It was like flying into a swarm of locusts. The Royal Naboo Aero-Space Force was simply unprepared for the sheer numbers of the droid fighters they encountered when trying to break up the Trade Federation's smothering blockade.
Sure, they gave as good a fight as they could. The sleek starfighters had reduced scores of the droid fighters to so much space junk, but for every one they shot down, two more appeared out of nowhere to take their place.
"Trade embargo, my foot!" cried one of the survivors, as the Naboo forces hobbled home to their hanger. "I lost good friends up there. This is war!"
This set is a faithful representation of the Naboo Starfighter from Episode I. It is a little pudgier than the sleek, fish-like vehicle we see in the movie, but it is still a neat little ship with a unique design.
It includes a little maintenance vehicle of some kind and four mini-figs, which is pretty good for a small set even though only one of the mini-figs is human. You get Anakin (...growth hormone-infused mutant Anakin that is. It's a shame they don't have a smaller kid-like mini-fig so that Anakin could be smaller than Qui Gon.), R2 (second only to Luke as the most common mini-fig), and two battle droids.
Normally I'm an ardent poo-poo-er of extraneous accessories like the little maintenance thingy, since they tend to be pointless aside from raising the set's total price. However, the accessory here it is mercifully small and has some useful parts.
For a twenty dollar set, the Naboo fighter has a very good selection of pieces, especially considering how hard it is to find decent yellow pieces since all the Aquazone sets have been discontinued. There are many yellow slopes, several pairs of horizontal slopes, engines, flats, rocket tips and so on. There also good gray pieces, including the wings and the boat-halfy pieces that form the undercarriage. Three preprinted pieces are unique to this set, namely the Naboo-esque computer slope, two 1x4 flats with Naboo-ese lettering and a slope with some kind of a fish on it. Except for the fish, these pieces are generic enough to be reused elsewhere. There's some semi-rare pieces here, and this is the first set to use the rounded canopy piece, but there's nothing you can't find elsewhere in the Star Wars theme.
Now let's get into the design. First off, the engines are detachable. Don't ask me why. The cockpit is well done, not too big and not too cramped. However, in order to get Anakin into it, you have to remove the canopy and reattach it. I hate that. With a passion. Although, to be honest, I have tried to rework this into an opening cockpit and I can't find a way to do it without leaving a gaping hole in the fuselage. Another design flaw is the thing underneath. I think it's supposed to be some kind of cannon or landing device, but really it's irritating and in the way. Yet another design flaw is that the rocket tips and antennae that adorn the engines and the rear of the ship fall off too easily.
All in all, a decent set. You'd especially enjoy it if you happen to be a fan of the movie, since it is probably the best small set from Episode I. It has a large number and good selection of parts for the price, but zero functionality (there's not even a hatch to open) and a few significant design flaws that keep it from a higher rating.
As of this writing it is becoming hard to find this in stores, but if you find it, it's probably worth picking up. However, if you are buying only one Star Wars set, there are better sets in the theme.