Now I'll admit that I don't often buy Lego Star Wars sets, and often when I do, it's because there's a minifigure in it I really like. This was one such set, and I simply bought it for the mighty Rancor. When I assembled it though, there was a whole bunch of other cool features in this set.
First, the minifigures: You get five, if you count the skeleton. The minifigures are Luke Skywalker, a Garmorrean Guard, the Rancor keeper Malakili and, of course, the Rancor.
I'll start with the Rancor. What a great minifigure (if you can call it that!) it is! The Rancor is made up of 19 parts, eight tan colour claws, four articulated fingers, two arms (one with a sort of chain link cuff), chain piece, body piece and jaw piece. The hands can easily hold onto an unfortunate minifigure, and the mouth can just about fit one minifigure into it. They could have articulated the legs, but that's a minor quibble. By far the standout minifigure of the set.
I apologise in advance if I don't know a lot about the characters! But anyway, Luke Skywalker and the Rancor keeper have double-printed heads so you can change their expressions. Luke has 'Relaxed' or 'Determined/Scared?', the Rancor keeper has an odd expression and 'Sad'. The Gamorrean Guard is cool but the head and chest is all one piece (you can't turn his head), and he's the only figure that's not exclusive to the set (he also appears in Jabba's Palace). A good point is that most of the figures are set exclusive.
Now the pit itself. It's been designed to link onto the Jabba's Palace set (which I don't actually own), which is a nice but rather pricey feature. The trapdoor from the Jabba's Palace set will lead into the Rancor Pit.
Don't let the tiny piece count fool you into thinking you're going to get something tiny. I thought this, but you'll actually be quite surprised that it's fairly chunky and large. Still, a few more pieces could have been chucked in to make the set better value!
Still, the pit is packed with features. The gate is very cool. There's a function that lets you hold it open, or lets you slam it down. There's a hidden cubby hole with some bones and a key inside, and it's location is marked by a skull. The skull helps you remove the lid of the hole to access the key to get out!
The gate wall is also on a hinge which is held in place by a clip. You pull the gate wall gently and it will pop out of a clip. I'm not quite sure what purpose this serves, perhaps it's to open up the pit to let the Rancor move about?
Another good thing is that there's absolutely NO STICKERS in this set (but I think you can see that in the picture).
Oh yes, and while the Pit is easy to assemble, you should pay close attention to the instructions, it's too easy to misplace a brick when building the pillars!
Cons: There isn't enough pieces, and while the Pit is fairly large, it should be far bigger for the hefty price tag attached to the set.
Overall, the good just about outweighs the bad on this set, and the Rancor is probably the single strongest selling point. On that reason I recommend this set for anyone's Star Wars, or even just general minifigure collection.