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EVO Trooper

SW: The Force Unleashed
by yo go re

You may not realize it, but there's more to The Force Unleashed than hot chicks and magic walking retcons, oh yes! There was also an entire garrison's worth of new Stormtrooper variations.

Trained to survive the galaxy's most treacherous weather conditions, EVO Troopers are equipped with enhanced armor that can deal with hazards such as extreme heat, acid rivers, and lightning. Each EVO Trooper's FA-3 fléchette launcher fires shards of metal capable of hitting multiple targets.

That, right there, is pretty much everything we know about EVO Troopers. Well, that and the "EVO" stands for "environmental," for all the sense that makes. You might have thought it was Extra Vehicular Operations or something, but no. That would be too logical. They showed up in Force Unleashed on the junk planet of Raxus Prime, but that's really about it. Still, a cool design is a cool design, and these guys could be designed to serve princess cakes at the tea parties Darth Vader has with his stuffed animals, and they'd still look awesome.

The EVO Trooper is based on Ralph McQuarrie's concept for the Sandtrooper, but pushed quite a bit further. He's not just a normal Stormtrooper with a slightly more vertical helmet, now, but actually gets a lot of added details. We start with that spooky white space armor, and branch off from there. There are ventilated grey pads on the shoulders and knees, thicker armor over the torso, an air filtration pack attached to the chest, and additional pieces added to the forearms and shins. His armor is yellowed below the knee, but that's just a result of marching through some pretty gross places, not an actual color change.

His helmet definitely still looks like a Stormtrooper, but it's actually shorter and wider at the base. The eyes are almost fully separated, one step between Phase II clone armor and Stormtrooper helmets. Two flexible grey tubes run from the front of the mask doen to the life support box on the chest, and there's a lot more black detailing here than on the standard buckets: it's not just a stripe over the nose, but continues around the sides, outlining the cheeks and ears, so to speak. This trooper has a red stripe on his helmet - possibly some sort of rank indicator?

Although the cardback talks about the EVOs being armed with flechette launchers, the figre doesn't come with any such thing. He has two DC-17 blaster pistols (biker scout guns) and a BlasTech T-21 Light Repeating Blaster Rifle - the same thing Sandtroopers carry. His hands aren't really molded to hold both pistols, and he doesn't have any sort of holsters, which means loose weapons. He has a survival backpack, which can be removed, and a grey display stand that identifies him as an "Evo Trooper," not an "EVO Trooper."

The figure's paint is error-free, and his articulation is standard for current Star Wars figures: swivels at the wrists, hips and waist, a ball-and-socket head, and swivel/hinge balljoints everywhere else. The EVO Trooper may not have an entire intricate history behind him (yet - given enough time, I'm sure someone will write such a story), but that doesn't chage the fact that the design looks awesome. It's unique yet stylistically related to the old familiar faces, and fills a niche in the Expanded Universe that doesn't really step on any toes. The EVO Trooper is more of a design than an actual character, but it's still a good toy.

-- 01/11/09


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