Shadows of the Empire
Item No.: Asst. 69605 No. 69594
Includes: Energy weapons, removable gown
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Summer 1996
Appearances: The Clone Wars (in theory)
Bio: Prince Xizor is the head of the galaxy-wide criminal organization known as Black Sun, his power and influence challenged only by the Emperor and Darth Vader. A villainous mastermind, Xizor uses his huge, intergalactic shipping operations as a legitimate front, employing millions of criminals to execute favors for the Empire and carry out its his own evil agenda. His characteristic lack of emotion is due much to his Falleen ancestry which evolved from a species of reptile. Cold and clever, he plots his moves with a diabolical genius and fights with the skill of a teras kasi master, stopping at nothing to get in his way. Those that dare challenge Xizor generally meet with death by his own hand or by one of his myriad of henchmen. His favorite proverb: "To contend with Xizor is to lose."
Despite their devotion to the Emperor (though Xizor's commitment is at best a political maneuver) there is little love between Vader and the Dark Prince. Vader does not trust the crime lord's intent, while Xizor seeks vengeance against Vader for the deaths of his family. A direct attempt on Vader's life however, would be too dangerous - even for Xizor - and in his opinion, a fate not painful enough. To ruin Vader in the eyes of his beloved master would be the ultimate degradation, a feat which could only be accomplished by locating and eliminating Luke Skywalker. Spoiling Vader's promise to deliver Skywalker to the Emperor alive would undermine Vader's reliability and give Xizor all that he desires: final vengeance and Vader's position as the second most powerful figure in the galaxy. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam's shelves, yet again.
Commentary: When the first new Star Wars figures hit in 1995, there was little question that it would be a huge hit. Just one year later, the line took a detour from the films into the Expanded Universe with the very first Shadows of the Empire figures including the awkward Prince Xizor, a figure made famous for not selling. A year or three later, it was still possible to find unsold figures in stores, and I even saw a brand new Wal-Mart open up with pegs of Xizor-- despite the figure not having been shipped for several months at that time, and no other Shadows figures were around to be seen. Truly, the figure is cursed.
For the time, though, he wasn't horrible. As a new alien with a new sculpt, it was a nice addition to the mix, even though his incredibly dorky Energy Blade weapons were the subject of many jokes until collectors decided it was time to move on. The sculpting is pretty good, but nothing stellar. It's obvious a new version could be made today and greatly improved, but odds are nobody really wants to see a new version of this character because he was killed off in the original Shadows project and, well, it'd be like dumping gasoline onto a fire.
Collector's Notes: The figure is what you call "common." Paying more than a couple of bucks for it would be foolish, so your best bet is to buy it off another collector or to pick it up as part of a large lot/collection where it averages out to be basically nothing. Few figures were as disliked as this one, mainly due to the fact fans felt another movie character could have been made, but it's still a unique curiosity and one of the very first non-movie characters to get a toy.
Day 248: January 9, 2007