DEATH STAR TROOPER
STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
“Grand Moff Tarkin created this select force of soldiers to defend the galaxy’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star. These elite troopers manned the gun towers during the Battle of Yavin, a conflict that resulted in the Death Star’s destruction.”
The original 12 Kenner Star Wars figures were largely populated by the film’s most distinctive characters, or even a few stand out designs, such as the Tusken Raiders and Jawas. The slight odd-man out to this line-up was the Death Squad Commander, later renamed the Star Destroyer Commander, a uniformed and helmeted Imperial trooper based on a character that really didn’t get much action in the film proper. When the line was brought back in the ’90s with an even deeper reach of characters, it would still take most of the run to finally get a follow-up to that original character, this time named the Death Star Trooper.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Death Star Trooper was released in the Power of the Force II line in 1998. He and Ree-Yees were the only two knew figures in 1998’s final main assortment, resulting in both of them being quite difficult to get at their time of release. General lowered interest in Power of the Force as well as a reissue of this figure brought his price way down, to the point that he’s pretty much just as easily found as any other figure from the line. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation. He was an all-new sculpt at the time and….well, it’s certainly an interesting one. By ’98, the buffed-up, pre-posed look had been pretty much weeded out of the line. This guy definitely wasn’t buffed up, but somehow he manages to be one of the most pre-posed the line ever produced. And exactly the purpose of that pose? Who knows? He looks like he’s going for a jog or something. I mean, the Death Star is a pretty big place. They gotta get around somehow. Aside from the posing, the sculpt is honestly pretty good, with a solid recreation of the uniform, and even a removable helmet to boot! Sure, he’s got some wonky headgear going on beneath it for some reason, but it’s still pretty nifty. His paintwork is fairly basic, but does what it’s supposed to do, and looks pretty decent. The trooper was not seen armed in the film, but for this figure was armed with a ridiculously large blaster rifle, which despite the pre-posing, he still can’t hold very convincingly.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve got the original Death Squad Commander, which has given me a soft spot for the general concept of this figure, but I didn’t own this one growing up, largely due to how rare he was at the time. I ended up getting him during one of my big Power of the Force splurges at All Time. He’s not anything amazing or special, but he’s at the very least not as boring as some of the other Imperial guys.