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Anakin Skywalker

SWIII: Revenge of the Sith
by yo go re

"Sand" had better watch its &^*#@in' back!

Anakin - now Darth Vader - turns to the Dark side and battles Obi-Wan Kenobi in a lightsaber duel on the lava planet Mustafar.

Did you ever consider the only reason Anakin became Darth Vader is that the Jedi Council was so strict about its division between the Light Side and the Dark Side? Like, they never taught him (and it never occurred to him) that it's possible to go to the Dark side and come back? Luke sure as hell did, starting with Force-choking some Gamorreans and attempting to kill the Emperor. And if you don't think Obi-Wan had given in to anger and hate when Darth Maul had the high ground, you're only fooling yourself. So Anakin gets YouTube-algorithmed into killing the younglings, and hates himself for it, but his masters have spent so long dealing in the absolute that you're only a Jedi or a Sith that he doesn't know he's not irredeemable. It's why Vader sounds so sad when he says "you don't know the power of the Dark side." That's not a boast, that's a lament.

This figure was first released (quote/unquote) in 2014, but that was in the Han/Greedo times, so it never showed up anywhere. That works out for the best, though, because now that he's been rereleased as part of the second series of Black Series "Archive" figures, we get the modern Photo Real paint for the faces, making for a better Hayden Christensen likenesses!

Yes, "es." Likenesses. There are two of them. First we've got the plain Anakin head, with the kind of intense stare that had to do all the heavy lifting the movie's script didn't do when it came to explaining why Padme would fall for him; and next is his "Darth 4chan" look, with red eyes and his hair plastered to his forehead with sweat. So this can either be "plain-but-dangerous Clone Wars Anakin," or proto-Vader.

Little Annie is wearing very dark robes, which honestly should have been a warning sign to everybody who knew him: all the good Jedi are wearing their light tan robes, and Anakin rolls up into the temple looking like he just heard My Chemical Romance for the first time? Probably should have had him go talk to the emotional counselor. The toy captures the multi-layered costume well, as you'd expect from Hasbro - they have access to all the costume design documents they could ever want, so you can generally assume every little stitch is perfect.

Space must be cold, because Anakin is wearing a tight brown tunic, a darker, looser tunic over that, cloth and leather tabards over those, an elbow-length glove to hide his mechanical arm, a belt that rests on a folded cloth pad, mahogany pants, and tall brown boots. There are three pouches on his belt, and a few colorful bars that are apparently "food capsules"? Apparently the Dark Side really does have cookies! Or at least snacks. The way the top of the shirts hang over the belt keeps the chest balljoint from flexing very far, but all the other usual joints are here: head, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. The lower edge of the shirt is softgoods, so it doesn't block the hips, but that means its color doesn't match the chest.

Other than the alternate head, Anakin's only accessory is his lightsaber. It's got a removable blade and can be hung from his belt, but there's no way we're not going to point out how much of an opportunity Hasbro wasted by making this figure a straight re-release (and no, we're not just talking about the lack of a scary dark robe):

Think back to the 3¾" figures. Maybe they couldn't have done an Anakin who turns into Darth Vader (because nerds would have nitpicked the pants or something), but imagine if they'd done this as a deluxe-sized set that let you not only have a 6" scale Anakin pre lava-bath, but also, with the switching of a few limbs, one post-lava. That would have been something worth the money, and given the few fans who found Anakin five years ago a reason to buy again.

-- 10/13/19


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