Han Solo (Endor Strike)
Released April 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on May 21, 2004
Saga hasn't been kind to Han Solo. Han Solo (Endor Strike) is the third brand-new basic Han Solo to be released in the line, the second from Return of the Jedi, and it's made from 90% existing parts, pretty much.
This figure is made from mostly existing parts with a new arm and head, and he has a blaster and a helmet.
When I first saw the Imperial Officer mold, I was hoping Hasbro would repaint it as an AT-ST Driver. They did, in a four-pack, and they decided to tweak the mold a little more and release it as... Han Solo.
The most suprising thing about this figure-- beyond the fact that it exists-- is that Hasbro went through the trouble to create some new parts for it. While at first glance it looks just like the Imperial Forces Four-Pack's AT-ST Driver with an existing Han head, this is not the case.
I was genuinely surprised to see that this is a new Han Solo head sculpt. Hasbro has a half dozen, if not more, sitting on the shelf waiting to be reused, and in a situation where it's expected that they reuse an existing one, they don't. It's weird, is it not? The new head sculpt looks like Harrison Ford in Return of the Jedi, but our sample had paint of a lower quality. Still, it's-- pardon the pun-- head and shoulders better than Hasbro's last ape-like Han head used for the Endor Raid figure in 2002. The face has a good expression, decent hair, and is all around the kind of thing you'd want to see them use again if they ever do a new Han Solo in Endor Trenchcoat, and we all hope they do.
The body is based off of the Imperial Officer from 2001-2003 and the 2003 AT-ST Driver from the Imperial Forces set with a few changes. First, and most obvious, is the new left arm. The figure has a new joint to allow him to hold his new hand up to his face, and his hand has a molded communicator in it. This lets you get a few new poses out of the figure and is a big improvement over just tossing a new head on an existing body.
Most surprising were the changes made to the body-- a lot of wrinkles on the outfit were enchanced or added, and the copyright date was changed to 2004. In other words, Hasbro actually went ahead and made some good changes to an already good mold-- and I'm glad to see this.
The figure has an Imperial logo on his left arm, and it's new too-- not the same one used on the previous AT-ST Driver or Imperial Officer. If you look at Han's belt, you can see that in addition to the buckle, three silver buttons were painted as well that were not painted on the previous two figures to use this body.
All in all, this isn't bad for what it is, and it's hard to fault it.
This set includes a base, helmet, and a gun.
The base is nothing new, so you know what to expect from the gunmetal grey rectangle with the Star Wars logo stamped on it. You probably have one or several. They're nice.
The gun is the same "new" gun we've seen since 2001 but cast in black plastic. It looks appropriate for the figure's scale, and suits him perfectly.
The helmet is tweaked from the helmet sold with the Endor Accessory Pack that was glued to the head of the AT-ST Driver from the four-pack. A chinstrap was added, as was a little antenna.
While not a true accessory, Han's hand was sculpted to include a little communicator in his hand-- a subtle, nice touch.
For 2004, the late-2003 revision is still being employed. More of the same, folks.
Especially notable is the photo for the figure, which is, obviously, an edited image. The helmet seems to be so low on Han's head that part of his skull was removed, but I'm no expert on these things.
Han was one of the final three figures to be released during Saga and is currently scheduled to be reissued as part of the Original Trilogy Collection at the end of Summer, 2004.
I have yet to see this figure in stores, but many fans have found him around, so keep looking.
One of the most exciting things in Star Wars is when you can get a figure that's really two figures-- like a Stormtrooper Luke or Boushh Leia. It helps to flesh out a diorama, or makes for a great custom bsae. Han here is sure to inspire a lot of customizers to paint him up in black and make an "Imperial Officer Han" as had been seen in some Expanded Universe artwork showing him as a member of the Imperial Academy or from when he supposedly frees Chewie from Imperial slavers.
For what it is, it's neat. And what it is, is a character that had so little screen time that most fans would look at him and go "wait, when was Han in that outfit?" This is easily the most obscure outfit for a main character in the entire series, a role I thought would go to Lando Calrissian in Han's clothes from the end of The Empire Strikes Back which, surprisingly, has yet to happen.
It's a great and weird figure for so many reasons, but if you leave the helmet on, you've got a great AT-ST Driver for your displays. As such, this is a figure you should probably snag on sight, because if you don't, odds are the likes of me could use another one or two and will snap it up.
Our regular sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in May 2004.