Spirit of DARTH VADER Jedi Training on Dagobah
30th Anniversary Collection Battle Packs
Item No.: Asst. 87503 No. 87214
Includes: Lightsaber, 4 other figures
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Spring 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back
Bio: The dark side of the living Force-fed on Luke's insecurities to produce the hideous manifestation – the Spirit of Darth Vader. It was a mental and physical attack that tested his skills as a warrior and his dedication to the light side of the Force; one that seared itself on his psyche for his entire life. (Taken from the figure's box.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' photo studio.
Commentary: While not a bad mold, this version of Darth Vader has a lot working for it, and most of what works against it is because other figures exist that can do more. (See below on that.) The figure has 10 points of articulation and is somewhat translucent, befitting a specter of the Force. The figure can grip his lightsaber with both hands, and due to his capes, not much else. Sure, he can stand, but there's no way he can sit. He can gesture at his underlings, but being a ghost, it might not make much sense for him to do this. The sculpt is one of Hasbro's best, as the armor is very crisp and the capes flow nicely, the helmet looks about right, and it's a decent overall figure. There's not a lot of worry of an arm popping out or anything, this is a figure that makes a good toy and not just a decent display piece. However, the ghost does have "dirt" on its feet and cape, which I find somewhat odd. I'm no expert on the paranormal but I don't think I've ever heard of a ghost story that went "and then, the spirit tracked mud in the house, spoooooky mud, and then the apartment renter lost their cleaning deposit!" I understand the need to reflect the environment on the figure, but I don't know if this really looks right outside the context of the box. If only there was a modern Dagobah playset or pop-up diorama for these figures, maybe, just maybe, it would look a little more at home.
Collector's Notes: While not the first "spectral" Darth Vader from Dagobah, this one has only been offered this one way so far. The same mold was used to make a silver Darth Vader in 2004 (the second), and this figure's mold was originally used to make the very first Dagobah Darth Vader during Power of the Jedi. It's worth noting that first POTJ Dagobah Vader has a removable head with a mask that pops off to reveal Luke's face, just like in the movie-- this one doesn't do that. Therefore, the POTJ one is superior. For whatever reason Hasbro has yet to make this mold as a solid black Darth Vader-- I really hope they do it some day because the sculpt is great and it would make a top-notch basic figure/pack-in/whatever some day.
Day 542: October 30, 2007