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Qui-Gon Jinn (Force Spirit)

SW Obi-Wan Kenobi
by yo go re

Spoilers!

At the end of Obi-Wan Kenobi's long journey, he encounters the spirit of his old friend and mentor, venerable Jedi Master and student of the living Force, Qui-Gon Jinn.

So yes, in the series that brought back Hayden Christiansen, he managed to not be the only surprise cameo. Well, not that Anakin was a surprise, since it was well announced that he was going to be in it, but you know what we mean. Qui-Gon's death not being as final as it seemed had already been hinted at before: his voice is heard in Episode II, Lucas had him communicating with Yoda in the script for Episode III (the scene was retained for the novelization, even if it was cut from the movie), and he appeared twice in The Clone Wars under very specific circumstances, but it took until this series for him to actually be able to manifest on his own. The lesson is clear: keep practicing, kids, and you too can learn new skills 21 years after you die.

The majority of this figure is, unsurprisingly, the same as the ultra-rare regular release from all those years ago: same pants, same boots, same Jedi robes, same belt, all that. He doesn't come with his lightsaber this time, which makes sense, but why doesn't he include the alternate "gesturing" left hand? We don't need two hands shaped to hold accessories when there are no accessories to be held. As we know ghosts can still use Force powers, so him reaching out like that would make sense.

There is one significant change, the head. In honor of The Phantom Menace's 20th anniversary (or something), Best Buy (allegedly) had some retro-carded Black Series re-releases a few years ago. Qui-Gon was part of that assortment, and he got a new head with an improved sculpt and Photo Real paint. And hey, that figure didn't have his gesturing hand, either; were it and the old head gang-molded? Might be.

Like the other "Force ghost" figures (yes, I'm aware the official name is "Force Spirit," but Lucasfilm wants us all to call Baby Yoda "Grogu," too, and that ain't happening either), Qui-Gon is molded from translucent blue plastic and then given selected paint apps to make him look less invisible. Or maybe the torso and upper arms are molded with color, depends on how everything is arranged in the steel tools. Even the colorful parts manage to look ethereal, thanks to the sparkly sheen of paint applied to them. We will once again say that making these ghosts glow in the dark would have been a perfect feature for the toys.

Even with the new noggin, Qui-Gon still has that 2017 articulation: swivel/​hinge rocker ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips and waist, swivel/hinge wrists, elbows and shoulders, a hinged neck, and a balljointed head. Ghost Qui-Gon did even less than Ghost Obi-Wan or Ghost Yoda did, but you can still go wild with him, having him do whatever dynamic actions you can dream up for him. We do still have the restriction caused by his hair, though. No way to avoid that and still have him looking right. The ankles want to move just a little too easily, so if you set the figure down wrong, he might need to be rebalanced before you loet go.

There may not be a lightsaber here, but we do get the accessory we said the old figure should have come with, his outer robe! It's not brown, of course, but rather the diaphanous blue we saw with O-Ben-Wan Kenobi. And like we predicted, he looks better wearing the extra robe than not. Hey, you've gotta take your small victories wherever you can get them. The hood always wants to pop back up if you lower it, but tuck it under his hair and it'll be fine.

Hasbro certainly knows how to be annoying. They released Obi-Wan as a Walgreens exclusive, then they released Yoda as a Walmart exclusive, then Anakin as a Pulse exclusive... only in a three-pack with Obi-Wan an Yoda. Really, guys? A double double-dip? That's low, even for the people who released a Han and Greedo two-pack while Han and Greedo were still pegwarming so badly that multiple years' worth of product never hit shelves. But now, thanks to this Walmart exclusive, I can finally have three Force Ghosts standing together watching other people party. It may not be the right three, but better Qui-Gon than Sub-Zero.

-- 10/07/23


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