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Baze Malbus

Star Wars Rogue One
by yo go re

"I have a home, and will fight for it. I have those I love, and I will fight for them. I see injustice, and will fight against it. I suppose these are the best reasons to fight."

The harsh reality of his Imperial-occupied home world has hardened Baze Malbus into a pragmatic soldier and a crack shot with his heavy repeater cannon. His bravado provides a contrast to the spiritual centeredness of his friend, Chirrut Îmwe.

"Friend"? His "friend" Chirrut Imwe? Is this like when your dad's youngest brother brought his "roommate" to Thanksgiving, and everybody was just tiptoeing around it until the middle of dinner your grandma said "you two make such a cute couple" and then your grandpa was all "my best friend in the war was one of 'the gays'" and that's when it really hit home for you that statistically, empirically and factually, people get more tolerant as they get older, not more conservative? Yes, "friend." Wink.

Baze was played by actor Wen Jiang, who hasn't been in anything you've seen. Like Chirrut, the likeness on this toy is a little "soft," making the character look younger than he should. There isn't even any gray in his beard! And considering that Baze's main character trait was anger, why is his expression so neutral?

We get no softgoods this time, because Baze Malbus is a pragmatic sort of guy, so he mostly runs around in a tan jumpsuit. Sure, there are all sorts of armored bits and random gewgaws on it, but this is even more plainly a jumpsuit than the jumpsuit Boba Fett wore! He tops it off with red and white (well, "cream") armor in the form of a kneepad and a plate on his right leg (possibly for stabilizing shots when matched with the plate on his forearm?), a large collar/breastplate with a shoulder pad on one side and pouches hanging off the bottom, and what looks for all the world like an iPod tucked into his belt. The seals on the ends of his sleeves suggest that this is actually an old space suit he's wearing, not just something he got when he had that summer job doing oil changes at Meineke. The suit is given some nice paint apps, which mke it look aged and dirty without being overly splotchy. He did wear a cape in the movie, again like Boba Fett, but it's molded as part of his accessory.

Since Baze is a heavy gunner, like Roadblock, Heavy Duty, Vulcan Raven or the Heavy, he doesn't need to be as wildly dynamic as Chirrut, and yet he still gets all the same joints: head, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. His right wrist gets a north/south hinge, while his left goes east/west. This combo is designed to provide the easiest time holding his weapon.

His weapon is an MWC-35c "Staccato Lightning" Repeating Cannon, a real beast of a gun. It looks like a big square shotgun, with a thick power coupling connector running from it to his backpack. It can fire 35,000 shots between charges, and requires a vent and a tank of refrigerant to keep it from exploding. A power shot can be activated with the pump-action handle on the front end. As mentioned, his cape is molded as part of the backpack. On the back of his belt, he carries some sort of device; whatever it is, he uses it like a taser on the beach at Scarif.

Rogue One was a great Star Wars story, with interesting new characters. Hopefully some day these figures will show up in stores at all, so you don't have to resort to ordering them online.

-- 07/16/17

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