75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer review: Triumphant design and execution

A photograph of the Executor Super Star Destoyer LEGO set, captured by BRICKA.

The 75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer was released to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi, and it does so in style.

Made available just a few days before this year’s Star Wars Day, the Executor features 630 pieces and is marketed towards those 18 and over. Not quite rare, detailed, or large enough to face-off against LEGO UCS sets, and not quite small enough to compare with Midi-Scale LEGO sets, this is an almost perfect budget entry to LEGO Star Wars.

The one thing missing, I would say, is a Darth Vader minifigure, or at least an Imperial Officer. A minifigure’s absence shouldn’t tarnish what I’ve already said about this LEGO set. It’s almost perfect, which in many’s eyes, is good enough.

75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer price: Brilliant value for money

No doubt one of the best LEGO Star Wars sets we’ve seen over the years, it offers a balanced compromise of detail, accuracy, quirks, and style. This is all packaged in a form factor that’s not quite as large and intrusive as some UCS sets, but also quite a lot more complex than LEGO sets in the £15 to £30 range. It’s currently going to cost you £59.99, which is a fair price if you ask me. The most expensive LEGO Animal Crossing set, for example, is going to set you back a little bit more than this, so when you consider that it’s quite a large, slender model, you realise you’re actually getting our money’s worth.

75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer design: Design is efficient and detailed

The Executor Super Star Destroyer is famously known for being Vader’s personal battleship throughout the saga. It’s first seen in Empire Strikes Back, when an already colossal Star Destroyer is completely overshadowed by the Super Star Destroyer’s sheer size. It’s a vehicle of absolutely epic scale, and paired with the Imperial March at the same time, it’s an incredibly menacing scene.

The 75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer does well to translate the towering mass into the form of a LEGO set. The dagger-like architecture of the ship renders it narrow and bladed, while a sense of scale is created with the tiny Star Destroyers that follow the ship. It’s such an acute detail and goes a long way at creating the same colossal effect that made the Executor’s first appearance so powerful.

A close up of the detailing on the Executor.

There’s also a dense amount of detailing on the roof (is that what you call it on a spaceship) that contributes to how big the model feels despite the reality of its footprint.

Even half way through the build, as shown below, you can see just how detailed and dense things look from above. Much of this is an illusion created by the presence of varied textures: nooks, crannies, bits, bobs, and studs.

A look at the 75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer mid-build. Captured by BRICKA.

This is maybe a criticism of the source material rather than the LEGO set, but I’d have hoped that the sloping plated surface of the Executor had a little bit more texture. There are studs added in which add a little bit of depth, but there’s definitely room for some printed panels to make this area stand out just that little bit more. 

One of the defining features that categorises all Destroyers in Star Wars is the hypermaximal density of their surfaces. Every inch, square mile, and hectare is covered by turrets and thermal exhaust ports, which I’d have liked to see reflected a bit better here. Inclusions of a few more of the “Ingot” style panel bricks would have brought this aspect to life a little better.

This is probably a symptom of the small size of the set, an aspect which I value way above the detail, so in the grand-scheme of things this is not a dealbreaker.

75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer build: Immersive and structural

The 75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer is a small enough LEGO Star Wars set that you’re going to be able to build it in one sitting. As previously mentioned, there are only 630 pieces, most of which are fairly simple to compile.

While the building experience of the 75370 Stormtrooper Mech was not that immersive, the architectural structure of the Super Star Destroyer adds a whole new dimension of satisfaction to it. Everything makes sense as you build the Star Destroyer from the core outwards, whether that’s laying down the foundations of the dagger shape, or building in angled supports for the slanted outer plating.

A shot of the Executor Super Star Destroyer at the beginning of the build, captured by Bricka.

One of my absolute favourite details is the crew of Vader’s bounty hunters iconised through an assortment of stacked studs. If you’re an avid Star Wars fan, you’ll recognise them from the No Disintegrations scene. While the final build doesn’t display these, it’s an incredibly nice touch that you’ll experience while building the 75356 set. 

A close up of the bounty hunters featured in the build. They are represented as 1x2 studs, captured by Bricka.

It’s also not that long of a build either. The bulk of the body is only really composed of a few small components: the base, core, outer plating, engines. As you proceed with each part, you’re going to see the Executor take shape pretty fast.

Wedge plates are used incredibly effectively to ensure that the set has that bladed shape, and the stern actually takes on quite a bit of detail to contrast the flatter plating. However, there is a slight issue with the proportions of the build. In all the canon media, the Super Star Destroyers are shown to have an incredibly wide stern, though this one has to taper.

A progress shot half-way through building the Executor. Captured by Bricka.

Likely due to the structural limitations of the wedge pieces and the weight that the hinge/rocker plates can support, this does detract ever-so-slightly from the accuracy of the piece.

A look at the bottom thrusters on the Executor. Captured by Bricka.

Beneath the Super Star Destroyer, you’re treated to detailed engine thrusters, though it is slightly disappointing that you’re exposed to bare LEGO base pieces, rather than any plating as applied to the roof. This does slightly irritate the accuracy to the source material of the piece, which can be quite ugly to look at from below.

A closer look at the base supporting the Executor, captured by Bricka.

The set comes with a pretty clean looking base. It has a rounded, professional look that exudes class. There are also two printed faceplates, which is another nice touch. The plinth really helps to make this set stand out as a sculpture rather than a toy, which is great considering the 18 and over age range.

Final Thoughts: 75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer review

A look at the stern of the Executor, captured by Bricka.

The 75356 Executor Super Star Destroyer is a great LEGO set for those just getting started with LEGO for adults. It’s a great piece of memorabilia from the Star Wars franchise, tapping into the nostalgia of most people’s favourite film (TESB) while also translating it into a fun and functional LEGO set. While it misses out on a Admiral Piett or Darth Vader minifigure, this is offset by the fantastic building experience and polished final product. It’s going to cost you £59.99 in the UK, which is slightly over what we estimate the average price of 2023’s LEGO sets to be.

  • Price: £59.99
  • Pieces: 630
  • Review Score: 4.5/5
  • Retailers: Amazon

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