The Star Wars Lego set, Separatist Shuttle, model number 8036 recreates Nute Gunray’s Shuttle as seen in The Clone Wars television series episode Mission to Rodia. In this episode Nute Gunray flew to the planet Rodia to recruit the planet’s leader and Padme Amidala’s old friend Onaconda Farr. Nute hoped to trap Padme as revenge for her role in the Battle Of Naboo, where, as queen, she successfully defended her planet from Separatist Shuttle.
With 259 pieces and with a recommended retail price of $29.99 this may seem like a small set for the price but the exclusive minfigures go some way towards making up for the vehicle’s small size. The five figures include two regular battle droids (both are the new arm version that allows them to hold a gun properly) and one pilot battle droid who is distinguished by having a blue torso piece rather than the regular tan. Nute Gunray appears at last in a Lego set, after a decade of absence and he is a screen accurate representation of his Clone Wars character. The color s and detail on the torso are beautiful and his Neimoidian features and ceremonial headpiece make him instantly recognizable. The final figure is another first, the Rhodian senator Onaconda Farr and again Lego have done a wonderful job with the colors and designs on this figure.
The vehicle itself is fairly small and simple. As a shuttle there are not many weapons or play features that would feature on a starfighter of similar size. Instead there is an opening at the back which converts to a ramp for Nute to exit the vehicle and an opening cockpit for the pilot droid to sit. The legs of the ship lower and raise manually and the creepy spider-look makes for a nice effect.
Overall a small set that will appeal to fans and collectors more than casual fans, but the former will be drawn by the first appearance of a long awaited villain.