Unwrapping the Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar: Day 13

2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar Day 13. Image credit: Eric Clayton / Dork Side of the Force.
2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar Day 13. Image credit: Eric Clayton / Dork Side of the Force. /

Day 13 of the 2023 Star Wars LEGO Advent Calendar finally moves us beyond the Clone Wars era and into the original trilogy with a miniature build of the Lamda-class T-4a shuttle, better known simply as the Imperial Shuttle.

The Imperial Shuttle can be seen throughout the reign of the Galactic Empire, transporting anyone from high-ranking Imperial officials to lowly Stormtroopers and cargo. It first appeared in the opening shots of Star Wars: Episode VI—Return of the Jedi, where we saw it shuttle Emperor Palpatine himself onto the far-more-operational-than-previously-thought second Death Star. It played another significant role in that film, serving as the shuttle upon which Darth Vader transported Luke Skywalker to the Emperor, the latter having surrendered to the former.

As you can see, we’re finally beginning to get some builds from the Star Wars film, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year! But that doesn’t mean the Imperial Shuttle has been limited to only key moments in Star Wars: Episode VI—Return of the Jedi. It was an Imperial Shuttle that Din Djarin, Boba Fett, Bo-Katan Kryze, and their allies commandeered from Dr. Pershing in the second season of The Mandalorian, using the stolen craft to infiltrate Moff Gideon’s light cruiser in their effort to rescue Grogu.

The tiny LEGO build itself is really fun. When I think Imperial Shuttle, I always think of the wings folding out upon takeoff, and this build mimics that quite well. Two miniature laser canons showcase how well-armed this vessel is—after all, it does transport important people. My only quibble is that the white LEGO brick feels just a little too white, as I swear my old eyes are telling me the ship itself should be a light gray. But I think that might just be me, as there have been quite a few larger builds of the Imperial Shuttle, and they all appear more white than gray.

In any case, I’m excited to get into the original trilogy half of this year’s calendar.