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Obi-Wan Kenobi (Jedi Knight)

SWII: Attack of the Clones
by yo go re

Forget "Oily Josh," it's time for Oily Ben!

Obi-Wan Kenobi became a general in the Army of the Republic as the Clone Wars continued, having many adventures with Anakin Skywalker.

At last, the Obi-Wan I've been waiting for! We had fully mature Episode 3 Obi-Wan in the first year of the line (though after Han and Greedo, so not in stores), Old Ben Kenobi three ways (four once you count his ghost), baby padawan Kenobi to hang out with Qui-Gon... there was even a Kenobi wearing his Clone Wars armor, though it was an exclusive produced in numbers that were way too small at just the moment Walgreens distribution went to crap. Anyway, we at last get Bearded Sex God Kenobi... just in time for the packaging style to change, meaning his series (like the one immediately preceeding it) will be completely underordered by stores that are planning forward to the refresh. Talk about your phantom menace!

Okay, that joke would have worked better if this weren't Attack of the Clones Obi-Wan - you know, the one with the long hair, so he looks like Jesus. Who wouldn't want an action figure of Jesus? After all, if we want to get to heaven, he's our only hope! The Ewan McGregor likeness is perfectly McGregor-y, though the hair could stand to be shaggier.

There's apparently a running change with the figure's paint. The earliest wave of shipments had a little bit of gray paint dry-brushed onto the hair; the later wave has the grey as a wash, allowing it to get down in between the sculpted folicles rather than resting on top of them. The difference isn't really that big, but the revised one does look better. For the most part, the Wave 1 Obies were the ones people ordered online, and the Wave 2s are appearing in stores. With the caveat, of course, that ordering online is the only reliable way to get the figure - I found this one at GameStop, on my first visit there in months, and it was the only one they had. You can tell which one you're looking at by the boots: the first version has boots that are the same color as the belt, while the second version has boots that are a lighter, redder brown. V1's robes are darker, too.

Although Obi-Wan Steven Ben Larry Kenobi (aka "Banjo") didn't change his outfit between Episode 2 and Episode 3, this isn't just the 2013 figure with a new head - today's details are crisper, with a more subtle texture on the cloth. His pants are puffier, and one of the 40 shirts he's wearing is white, instead of being the same tan as all the other robes and vests he's piled on himself like he's the coat-bed at a party. He wears the standard Jedi-issue tactical belt, with a hole on the left side where his lightsaber can plug in.

The articulation has improved in the last seven years, too. We've got the usual stuff - ankles, knees, thighs, hips, wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, and neck - but the design of it is good. The balljointed hips seem to have more range than any other Black Series figure we can remember, and the elbows are designed to have a fairly deep bend despite only being a single hinge. There are balljoints at the top and bottom of the neck, and, like Mace Windu, he's got the extra pec hinges hidden deep in the vest so he can really get good lightsaber poses.

Unlike Mace, Obi-Wan does not include a softgoods Jedi cloak. Seriously, there is no reason every Jedi shouldn't come with one. Qui-Gon, every Obi-Wan, even Anakin if you want. They're Jedis, they need their robes! Especially this figure, since it plays such a big part in his Christification. I don't care how much he talks like a gentleman (like you imagined when you were young), without that robe he simply doesn't look a thing like Jesus. As it is, his only accessory is his lightsaber, and its removable blade. Not even any loaves. Or fishes!

As far as the prequels go, Attack of the Clones Obi-Wan is where it's at: no longer impulsive or naive, but also not yet jaded by years of war - it's the Kenobi sweet spot! This figure would have been better with a cloak, but the only real problem is that the timing of his release means a lot of fans will never see him.

-- 09/20/20

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