Saturday, March 2, 2013

Star Wars Vintage Darth Vader

Presenting Darth Vader from the Star Wars Vintage Edition Toyline.

Take note that this is Darth Vader, or Darth Vader's armor as it appeared in Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope.

To the uninitiated, the Darth Vader armor used in Episode IV is different from the armor used in Episodes V (Star Wars Empire Strikes Back) and VI (Star Wars Return of the Jedi); and is VERY different from the armor used in Episode III (Star Wars Revenge of the Sith).

When Episode IV was made George Lucas was not 100% sure of the origin of Darth Vader - much like he didn't know that later on Luke and Leia would be twins - so when George decided that Darth Vader was a cyborg, he needed to emphasize this a little more in Darth Vader's armor for when it would appear in Episode V.

The Episode IV Darth Vader Armor uses red-tinted lenses in his helmet. I'm actually quite quite pleased that this little detail stands out in the Vintage Edition Darth Vader action figure.

Next Lucas took (more like added - he claims that the armor was really under the Sith Robes) Vader's chest-piece armor out from underneath the Sith Robes to give Darth Vader a more "Armored" feel.

And lastly, Vader's chest-piece and belt equipment were retooled and given LED lights so that the impression that Darth Vader's respirator was coin-activated would cease.

And, lastly, Lucas gave the Episode V edition of the Darth Vader Armor a nice shine and polish that was missing from the Episode IV armor that had a more weathered, scuffed, look.

I'm not sure when or where or how the "neck chain" came into existence. It never made an appearance in the movie.

What's to like about the Star Wars Vintage Edition Darth Vader?

This is a Vintage Edition Darth Vader! It's articulation is almost unparalleled! His articulation is (Ironically?) on par with the articulation of the Vintage Edition Luke Skywalker and the Vintage Edition Darth Maul (Which means, yes he can do splits, but do you seriously expect to see Darth Vader do Splits?).

The only way that the Vintage Edition Darth Vader is inferior to the Vintage Edition Luke Skywalker is that Darth Vader here lacks the new hand grips that Luke Skywalker has that would have allowed him to extend his lightsaber.

Still, this figure can do poses that you would not have thought possible for Darth Vader - who, in the movies, relies more on his imposing presence than acrobatics and swift swordplay like he does in the comic books.

As mentioned, I am particularly fond of the red-tinted lenses. I'm pretty sure that this is the only Darth Vader I have that has red-tinted lenses.

What's NOT to like about the Star Wars Vintage Edition Darth Vader?

Well.... he kinda looks like crap. Especially with that limp cape. Making him look cool in these pictures was quite a challenge. Most of it is unfortunately because this is the older version of Darth Vader's armor, but I'm also not particularly fond of the way the cape is attached - but then I don't see how else it could have  been attached. It would also have been great if Disney gave his cape pipe cleaners so that his cape could be positioned.

I'm not so sure if anyone has noticed, but Darth Vader's Head sits on a purely swiveling joint, not a ball joint, so he cannot be made to look up, down or tilt his head askew.

But other than the fact that he doesn't look cool, he's still a wonderful figure to have. It's Darth Vader after all. This particular Star Wars Vintage Edition Darth Vader was purchased on the black market in Greenhills here in the Philippines for PhP 600 (Roughly US$ 14.63). He's available on Amazon for US$ 12.95 (Roughly PhP 531.36 plus shipping - strange since I didn't think he was common)

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