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The Client

Star Wars: The Mandalorian
by yo go re

This doesn't look at all like Tim Meadows!

A mysterious Imperial who keeps a low profile in a safehouse on Nevarro, the Client is the face behind an otherwise faceless bounty, an off-the-record assignment with a high value.

The Battle of Endor was not the end of the Empire - they kept fighting for about a year, making their final stand above the planet Jakku. (In reality, this was a plan by Emperor Palpatine to destroy both the New Republic and the last bits of the Empire all at once, but the scheme was thwarted.) The remnants splintered into numerous small, self-interested holdout groups on distant worlds, led by local warlords like Moff Gideon. Obviously it would be bad for Gideon to make a public spectacle of himself when working on secret projects, so he used go-betweens, like the man known only as "the Client."

The Client was played by Werner Herzog, who had never seen a Star War and mainly took the role to raise money to make a future film. They let him read the script, and he liked the idea of being someone frightening and sinister, so he agreed. And it's good he did, because when the creators considered replacing Baby Yoda with CGI, he called them cowards and told them to believe in the artistry the puppeteers had already created.

Clearly The Client is a true believer in the Empire, even after its fall: not only does he wax philosophic about its value and virtues, he's still wearing a big Imperial medallion around his neck. That would be like still having a Confederate flag tattoo or a Trump/Pence bumper sticker: just a giant broadcast to everyone around that you're on the side of losers and would proudly be a loser yourself if given the chance. The costume department aimed to dress him kind of like a mob boss, with a dark, fur-trimmed coat over plain brown clothes beneath. He has tall black boots, a golden belt buckle to break up the pants and shirt, and a cord or chain dangling across his lapels. Turn him around and you'll see they even sculpted his bald spot. Nice work!

There may not be much to discuss with the paint (are they still "earthtones" if you don't have an Earth? Would they be nevarrotones? "The NevarroTones" sounds like a 1950s doo-wop band, so probably not), but his articulation is what we usually get: head, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, thighs, kinees, and ankles. It's too bad his coat had to be made from plastic rather than cloth, because almost every appearance he had on the show saw him sitting behind his big intimidating desk, but this one will be stuck standing. Or hey, maybe you could just use his coat as a chair and have him sit that way!

The Client wasn't really an "accessory-using" type of guy, but Hasbro still found some things for this toy to come with. One we've seen before: the tracking fob he gave Mando in the first episode, which was previously available with that rare Target exclusive set. Then there are two large stacks of gold pressed latinum beskar, which are not the same that came with the exclusive; those were five loose bricks, while these are molded stacks of ten. But the best part is that he's got a camtono to store them in! What's a "camtono"? It is what Rustin once called "the most important accessory in the history of Star Wars": an ice cream maker! Yes, Willrow Hood's (in)famous kitchen appliance has been plumbed from the depths of SW lore and, nearly 40 years later, finally given a reason to exist. According to The Mandalorian, a "camtono" is sort of a personal storage safe, so Willrow grabbing that on his way out of Bespin would be the equivalent of grabbing all your important documents when your house is on fire. The lid on this one is removable, and three panels around the sides can flex open (they're not hinged, they're just made of PVC). The beskar fits inside nicely.

The functional ice cream maker was half the reason I wanted to get this toy. The other half was the oddity of having an action figure of Werner Herzog in my collection, because that sounds like about the most unlikely thing ever.

-- 09/10/22

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