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Hondo Ohnaka

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
by yo go re

*That ancient, painfully unfunny David Letterman Uma/Oprah bit, but with Hondo Ohnaka and Yondu Udonta.*

At the infamous Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, Hondo Ohnaka started Ohnaka Transport Solutions to run contraband throughout the galaxy.

Ah, never change, Hondo! The character first appeared in The Clone Wars series, as the captain of a pirate crew. While salvaging a wrecked ship, he managed to take Count Dooku hostage; when the Republic sent Anakin and Obi-Wan to pay the ransom, he took them hostage, too. That scoundrel! He is a villain, no question, but he's an affable one and not especially malicious or vindictive: after all three of his captives escaped custody (something that took multiple attempts, because Hondo was on the ball), Hondo had his men stand down and allow the Jedis to leave peacefully. He had honor, and he respected them. Which is probably why he survived to show up again and again, in The Clone Wars and then Rebels and now as a major character at Disney's "Galaxy's Edge" attraction.

Hondo is a Weequay, one of the alien species that first appeared as a guard on Jabba's sail barge. His skin is leathery, and a series of horns poke out along his jawline. He wears a pair of goggles, primarily because they look cool, and his thick dreadlocks hang out from beneath his helmet dealie. He's sculpted with just a hint of a smirk, suiting his personality.

Before being "imported" as a Target exclusive, this figure was originally part of a three-pack you could only get by physically being at one of the Disney Parks, so he's wearing his themepark costume rather than one from any of the cartoons (he also appeared in Forces of Destiny, we forgot to mention that one before). It comprises a long, ruddy coat with a ribbed panel over the shoulders, dirty white bracers, a V-necked shirt, a gun belt, dark pants, and knee-high boots with protective guards on the fronts. He absolutely looks like an aging smuggler space pirate, though the colors should really be brighter.

Hondo's colorscheme has generally always been red and blue, something the animatronic at Disney (the most advanced and realistic the Imagineers have ever built) duplicates; this toy, however, is very muted, like he's been caught in a rain storm in the middle of the night. Were they afraid nobody would take the spiky alien mummy space pirate seriously if he dressed in vibrant shades? The elbow joints are unpainted, leaving big visual breaks in the forearms, and there's no paint detailing at all on his boots, just solid grey.

The toy moves like all Black Series releases these days: swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a baljointed chest, swivel/hinges all through the arms (wrists, elbows and shoulders), balljointed neck and balljointed head. The dreads only limit the head slightly, because they're PVC, but the holster on his left leg is glued in place, meaning that swivel can't do a whole lot. Still, it's enough to duplicate a human range of motion; it's not like you were planning to turn his leg around backwards, right?

Disappointingly, Hondo only gets one accessory: a pistol for his holster. It's a nice piece, formerly available with Director Krennic, but why it and nothing else? Heck, dig out the old tooling and give us his two Kowakian monkey-lizards, Pilf and Pikk Mukmuk. Yes, they're brothers. Yes, they're members of the pirate crew, not just pets. They're also colored like parrots, because he's a pirate, and they've both got thieving names: Pikk as in "pick(pocket)" and Pilf as in "pilfer." Who cares if they're not still around by the "Galaxy's Edge" days, they still would have been good accessories.

Hondo Ohnaka is a great character. He's faced off with Chirrut Îmwe, fought Anakin Skywalker at nearly the height of his power and skill, survived encounters with Dooku, Darth Maul, and General Grievous, and beat a bunch of Battle Droids by hand with a sword. Not a "vibrosword" like Star Wars likes so much, a regular-ass metal sword. It's telling that even when he double-crosses the heroes, the next time he shows up they're happy to see him... or at least only annoyed that he's there, not mad. And now that he's canonically going to live until at least the days of the First Order, there's lots of room to tell stories about him. And enough wiggle room that Hasbro could produce some of his previous costumes... hopefully in the right color this time.

-- 11/01/20

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