Q&A: Star Wars Answers, Post-Dental Surgery #2 of 2

By Adam Pawlus — Sunday, December 18, 2016

This week in Q&A - I'm wasted, again! The post-dental proceedings continue as the stuff starts to wear off. What could possibly go wrong? Well, you'll find out.

The topics: Big vehicles! What was the biggest thing from the good old days? Random questions! Sure, we can do that. And more vehicles - can we expect more from recent Disney-era stuff that isn't the newest Disney-era stuff? Maybe.   Look, apparently I'm a lot less fun when I'm doped up and have no attention span.

And send in your questions for next week. Read on!

1. What was the largest 3 3/4" vehicle that Kenner made in the vintage line? What is the largest 3 3/4" vehicle that Hasbro has made? And is the Black Series 6" TIE Fighter larger than either of those?

Vehicle? Imperial Shuttle. Hasbro reissued it twice, keeping the 1983-size foot pegs and copyrights. This bugs me. How can you not bother to spend a couple of bucks to ensure compatibility with the figures you can actually buy right now? I've always hated that. Then again maybe it's the Royal Starship, as there's more meat there - the wings of the shuttle aren't exactly a lot of toy to enjoy.



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2. How did the dental work go? Are you eating any pudding today? The last time I wrote you was from the dentist's office.

People often write you asking what the best figure is for a particular character and we get some amusing answers.

We've been buying these Star Wars figures for over 20 years now continuously - much longer when you bring the vintage figures in.

My question is - which in your opinion are the most important figures over time? The ones that changed the direction of thing to come. That one which stood out in there time. Figures that introduced innovations that would become the standard and figures that introduced innovations that we never saw again. The figures you think are the most important.

As a bonus second questions - what's been your favorite packin item with a figure? Stands? CommTech Chips? 35 Slides? Build a Droid Bits? Weapons?

And double bonus - do you have a favorite time period for collecting? I sure did enjoy 1997 and all of TVC / Shadows of the Darkside / Clone Wars Era.

Hope you have plenty of Ice Cream or whatever makes you feel better and aren't in discomfort.

No pudding or ice cream yet. I read a thing that's all "Hey, you can have ice cream, you deserve a treat!" F**k that. I'm an adult, I don't deserve jack. I had oatmeal. Blah. What a drag.

The most important figure in the short-term was probably Eeth Koth in Power of the Jedi, because it started that whole mini-statue kick for Attack of the Clones which was pretty great. I love that line - interesting action figures, stunning statues, and it was all $4.99. It's never been topped. Magnets, lightsabers, the works - plus or minus the whole removable blade thing, those weren't as durable as they should be. Snapping lightsabers is bad. The 2002 Bespin Luke was a real innovation, with so much gear and accessories and action features and a magnetic hand all for five bones. Some people say Ephant Man was better and they're wrong. Ephant Mon is good, awesome, and a beloved alien - but there's no innovation there. He's just big. Luke could have been a real turning point,b but it feels like it was just a one-off. A high point with more bells and whistles than 500th Vader and 300th Boba Fett. Good, sure - but man, that Luke was really something.

I really enjoyed 1995-1997 because we learned so much about how the old Kenner line was wrong, and people were generally excited. Before the bloat. You could have a whole collection on a single shelf for a year or two, and then you need to rent out space. Too much of a good thing gets to be ugly after a while, going all-in got nasty in 2005-2008.




3. I have seen the A-Wing Fighter from Rebels, and I have to say is something fresh coming from Star Wars. We need more of that in the 3 3/4 inch scale. My question is:

Do you know all the vehicles for the 3 3/4 inch action figure set for the movie Force Awaken, Rebels cartoon, and Rogue One? Will Hasbro continue to produce more vehicles with newer figures in the 3 3/4 inch scale?

Do I know them? Sure, if you want a list you can go look that up though. There isn't much chatter about more though. I just got my AT-ACT and I don't think I trust myself to try to assemble it right now. I just threw up on myself and the keyboard. Cleaning break.

I expect more from all the Disney-era stuff... just not until the next movie launch.




Re: Barfing. Yeah, I totally threw up all over my desk and keyboard, thus requiring the acquisition of a new keyboard and the cleaning of a few action figures... and the disposal of some paper things that were in the splatter zone. Very sexy, I assure you. The toys were cleaned in the shower, while I was in the shower. This is the kind of fun you miss when you don't live with me.

So! Rogue One. I assume by now you've seen it, so keep that in mind as you continue.

I went on Thursday night at 7 PM, and the audience was young, loud, and surprisingly spare. (Also smelly.) I got in to The Force Awakens last year at 8 PM, also empty, also no line, also many tickets. Maybe it's just my neighborhood. I was kind of astonished that the film was so well shot, given Gareth Edwards' proclivity for winking at the audience so constantly. The cameos created via stock footage and digital or other puppetry will no doubt go down in the history books as a bizarre milestone, or as an argument for moving this kind of story into the realm of animation. Han Solo doesn't appear in the movie, but I assume a digital young Harrison Ford could be a hell of a lot more distracting than a young actor as a recast Han Solo will be in a couple years.

As a toy fan, I was dispirited by the lack of TIE Strikers until the very end. The U-Wing has a good role, and the AT-ACT is about as powerful as a brick wrapped in wet paper towels. As a piece of fan service, Rogue One delivers the cameos, stock footage, uncanny valley recreations, and troopers you crave in your movies. But - the Death Troopers? Pathetic. Vader behaves a little strangely compared to what I would have expected from the original Star Wars, and I shan't go into too much detail but he does act in ways that are unlike how he usually handles himself around non-Jedi in an aggressive situation. Granted, it's a different kind of a crisis, but still. It's a movie that didn't need to be made, which is one of the great criticisms of the arguably more interesting - if wooden - prequel trilogy. I know you guys don't like 'em but they're better crafted and chock full of more original ideas and wonderful designs than this new one, which relies heavily on the nostalgia buttons. Rogue One doesn't make you ponder the value of midi-chlorians, but it also doesn't make you ponder much of anything.

It was there, and I'm sure you enjoyed it. It was a great parade of recognition, which I could have done without as it's a little distracting. Also, I believe the movie had at least five English-speaking parts for women... is that a record in a Star Wars film so far? Would it kill them to have, like, a second main part of the Rebel action crew not be a dude? Maybe there's some sort of asexual reproduction going on in Star Wars, or maybe that's who runs the economy or something.

It's a movie. I can't say it's bad, because it's not. I can't say it's great, because it's not - it's what you dreamed about when you were playing X-Wing in the 1990s. You've grown since then. It's perfectly watchable but it probably isn't going to make a huge impact on anybody through the coming years. I've walked away from comics, novels, and indeed games feeling like I got something more from it - heck, the TV shows too. The ability for those stories to inspire is hard to match, as many of us (myself included) managed to make a living because of these films and how much we love them and what they birthed. There's plenty to like in this movie, but a lot of it is likable because we've seen it before. I wrote this mere hours after seeing it and I expect a second viewing is on deck, but I felt the same way about a lot of the Marvel movies and I don't think I've seen any of them twice yet. The movie has a nice new movie shine to it that, while enjoyable today, is unlikely to hold up to repeat viewings against an expanding slate of sequels, sidequels, and prequels.

It wraps itself up so neatly that you don't really need to ponder its contents. This doesn't mean that it's bad, but it does show the value of some - any - ambiguity when a movie ends. It's watchable but I'm super curious how rewatchable it's going to be once this honeymoon period ends.

--Adam Pawlus

Got questions? Email me with Q&A in the subject line now! I'll answer your questions as soon as time (or facts) permit.