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30 (77-07)

Vader’s Secret Apprentice - TAC - Evolutions

Name: Vader's Secret Apprentice
Collection: 30 (77-07)
Number: N/A (Evolutions)
Source: The Force Unleashed
Availability: February 2008
License: Hasbro

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Set in the dark times between the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Rebellion, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game explores the aftermath of Order 66 and the continued evolution of Darth Vader. The son of a fallen Jedi is abducted by Vader to be his secret apprentice. As a young adult, the apprentice must choose his destiny: Join Lord Vader and wipe out the remaining Jedi, or become a noble Jedi and bring hope to the galaxy!

Few fans can argue that The Force Unleashed was one of the most exciting multimedia events in a very long time. The game may have not exceeded expectations (many claimed it was a bit too short), but it gave us a whole new chapter of the saga between what we know as Episode III and Episode IV in the Star Wars saga. Seeing how Darth Vader interacted with other characters in the galaxy was something we wanted to see occur for years.... and now we can thanks to a video game. What a shame that Hasbro just couldn't coordinate the release of their toy products with the actual release of the game due to situations beyond their control. The game was delayed until September of 2008, but a big shipment of product hit all over in February of 2008 including the highly anticipated delayed wave of basic figures (that were supposed to be released as wave 8 in the 30 (77-07) lineup as well as some exclusives and this Evolutions set. Starkiller/Garen Malek (or whatever else you want to call him) really should have been released as a basic figure. For a main character in a game not to be releaed in this manner is a bit perplexing. But Hasbro saw it fit to release three versions of this character in one Evolutions package which delighted many collectors. The action figures were done quite well but they have some issues here and thereBut despite the main character coming to us in a three-pack instead of a basic figure, fans of The Force Unleashed were extremely happy to get this set of very well made figures to be the centerpiece of their The Force Unleashed collections.

Galen Marek comes packaged to us in three unique designations: Secret Apprentice, Sith Lord and Jedi Knight. Let’s be honest. This doesn’t really fit the concept of Evolutions (a stepwise progression of a character of branch of military throughout the course of three distinct periods in Star Wars). No. Instead, the three incarnations of Galen Marek are based on what path you choose playing the video game. It really doesn't matter in the long run. Hasbro develops three excellent super-articulated figures that will make gamers and collectors very happy. And we must admit that there are some pretty cool versions of him in this set indeed. The “Secret Apprentice” has been designed to confuse the collector on where his true loyalties actually lie. This is effective because the other two characters in this set clearly spell out who is with the dark side of the Force and the light side of the Force. The “Secret Apprentice” has an expression of angst on his fave and his outfit has been brilliantly created to show that he has seen some heavy lightsaber dueling in the course of his training. Marvelously articulated, “Secret Apprentice” would probably have been our favorite figure of the bunch had his face not been painted in a flesh tone. Something looks a bit off with this decorating approach. This is simply our opinion, but we think the quality of action figures is significantly diminished when the flesh portion of faces is painted in that awful beige color. Just look at so many of the characters in the Comic Packs line. Most of the figures with the painted faces tend to be the worst looking figures. Flesh should be cast in a beige plastic and not painted in this color instead. Hasbro, please listen to our pleas here.

The yin and the yang of this set are clearly the “Jedi Knight” and “Sith Lord” figures. They complement each other very well and their diametrically opposite beliefs complement The Force Unleashed whole very well. The “Sith Lord” has one of the coolest looks we haven’t seen since Darth Maul (and perhaps General Grievous too). Muscular, foreboding and with tiny hits of the Kaleesh warlord are evident in his symbols, this character should be able to wreak some havoc on the many characters in the video game. His has Wolverine-esque spikes on his hand and his lightsaber collection around his waist is also very reminiscent of Grievous’ in more ways than one. When it comes to his outfit, we think he rummaged through the closet of Asajj Ventress however. It is a little too tight and a little too wrapped for our liking, but this is a small issue for us and your opinions may vary from ours. The weakest figure (quality wise – not character wise) is the “Jedi Knight”. This is solely our opinion, but he sadly and unfortunately suffers from swivel elbow joints. For us, this does nothing but frustrate the collector. We have said it 100 times and will say it again. Very few swivel joints work well enough in the arms due to the very nature of how you want to pose the arms. It would have been better if the “Jedi Knight” came without any arm articulation below the shoulders. Still, on a more positive note, he does come with a removable hood and the mixture of soft-goods looks pretty good as far as his Jedi robes are concerned. When posed together, all three figures look great, but interestingly they function independent of each other in the video game. So, the Evolutions medium looks to be the only way right now how you can have these characters interact with each other. This is a very good set, but it definitely has some a few areas that could benefit from some tweaking.

Collector Notes

The Sith Legacy

Assortment Number: 87533/87480

UPC: 653569261148

Retail: $19.99 USD

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

Secret Apprentice (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed)

Status: Secret Apprentice (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

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

Accessory Count: 4

Accessory Details: lightsaber, 3 Force lightning effects

Date Stamp: 2008

Sith Lord (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed)

Status: Sith Lord (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

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

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: lightsaber, lightsaber hilt

Date Stamp: 2008

Jedi Knight (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed)

Status: Jedi Knight (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 14 points

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

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: lightsaber, lightsaber hilt, hood

Date Stamp: 2008

30 (77-07) Evolutions
Anakin Skywalker To Darth Vader (See ROTS Anakin Skywalker To Darth Vader)
Clone Trooper To Stormtrooper (See ROTS Clone Trooper To Stormtrooper [Version 2])
Fett Legacy, The

Jedi Legacy, The
Sith, The (See ROTS The Sith)
Sith Legacy, The
Vader's Secret Apprentice

Added: April 23, 2010
Category: 30 (77-07)
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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