Unwrapping the Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar: Day 9

2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar Day 9. Image credit: Eric Clayton / Dork Side of the Force.
2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar Day 9. Image credit: Eric Clayton / Dork Side of the Force. /

Day 9 of the 2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar gives the Separatist forces a leg-up in the ongoing Clone Wars Battle of December: We see the arrival of the STAP aka the single trooper aerial platform. And this build is excellent.

First, you probably remember the STAPs zipping around the swamps of Naboo in Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace. Like yesterday’s B1 battle droid, the STAP also made its Star Wars debut in that film as a reconnaissance vehicle for the invading Trade Federation. B1 battle droids rode these suckers into battle on Naboo and on countless planets thereafter in the ensuing Clone Wars. Again, like the B1 battle droid, once the Trade Federation joined the Separatist forces, STAPs became ubiquitous across the galaxy, serving as a key tool in any invasion toolbox.

But this particular build means even more (to me at least) in the sweeping scope of Star Wars history. In 1999, we didn’t just get the premiere of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace; we also got the premiere of Star Wars as LEGO. Star Wars was the first licensed property in the history of LEGO, and the STAP became one of the first vehicles of the franchise to be built with little plastic bricks. In that same year, set # 7121 aka “Naboo Swamp” was released, featuring two STAPs, two B1 battle droids, Qui-Gon Jinn and Jar Jar Binks (two historic minifigures in their own right).

I still remember those two STAPs—pieces of them are undoubtedly somewhere in my parents’ basement—and today’s STAP is very similar. What makes this vehicle a particularly great addition to this year’s Advent Calendar is that its corresponding minifigure can actually ride it. Unlike that sad little turbo tank upon which no clone trooper can even sit, yesterday’s B1 battle droid can proudly zip around on today’s STAP.

The Clone Wars are officially in full swing.