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Kanan Jarrus

Star Wars Rebels
by yo go re

Move aside, Kyle Katarn and Galen Marek - there's a new space-filler character in town!

Kanan Jarrus survived the Emperor's purge, going underground for years and hiding the truth about the Jedi he really was. He was a leader among the Ghost crew and, with the emergence of the Force-sensitive Ezra, once again embraced his identity as a Jedi Knight.

Kanan is a character from Star Wars Rebels, the newest interquel to show us what happened between Episodes III and IV (and, since all of the old Expanded Universe stuff [now known as "Legends"] got thrown out with the bath water, it's the first thing to actually be canonical, now). Despite the bio text being brief, it's all accurate and gives you an idea of who Kanan is, which is a nice change of pace for Hasbro! More info has been revealed in his eponymous Marvel comic, such as the fact that his master was Depa Billaba, a character seen in Episode I who was the Padawan to Mace Windu.

Rebels is animated in the same style as The Clone Wars, but this is not an animated figure - it's been untooned. The face is simpler than the other figures, since there's no real human to base it on: in the show, he's voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.; they could have done worse than to base the toy's face on him. As it is, the eyes seem slightly too high on his head to really look accurate. So he's "realistic," but still quite stylized.

It honestly feels like Kanan was specifically designed to be the easiest Star Wars thing to cosplay ever. His basic outfit appears to be a normal sweater and blue jeans. Literal denim blue jeans. The Star Wars universe doesn't have paper, but it apparently has Levis? Go figure. He accessorizes his outfit with some space-boots and a bit of armor that seems to have been stolen from an Imperial trooper. That's only on his chest, shoulder and right forearm. It's held on by a large strap that runs across his chest, and there's a design in white painted on the shoulder - it's probably meant to be a simplified version of the Starbird symbol Sabine Wren designed, which will someday evolve into the Rebel Alliance icon.

So far the only Rebels toys have been those 5 POA pieces of garbage, so it's nice to finaly get a real action figure of Kanan. Like the rest of the Black Series figures, he has articulation aplenty: balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists, balljointed torso and hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. The thigh swivels are surprisingly stiff, to the point where the legs barely want to turn at all. The holster on his hip also limits the leg slightly, and his short ponytail has to flex out of the way if you want to tip his head back. Still, it's better than the alternative, yeah? It's so weird to think that anyone willingly buys those things; but then again, we're thinking like toy fans, not parents who have to replace the toys their dopey kids break. Hard to ruin something that barely moves.

Kanan comes with two accessories: his gun and his lightsaber. The gun is a DL-18 blaster pistol, which was seen in Return of the Jedi when Luke grabs it from a guard and aims it at Jabba. Probably not the same blaster, just the same style. Since he's living incognito, it wouldn't do to open-carry his lightsaber, which is why he breaks it into two pieces: the hilt plugs into the back of his belt, while the emitter attaches to the front; at a glance, it just looks like random mechanical components on his belt, but all his has to do is connect them to ignite the blue blade. Shame they didn't also give him the new battle helmet he picked up at the end of Season 2.

Rebels is a really good show, hampered by the fact that it's on one of those channels nobody gets. The entire cast deserves action figures, so hopefully Kanan won't be alone for long. Sabine has already been announced, but Zeb, Ezra, Chopper, and definitely Hera all need to join him.

-- 05/30/16

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