LEIA in Boushh Disguise
Shadows of the Empire Basic Figures
Item No.: Asst. 69605 No. 69602
Includes: Cape, helmet, staff
Action Feature: Removable helmet
Availability: July 1996
Appearances: Shadows of the Empire, Return of the Jedi
Bio: After Han Solo was captured by Boba Fett, several attempts were made on Luke Skywalker's life which threatened the future of the Rebellion. Princess Leia Organa and Chewbacca sought to protect the young Jedi, and traveled to Coruscant to follow up leads surrounding these attempts. They hoped to draw from the extreme intelligence gathering network of the Black Sun, a criminal organization whose operations extended to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Because Coruscant is the homeworld of the Empire- a dangerous place for any member of the Rebel Alliance- Leia disguised herself as the renowned Ubesian bounty hunter Boushh. Boushh's helmet concealed her entire face while a built-in voxscrambler altered her voice to resemble that of an Ubesian; a false I.D. and code taken from Black Sun completed her disguise and provided a safe level of anonymity. Little did she know that Prince Xizor, Underlord of Black Sun, was behind the murder attempts on Skywalker, and had his sights set on Leia as well.
Leia would later use the Boushh disguise during an attempt to rescue Han Solo, still frozen in carbonite from Jabba the Hutt's palace. Though the rescue failed and she became Jabba's prisoner, Leia would play a crucial role in the battle over the Great Pit of Carkoon. There, she destroyed Jabba and helped Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca to liberate Han Solo rom Jabba's clutches. (Taken from the figure's verbose 1996 cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy room.
Commentary: The modern toy line was a real world-shaker for a lot of us who grew up with the Vintage Kenner line. Figures like Leia in Boushh Disguise were similar to the ones from the old days, but not exactly the same-- it turns out Kenner was originally working from limited reference, and the Lucas licensing folk weren't as careful in their review process as they are today. While the basic form of the toy stayed the same, there were little details like a flowing cape that was fudged, a handle on a blaster staff that didn't actually exist, and oh yeah-- Leia had a ponytail in this outfit, something that was completely ignored (or went unseen) for ages. To make a great toy, Kenner just sculpted Leia's hair in a bun so it'd all fit under the helmet. Sensible, right? Well, we all thought so, as most fans genuinely liked this figure way back in 1996. She had a thermal detonator (a first), and the head under the helmet was a slight improvement over the now legendary 1995 Power of the Force Leia head, although in all honesty the faces aren't all that different.
She has the standard six point of articulation, although if you do a lot of moving her around her cape is very likely to fall off. It's secured by a tab and a peg, and neither is particularly good at holding the accessory in place. Because she was developed when these things were designed as toys first, it's worth noting she has no problems sitting down, does not fall apart, has a helmet that fits perfectly well, and she can survive a lot of damage being tossed about. Oh, and her staff isn't rubbery either. It's a wonderful toy, and a fine example of a plaything done correctly. Of course, the 2006 version blows this one away in terms of accuracy, size, and overall articulation, so odds are you'll never have a reason to so much as look at this figure again. It's a little sad because there's really nothing wrong with the figure, it just didn't age too well. If you're shopping for a kid on the cheap, though, this might make a great gift because it's widely available and fairly well designed as these things go-- there are no easily lost parts aside from the helmet.
Collector's Notes: This Leia was eventually released on the normal Power of the Force cardback, but in fairly limited numbers. Today, people generally don't care about this figure at all. ( MORE IMAGES )
Day 708: April 13, 2008