KLAATU, BARADA, & NIKTO
STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
“Jabba the Hutt always enjoyed the thrill of using the lives of others as tokens in his games of peril and doom. Years ago he presided over the dangerous Tatooine Podraces where dozens of pilots put their lives on the line as crowds screamed and cheered. He now hoped to surpass that drama by escorting his prisoners Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca to their end in the Great Pit of Carkoon. But the captives quickly overcame the skiff guards Klaatu, Nikto and Barada, and brought Jabba himself to a fitting end.”
The denizens of Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi give Mos Eisley Cantina a good run for its money in terms of their unique and strange alien designs.. Fitting, I suppose, since the two locations are on the same planet and all. The characters in Jabba’s company are divided into three separate groups. There are the ones in the palace proper, the ones on his sail barge, and the ones on the skiffs over the Sarlac Pit. Today’s figures, Klaatu, Barada, and Nikto (a sci-fi callback referencing the words spoken to Gort in The Day The Earth Stood Still) fall into that third category.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Released in 1999, these three were part of the third year of Cinema Scenes for the Power of the Force II line. They were designed to coincide with the release of the Skiff proper that same year, which just seems downright sensible, doesn’t it?
This is Klaatu, who is apparently a male Kadas’sa’Nikto, at least according to his Wookiepedia entry, which is pretty much my only source for info on this guy. He’s green, reptilian, and looks like he’s wearing his pajamas. That’s pretty much all I got. Oh, right, the figure! Yeah, so he’s 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. All pretty standard there. His sculpt was unique to him and would remain so. Klaatu’s stance is the least pre-posed of this bunch, and honestly his actual sculpt is also the least detailed, which leads one to wonder if he may have originally been slated for some sort of a single release earlier on, before being moved here. Klaatu’s paintwork is decent enough, if not incredibly eye-catching. It’s got some weathering going on, so that’s pretty cool. Klaatu is armed with a pike, which he has a little bit of difficulty properly holding with his pose.
This is Barada, who is a Klatooinian, something that may have caused some confusion around his buddy Klaatu. Barada actually has a whole backstory, not that any of it’s remotely touched on in the movie. His sculpt would actually be re-used again years later for a single release in slightly different colors. While still not incredibly pre-posed, he’s still a little more so than Klaatu. His sculpt is also far more detailed, especially in regards to texturing, which is how he was able to be re-used much later on without much issue. Barada’s vintage figure actually used the wrong color scheme for the character, meaning this figure was the first time he would receive his proper colors. The paintwork is fairly strong, especially when it comes to his skin tone. Barada was packed with a blaster pistol.
This is Nikto…wait, no, it’s actually not! Despite what the box may claim, the character’s actual name is Vizam, and he’s a member of the Kajain’sa’Nikto, a separate race of Nikto from Klaatu up above. Additionally, Vizam isn’t even present on the skiff in the movie; he’s part of Jabba’s sail barge crew (he’s seen manning one of the blaster cannons). But, there was no sail barge set, so here he is. Of the three sculpts in this set, Nikto/Vizam is actually my personal favorite. The posing on him is well executed, and I particularly appreciate how he’s sculpted to properly hold his weapon. I also dig all the work on the various layers of his outfit; it gives this figure a little more depth than his pack-mates. His paint work is again pretty decent. They were definitely starting to try out accenting here, which works well for this particular set of characters. Nikto/Vizam is packed with another pike, but this one is actually unique from the one given to Klaatu.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Jabba’s palace group has never been super high on my list of interests, so I didn’t have these growing up (though I did have one of the reissues of Barada). I ended up getting these guys from All Time during one of my Potf2 splurges back in December. Ultimately, they’re one of the intersting cases of figures that don’t do a whole lot on their, but as part of a greater set, they’re pretty nice.