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The Vintage Collection

Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari) - TVC - Basic (VC91)

Name: Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari)
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC91
Source: Expanded Universe (Return Of The Jedi Deleted Scene)*
Availability: February 2012
License: Hasbro

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The Rebel Alliance certainly had its share of heroes in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. However, something always seemed a bit odd: the Rebels were fighting for freedom from oppression and discrimination, yet apparently no aliens had joined the Rebel cause! Where were all the oppressed Rodians and Snivvians flocking to the Rebel bandwagon? Were they all just hanging out in Chalmun’s cantina drinking their sorrows away? Alas, Return of the Jedi introduced the first Rebel aliens. On the bridge of Home One, we see Sullustans, Dressellians, and, of course, Mon Calamari. By giving Admiral Ackbar such a prominent role, the Mon Calamari became the symbol of the Rebellion – even hosting capitol of the New Republic after the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. However, with the release of Star Wars on blu-ray, we learned that George Lucas was far from confident that the puppets used for the Mon Calamari would work onscreen. In fact, several scenes were filmed with General Crix Madine taking Ackbar’s place on the bridge of Home One. Fortunately, puppeteer Tim Rose did a phenomenal job bringing Ackbar to life. The blu-ray bonus features also include test scenes with an unidentified Mon Calamari pilot – also performed by Tim Rose – piloting an A-wing. Unfortunately, this brave Rebel pilot did not make it into the final cut.

To celebrate the release of those deleted scenes, Hasbro gave the Mon Calamari pilot the attention he deserves in 2012’s TVC Deleted Scenes wave (wave 11). From what we can tell, he is an all-new sculpt. Hasbro did not simply throw the Mon Calamari parts from The Vintage Collection's Admiral Ackbar (VC22) onto a preexisting A-wing pilot’s uniform. Comparing this figure with A-wing Pilot Tycho Celchu or Green Leader’s uniforms it’s clear the Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari) has a different uniform. The tube connecting the chestbox to the belt is white, not a metallic silver. The white leg straps also hang on the figure more realistically, almost as if drooping down the outer parts of his legs. The shoes are also much larger (perhaps because Mon Calamari have larger feet). Overall, we think this version of the A-wing pilot’s uniform works better for the figure, except for the chestbox. The chestbox is smaller and flatter than those found on most Rebel pilots. Also, the buttons are not painted in the Robin-egg blue, red, and white colors that characterize Tycho Celchu’s chest box. Of course, it’s not clear from the test footage what this pilot’s chestbox actually looked like, but we wish Hasbro had just taken the chestbox from one of these other figures to make it look visually more interesting.

Even though 2010's TVC Admiral Ackbar (VC22) was one of our favorites, Hasbro decided to give this Mon Calamari Rebel pilot all-new head and arms. Perhaps most notable is that his spotting pattern is a darker shade of brown. While we think sometimes the spotting comes across as a bit too bold, it does effectively distinguish him from Ackbar (although for all we know the puppet might actually have had darker spotting). The head sculpt is definitely superior to Ackbar’s and better emphasizes some facial features, including his chin tendrils. The pilot’s mouth opens wider than Ackbar’s, as if he’s saying “fried calamari tonight” (one of Tim Rose’s test lines). One interesting aspect is that his eyestalks are leaning slightly forward rather than straight out to the side, which would be helpful for piloting a starfighter but was not noticeable in the deleted scene’s puppet. Of course, as with all Mon Calamari not named Ackbar, this pilot comes with a helmet. It’s pretty faithful to the onscreen version, except it’s missing the small microphone extending from the right-hand side (we know, we’re nitpicking). The design is reminiscent of the helmets from the 2001 POTJ Mon Calamari Officer, so customizers will want to get multiple copies of this figure in order to make more fleet officers (it’s not a great fit, but you can put the Rebel Pilot’s head onto the Admiral Ackbar neck and put a little clay on the ball-socket to keep it in place). While it’s a shame this Rebel pilot never made it into the final film, we’re very pleased with the way Hasbro has immortalized him in plastic.

About Arnold Corso: Arnold Corso is a political scientist and is interested in the politics of Star Wars (not as his dissertation topic, just a side interest that he's just starting to blog about). He is currently working on a short article about the lack of political parties in Star Wars, and then he has another one in the works about what he think Lucas' inspiration for Order 66 might have been.

Collector Notes

Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari)

Status: Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari) is a kit-bashed figure with an all-new head, torso and upper arms with the forearms from 2010's TVC Admiral Ackbar (VC22) and the legs of Keyan Farlander from 2008's TLC Rebel Pilot Legacy (Series II) Evolutions set.

Articulation Count: 14 points

Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel foreamrs, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: blaster pistol, removable helmet

Date Stamp: 2008

Assortment Number: 49704/37499

UPC: 653569731795

Retail: $9.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

The Vintage Collection Wave 11
Luke Skywalker (Lightsaber Construction) (VC87)
Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit) (VC88)
Lando Calrissian (Sandstorm Outfit) (VC89)
Colonel Cracken (Millennium Falcon Crew) (VC90)
Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari) (VC91)

Added: March 5, 2012
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Arnold Corso
Score:
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