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Figure Pack 2 of 2

SW: The Force Unleashed
by yo go re

Just in time for the sequel (and man, how badass does that new trailer look?), Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is back from Hasbro, in two five-figure box sets. Artemis reviewed Set 1 of 2, and following that lead, we're going to pay attention to the good figures and skim the rest.

Imperial jumptroopers use rocket packs to burst through the air in short spurts. These air-to-ground attack troopers are heavily armed, using powerful plasma disruptors and rail detonators that can eliminate enemy targets from any angle.

The Imperial Jumptrooper saw a solo release last year, along with the rest of the SW:TFU figures, and this one is fundamentally the same; a good 99.44% of the sculpt is identical to what we had before. Of course, since the Jumptrooper had such a nice design - sort of a marriage between the standard Stormtrooper armor and the Scout Trooper variant - the choice to change nothing was a good one. The paint apps are slightly different, with a darker grey on the shoulder- and kneepads, but we get the same short red stripe on the helmet. They did drop the "dirt" apps from his feet and shins, so he looks more pristine overall.

As we said, the majority of this figure's sculpt is the same. The one change? A hole in the middle of his back. You'll recall that for some inexplicable reason, the previous Jumptrooper didn't include the jetpack that gave him his name. Well, Hasbro's fixed that, giving us an accessory purpose-built for this figure. No doubt the nerfherders at the Rebel Scum message boards are screaming conspiracy, claiming that Hasbro's done this on purpose to make them buy the same figure twice, but we prefer to look at this as Hasbro listening to complaints and fixing an error.

Additionally, he finally gets one of the weapons mentioned in the bio, the plasma disruptor. Basically, it's a recoilless weapon, which means they don't get knocked off-coure when they fire it while flying. It's a huge accessory, almost like an up-sized version of the deformed T-21 the Spacetrooper came with. There are red highlights and exposed technological details along the barrel, and the figure can hold it well.

This prototype holodroid has been Galen Marek's companion for many years. PROXY is a one-of-a-kind droid that uses advanced hologram technology and built-in servos to alter his appearance, becoming virtually anyone.

Here we have the "star" of Set 2: the adorable robot sidekick. Okay, technically the adorable Imperial training droid Prototype Ten. Get it? Prototype Ten, Prototype 10, Proto X, PRO. X, PROXY? Seems like a long way to go to come up with a plausible reason to call him that, since he's literally a proxy in the game, acting as a vicarious stand-in for various characters. The idea behind the character was that he'd be halfway between C-3PO and HK-47, helpful and hateful all at once. In the Sith, you can't trust anybody: even your closest friends will try to kill you, given the chance.

PROXY is a phenomenally skinny droid, even moreso than the nude C-3PO from Phantom Menace. At the same time, he's more "complete" than that 3PO, as well; he's got an outer metal shell, not just loose bundles of wires. His design suggests a skeleton, with ribs and an exposed spine. The slightly rounded, which ends up making him look like he's wearing a robo-diaper, but the angles of the sculpt help hide that. In-universe, he carries lightsabers inside his chassis, but while his hands are molded for accessories, he doesn't come with any. There are two nubs on his shoulders that may well be evidence of the hilts, but they're just part of the sculpt.

The reason PROXY is so skinny is that he uses holograms to duplicate people - he needs to be small so he doesn't have pieces poking out of the disguise. Remember the show The Zeta Project? It's like that. Even his head is smaller han usual, being barely more than a knot of wires, two optic receptors and a curved forehead plate. PROXY stands 3⅞" tall, and has a swivel neck, shoulders, waist, wrists and hips, and swivel/hinge elbows, knees and ankles.

Galen Marek is the secret apprentice of Darth Vader and the son of Jedi. He is taken by the Sith Lord during the Great Jedi Purge and given the codename Starkiller. Vader trains him in the ways of the Force and promises to reward him with great power.

Notice that he's the son of Jedi - not "a Jedi," but "Jedi." Plural. Kinda shoots some giant, flaming holes in the claim that Jedi are celibate, huh? [No, not necessarily: celibacy and chastity are two different things --ed.] While the Starkiller in Set 1 was wearing the big scarfy outfit from Raxus Prime, this one is wearing the bounty hunter disguise he donned to hunt down Rahm Kota. What that boils down to is that this figure is basically a repainted "Evolutions" Jango Fett with a few new pieces: the shins appear to be new, and he's wearing a cape/sash thing over the armor.

Although this Galen's head is the same as that in Set 1, it's not shared with any of the three versions from the Secret Apprentice box set, which is fine, since this one looks more like Sam Witwer than the others did. The Raxus Prime Galen was originally intended to receive some "battle damage" paint apps, which would have added a dash of variety to the shared sculpt, but that was one of many changes made before release. His head does look small, however, due to the bulky armor and the proportions of the base figure.

Though he didn't wear one in the game, this figure comes with a Mandalorian helmet - so even if you don't want to use this as Galen, you can still pad your Mando army ranks. It's a nice, unique look, with only a few drawbacks: A) this is one of those sculpts with the plastic tubes running over the elbow joints, and 2) the hands were sculpted to be gloves, and now they're painted fleshtone, so they look horrible. He comes with a red lightsaber (although he was using a blue one at this point in the game), but because Jango's hands were molded to hold his twin blasters, the grip is way too loose to actually hold the hilt. You'll either have to boil and shape the hand, or hold onto one of the clear rubberbands holding the figures in the tray.

Felucians use their natural Force abilities to control their environment, including the ferocious rancors. The native inhabitants of Felucia expertly wield their bone swords, showing no mercy to those who threaten them.

The Felucian warrior is the same as this Felucian warrior, just done in different colors. His skin is a darker shade of grey, and all his clothes are darker overall, as well. His war paint is blue, rather than yellow, and it follows a new pattern - they didn't just pour a new color of paint into the old masks and call it a day. The paint on his chest is actually a bit better, though his back suffers slightly. He still includes the "bone sword," though this time it's actually painted like bone, rather than being bright day-glo blue. That one goes in the "win" column.

These Imperial shock troopers receive advanced training in stealth tactics and combat techniques. They truly are shadows, blending in with such skill that their targets never know that these covert spies were ever present.

This figure, sadly, is a duplicate of the one Artemis reviewed: the usual mold, cast in clear(ish) plastic, given some black wash and completely indefensible blue apps on the ankles, forearms, tummy and cheeks. Seriously, it is just the goofiest design ever. It'd almost be worth participating in the regular Hasbro Q&A sessions, just to ask what the hell happened here. Yes, it's cool to be able to see the inner workings of a toy we've seen so often before, but why the smoky plastic, and why the blue?

More than that, why are the troopers in both sets identical? It's not like it was planned that way: at one point, one would have been clear, and the other would have been significantly darker; it's like they half-assed it and split the difference between the two. Another plan would have seen a silver(!) armored figure with removable helmet and a masked face beneath that. But no, instead we get duplicates of the lamest figure in each set, making it harder to pull the trigger on either box set.

If Artemis was brave enough to admit to buying in Set 1 for the new Juno Eclipse alone, then I might as well confess I bought this set for PROXY. Yes, getting a new Galen was a big selling point as well, and the changes made to the Jumptrooper are all for the better, so he's a worthwhile piece even if you got the first version. The Felucian is nice enough, especially if you didn't splurge on the Battle Rancor, but the so-called Shadow Stormtrooper is just an embarrassment. I certainly wouldn'ttell you to pay full price for this, but if you wait for a sale at Toys Я Us, you wouldn't be throwing your money away.

-- 06/27/10


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