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Cad Bane

SW: The Clone Wars
by yo go re

*whistling Nicola Samale flute intensifies*

A ruthless bounty hunter from the planet Duro, Cad Bane was the preeminent blaster-for-hire in the galaxy at the time of the Clone Wars. No quarry was too dangerous for Bane... if the price was right.

Cad Bane is basically the Boba Fett of Clone Wars - which is no mean feat, considering Boba Fett is actually in Clone Wars! Season 1 of the cartoon was all about the Republic fighting the Separatists, but having two factions that can never really triumph over one another can get boring pretty quickly (this isn't an '80s cartoon, after all), so eventually more "third party" groups were brought into the war, like space pirates and bounty hunters. That allowed allegiances to shift all over the place, and opened up all kinds of new storytelling avenues. The fact that it also allowed them to create a bunch of cool new characters was just a nice side-effect.

Cad Bane is a Durosian, one of the alien species that first appeared at the Cantina in Episode 4. They were the ones who looked like typical alien "Greys", with the big bulbous head, featureless round eyes, and no nose. On set, they were just called "Goggle-Eyes," with more specific names being created later when nerds began to fill in all the blanks.

When the writing team started planning to bring in a bounty hunter, they were going to make it Durge, from the first cartoon. That was then changed to a human with a World War II look, before George Lucas suggested they go more "Western" with him - thus, Cad Bane wears a wide-brimmed hat, a brown duster, and what appear to be chaps tucked into his boots. This toy takes all the details seen in the cartoons and "untoons" them, though it wasn't too far of a journey. He's wearing armored bracers that look Mandalorian in origin, with various controls sculpted on them, and tubes that run over the elbows. A breathing apparatus wraps around his cheeks, with hoses leading to a little pack that dangles against his back, and there are rocket boosters on his ankles. So, y'know, not totally an old-west look.

Cad has a balljointed head, balljointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge elbows despite the fact that the biceps already take care of half of that, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. The glove-tubes do mess with the elbows a little bit, and his coat is PVC so it will always hang straight down behind him no matter what you do with the legs, but overall this is pretty good. The rockets on his ankles can swivel around - they feel like they don't, but they do, so you can either point them straight down so he can hover slightly, or point them back to give him a speed boost? Maybe? Is that what they're for? I know they swivel, because when you take him out of the tray they're upside down: the nozzles are meant to point down, not up. That wouldn't make any sense.

Looking at the figure, it seems his only accessories are his two pistols, which can either store in the holsters or be held in either hand; both his trigger fingers are extended. But the satchel he's got around his chest can be slipped off easily, the hat will pretty much fall off when you're taking him out of the tray (bigger part of the brim goes in the back, not the front, when you're trying to figure out how he's supposed to wear it), and you can even unplug his little breathing tube thing if you want. Seems like a missed opportunity to not include a Jedi holocron with him, since he was introduced stealing one. Or, you know, his little sidekick droid Todo 360.

Oh, Todo 360! Hasbro actually did make a Todo 360, but it was only available as part of an exclusive version of Cad Bane released on Hasbro Pulse. It was one of those things that they announced during some online event that promptly sold out in like five minutes and was never restocked, so screw you I guess if you didn't want to wake up early and watch a boring-ass livestream. Todo is no minor character - Bane even rebuilt him after he was blown up during the original arc - so to relegate him to an ungettable exclusive is a dick move. Love to pay full price for a figure that's functionally incomplete.

When he suggested Clone Wars' new bounty hunter be a cowboy, Lucas specifically referenced Lee Van Cleef's ruthless character "Angel Eyes" in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for his personality. Jeremy Bulloch had previously based his performance as Boba Fett on Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name," meaning we've now got The Bad and The Good covered - so who is Star Wars's Eli Wallach? [Well, Hondo Ohnaka filled his role on the Magnificent Seven-inspired Clone Wars episode "Bounty Hunters" and seems to share some of Tuco's ("The Ugly") personality, so there's your answer, fishbulb --ed.] This figure is really good, but I'm annoyed I'm missing an accessory/sidekick that should have been included.

-- 03/07/21

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