Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,220: Jedi Knight (Secret Apprentice)

JEDI KNIGHT Vader's Secret Apprentice
30th Anniversary Collection Evolutions
Item No.:
Asst. 87480 No. 87533
Number: n/a
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Includes: Lightsaber, hilt
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: Early 2008
Appearances: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Bio: Set in the dark times between the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Rebellion, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game explores the aftermath of Order 66 and the continued evolution of Darth Vader. The son of a fallen Jedi is abducted by Vader to be his secret apprentice. As a young adult, the apprentice must choose his destiny: Join Lord Vader and wipe out the remaining Jedi, or become a noble Jedi and bring hope to the galaxy! (Taken from the figure's box.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' yard.

Commentary: Since the character's name was such a closely guarded secret that even Hasbro dare not put it on the box-- even long after the figure was repackaged and rereleased-- this figure is known only as Jedi Knight, although fans may call him Starkiller, or Galen Marek. The figure has a costume which comes from the "good ending," assuming you take the character and try to be a nice guy. (Naturally, things go better for you if you play The Force Unleashed as a baddie at the end, plus you get a freakier costume.) The figure has a green lightsaber, a hilt which fits in his belt rather than plugging into it, and an acceptable-- but not great-- level of articulation. The Jedi robes block some arm movement at the shoulders, plus the cut elbows are a step back from the other two figures in the set which sport ball-jointed elbows. The large amount of soft goods no doubt raised the cost of the figure some, and the detail in the plastic and cloth bits is worth noting for its detail. Some funky cloth strips hang from his wrists, which looks kind of dopey, but it is accurate to the game.

Not accurate to the game is the head sculpt, as word on the street has it that the game's toys were made before the role was cast and the decision was made to adapt Sam Witwer's likeness. (Although you have to admit that it's pretty gosh darn close and compared to some other human figures, may be one of the better matches.) It's a nice figure, but clearly the weakest of the set simply because it isn't evil or cool. It's good, sure, but almost too good-- the white plastic hood on his robes makes him feel less like a strong Jedi warrior and more of some sort of killer pacifist. Which, really, sounds off doesn't it? It's a quality figure and because you need to buy the Evolutions 3-pack with the Sith Lord and Secret Apprentice figures, you'll need to have this. He's just not as awesome as the other two.

Collector's Notes: First released in 2008, this set was repackaged shortly after its initial release. You can find it in both The Legacy Collection and 30th Anniversary Collection packaging, the latter of which was the first release, the cooler release, and the harder release to find. New Apprentice figures are expected at Toys "R" Us as exclusives nearly any day now.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,220: February 16, 2010

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