CLONE EMPEROR PALPATINE
STAR WARS: EXPANDED UNIVERSE (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. With the power to transfer his consciousness to genetic clones, a younger, stronger Emperor Palpatine is perilously close to gaining total control of the galaxy forever.”
Following the conclusion of the original Star Wars movies, there was no immediate follow up planned. The prequels were still just a concept, and the sequel trilogy wasn’t even a glimmer in Kathleen Kennedy’s eye. The next best thing was the Expanded Universe, which fans latched onto pretty quickly. In the ’90s, in the midst of their re-launched toy line, Kenner created an EU-centered sub-line. Amongst that line were two figures based on the “Dark Empire” story, which included today’s figure, Clone Emperor Palpatine.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Clone Emperor Palpatine was released in Kenner’s one series Star Wars: Expanded Universe line in 1998. As noted in the intro, this figure hails from “Dark Empire,” a story which sees Palpatine brought back in a series of cloned bodies. Without the name on the package to go by, you could be forgiven for not recognizing this as Palpatine, since he’s noticeably less wrinkly than he usually is. The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall (the EU figures were a little smaller) and he has 7 points of articulation. Where’s that extra point coming from you ask? Why, from his left wrist. And why just the left wrist? Because it’s actually just a side effect of making the left hand removable. It was actually pretty common around this period of Kenner’s Star Wars figures, before they realized they could do more with that joint than just detachable limbs. Now, you may have noticed my Emperor has no left hand. I lost it. Silly me. Palpatine’s sculpt was unique to him. It showed Kenner’s trend towards much less exaggerated stylings, and honestly feels more like a vintage figure than a lot of his compatriots. His robe is a separate, removable piece, which goes on and off pretty easily, and is a pretty solid sculpt to boot. The paint work on this guy is about on par with the rest of Kenner’s offerings around the time. It’s all cleanly applied, and the details are fairly sharp. It’s not terribly exciting, but there it is. Palpatine was packed with a light saber–blue, so as to leave everyone all confused and shocked. There was also this cool 3D fold-out playset thing with all of these figures. I really wish I still had that.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I can’t tell you exactly why I got this guy. I got him from the Farpoint dealer’s room, back when he was new. He shortly followed my acquisition of Luke from the same series. I think I just wanted someone to go with him.