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Commander Jorg Sacul

Star Wars
by yo go re

2002 was the 25th anniversary of Star Wars, but the year passed without a great deal of fanfare. Sure, Attack of the Clones came out, but there was no concentrated fanfare. Hasbro, for instance, only released three commemorative two-packs, as well as this solo figure.

Among X-Wing pilots, Commander Jorg Sacul is renowned for his inner strength, his ability to remain calm under fire, and his mentoring of younger Squadron members. Once a reckless dreamer, his life changed course after a near fatal crash in his T-16 Skyhopper on his homeworld of Tatooine. He went off to the Academy and emerged as the top pilot in his class and a natural leader. A visionary storyteller, he entertains the pilots in his command with far-flung tales of distant galaxies thousands of years before the Republic. Rumored to be Force sensitive, many say Sacul would have become a great Jedi... if only he had been born in a different time.

Jorg was released exclusively at the Star Wars Celebration II convention in Indianapolis, which was held from May 3-5, 2002. I tried to finagle one from of my friends who lived in Indiana at the time, and who I figured would be attending the con, but no luck: I forget whether he couldn't get one or ended up not going or what, but for some reason I missed out. I certainly wasn't going to pay scalper prices for what was essentially just a basic figure, but thankfully prices on Jorg (just like on every other modern Star Wars toy) have trended downward over the years. The figure is sold in the standard "Saga" packaging of the time, but the cardboard insert marks the silver anniversary.

The figure uses the mold originally introduced for Biggs Darklighter - and while it was an impressive sculpt when it was first released, that was 1998. The mold was already four years old when this figure was new, and time has certainly done it no favors. Also not helping? The fact that Hasbro had already used this same body for an entire squadron's worth of X-Wing pilots already - seriously, you think Hasbro reuses a lot of sculpts in the Marvel Universe line? They've been at it for years. Still, it's impressive to realize how fast the figures evolved from where they started.

Judging by this figure, Jorg hasn't quite led the same life of comfort as his counterpart. We're not saying they should have used the Porkins body for him, but come on, they should have used the Porkins body for him. Biggs and the thousand other Rebel pilots who use this mold are trim, fit guys, and that doesn't really seem appropriate here. Since the figure was originally released in '98, his only articulation is the Big Five and a waist.

Of course, nobody is buying this figure because it's a great toy - they're buying it for the head. Like the Stormtrooper that would be released four years later, this figure represents George Lucas - I know, you're shocked by this revelation! This is the Old George, though. His beard is grey and he has a lighter wash to bring out the detail.

The helmet that usally conceals his identity is removable, naturally, so it looks way too big for him when it's on his head. Biggs had the advantage of a sculpted helmet (but then, so did the original Luke, and we all know how that turned out). We'd already seen good removable helmets in the Star Wars line by 2002, so why is this one so bad? He also comes with a large blaster pistol and a model X-Wing on a clear stand. Way to use those Micro Machines molds, Hasbro! There's also a blue-tinted Yavin hangar backdrop in the bubble behind the figure, but that's not really an accessory.

This was the second George Lucas toy released on the market, but so far it's the only one to depict him as a good guy - wonder if it's an intentional choice, or just coincidence that the guy who keeps changing things in the movies we love is always on the Dark side. Whatever the case, this isn't a piece you buy because you want a cool toy, it's one you get because you want a unique collectable. That's probably why they went with the outdated body: why pay a better one when most people are never even going to open the packaging?

-- 02/25/12

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