Grand Moff Tarkin created this select force of soldiers to defend the galaxy's ultimate weapon, the Death Star. These elite troopers manned the gun towers during the Battle of Yavin, a conflict that resulted in the Death Star's destruction.
One of the happiest moments for Star Wars collectors came in 1998 during The Power Of The Force “2” Freeze Frame line. Hasbro finished off a long-awaited goal to complete the original 12 Star Wars figures in the modern line. Not everything was perfect of course. We were already clamoring for better updates to the modern figures already, but the fact that the original dozen of 1978 Kenner figures had all been modernized in one form of another was reason enough for great celebration. The last figure that held out for this achievement was the Death Star Trooper. And the fact remains if this action figure even accurately or truly represents the 1978 Death Squad Commander (later called Star Destroyer Commander) anyhow. We’ll get more into that in a moment. That being said however, Death Star Trooper, from a certain point of view, does check off the character on our vintage to modern lists and collectors were ecstatic to seem him released in the basic figure line. For the first time ever, Kenner/Hasbro tooled a removable helmet which provided collectors with a new way at looking at these Imperial technicians.
Death Star Trooper isn’t one of our favorite action figures however. We just aren’t crazy about figures that come pre-posed in an action stance. The Death Star Trooper has been positioned in a running motion. Despite the very dramatic pose, the Death Star Trooper has surprisingly phenomenal center of gravity. In fact, it’s so good that it beats out many other action figures who have been designed with static poses as far as its ability to stand unassisted. It’s pretty impressive actually. Admittedly, Death Star Trooper does look great from side to side, but front and back the pose gets old pretty quickly. Strangely, the figure also comes with a huge blaster rifle. It’s so big that it seems way too big for him and certainly not anything that the Galactic Empire would utilize, certainly not these characters at least. Why Hasbro didn’t package the figure with an E-11 blaster is something that perplexes us greatly. Anyway, at least the Death Star Trooper can hold the larger blaster rifle. In fact, he can hold the blaster rifle and his helmet at the same time. The figure has a pretty decent sculpt and good likeness, even though we don’t know who this character is meant to be. You should be pleased with it too.
So here is the controversy on whether or not this character truly represents the 1978 vintage Kenner Death Squad Commander figure. That original Kenner figure is wearing a gray uniform. The costume is also different because there is a ranking badge on the left breast. There is also a telecommunications cord hanging down from the headphones inside of the helmet, and something this figure has been given as well. (See how making Star Wars figures can get so murky?) This figure is a little bit of both. Clearly the Kenner figure from 1978 represents a different type of Imperial than the one that is portrayed as 1998’s POTF2 Death Star Trooper, who more closely resembles the generic Imperials wearing the black outfits and seen throughout the Death Star. We hope that Hasbro creates the gray outfitted Death Squad Commander for us one day, because until we have that figure, we really won’t have the original 12 figures (technically speaking of course). Despite this, Death Star Trooper will be highly sought after by collectors because he and Ree-Yees were the only two new figures in their case assortment. All other figures were straight repacks. Thankfully, Kenner/Hasbro realized the demand for these two figures and offered more via the Star Wars Fan Club. Obviously there will be plenty of these figures to go around. This figure is good, but you will ultimately want a better version of him.... and soon.
Death Star Trooper
Status: Death Star Trooper is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 6 points (6 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)
Accessory Count: 2
Accessory Details: blaster rifle, removable helmet
Date Stamp: 1998
Freeze Frame Details: The elite Death Star technicians.
Assortment Number: 69705/69838
Retail: $5.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.