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Holiday Edition Sith Trooper

Star Wars
by yo go re

I'm not ready to let go of Giftsmas just yet.

Celebrate the season with specially designed Star Wars figures from The Black Series.

Yes, this is another Black Series "Holiday Edition" exclusive, so my Santa now has at least one elf. Beats working alone! This time the body is a Rise of Skywalker Sith Trooper, whose normal release has the following biographical information: With advanced weaponry including heavy artillery blasters and close combat concussion rams, Sith Troopers are capable of combat in almost any situation. All the Holiday Edition figures were exclusive to different stores; this one was Best Buy. I actually saw one in person, but apparently there was a street date, so I couldn't buy it, and by the time I went back, it was sold out. Not cool, Best Buy!

Sith Troopers were, in the movie, a complete waste of time and effort by all involved. Visually, the only difference between them and the First Order was that they were red instead of white; narratively, the only difference between them and the First Order was what planet they were on. They served no special purpose and the story would have been better served by dropping them as an idea entirely (the same thing that can be said for pretty much everything JJ Abrams brought to Episode IX).

Okay, that may be a little harsh: the color of the armor isn't the only difference between Sith Trooper armor and First Order armor, there are also some minor departures that don't show up on-screen unless you know to look for them. One of those differences, in fact, is easier to spot on this figure than on any other incarnation thanks to its holiday colorsheme: namely, the armor on the chest isn't solid across the middle, functioning more like a vest than a breastplate. Of course, we've also already spent a lot of time also making fun of the "3D-printed" look the sculpted ridges give it (technically they're "anisotropic bands" meant to increase the armor's surface area and make it more resistant to impact, like corrugating cardboard to make a stronger box), but the angled design is intended to help deflect blaster bolts. On the right shoulder is mounted a sensor telemetry pod that can scan the battlefield and provide real-time data to the Trooper's commanders - that's what the little bump thing is.

The colors on this figure are drastically different from the normal Sith Trooper - red may be a suitably Giftsmas-y color, but it would make for a boring exclusive. There's still a bit of red here, but it's outweighed by the white and green. Most of the armor is green - the helmet, the pauldrons, the chest-vest, the belt, the thigh armor, and the shoes - with white used for the underlying bodysuit and the red limited to the bracers and the torso. The armor on the shins is painted red and white, looking like socks or stockings - totes festive! The visor on the helmet is black, because nothing else would look right. Sith Trooper helmets meld the "cheek stripes" of the First Order with the "T-eyes" of Clone Troopers, which is a neat combo.

Articulation is a mixed bag. There are some weird shortfalls, like the neck appearing to be mounted on a balljoint, when it barely even wants to swivel, or the fact that the thighs look like there should be swivels within the armor, but no actual movement available there; but then we also get swivel/hinge elbows with a really nice range of bending, and pec hinges that move very well. The pauldrons are a very soft PVC, and mounted to the outer biceps, so they flex out of the way quite pleasingly when you lift the arms. That's good design!

To further the Sith Trooper's holiday looks, he wears a red scarf with snowflakes tampographed on the ends. The scarf is Lando's mold, while the flakes are images of his own helmet, just like the ones on the packaging. He's armed with a FWMB-10B "megablaster," which is one of the weapons that came with the 2019 SDCC Sith Trooper. There's a swivelling scope on the right side, but you see that big chunk of whatever underneath the gun? It's supposed to be a fold-out stand to turn the gun into a cannon emplacement, but isn't articulated at all; it's just a lump. The gun is white and orange, which doesn't really seem to have anything to do with Giftsmas, but does make it feel like a giant Nerf gun. And sure enough, this weapon was turned into a Nerf gun! The colors aren't quite the same, but they're close, so maybe that's what this is supposed to be.

All the Black Series Holiday Edition figures come with a pack-in, which is what tipped the Sith Trooper into the "buy" column (or at least the "get" column, since it was a gift): his extra is C-3PO's oldest friend, Babu Frik! The diminutive droidsmith from Kijimi was previously only available with a Target-exclusive Rise of Skywalker C-3PO, which wasn't as instant a sell-out as most of their exclusives, but also didn't hang around very long once the movie came out.

While D-O was turned into Rudolph, Babu Frik is seemingly an elf - his little clothes are red and green, and there's a thin white outline around his face that suggests warm fur lining. Technically only the hood and belt should be "clothes," but he looks more festive this way. His skin is pink, instead of the blue-gray it was in the movie, possibly for a better contrast. His eyes and mouth are little more than thin black lines.

Surprisingly, Babu Frick is articulated. He's got a swivel waist, balljointed shoulders, and the visor on his hood is hinged so it can drop down over his eyes. Considering the toy is only 1" tall, that's all really impressive! Babu's got some huge feet, too, so you don't have to worry about him falling over.

The idea of the Holiday Edition Black Series figures seemed silly to me at first, and I didn't really care too much about any of them beyond the Range Trooper. But seeing the Sith Trooper in person, and finding out he comes with Babu Frik, made the release a lot more appealing.

-- 01/10/21

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