STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“A venerable if maverick Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn was a student of the living Force. Qui-Gon lived for the moment, espousing a philosophy of ‘feel, don’t think, use your instincts.'”
Though opinions have changed a bit on the prequel trilogy in the two decades since it began, the movies, especially The Phantom Menace, have been the slowest to find their way into The Black Series, with really just a trickle of items, every so often. In the case of TPM, we aren’t even averaging one figure a year, and don’t have much of the core cast yet. I’d gotten all but one of the ones released up to this point, and now, I finally got that one. So, today, I’m looking at arguably the film’s lead character (even if he’s not part of any of the films that follow), Qui-Gon Jinn.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Qui-Gon Jinn was figure 40 in the Phase III Star Wars: The Black Series line-up. He was released in the spring of May 2017, as part of the assortment that also included the Royal Guard, Lando Calrissian, and the Tusken Raider. It was one of those sets that showed up more in theory than anything else, since it was the last assortment before the change-over for Last Jedi product, and earlier Rogue One launch product was still lingering. Qui-Gon was only our second TPM figure, following up on the Darth Maul from the very first assortment. The figure stands a little over 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. Compared to more recent figures, Qui-Gon is definitely more restricted on the movement front, but it’s still pretty workable. Additionally, given that Neeson’s portrayal of Qui-Gon had him generally being more reserved in his movements, it works alright for the character. His sculpt was a wholly unique one, and has only been shared with the recent re-issue of the same character. It’s a pretty good one, honestly. Neeson’s tall and lanky build is captured well, and the details on his clothes are fairly impressive. The head sculpt also does look quite a bit like him. It’s a little bit harder to see it with the older style paint work, but the likeness is very definitely there (something that the recent re-issue with the new paint only further pushed). The hair does get in the way of the neck movement a little bit, but that’s really hard to avoid, unless you’re going to try rooted hair or some other nonsense, and that’s just not gonna work at this scale. The paint work definitely does mark this figure’s biggest short comings, but, honestly, it’s not quite as bad as you might expect. The face is definitely not as life-like as later releases, but nor is it quite as lifeless as some of the figures that closely preceded it. It’s an okay middle ground. Additionally, they’ve actually gone to the trouble of giving him some accenting on his robes, so that they aren’t just all flat molded plastic colors. It certainly looks much better that way. Qui-Gon was packed with his lightaber, as well as two alternate left hands, one for gripping, and the other in open pose. While it’s too bad we couldn’t at least get a robe for him, the alternate hand was still kind of a big deal at the time, and even now, that’s more than we get with a lot of the Jedi figures. Heck, it’s more than we got with TPM Obi-Wan.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Full disclosure: this section’s about to get a little sad and sentimental. This is the first review I’ve written since my wife’s passing, which will have been almost a full month ago as you read this, but is, for me, four very long days behind me. Obviously, this soon after, I am still finding my footing and my new normal, but Jess did not want me to stop writing, and she was quite adamant about that. So, I am going to try to keep writing, at least a little bit. Qui-Gon being the subject of this review, is a bit serendipitous, I suppose. I already had him on the schedule a month ago, but it feels appropriate, since one of our earliest conversations was about The Phantom Menace and how Qui-Gon was always her favorite character in the prequels. I remember her being frustrated that I never found this figure when it was new. When I did finally pick it up just this year, she was quite excited when I showed him to her. It’s an excitement I’m going to miss as my collection continues, but one I’m going to try to keep in my own mind moving forward.