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Luke Skywalker & Deena Shan

SW: Rebellion
by yo go re

Luke receives a message from his old friend Janek Sunber, a lieutenant in the Imperial Army, saying he wants to join the Rebellion. Everyone thinks it's a trap except Luke. The Jedi goes on an unauthorized mission to find Sunber and is joined by Deena Shan, who is looking for adventure, and a chance to prove her worth.

There's no shortage of Luke Skywalker figures; we've said so many times before. And yet, Hasbro keeps managing to find new ways to make him. The thing that Mattel has never seemed to grasp, and has kept them from overtaking Hasbro as the #1 boys' toys manufacturer, is that you can't just sell the same figure 50 times. Hasbro isn't trying to hock new versions of one costume, they keep mining the existing catalog for stuff we haven't seen before.

This version, for instance, is wearing Rebel Alliance stealth armor, something no toy has worn before. This isn't just a new Luke, it's new, period. The armor is black (which, I guess, provides the "stealth" portion of the evening's entertainment) with gold trim. There are Rebel logos on the shoulders and knees, some blue tech detailing on the gloves, and a silver hose running from his belt to his back.

The head is okay, but it could be better. To begin with, it's a bit too large for the body. At this scale (Luke is little shorter than 3¾"), even a few millimeters can be too much, and this one is indeed too much. Plus, the events upon which this set are based took place a mere nine months after the first Star Wars movie - whoever sculpted Luke's face has made the boy look older than he should.

Luke's articulation is what we expect from a decent Star Wars toy these days: ball and socket head, balljointed shoulders, elbows, hips and ankles, and swivel wrists, waist and hips. The hose on his back is flexible enough to keep it from blocking the waist. He's armed with a blue lightsaber (though the hilt isn't the one he inherited from Anakin) and a blaster pistol that holsters on his right hip.

Also in this set is Deena Shan, a Rebel soldier who's been available in a comic pack before. Of course, that one was just Juno Eclipse painted gray, while this one is actually new. Like Luke, she's wearing stealth armor, though hers has a much more flattering cut. Yes, despite covering 95% of the wearer's body, the armor still manages to fit the sci-fi armor requirements: it's open slightly in the front to show off her chest.

Judging by her appearance in the comics, the idea behind Deena Shan was "let's put Starbuck in Star Wars. Not only does the art make her look like Katee Sackhoff, but she's got the same kind of lost, screwed-up personality that the character had in the redone BSG, and even wears similar clothes. This figure, on the other hand, looks Allison Janney; not that that's a bad thing, it just doesn't go with the art.

C.J. Kara Deena has the same 23 joints as Luke, but since she's not a Jedi, her only weapon is a blaster. The barrel of the gun gets bent slightly when it's in the holster, but since the weapon is molded from such soft plastic, it goes back to normal easily. The paint is good on both figures: the thin gold lines are crisp, and the white logos stand out nicely. Deena's face is a slightly different color from her neck, but it's close enough for our purposes.

This comic pack features a reprint of Rebellion #3, which features the first appearance of the stealth armor. You may feel slightly lost reading this, since it jumps into the story in the middle of a scene, with characters who are never explained or referenced again. Oh, and it ends with a cliffhanger that you have to have read an entirely different comicbook series to understand. This issue, by itself, probably isn't going to make anyone want to read the rest of the story, but it does show off the suits the toys are wearing, which is all that really matters, right?

Luke Skywalker and Deena Shan make a pretty good pair - as toys, not necessarily as characters. This is Comic Pack #40 by Hasbro's reckoning, and both figures are something new. The "stealth armor" is pretty cool, even if it's obscure enough that not even Wookiepedia has an entry on it, and while neither Luke nor Deena are perfect, they're not awful.

-- 05/31/09


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