It’s been a long 15 years since LEGO released an official Bespin Cloud City playset in its Star Wars line, so the recent announcement of the new LEGO set #75222 Betrayal at Cloud City was welcome news indeed. Inspired by the classic 1980 space opera The Empire Strikes Back, this set is one of the bigger LEGO playsets to recreate a famous Star Wars location.
Betrayal at Cloud City includes 2,812 LEGO pieces, 20 minifigures (with two versions of both Han Solo and Princess Leia, two Imperial Stormtroopers, two Bespin Security Guards, two Cloud Car Pilots, R2-D2, C-3PO, Lando Calrissian, Lobot, Chewbacca, an Ugnaught, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and bounty hunters Boba Fett and IG-88) and plenty of nifty play features. Fans can reenact the heroes’ arrival at Bespin, dinner with the villains, the infamous carbon freeze sequence, and of course the movie’s iconic final lightsaber duel between good and evil.
Watch the video below to see a high-speed time-lapse build of LEGO Betrayal at Cloud City, plus an up-close review:
Also included are Boba Fett’s famous spaceship Slave I and a Twin-Pod Cloud Car. These ships are built to a very small scale, just big enough to hold their respective characters and very little else. The set provides a LEGO representation of Han Solo frozen in carbonite, and that block does fit snugly into Slave I‘s underbelly for easy transportation to Jabba the Hutt.
While Betrayal at Cloud City is a thorough depiction of the second half of The Empire Strikes Back, some parts of the set work better aesthetically than others, and in this case, the parts are often better than the whole. The interior spaces in particular are very well designed, with Cloud City’s brightly-lit hallways, posh living quarters, and elegant dining room all getting the attention to detail they deserve.
In the opposite corner of the set, the dark side of Bespin gets the spotlight, complete with a torture chamber, the junk room where Chewbacca finds C-3PO’s dismantled body, and the red hallway where Darth Vader alters his deal with Lando Calrissian. The carbon freezing chamber isn’t quite a nice-looking as a recent smaller set dedicated to that area, and the platform on which Luke and Vader have their climactic showdown feels elbowed in among other, more fleshed-out elements.
All told, I feel that the creators of this LEGO set may have spent too much effort trying to get the overall structure of Cloud City to resemble the familiar saucer shape of the location from the movie, and this led to an overly high percentage of the included bricks going into the base and supports. I personally would have preferred a more expansive and exhaustive interior to the almost featureless landing pads and scaled-down ships. I do really like the action elements on the carbon freeze platform and sliding doors, and the minifigure assortment is excellent.
At $350, LEGO’s Betrayal at Cloud City is an expensive set, but hardcore Star Wars nerds like myself are going to want to own it anyway. The tough part may be finding a place to display it, but I suspect it can be broken down and modified into smaller sections, with the excess bricks being put to better use elsewhere. At the very least it is nice to finally have Lobot and blue-outfitted Lando minifigures in my collection.