STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
For The Force Awakens, Disney had some restrictions on which characters were allowed to be released before the film, which almost completely relegated the original trilogy’s returning heroes to post-film assortments. One major exception to this was the franchise’s premier walking carpet, Chewbacca, who made several appearances at the first Force Friday. I didn’t get any of them, but the option was there, and that’s the important thing. Chewie’s returning yet again for The Last Jedi, and given that he accompanied Rey to meet Luke at the end of the last film, it’s likely he’ll be receiving a more prominent role to boot. He’s taking it slow on the action figures this time, with just the one figure to start with. That’s better than nothing, though.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Chewbacca is another of the 11 launch figures for the Star Wars: The Last Jedi line. He comes from the Teal assortment, and gets to fight with C-3PO over which one of them’s the more known quantity in the set. Chewbacca is based on his ever so slightly tweaked look from the new trilogy. It’s not much different from the prior design; the big change is the new bandolier. The figure’s a big one, standing almost 5 inches tall. He’s got the standard 5 points of articulation, though the neck movement is rather limited by the design. The sculpt looks to re-use the torso and left arm from the TFA Millennium Falcon Chewie, albeit with some slightly sharper mold-lines. The rest is new, or at the very least tweaked. The head and bandolier remove the elements of the Falcon headset, and the head gets an open mouthed expression in contrast to the closed mouths of the last two Chewies. The bandolier is a separate piece, but thanks to the slight divot on the torso, it actually stays in place, which I’m a fan of. The legs now have the slightest bend at the knees, making him appear to be mid-stride, and the right arm is bent at the elbow, so he can hold his bowcaster at least a little better than the prior figures. There’s a nice heft to this figure, which I think has been missing from some of the more recent Chewbaccas (the Black Series version in particular felt far too scrawny to me). Getting the paint right on a Chewbacca figure is always a little difficult. Fur’s not easy to handle, especially at a mass-production scale. This figure does okay. Some of the transitions could stand to be a little more subtle, but I’ve seen far worse. The work on the eyes and mouth is very sharp, and the bandolier is pretty decent, too. Chewie is packed with his bowcaster, which is a new, three-piece mold. It’s a cool idea, but ends up falling apart a lot, especially when you try getting him to hold it. Chewie also includes the newest Star Wars-sensation, the Porg! I have no clue how prominent these little guys will end up being, but it’s nice to get at least one small-scale version in the initial launch, and especially nice that it’s not in a huge set (like poor BB-8 was for TFA).
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t pick up a single Chewbacca from the Force Awakens product. In fact, I haven’t actually bought a small-scale Chewbacca figure since the Star Wars Saga release from 2003. I guess getting a new one was a bit overdue. I wasn’t 100% sold on getting this guy, but when I saw the figure in person during my pre-Force Friday find, I liked him enough to put him on my list for the actual event. He’s a nice figure, definitely one of the better versions of him I own.