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Commander Faie

SWIII: Revenge of the Sith
by Monkey Boy

I was going to start this review of Clone Commander Faie by stating that it was cool that we finally got a figure of a "movie clone" from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith who was technically never in the movie. Then I realized that Hasbro has already released several figures of clones that can make such a claim. I'm not talking some made-up redeco from the Expanded Universe, I'm talking about clones who were developed to the point of having their own CGI models (since none of the clones in the film were actually fully portrayed visually by a person), but just didn't make it into the final cut.

Faie has received specialized training from ARC trooper Alpha, equipping him with the necessary skills to lead an elite battalion during the Clone Wars. He is part of task forces sent to Saleucami and Kashyyyk under the command of Jedi General Quinlan Vos.

One of the earliest, the clone commander now known as Commander Deviss, was based on a red-striped CGI model that was eventually recolored yellow and brown to become Commander Bly. Then there was the AT-TE gunner. Sure, maybe they were manning the turrets of the the AT-TEs on Felucia, but did you ever actually get to see one in the film? And here's one you might not even think of: the standard, all white Phase II clone trooper. Seems like a no-brainer, right? But a clone with totally uncolored, unmarked armor never really showed up in RotS. The closest thing to an all-white Phase II trooper were the clones seen on Coruscant and in the opening scene's space battle, though they had gray shoulder pads and belts (and have been released in toy form by Hasbro quite a few times in recent years). There are still others, too: some supplemental material for the film showed a CGI model of a clone featuring the blue markings of the 501st Legion along with the suspenders and light green helmet visor better associated with Commander Gree. This guy would later show up in the Star Wars: Battlefront video game series.

And then there's Faie. Faie stands alone, because he's quite unlike any clone seen on screen in RotS, but he was developed for the film to the point of getting his own CGI model. Faie's model is strikingly different from any other clone seen in the film. First, his helmet is completely absent of the Mandalorian design elements seen in other clones (i.e. the "t-visor" look). His helmet is much closer in design to the stormtroopers from the Original Trilogy, with the fully separated "eyes" and frowny face look. He's also wrapped in a shawl type garment that obscures much of his cloney armor. This type of armor (sans shawl) would also show up in the Battlefront series as the "clone engineer", who would get his own figure in an exclusive Battlefront Battlepack.

That exclusive engineer, however, has nothing on the Faie Hasbro finally released. There are actually two Faie figures out there, released at roughly the same time. One is part of a comic 2-pack and features Faie as he often appeared in the EU: wearing armor similar to the Biker Scout-like clones seen in the film on Kashyyyk. This Faie shares much of his sculpt with the Kashyyyk trooper figure, save for the head which is now unmasked. On the other hand, the single-packed film Faie (or almost-film Faie rather) features pretty much an entirely new sculpt. Some of the extremities might be reused from previous clones, but under his softgoods shawl he's got a newly sculpted torso (with a new style of armor that's oddly reminiscent of man-boobs) and a new lower left leg and right upper arm with some various pouches and straps. His head (under his removable helmet) is also new; though it features the likeness of Temeura Morrison as all clone figures do, Faie's stylish flattop hairdo sets him apart.

All this new sculpting is done well and is rather nice to see, especially considering Hasbro could have hidden the standard clone body underneath that cloth garment and no one would be the wiser. After all there's really only one picture of Faie's CGI model out there, and he's very much with shawl. His helmet is also sculpted very well, much better than the bug-eyed monstrosity that is the clone engineer figure. There's also a plastic sculpted hood that fits snugly overtop of the helmet, much better than if the cloth had continued into the hood. This is something Hasbro may want to expand to other hooded figures, like Jedi for instance.

The paint appears simple, but there's actually a lot of different apps going on here. He's mostly white, of course, with some brown accents to designate his rank or association or whatever Karen Traviss wants to make up this week. Then there's the usual black accents at the joints where the armor gives way to the "body glove" visible underneath. The soles of his boots are a dark grey, however, when they very well could have just been the same color black used for the body glove. The straps on his leg and arm are a brownish gray that lies somewhere between the aforementioned dark grey boot bottoms and the brown markings on his armor. His helmet also has some nice accents, with metallic green lenses and some metallic blue on the center of the forehead. All the paint is clean and sharp, very free of slop on the figure I ended up with.

He moves as good as most Star Wars figures these days do, though not as good as some. Still, with a balljointed head, balljointed shoulders, balljointed elbows, peg wrists, peg waist, t-crotch hips, balljointed knees, and balljointed ankles, he's nothing to sneeze at. The softgoods garment doesn't restrict movement at all. I suppose it's removable if you'd like to try (I didn't), and the fit is actually remarkably good considering what cloth usually ends up looking like on figures in this scale.

Aside from the poncho, helmet and hood, Faie gets a standard DC-15 clone blaster pistol. The larger rifle is probably more accurate, but it's not like you can't just give him one of the countless rifles Hasbro has already included with any number of previously released clones. He also gets a piece of this wave's "Build-A-Droid". Yes, Star Wars has jumped on the BAF (or BAD, as it were, get it? heheheh ehhhhh) concept, and is releasing chunks of droids as pack-ins with figures. The first couple of waves featured boring astromech droids, but Faie gets the torso of a silver RA-7 droid, better known to more casual fans as the Death Star Droid. The actual "Death Star Droid" was much darker in color, and was released as the BAD in the previous wave of figures. The silver droid is more similar in coloration to the droid R2-D2 encounters on the Jawa Sandcrawler in A New Hope, but more likey this BAD is meant as an homage to the vintage Kenner line of Star Wars figures, wherein the only Death Star Droid figure released was a gleaming, vac-metallized chrome silver version. The torso is balljointed at the waist, and is quite nicely sculpted. If you've already collected the darker one, though, this repaint isn't going to be anything spectacular.

I'm kind of divided on the whole Build-A-Droid concept. While it's fun that you're literally "building" the droids, and it's also fun to mix and match interchangeable BAD parts, it's also kind of cheap to just get repainted versions of the same sculpt. A BAF is usually an incentive to collect every figure in a series so that you can build something unique and exclusive that can't be had on its own...kind of defeats the purpose to just recycle the sculpt as a repaint in a later series. But even if you toss the BAD figure piece aside, you won't feel cheated. Faie's a great figure on his own, and well worth the price.

-- 01/04/09


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