains the parts to construct the lower half of the cargo carrier. This is how it looks at the end of bag 3. So far it looks very bare. The next bag includes the parts for the other two engines. After building and attaching them, the cargo carrier is mostly finished, even if it may not look like it. The last bag contains Kordi, Roger, and the wings of the ship. Once you attach the wings, the build is finished. There are a few small parts left over as usual along with a spare spring missile and the brick separator (which could actually be considered part of the set since the Freemakers do have a brick separator on their ship for dismantling salvage). The Complete Set Once you connect the cargo carrier to the cockpit section, the set is complete! Overall, the StarScavenger is not the most appealing vessel as it looks cobbled together, but I believe that is intentional since it is supposed to be an Ugly made out of different ship parts. It looks like it was built out of the cockpit of a Jedi Defender-class Cruiser, the engines of an A-Wing, and the wings of some kind of shuttle. When compared to the show, the StarScavenger is vastly under-scaled in this set as the ship is supposed to be 2-3 times as big as it is, but the general shape of it is the same. Another inaccuracy is that the set has the Freemaker logo on top of the cockpit and on the sides of the fins while the ship in the show doesn't. So they made three large stickers for the StarScavenger that it didn't need, but they neglected to make one small decal for Roger's transmitter? The ship doesn't look so good from the back as the cargo carrier is very lacking compared to the cockpit section and I don't like how the spring-loaded missiles are sticking out of the back of the turrets. The wings can be folded out to convert them to flight mode. Here they are in landing mode: And here they are in flight mode. Looking at it from the front, the ship actually looks pretty good. The use of dark tan, gray, and dark gray give it a nice rusty look. The back, however, does not look so good as it is almost completely open aside from the engines and a couple of Technic beams. Also, only half of the holes in the thrusters are filled with trans-light-blue round tiles. It would look much better if there was a full circle of these like in the show. From the side, the ship looks alright for the most part in landing mode, although there is some of the interior showing towards the front of the wings. However, once you fold up the wings for flight mode, the ship looks pretty terrible from the sides as it is completely open. I guess Rowan and Roger will have to hold their breath during the flight. The reason why the cargo carrier is so bare bones is that it is designed so that you can split the engines apart and open up the top in order to access the Mini Scavenger on the inside. This is not a bad play feature, but I wish they could have implemented it without sacrificing the walls of the ship. While the Mini Scavenger is inside the cargo carrier, its scoop doubles as the scoop of the StarScavenger which is pretty clever in my opinion. The cockpit can also be opened from the top to seat the minifigures inside. In the show, there are two seats in the front row, allowing all the Freemakers to fit in the cockpit, but here you can just barely fit two inside. You can still fit all four minifigs into the ship by having the two others ride in the back. For non-salvage missions, the cargo carrier can be detached from the cockpit section as seen in the episode The Lost Treasure of Cloud City. This feature works fairly well, and even though the two halves are only connected by three Technic pins, the ship is stable enough when they are connected. Ratings Design: 3/5 - Scale aside, the StarScavenger looks decent, at least in landing mode. I like the look of the front half of the ship, but the other half is much too bare bones. The Mini Scavenger is ugly, inaccurate, and unbalanced. Build: 3/5 - The build is pretty average and there's nothing very challenging aside from some SNOT and Technic structures. Minifigs: 4/5 - Four minifigs is a decent number for a set of this size and they're all exclusive and pretty accurate to the show. There are some minor inaccuracies on some of the characters, though, and some double-sided heads would have been nice. Playability: 5/5 - This is perhaps the only area in which this set shines as there are a lot of play features in this set which all work as they're intended and the set can be split into 2-3 different vehicles. Parts: 3/5 - Most of the parts are pretty common, although there are some rare ones included. Price: 4/5 - 558 parts for $50 is a pretty good deal for a Star Wars set these days. Overall: 3/5 - I'm not impressed with this recreation of the iconic ship of the Freemakers. The minifigures are good and there are a lot of play features, but it just feels like they were cutting costs wherever they could, resulting in an unsatisfying set. The vehicles, especially the Mini Scavenger, are kinda ugly, even for Uglies, and since they aren't canon, I doubt any adult collector will be interested in this set. If you have kids who are fans of the cartoon and care more about minifigs and play features than looks, go ahead and buy it for them. For everyone else, this is probably an easy pass. Now lets turn to the dark side and see if the villains fare any better than the heroes. Set Number: 75145 Name: Eclipse Fighter Theme: Star Wars Subtheme: The Freemaker Adventures Year of Release: 2016 Pieces: 363 Minifigs: 2 Price: $29.99 USD Links: Brickset Bricklink S@H description: The Box The box of this set also has the Kylo Ren design, although in this case it fits a bit better with the Sith theme. In case you didn't already know, (spoiler alert!) Naare is a Sith agent working for the Emperor who only pretends to be a Jedi in order to gain the trust of the Freemakers and trick them into helping her find the kyber saber crystals. I'm sorry I had to spoil that for you, but it's impossible to talk about this set without revealing this twist (which is not a huge spoiler anyway since it is revealed in the first episode). I mean, just look at this box art! While the set description is a bit vague about it, the box art makes it perfectly clear that Naare is a Sith. Her red lightsaber, her evil tattooed face, and the color scheme of her starfighter are all dead giveaways. So don't blame me for this spoiler, blame the box art. The back of the box has the same wasteful layout as that of the StarScavenger, although thanks to the smaller box size, the play feature images take up a slightly bigger portion of the layout. Inside the box there is an instruction booklet and 3 numbered bags. No unnecessary stickers this time! There aren't many noteworthy parts in this set except for the trans-red windscreen with handle which is exclusive to this set in this color, 3 trans-light-blue 2x2 domes which appear for only the second time in this color, and 2 red round 2x2 tiles with a floral pattern printed on them. These printed parts only appear in this set and that pattern has no significance as far as I know, so I don't know why they didn't just use a regular old tile, but it's always nice to see them go the extra mile to print parts, so I'm not complaining. Since this set features a darker color scheme than the StarScavenger, it provides more contrast to the light gray background in the instructions as you can see below. This is a build of lower difficulty, so there are usually no more than three different types of parts in the callouts. Minifigures There are two minifigs included in this set. One of them is Naare of course and you can see her here in her Jedi disguise. This version of her has white tattoos on her face, and her torso features some detailed printing too which continues down to her legs with a nice silver pattern. Like Rowan, She does not come with a blue lightsaber to go with her Jedi outfit unfortunately. Her cape is the new spongy kind. The other fig is Dengar. He is a bit of an odd choice to include in this set as he is more often seen together with his employer, Graballa the Hutt and his goons than with Naare, although they do work together at one point, so I guess it makes sense. He is the only canon character in these sets, so he will likely be the most sought after by AFOLs. His accessory is a rifle, even though he is usually seen with a pistol in the show. When compared to the show, Naare is spot-on. Dengar is pretty accurate to his animated counterpart too. His face is not quite as grouchy as in his last appearance in the Super Star Destroyer set, although not as cheerful as in his first appearance either. I guess he has a lot of mood swings. His torso printing is more colorful this time and it is printed on a white torso which makes it look more cartoony and fits the tone of the source material, although I personally prefer the more gritty SSD version. The bandages on his head are the same headgear as that of the Clumsy Guy from the Collectable Minifigures Series 15 which is pretty clever and the most accurate mold used for him to date. Here is a rear view of the figs. Naare's cape is the new spongy kind which allows her hair to cover it effortlessly. Dengar comes with a backpack similar to the one he had on the Super Star Destroyer, except with a light gray 1x1 plate with ring instead of a dark gray one. Here is a picture of Naare without her cape and hair so that you can see her back printing. As you can see, Naare is the only one of the Freemaker minifigs that has a double sided head. Her alternate face is the Sith face that she gets whenever she looses her temper. Unfortunately the printing quality of her dark red tattoos is not very good, giving them an uneven tone and making them run along the crease towards the top of her head. It looks as if they were painted on with water colors. She comes with a hood and a red lightsaber to complete the Sith look. The hilt of her lightsaber is the same as those of Asajj Ventress which is inaccurate since she has a regular hilt in the show, so I'm not sure why they dug up this old mold. The Build The first bag contains Dengar and the parts for his speederbike as well as the cockpit of the Eclipse Fighter. Dengar's speederbike is a pretty quick and easy build, but the result looks pretty good. This would make a very decent polybag set on its own. There is a clip to hold his rifle in the back. He only used this bike in one episode when he was chasing the Freemakers in a Podrace. This is the best reference image I could get of it. As you can see, there some minor differences such as the use of an actual windscreen panel instead of a cheese slope and the use of a double cheese slope and a backrest instead of cheese graters in the back, but aside from that it's pretty accurate. This is how far we are with the Eclipse fighter at the end of bag 1. At this point, it looks like an escape pod. An EVIL escape pod! Bag 2 contains the parts for the structure of the transforming feature. Once the structure is built, you slide it underneath the cockpit and attach the support beams to the sides of it. The third bag contains Naare and the pieces needed to complete her fighter. Her cape is in a small white box as always. There are several small pieces left over at the end of the build, including a space spring missile and some extra lightsaber hilts. I guess you could pretend that the regular hilt is her turned off blue lightsaber or you could use it to replace the inaccurate hilt on her red lightsaber. The Complete Set After you add the engines and the missing hull pieces, the Eclipse Fighter is complete. It is similar in shape to General Grievous' starfighter, but it looks more curvy and streamlined. Also, unlike Grievous' fighter, Naare's has a third engine in addition to the two side engines. Looking at it straight from the back, the Eclipse Fighter's outline has a nice organic shape to it. On the side, beneath the cockpit, there are clips for holding Naare's lightsaber. There is no space to store her hair or hood though. The inverted slopes towards the front of the underside are there to provide an easy way to slide the front of the ship into attack mode. Looking at the front, you can see that the two nose halves don't completely close in flight mode. Also, the wings tend to droop down a bit, but otherwise it looks good. When you slide the midsection of the ship forward, the nose splits open to reveal two spring-loaded missiles. I like these kind of hidden missiles much better than exposed ones like on the StarScavenger. This is what the fighter looks like in flight mode... ... and here it is in attack mode. When in this formation, small crevices are exposed behind the missile shooters where you can press the back of the missiles to launch them. My Jabba-sized adult fingers have trouble reaching in there, but I'm sure kids will have no problem with it. (I really hope nobody takes that sentence out of context ) Compared to the ship in the show there are once again several small differences, most noticeably on the cockpit which is about 2 studs wider and longer in the show than it is in the set. I think I would have preferred it if they would have made the cockpit larger like in the show because the way it is now Naare barely fits into it, leaving no room for any controls. Ratings Design: 4/5 - The Eclipse Fighter looks very sleek and seems much better designed than the StarScavenger. Dengar's speederbike also looks quite decent. There are some inaccuracies though. Build: 3/5 - Another fairly average build where the only somewhat challenging part is assembling the transforming mechanism. Minifigs: 4/5 - Two minifigs for a set of this size is not great, but not bad either. Dengar is the most accurate version to date and Naare is the most detailed fig in the Freemaker subtheme, although I have to deduct one point for the shoddy tattoo printing on her Sith face. Playability: 3/5 - There aren't as many play features here as in the StarScavenger, but I really like the transforming feature and the two vehicles are fun to swoosh around. Parts: 2/5 - Most of the parts are very common, although it is nice that they printed the two round tiles. Price: 5/5 - 8.3c per piece is a great value, especially for a Star Wars set! Overall: 4/5 - This set is better than the StarScavenger in almost every way. The vehicles look good and are fun to play with. The two figs that are included are very detailed and accurate, and this is the cheapest way to get Dengar right now if you don't mind the slightly brighter colors on his torso. Plus it's a good value for the price, so yes, I'd recommend this set. The Full Collection In conclusion, as good as the TV show is, the two sets that they decided to produce based on it don't quite live up to that quality. It seems like either the designers or the animators were working off of early concept art, resulting in many inaccuracies, which is inexcusable since the sets and the source material were both created by TLG themselves. There should have been better communication between the two teams in my opinion. The StarScavenger is especially disappointing and would have worked better in a higher price point. On the bright side, this is probably the easiest and cheapest Star Wars subtheme to collect right now because it consists of only two sets. For just $80 you get four vehicles and six main characters from the show, allowing you to play out many scenarios and scenes from the show, which is probably what most kids who watch it will care about. There are rumors of more Freemakers sets coming next year, so if this is true I hope they will step up their game and release some better sets. There are plenty of characters, vehicles, and locations that they could turn into sets, including some species that we are sorely missing, so here's hoping. Well, that's about it. This is probably the most that I have ever talked about two sets. I hope you stuck around to this point and enjoyed this special Reviewers Academy triple review. I would like to thank The Lego Group for the opportunity to review these sets. Please rate them in the poll above and leave any thoughts you have in the comment section below. Oh, remember when I said that The Freemaker Adventures features an original story? Well, that may not be entirely true...