LEGO kits are an unexpected source for spoiler information, but as well as several sets depicting scenes from the new Indiana Jones movie, there are a few additions to the Star Wars range that offer hints of what lies ahead. You can see a full rundown with some photos here....
First, there's the Rogue Shadow from the upcoming computer game/multimedia event The Force Unleashed. If you've been paying attention to the game spoilers, you'll know what the ship looks like already, and you'll have heard of the three characters it comes with: Juno Eclipse, the Secret Apprentice, and a battle-damaged Darth Vader.
But I think this is the first time we've actually seen the Shadow's wings tilt upwards for launch, and the amount of storage space in the mandibles for weapons may be significant. Some features like this on other LEGO models have at least approximated the internal details of the designs, like the cargo bay with probe droids in the forward hold of the Sith Infiltrator, and the concealed missiles on Slave I are in the positions shown on some "Expanded Universe" blueprints.
Alongside this, there are several sets that seem to tie into the upcoming Clone Wars CGI TV series. Anakin Skywalker's new Jedi Starfighter has already been released: a Delta-7 in Naboo yellow, with Artoo riding shotgun. Coming up later in the year are a number of other sets that also seem to tie into the TV series.
There are new versions of two Episode II vehicles, the clone gunship and the AT-TE. The gunship now has a bomb-dropping monkey-lizard as nose art, and features Separatist General Asajj Ventress as well as Obi-Wan, Plo Koon and some Clone Troopers. The AT-TE is even more interesting: on the box, you can just make out the names of Anakin Skywalker and a couple of other characters.
One of them is the new Togruta padawan Ashoka (here spelled with an 'h' rather than the "Asoka" that's been doing the rounds online), and the other one looks like "Kotta". Could it be that Jedi General Rahm Kota from The Force Unleashed is also appearing in The Clone Wars? If not, this seems to be someone we've not heard ANYTHING about yet. Either way, you heard it hear first!
Supporting these big sets are a couple of starfighters: adding to the handfull of Star Wars kits that aren't based on movie vehicles is the V-19 from the Clone Wars micro-series, and ranged against it is the P-38 that made a fleetingly brief appearance in Revenge of the Sith.
Readers with a sharp memory will remember that the P-38 has already been trailed as returning in the new cartoon, but there's something funny happening here, because it's now a "Magna Droid Fighter", and comes with two "MAGNA Droids"; it looks like it may have been reinvented as a two-seater vehicle for General Grievous's intimidating Magna Guard combat droids, rather than the diminutive Utapauan aircraft that it was identified as after Episode III.
Or maybe these things just come in two separate sizes?
There's also a set, exclusive to Toys 'R' Us stores for its US release, that's simply named Twilight (set number 7680). No photo's been released yet, and I'm not sure what this is - it might be from Clone Wars or The Force Unleashed. The only obvious Star Wars references using this name are a comic arc starring Aayla Secura, and a mysterious Imperial project involving by Darth Vader, referred to in the recent young-reader novels.
Alongside the V-19, a couple of other summer sets are supposed to represent non-movie vehicles. There's a TX-130S Fighter Tank (set number 7679); originally from the computer games, this may be another a Clone Wars tie in. That's less likely to be true of the TIE Defender (7678, though some sites say "Droid Gunship" for this set number).
If this is a TIE Defender, it would be another addition to the small selection of Expanded Universe kits, and notable for its Original Trilogy context; but a note of caution has to be sounded here, as the "Defender" name was also used for the TIE/D that came in the TIE fighter pack a year or two ago, the first non-movie Star Wars kit from LEGO.
Thanks to a member of Clan McEwok for the links. We'll bring you more news on the themes covered here when we get it!!