Monday, June 11, 2012

One Decent Darth Vader Does Not Justify The Final Jedi Duel Cinema Scene 3-Pack!

The Good: Vader is pretty cool and well-made.
The Bad: Cheap cardboard backdrop, Low articulation, Abysmal collectible value, Luke’s balance, The Emperor’s lack of articulation and coloring.
The Basics: An absolutely terrible 3-pack, the Power Of The Jedi Final Jedi Duel set is not worth buying.

Luke Skywalkers and Darth Vader action figures are pretty much a dime a dozen. Seriously, there have been so very many of both characters in action figure form, it is hard to guess exactly who the target market is for them at this point. Ever since Revenge Of The Sith made him a more active villain, even Palpatine figures seem to be popping up with unnerving frequency. But even when Kenner rebooted the Star Wars line, the Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Emperor figures were still overly common and unsought after. Even at its release, the Final Jedi Duel three pack was something of a ridiculous redundancy.

The Final Jedi Duel is a collection from Return Of The Jedi (click here for the review of the film!) that features Luke Skywalker making his charge on the seated Emperor Palpatine, only to be blocked by the Emperor’s servant, Darth Vader.

The 4" figures are pretty poor representations of the characters - save Darth Vader – in front of a terribly cheap cardboard backdrop that the consumer must cut out themself.


This is a set of three action figures and a "playset" (or more accurately a play environment). The Final Jedi Duel fits the 4" figure line and the three figures each come with a single accessory each. The Emperor figure is something of an inaction figure, as it is molded to fit into the throne that comes on this playset. This version of Palpatine sits 3” tall and rather ridiculously has holes in the bottom of his feet, as if he could be supported on any playset that way! Even if he could, because he is molded with his legs at a ninety-degree angle and his torso at a ninety-degree angle to the thighs, he would look utterly ridiculous even if he could stand! Exceptionally lightly detailed – though the brooch that keeps his cloak closed is present, it is not colored at all – the Emperor’s skin is light green. He looks ridiculous.

The Luke Skywalker figure in the Final Jedi Duel 3-pack is one of the better, thinner sculpts of the character. Posed with his legs spread, he has a thin face and looks pretty much like Mark Hamill in the role of Luke Skywalker. While his skin tones are monotonal, his eyes are blue (with white pupils). This Luke is designed to hold his lightsaber in a two-handed grip and he stands 3 7/8” tall.

This version of Darth Vader also holds his lightsaber in a two-handed grip and he is a hair over 4” tall. It’s hard to get Darth Vader wrong and, outside being a bit more muscular in the shoulders than Vader actually was, Kenner got this Darth Vader just fine.

As for the background play environment, the base is a 10" inch long by three inch wide section of imitation rock that represents the floor of the Emperor’s throne room on the second Death Star. The slot is just wide enough for the cardboard back that has the mural of the Death Star windows, out of which the two space fleets may be seen blowing one another up. The cardboard backer is problematic because it is easily bent and it requires the user to cut off the sides, top and bottom in order to fit into the slot. The base has two plastic pegs which fit the holes in the figures' feet and allow them to easily stand on the base. It also has a throne for the Emperor.


Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker each come with their lightsabers. They are under-detailed 2 13/16” cylinders that blend the translucent plastic (green for Luke, red for Darth Vader) and opaque elements for the handles.

The Emperor’s throne is one of the more detailed pieces of the Final Jedi Duel 3-pack. It has the accents at the top that imply holo-transmitters or sensors. The arms have stickers to indicate the controls there. The Emperor fits into the throne well, though in a perpetual lean-forward position. It is mostly black and light purple (for the inside).


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Final Jedi Duel figures are a real mixed bag in that regard. The play environment is a good idea, but the execution is quite poor. The figures are poorly articulated and later sculpts improved upon each of them considerably. All three figures have limited articulation and balance issues when they are off their action base, save Vader who stands just fine on or off the base. Fortunately, Luke, who is severely unbalanced in this iteration, has foot pegs so he can stand on the play base easily enough. Still, the Darth Vader and Like Skywalker figures come with only six points of articulation each all of which are simple swivel joints. They have joints at the groin socket, waist, shoulders, and neck. The elbows do not extend, so all arm posing is straight-armed. The Emperor has simple swivel joints at his waist and shoulders; while his neck has a seam, it does not turn. The waist articulation is somewhat pointless given that the Emperor may only sit upon his throne.


The Final Jedi Duel play environment is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. This three pack was very overproduced and is exceptionally easy to find in the secondary market, even now. Given that subsequent sculpts of these characters feature better articulation and more accessories, it is hard to imagine this three-pack ever appearing to be a good investment!


The Final Jedi Duel three-pack is a particularly disappointing three-pack of three important Star Wars figures, in an important moment in the Saga, rendered disappointingly.

For other Star Wars 3-packs of action figures, please check out my reviews of:
Rebel Pilots
Mynock Hunt
Death Star Escape


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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