RANCOR with LUKE SKYWALKER
STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
“Within Jabba the Hutt’s desert palace on Tatooine, there is a special pit that houses a rancor. Over five meters in height, this reptilian-like creature has long, exaggerated arms, dangerous fangs and huge claws — truly a fearsome sight. The crime lord uses the rancor as a means of eliminating enemies and failed employees. Its pit is located beneath Jabba’s court, providing an excellent view for the crime lord and his associates as victims struggle helplessly to defend themselves. That all changes when Luke Skywalker is dropped into the loathsome pit. Armed with only a large bone leftover from one of the rancor’s previous victims, the Jedi Knight conquers the horrible beast.”
Oh boy, that sure is a nice Rancor there. Sure would be a shame if someone were to…SABOTAGE IT!!!! Right? Get it? Because, it’s like the whole thing where a bunch of winy fanboys claimed that Hasbro was sabotaging their own product, and then it was ultimately the winy fanboys who…you know…actually sabotaged it? Isn’t it funny? Or is it just sad. Oh, right, it’s probably just sad. And I’m likely to piss someone off with this intro, aren’t I? Ah well, these days I fear nothing, so I’ve really got nothing to lose. Not even the Rancor. Especially since I wasn’t backing the Black Series one anyway. But that’s not the point. What is the point is that I’m falling back on my classic Star Wars reviewing fodder, Power of the Force, and that’s where I’m staying.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The Rancor with Luke Skywalker were added to Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1998, as the largest of the creature packs that they were doing. They’re based on Return of the Jedi, of course, and were actually the only creature pack where that was the case, since Jabba was from his Special Edition appearance in A New Hope, rather than his classic Jedi look.
Certainly one of the largest creatures in the Star Wars verse, or at least one of the largest that’s justifiable in toy form, the Rancor has been getting toy treatment since the vintage line. This would mark its second time in toy form. The figure stands about 10 inches tall (thanks to the hunch) and has 6 points of articulation. He’s not an overly mobile figure, but the Rancor’s also not an overly mobile creature. It’s main purpose is really just to lumber menacingly, which this one does quite well. It does have a little trouble standing up, but careful posing can help it find that sweet spot for staying balanced. The Rancor’s sculpt was an all-new one. The vintage figure had gone far more basic on its detailing, so this one stepped things up a bit. The end result is quite a nice piece, especially when compared to some of the smaller figures of the same line. He’s a respectable match for the creature we see on-screen, and there’s a lot of solid texture and smaller detail work. Due to the nature of the softer plastic, some of the details are likewise a little softer, but it’s generally quite good. The only downside to this one is the “Real Feel Skin” feature, which can make him prone to a bit of gunk build-up. It’s not quite as bad as yesterday’s Clayface figure, but it does require some occasional cleaning. The paint work on the Rancor is pretty solid, actually. There’s some decent accent work on the skin, which helps to bring out more of the sculpted details, as well as add a little more depth to the figure’s overall look. The Rancor gets no accessories of its own, but it does get…
…a Jedi Luke variant. 1998 had quite a few Jedi Luke variants, covering various deviations of his main look throughout the film. This one is very specifically Jabba’s Palace, after he’s lost the cloak and saber, before he’s gotten shot in the hand. It’s the only one to fit that very specific narrative. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation. He uses the same head and torso as a few of the Jedi Lukes from the same year, which makes sense from a consistency standpoint, and also means he’s re-using some pretty decent parts. The arms and legs are new, and designed with him leaning back to look at the Rancor in mind. The legs do make him a little tricky to keep standing, and the arms are unfortunately rather stiff for any decent posing. He’s not a bad sculpt, but he’s a more limiting one to be sure. His paint work is a little more involved than other Jedi Lukes by virtue of him having a bunch of brown flecks to simulate Tatooine sand. It’s all a ploy to keep his father at bay, really. Luke is packed with the large bone he uses to defend himself against the Rancor, which is a pretty fun scene specific piece.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was definitely a Jedi Luke fan as a kid, and liked this particular scene a lot, but it was kind of an expensive set, and never a super easy one to find, so I didn’t get this one as a kid. Instead, I got it quite recently, just over the last summer, when one of them came through All Time loose. I’ve actually been low-key looking for one for a while now, so I was pretty happy to finally get one. It’s definitely an important piece of the PotF collection, and one I’m glad to finally have. There have been more involved Rancors since, but this one’s still just a very nice piece, and the Luke pairs off well with him.