STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
Despite his presence in all three films in the original trilogy, two-time Death Star run survivor Wedge Antilles didn’t get figure release during the vintage line’s run. What’s more, his first ever figure wouldn’t even come as a single release. Instead, Wedge found himself as the selling point of a carrying case shaped like the Millennium Falcon. Why Wedge, a character who never even stepped foot on the Falcon was included with the carrying case is anyone’s guess, but I don’t think anyone was going to complain about finally getting a Wedge figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The carrying case that included Wedge hit shelves in 1997, as part of the Power of the Force II line. There were actually two versions of Wedge offered with the case. The first shipments gave Wedge an inaccurate color scheme and markings on his helmet, which were corrected in later sets. The figure I’m looking at here is the corrected version. Wedge stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. He’s largely the same sculpt as the Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Pilot Gear, meaning that, like that figure, he’s not actually wearing X-Wing gear at all, and is instead based on the cold-weather gear he sports during the Snowspeeder sequences on Hoth in Empire. It’s actually the only time we’ve gotten Wedge in this particular get-up. It also gave the line its second Snowspeeder pilot, allowing for that poor Snowspeeder to actually have a two-man crew. Despite its exaggerated proportions, it’s not a terrible sculpt, and it has a lot of great detail work going on. Wedge does get a new head sculpt, and while it’s not a spot-on Dennis Lawson or anything, it’s distinctly a different face from the head used on Luke, which is really the most important thing here. Wedge’s paintwork actually changes things up a fair bit from the Luke figure, with different colors for his gloves, boots, and belt, as well as a radically different set of details on his helmet (though the original release actually had the same helmet detailing). It’s a nice paint scheme, and again helps to sell him as a distinctly different figure from the Luke release. Though more an accessory himself, Wedge still included one accessory of his own. It’s a re-packaged Han Solo blaster pistol, which was actually the standard issue Rebel blaster for this line, so it certainly fits.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Wedge is one of those figures that has long been on my want list, but he’s a slightly rarer item from the line, so I hadn’t really come across him. Fortunately, I was able to find him loose and on his own during one of my PotF binges last December. He’s not an amazing figure or anything, but I do find myself having something of a nostalgic twinge for him, even though I didn’t have him when I was younger. Plus, he’s the first Wedge figure, which is pretty cool in its own right!