STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
“Six years after the destruction of the second Death Star, the galaxy is thrust into turmoil. A reborn evil threatens to enslave the galaxy, and the Republic’s closest friend – Luke Skywalker – may become their greatest enemy. At the doors of the evil Emperor’s palace, giant Imperial Sentinels, twice the size and power of other Imperial guards, await their prisoner – the Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker.”
Are you ready to get a bit circular? I sure hope so, because boy-howdy are we about to. During the pre-production process for Return of the Jedi, artist Nilo Rodis-Jamero crafted an initial design for the Emperor’s Royal Guards, which was a fair bit more involved than the final product in the film. This design was then co-opted by Kenner when they put together a presentation for Lucasfilm in 1985, which proposed a continuation of the original trilogy’s story, and thereby of the toyline Kenner was then running. In it, our heroes would have faced off against new villain Atha Prime, who would have made use of this old Guard design. Lucasfilm ultimately turned down the proposal, and the design was again shelved, until it resurfaced in the Dark Empire comics as the new clone Emperor’s new guards, the Imperial Sentinels, who would subsequently make their way into Kenner’s own Expanded Universe toy line. Let’s take a look at that figure today, shall we?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Imperial Sentinel was released alongside the other EU figures in the initial seven figure drop in 1998’s Power of the Force line-up. The figure stands 4 3/4 inches tall (one of the tallest figures from this era by a fair margin) and he has 4 points of articulation. He was certainly one of the line’s more restricted figures in terms of posability, with no leg movement due to the nature of his design. Of course, he really just follows in the footsteps of the standard Royal Guard in that regard. At least this guy can turn his head. The sculpt itself is a little bit on the goofy side, but then again, so is the actual design. It’s nicely rendered in toy form, though, and one can certainly see why Kenner would have chosen it for a potential new lead villain in their continuation. It’s definitely got a nice toyetic feel about it. The outer robe piece is a separate part, which can be removed, for a bit more variety if you are inclined to army build. The head’s also been designed with light-piping, allowing for the eyes to be illuminated. It was rare for such a feature to be included in this line, but that doesn’t make it any less cool here. In terms of paint work, the Sentinel sticks to the Royal Guard color scheme of lots of differing reds. There’s also some gold mixed in, for a little extra flair. My figure has a big streak of dark red on his left sleeve, but other than that, the application’s all pretty clean. The Sentinel is packed with a battle axe (admittedly, not an incredibly Star Wars-y weapon, but a rather imposing one nevertheless), as well as including another 3D backdrop, much like the others in the set.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As I touched on in prior EU reviews, Luke and the Clone Emperor were the only figures I had growing up, so all of the other ones were on my list when I got back into it as an adult. When the full set of them got traded into All Time, the Imperial Sentinel was the only one I didn’t snag, as it was the one from the set Max had already called dibs on. Fortunately, I was able to get one through Cosmic Comix not too long after getting the rest of the set, so they weren’t incomplete for too long. The Sentinel is a character with a lot of history behind him, so he’s certainly one I’m glad to have in my collection.