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Obi-Wan Kenobi

SW: The Clone Wars
by yo go re

Hello there!

A legendary Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi was a noble man and gifted in the ways of the Force. He trained Anakin Skywalker, served as a general in the Republic Army during the Clone Wars, and guided Luke Skywalker as a mentor.

This is Hasbro's second pass at doing a Clone Wars Obi-Wan, and that text is taken from the last one: this is a Target exclusive, sold in an oversized throwback card designed to look like the circa-2008/9 packaging (right down to the reused character art), the one that was just a giant Clone Trooper helmet with a rounded blister on the front. While those figures definitely had biographical info on the back, all these releases get is a Lucasfilm timeline. Boring! Good thing there was an older version we could copy.

The previous Obi-Wan was simply the normal Black Series Clone Trooper with a minorly retooled chest (because, being based on the 2D Clone Wars cartoon, he wore a cape and needed discs to hold it in place), but this one is much different. It's a new sculpt, similar to his Episode II robes, but with a piece of white plastic armor over his shoulders. The robe and armor are a single molded piece that sits over the torso beneath, and his skirt part is new as well. The arms and shins come from the updated Clone Trooper that came out last year, which means the knee- and elbow-pads are separate pieces that simply fit onto the limbs. The upper legs are new, because Obi doesn't wear the thigh armor, just black pants.

The real standout is the head, though. This is the same sculpt as the 2019 exclusive, but the Photo Real process has only improved over time, so an already-great sculpt looks even better. The Clone Wars design had to split the difference between Ep.2 and 3, so the hair is a bit shaggy, but not Jesus-long, and his beard is trimmed shorter.

For the most part, the articulation is good. General Kenobi moves at the head, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. The waist is a balljoint, so he can tilt all around, and the shoulders are swivel/hinge joints on pectoral hinges. The right wrist hinge moves the hand up and down, while the left moves back and forth. The hands are the same the Clone Trooper had, which doesn't work great here: the right hand has the trigger finger extended, and the left does not; as long as they were making new pieces, why not shape the right hand to hold his lightsaber, and the left with two fingers pointed out in a Force-using/fight-gesturing pose? To lift the arms to the outside, you have to make sure the pauldrons of his armor move over the top of the torso, rather than bumping into it.

The only accessory included is a lightsaber. It's the classic design, and features a removable blue blade. A peg allows the hilt to attach to the figure's belt. The old figure this one is based on also included a jetpack and a Clone Trooper helmet, either of which would have been nice to see here. As it is, the toy feels light - especially since Target bumped the price up after the first shipment sold out. Originally available for $24.99, it was up to $26.49 by the time it came back in stock.

I really wanted the Walgreens exclusive Clone Wars Obi-Wan, but it never showed up (or if it did, the local scalper guy got there first), so I was glad when Target announced this update. Jedi didn't wear armor because they needed the protection - no need to worry about blaster bolts when you can deflect them with ease - but because it helped the Clone squads feel like they mattered to those in command of them. A bonding exercize. Obi-Wan Kenobi probably didn't have any trouble with that, being a warm, personable fellow, but the toy still looks damn cool.

-- 07/25/21

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