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Moff Gideon

Star Wars: The Mandalorian
by yo go re

*disappointed sternness intensifies*

Imperial Moff Gideon is fiercely determined to capture a specific quarry. Clever and formidable, Gideon values power and knowledge.

After Maul left Mandalore, his loyalists teamed up with the Empire to retain control of the planet. Someone didn't like that, so they fostered rebellion, which eventually grew into a full-on civil war. The Empire, knowing that Mandalorians are some of the toughest fighters around, were all like "nope, none of that, thank you," and decided to just purge the entire planet. Though we have yet to see the Great Purge in any fiction, we do know that Gideon was there at some point as an Imperial Security Bureau officer.

Moff Gideon is played by Giancarlo Esposito, best known for his roles as Sidney, the Magic Mirror on Once Upon a Time, and as Gilbert Pierce's half-brother on Community. He's also on The Boys, but who really watches anything on Amazon Prime? It's like the Vimeo to Netflix's YouTube and Hulu's Dailymotion. The facial sculpt is helped out by Photo Real printing for the paint - and unlike the various Landos Calrissian Hasbro's made, Gideon has the proper skintone.

Other than the lack of a helmet, Moff Gideon dresses like a budget Darth Vader: instead of just wearing the usual black Imperial uniform, he adds a plate of armor over the chest - at first it seemed to be because he was introduced piloting a TIE Fighter, and that's what TIE Pilots wear, but apparently he keeps it on all the time. That, plus the big, red-lined cape, makes him almost feel like he could be a member of the Inquisitorius.

The cloth parts of his costume are matte black, while the armor is gloss, making it look like it's made out of whatever space-plastic the Empire dresses its forces in. The details on his chest-box are painted criply, but the stripes on his belt and sleeves aren't as vibrant as they should be - you can barely make them out unless you know to look for them. The fact that the cape is lined with red does make the body stand out nicely, though.

Gideon moves like any other Black Series figure: ankles, shins, knees, thighs, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and head. Since the cape is plastic, it limits how much you can do, but that's he trade-off for being able to make it look nice. You'd definitely have to take it off if you wanted to put the figure in a TIE Fighter, for instance. But the articulation is enough for him to aim his little pistol around when it's not being held in its holster - not that you'll care much about that accessory for long. The big draw of this set is Gideon's other weapon.

At the end of the Mandalorian Season 1 finale, Gideon's TIE Fighter has crashed, and Jawas are swarming around it to strip it for parts. Suddenly, he cuts his way out of the wreckage with the Darksaber! Created by the first Mandalorian ever to become a Jedi, the Darksaber is basically an angular black lightsaber and sort of serves as Star Wars' Excalibur: the legendary sword that bestows leadership status on whoever wields it. It used to belong to Pre Vizsla, but this is the first time it's been made as an accessory for the 6" line. The blade and hilt are separate pieces, so you can have it turned off if you want. The blade itself is made from translucent plastic that's then given black apps along the sides, to better duplicate the prop's appearance as a black void surrounded by a white outline. There are going to be plenty of Moff Gideons sold just for this accessory alone. I know there was at least one.

In Mando Season 1, it seemed like Moff Gideon was going to be a quick villain of the week, in and out as a cameo. But Season 2 made it clear he was the main antagonist - of the season, at least, if not the series as a whole. This figure shipped alongside Greef Karga and Kuiil, but is definitely the faster seller of the bunch, moving off the pegs nearly as fast as the Armorer or Dark Side Rey.

-- 04/18/21

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