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Baron Fel & Ysanne Isard

SW: X-Wing Rogue Squadron
by yo go re

Prepare yourself for a study in contrasts.

Soontir Fel and Ysanne Isard are one-time allies who find themselves on opposite sides after the fall of the Empire. Fel is a starfighter pilot and an Imperial hero who defects to the New Republic. Isard is the devious Director of Imperial Intelligence who manipulates events to reach the pinnacle of power.

This is a most unexpected figure. Baron Fel may be a big muckety-muck in the Rogue Squadron comics, but he's hardly a household name. And considering that other important characters in Rogue Squadron include "fishhead," "she-Greedo," "baldy," and "guy with hair," that isn't really much to brag about (after all, as far as most people know, Rogue Squadron might as well have been called "Wedge Antilles (and friends)," so everybody who's not him is a glorified extra).

However, a lot of those random boring characters have gotten toys, so what makes this particular release unexpected? The fact that we've already had a Baron Soontir Fel figure before - this is his second! The other was also in a Comic Pack, but don't think this is just a repaint.

Well, it is a repaint, but not of the previous figure. Everything below the neck has been used for other toys, but not Soontir. Last time, he was wearing his TIE Fighter pilot gear, because he was still an Imperial agent; this time, he's dressed like an Imperial - wearing the Naval dress uniform - but he's actually on the Rebels' side by now. His legs are set wider than you might expect, but imagine him standing at attention and it works out.

The head is new, which is good news, since that means Hasbro could take the opportunity to correct the flaws with the last one. This time Baron Fel has the appropriate goatee, and he doesn't look like Tim Bradstreet's brother. He's no longer got male-pattern baldness, but the replacement hair is plastered against his head. Honestly, though, it does match the comic art well.

Fel has three accessories: a blaster, a removable hat, and his Rogue Squadron pilot's helmet. The helmet is black with a red stripe over the top, and clear yellow lenses. The hat stays in place surprisingly well.

The second figure in this set is Ysanne Isard, another Rogue Squadron character. She's more recognizable than Fel, though, because she's basically the villain for the entire series. She was Director of Imperial Intelligence under Emperor Palpatine (with the implication that she was literally under Emperor Palpatine, if you know what we mean), and after his death, she eventually rose to command the entire Imperial Remnant.

Ysanne shares her mold with Deena Shan - not the "Rebellion" version, the Juno Eclipse pre-paint. She chose to wear a red uniform, for whatever reason, so she still manages to look unique. The skin showing through the panels on the backs of her gloves is slightly sloppy, and there's a molding artifact on her right hand.

Isard is consistently described as an attractive woman, and the head sculpt does its best to show that. She just squeaks in under the line of "matronly," and she's got a slight scowl - a fine choice since she really doesn't seem like the smiling type. She has two white streaks in her hair that make her look like Rogue, and her eyes are heterochromatic: one red, one blue.

This set includes a reprint of X-Wing Rogue Squadron #29, and unless you already know what's going on, it's hard as hell to follow. Baron Soontir Fel and Ysanne Isard both have at least marginally important roles, though, so we're already doing better than most of these reprints can manage. This is apparently set #75, so they were bound to get it right eventually.

Soontir Fel was the son of farmers, but by the time of Legacy, the galaxy is ruled by Emperor Roan Fel, of the Fel Dynasty. On the other hand, Ysanne Isard was born into a wealthy family, but spent her final days imprisoned in a forward section of her own Super Star Destroyer, tended to only by droids so she could never influence another living person. Neither of their figures is really great, but this Fel is better than the last one, and Isard's never had a toy before.

-- 01/23/11

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