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SW: Adventures
by yo go re

Okay, I'm gonna level with ya: when we brought up the idea of a Black Series Jaxxon in the past? We were joking.

Jaxxon is a nearly 6-foot tall, green-furred, Lepi smuggler and captain of the Rabbit's Foot. Known for his wise cracks and high kicks, Jaxxon has helped Han Solo and Chewbacca out on more than one occasion.

When Marvel Comics adapted the first Star Wars movie in 1977, it took six issues; in issue #7, the Expanded Universe officially began, telling a new, original story. Writer Roy Thomas was told not to use Luke and Leia too heavily, so he chose to focus his tale on Han and Chewie, putting them in a Seven Samurai pastiche where a disparate group of strangers are hired to protect a small town from marauders. Many of the characters were jokes (for instance, the "Jedi Knight-Errant" Don-Wan Kihotay), but the most distinctive had to be Jaxxon T. Tumperakki, the giant green space-rabbit. Or technically a Lepus carnivorus, "a meat-eatin', rocket-ridin' rabbit"... loosely based on Bugs Bunny.

Jax was generally drawn to look pretty cute, but this figure turns him into a rough, shaggy nightmare. He kind of looks like the humanoid kangaroos from Tank Girl, which was probably not what they were going for? His eyes appear totally human, which makes him look more like someone wearing a complicated rabbit mask than a member of an alien species. The fur on the top of his head forms a bit of a mohawk, and the choice to have his ears bend to the outside at the tips is a strange one; why do that instead of having them stand straight up, or tip forward, or backward, or any number of other options that would have made more sense than this? At least when Bucky O'Hare did this, his ears were poseable.

From the beginning, Jaxxon's outfit has always been a red-and-yellow space suit with a bit of white armor, and that's what this toy delivers. Most of the sculpt is reused: the torso and arms come from 2015's TIE Fighter Pilot, while the legs originally belonged to the 2016 Luke Skywalker. The belt and chest armor are new pieces, glued in place on the front of the figure. The combination really does work well: the TIE Pilot's flight uniform becomes an appropriate pressure suit for him, while Luke was scrawny enough that Jaxxon doesn't suddenly look overly muscular below the hips (though to be fair, he is a rabbit and kicking things is pretty much his go-to melee attack). It would have been nice if he had new feet, rather than Luke's boots, but it's not a necessity.

The suit has been painted a reddish-orange that manages to capture the colors of the comic without looking like he stole it from a Royal Guard. The yellow vest contrasts with that pretty well, while the gloves, boots, and armor is gray instead of pure white - it makes him look like he's been running around having adventures, rather than being fresh from the laundry. The greeen of his fur is an ugly shade, not the bright cartoony green seen in the comics. It's more like avocado or strained peas or something a goose would leave behind itself in the grass. Also, the fact they didn't paint his nose looks as bad here as it did on King Sphinx - at least Jax gets lighter shade on his muzzle? That's something.

His articulation is good, because it's not like either of the characters who have lent Jaxxon their molds were lacking. He has a balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swive;/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists (up-and-down on the right hand, back-and-forth on the left), a balljointed chest, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. Like we said above, articulated ears would have been much welcome, but they would have had to find a way to hide the joints in the fur. Would have been worth it, though. The chest armor is made from a soft PVC, so the shoulder flaps will bend out of the way when you move the arms.

He's armed with a matched pair of pistols, which can fit in the holsters on his belt, or be held in the hands. Only the right hand has the trigger finger extended. Maybe he's going to pistol-whip somebody with his left hand.

Jaxxon is part of a "fan channel"-exclusive series celebrating 50 years of Lucasfilm. (I found mine at GameStop, if you're wondering.) All four figures are sold in packaging that looks like the old Black Series packaging, the rectangular kind, but with an extra flap that closes over the front like a book. Comic art decorates the cover and the sides of the box. It's fine, if a bit pointlessly over-designed, but at least it's not those dumb angled boxes we get now?

The strangest thing about Jaxxon isn't that he looks like a rabbit, it's that everybody in the story recognizes that he looks like a rabbit. The Star Wars universe has tons of wildlife, but all of it looks like a distinct, non-Earth species. A nexu doesn't look like a tiger, and nobody calls it one; they refer to it in terms appropriate for a nexu. But upon meeting Jaxxon, everyone talks about cottontails or carrots, like rabbits are the most common thing in the universe. Does Therm Scissorpunch have to constantly hear jokes about buttah and Bahstan accents? Or are rabbits the only Earth animal SW people know about? And if so, why? Whatever the reason, fans have been asking for an official Jaxxon toy for years, and Hasbro finally delivered. Not in the classic scale, and not with the classic look, but he does exist.

But now, with Jaxxon out of the way... Black Series Lak Sivrak/Voolvif Monn when, Hasbro?

-- 08/22/21

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