Watch “New Star Wars Trilogy Announced! | The Star Wars Show” on YouTube

From out of nowhere​, the best mythos this galaxy has ever heard of announces an all-new film trilogy!

Continue reading “Watch “New Star Wars Trilogy Announced! | The Star Wars Show” on YouTube”

Definite Article: Story Arcs vs. Long-Form Storytelling

It’s easy to compare Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels and look upon the newcomer with a little disdain. Rebels came about because Clone Wars was cancelled, and many believe Clone Wars was doing everything right and that it was wrong to start over with Rebels. A prevailing criticism in the Clone Wars vs. Rebels debate is that Clone Wars took more time to tell its stories – they felt stronger, more mature, and well fleshed out. But is Rebels slowly starting to find that pattern and get it right? Continue reading “Definite Article: Story Arcs vs. Long-Form Storytelling”

Black Series: The Scarif Stormtroopers

Tying the end of the Clone Wars into the Galactic Civil War era, Scarif Stormtroopers aka Shore Troopers feature Imperial-style armor with Clone-esque customizations. Rogue One gave us a great story and some new Stormtrooper variants to stand alongside the mighty ranks of the Empire. Continue reading “Black Series: The Scarif Stormtroopers”

Black Series: Cassian Andor and the Death Trooper (Variants)

Fourteen days to go until Rogue One and about two hundred pages left in Catalyst. I have to say I’m enjoying the book just as much as the toys, and it’s all setting up what will without a doubt be a great Star Wars movie. I will probably do a mini-review on the book before the movie comes out. But for now, more toys!

Today I’m reviewing the variants of Cassian Andor and the Death Trooper that are exclusive to Target’s Rogue One Three Pack. Keep an eye out at your local Target and watch for deals – the pack retails for $59.99, but thanks to a 30% off sale I got the pack for right around $40.00. The three pack includes the variants of Cassian and a Death Trooper as well as the same Jyn Erso that is available on its own. Since that’s the exact same figure, I’ll be focusing on Cassian and the trooper.Cassian.jpg

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Cassian’s Eadu costume, the blue jacket, will probably be what he wears for the first portion or maybe half the movie. So this is the outfit he will likely wear on Scariff. The figure looks pretty good overall. His brown jacket is detailed with light brown/tan markings down the sleeves, a possible rank insignia on one side, and another metallic box with two blue dots – perhaps a comlink or some other gadget? The shirt underneath is detailed with a sort of Bespin Han Solo collar and extra flap of fabric below the neck. Cassian is a two-belt type of guy, one to hold his pants up and a separate one exclusively for his holster. Plain tan pants and dark brown boots round out his outfit, and all of it carries a nice earthy tone to its color pallet. Cassian is a pretty simple figure – not simple bad, just not the most interesting. However, I’m biased towards our glorious Empire, so that’s just me.

Here is something very interesting, however – Cassian’s blaster rifle.

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Another theory; I really don’t think this modular weapon design is going to play into the movie at all. That’s just my guess, but if we were getting that kind of technology (like a gun that turns into an assault rifle with a couple attachments) I think we’d be seeing it on another toy somewhere. The blaster pistol in the center, while colored differently, is actually the same one included with the Eadu version of Cassian. The other one is just colored differently and lacks the small tab for the stock to attach to. My guess is that it was easier to mold the weapon in production as three pieces, given the level of detail. Regardless, it’s one of the coolest looking guns I’ve seen come out of the Black Series in a while and much more detailed than the blaster that comes with his Eadu outfit. Admittedly, I do take the gun apart just for the satisfaction of putting it back together.

Cassian is well-articulated like most Black Series figures – he isn’t missing ankle rotation like Luke and Ahsoka. The pistol fits his holster if you prefer to break the weapon down for a different look or for play. My only complaint is that there was a small bit by his ear that the paint seemed to have missed, which should match his hair, but that’s nothing that couldn’t be touched up.

Moving on to one of the new addition to our rogues gallery. . . (I’ll show myself out)

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I’m calling this one the Death Trooper commander as no specific rank is noted on the box art the way it is with the Scariff trooper squad leader. I’ve seen the name Death Trooper specialist thrown around and admittedly I like that name too. Anyway, this figure is identical to the solo Death Trooper that is also available right now, minus the fact that this one is armored up with extra gear. He includes the same rifle and pistol, but wears a harness containing extra ammo pouches (not unlike a sandtrooper or ARC trooper,) a rank pauldron, and what appear to be grenades strapped across his stomach. As with the previous Death Trooper, all the expected articulation is there underneath the jet black armor. Krennic’s enforcers just look mean. And if you’re like me and reading Catalyst right now, you can see where Krennic started his private attache of troopers during the end of the Clone Wars. But I’ll save spoilers for a spoiler post later on!

All in all, the Rogue One Three Pack is a good value, especially if you can get it through Target’s promotions during the holidays. 30% off was an especially good deal in my opinion, as the way I look at it, I essentially wasn’t paying for the second Jyn Erso. Really, it’s still not a terrible deal at full price – you’re basically paying for three full-priced figures still, but I’m always looking for deals on these. Keep an eye out on Reddit like I do or find a good collectors’ group. You’ll find out pretty quick which figures to grab up and when, and you’ll also known when a figure gets a case of the Constable Zuvios and it’ll be around for a long time (full disclosure – I wanted a Zuvio but waited it out until he was on clearance at my local Target. I think he’s cool enough and he was cut from the movie, which in my mind makes it cooler that he still got a toy release.)

I’m trying to plow through Catalyst before the movie comes out, so that will probably be the next thing I review. So far I’m really enjoying it, and I appreciate the parts of canon it connects and fills in. I was surprised by it, actually. And I can’t wait to see what happens after the fact in Rogue One, seeing it all tied up and fully enveloped into the canon not only by itself, but also by setting up A New Hope.

That’s it for this review. I recommend getting a hold on this three pack but look for the smart deals. The last exclusive to Target (the Poe Dameron jacket variant and the riot control stormtrooper aka FN-2199) was still in stock near me until this three pack came out, so keep you can probably keep your eyes peeled for  clearance sale eventually if you have to wait. And as always, thanks for reading and happy hunting!

 

-David

Black Series: Farmboy Luke Review

I’m finally catching up after some Black Friday purchases and a few birthday presents to myself (I had to – I can’t pass up a deal) Hopefully everyone had a good weekend and or holiday and is ready for some new toys! Here’s my review of the newest (and my first) Black Series Luke Skywalker.

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I know quite a bit about Star Wars but not everything, so let me see if I can get this straight. So this blond kid from the middle of nowhere goes off looking for a space wizard one day. He learns to use the Force like his father, but doesn’t stray down the same dark path as his father did during the Clone Wars. Something bad happened there probably. Taking up his father’s lightsaber, he travels across space and becomes the apparent savior of the galaxy (in one timeline, at least)

Okay, time to stop playing dumb. Of course I know Luke Skywalker, and this is a great figure of him. First and foremost, the face is pretty spot on (minus a bit of a messy paint application to the eyes.) The hair is a perfect sandy blond color and the cloth shirt is a great touch to what could have otherwise been a pretty bland figure in terms of overall look and color. At first I thought the shirt was way too big on him. . .but then I remembered it’s actually kind of big on him in the movie, too. Points for accuracy there.

Luke of course includes his lightsaber as well as his macrobinoculars. A new addition to this wave of figures is a small hook on his belt, which allows the lightsaber (with the blade removed, of course) to hang from the belt. It’s a great detail, and the fact that it isn’t a slotted or otherwise tight connection allows the hilt to sway naturally during play or display. I also like the flap on the underside of the macrobinoculars, which double as a place for Luke to hold them as well as clip them to the back of his belt between the pouches.

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Although I like this figure a lot, I do have a few minor gripes with it. Collecting sites and comment sections have noted that the Black Series is dropping in quality, something I personally haven’t really noticed insomuch that it’s affecting my enjoyment of new figures in any way. I’m probably biased – I just love getting new toys. I wonder if these details might be what people are talking about (honestly, when I see people start to complain, I skip those comments most of the time even if they are valid.) As I mentioned above, Luke’s eyes look a little weird. The application of his left eyebrow is slightly lower than the right, making some of the blue appear to run a touch above his eyebrow. It isn’t glaringly noticeable but it’s there. Also, this figure has great articulation until it gets down to the ankles, which lack the swivel motions of previous figures. This wouldn’t bug me so much if footwork wasn’t so integral to swordfighting poses. Last and certainly least, I wish the sleeves of his shirt maybe cinched ever so slightly at the end. Luke does get a little lost in his big shirt depending how he’s posed.

So what are your thoughts on the new farmboy Luke figure? Did you get a hold of one in the Black Friday madness like I did? Stay tuned this week for more reviews. And hopefully I can get through Rogue One: Catalyst in time for the movie – I just started last night!

-David