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Pre Vizsla

SW: The Clone Wars
by yo go re

After posting the list of everything I bought in 2012, our readers had one frequent reaction. No, not this one, you jerks: "review more Star Wars." Well, okay, let's see what we can do.

Pre Vizsla is governor of Concordia, the moon orbiting Mandalore. Vizsla appears to support peace and criticizes the Death Watch, a violent group of Mandalorians who want to return to their warrior past. But when Obi-Wan discovers the Vizsla is actually the leader of the Death Watch, the governor tries to silence the Jedi in a duel - darksaber to lightsaber.

Hailing from Season 2 of Clone Wars (and from 2010 of Hasbro's Clone Wars toyline), Pre Vizsla is really kind of a bastard - like the bio says, he pretended to be on the side of the good guys while secretly being in command of the villains. Hey, where have we heard that before? He probably would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids the fact that the woman he was running his scam on and planning to overthrow was the ex-girlfriend of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Vizsla has voiced on the cartoon by Jon Favreau, but since Clone Wars doesn't base its characters on the voice actors the way Disney does, Pre doesn't look at all like Favreau. He looks regal and sinister, like if Star Wars had Malfoys. He has sharp cheeks, and blonde hair with an Ed Grimley spike. He's going totally mental, we must say!

Pre is wearing dark grey Mandalorian armor with blue accents. Since Jango Fett was dead before Clone Wars and Boba Fett was still a kid, there was no existing "animated" armor for this figure to use - thus, an all-new sculpt. The shapes of the armor are all as we've come to expect from a pseudo-Fett: the plates over the chest and stomach, the codpiece, shin guards, all that. You know the deal. He also gets working holsters on his legs (though not as "wild west-y" as Jango's) and wears a striped cape over his right shoulder. We gotta admit, Boba Fett + Black = one cool look.

The articulation is plentiful, because this figure was made before the current spate of cutbacks that have pushed Hasbro to the point that they effectively cancelled their 2013 lineup. He's got a balljointed head, then swivel/hinge joints at the shoulders, elbows, wrists, torso, hips, knees and ankles. Remember when that used to be a standard complement of joints, not an aberration? To take advantage of all that motion, Pre comes with two WESTAR-35 blaster pistols (the squarish guns that fit in his holsters), a typical Mandalorian jetpack (which is sculpted to sit flush against a curved back, rather than Pre's convex one), and his distinctive weapon, the darksaber. The darksaber is cast from translucent black plastic, just like lightsabers are cast from their color, and it looks awesome! The figure also has a removable helmet, and you can take the cape off if you choose.

Pre Vizsla is a recurring threat in The Clone Wars - he showed up in Season 2, and though he was defeated, he was simply run off, not captured or killed. He's still running around the galaxy causing trouble, and who knows where he'll show up next. He's definitely a manufactured "kewl" character - (really, guys? Black Boba Fett armor and a black lightsaber? He couldn't be more exxtreme if he was wearing sunglasses and had a space skateboard) - but the writing elevates him above that level, and makes this toy worth getting.

-- 01/12/13

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