Brickset and Jedi News spoke to Henrik Andersen, the designer of the LEGO Star Wars UCS Imperial Star Destroyer (#75252), while attending the Rebuild the World event recently in Billund.
Brickset/Jedi News: How did the development process for 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer begin?
Henrik: Shortly before the summer holidays during 2017, the LEGO Star Wars design team discussed which subjects may be most suitable for the next Ultimate Collector Series model. The design director, Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, was away so I began creating sketches for an Imperial Star Destroyer. When he returned, the discussion continued and I received approval to continue developing the model.
Had the price been decided before you started development?
No, I just wanted to produce a model which matched, or perhaps exceeded, the size of 10030 Imperial Star Destroyer from 2002. I was also aiming to create a sturdier vehicle and I believe the accuracy has been improved. While the original set was inspired primarily by screenshots from the film, this example takes inspiration from the prop which was used for filming.
Focusing upon the movie prop was primarily decided by my passion for building scale models, usually depicting trucks. I always try to maintain great authenticity when assembling them and worked hard to achieve comparable accuracy with the Star Destroyer.
Have any other Star Wars sets been designed using the filming model as the primary source?
I am not aware of any other examples, although that is the method I would use if I were building any subsequent Ultimate Collector Series models. 10030 Imperial Star Destroyer probably takes primary inspiration from the onscreen vessel which is an effective method for design, although looking at the physical model can provide different advantages when trying to achieve absolute authenticity.
Why did you choose to design an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer?
Creating an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer seemed most appropriate because my colleague, César Soares, had already designed 75244 Tantive IV. Producing the first two vehicles from throughout the entire Star Wars saga felt perfect for the twentieth anniversary of LEGO Star Wars. That decision did make finding reference material more challenging though because most images feature the Avenger rather than the Devastator.
The designer video was originally intended to feature me choosing between the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer and the later variant. However, the video makes it seem as though I am focusing upon the wrong vehicle for inspiration which is slightly unfortunate.
Did you consider including alternative turbolaser cannons so the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer could become an Imperial II-class version?
No, we were focused entirely upon the Imperial I-class model because they are surprisingly different. While the turbolaser cannons are probably the most visible distinguishing design feature, the texture across the hull was also updated considerably between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
Were you aware that Imperial I-class Star Destroyers might be appearing in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when designing this set?
That would have been exceptional planning but no, I was not aware of their possible presence in the Sequel Trilogy until the trailer was released at Star Wars Celebration. It was undoubtedly a welcome surprise though and the same might be true for the Tantive IV, of course!
Big thanks to Henrik for taking the time to talk to us, and for Chris at Brickset for transcribing. You can view the comprehensive list of Henrik’s LEGO creations here.