While the Empire commenced construction of a second Death Star, Darth Vader's Master had another plan: to lure Luke Skywalker to the dark side of the Force. The Emperor taunted and tempted Luke, leading to a final duel between Vader and his son. In this conflict, the good in Vader was awakened by his son's compassion, and he rose to destroy the Emperor. Vader's redeeming final act restored his consciousness to Anakin Skywalker, and he had one last moment with Luke before peacefully accepting his death.
It was truly a joyous occasion when Disney Stores officially released their Original Trilogy focused characters in the Elite Series line. Now they've released a commemorative version of Darth Vader to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi. The Darth Vader [Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi 35th Anniversary] Elite Series figure follows in the same footsteps of its predecessor, but this time come with new tooling to make him specific to how he appeared on Death Star II. The die-cast metal Elite Series line is exclusive to the Disney store (and their corresponding parks) and they made sure that the sculpting and paint operations accurately reflect the overall spirit of the Star Wars figure at hand. While Darth Vader [Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi 35th Anniversary] doesn’t scream perfection, we do see a fair representation of the character and has accuracy and many positive aspects. Darth Vader looks faithful to his onscreen appearance from Return Of The Jedi and we're extremely pleased with the Anakin Skywalker portrait.
The all-new head sculpt looks great, but Disney made a few other small enhancements to this figure that came off as improvements for us. The articulation system is a bit of a letdown, but that’s how we feel about all of these figures. The hinge-jointed points of articulation are essentially wasted tooling. If complete ball-jointed type of movement isn’t worked into key spots on the body, then you’re just going to be left with an action figure that just cannot move like a human body actually can. Plus, with the molded lower robes, even the ball-socket hips cannot be fully utilized because the robes stop the legs with very little range of motion available. Disney did add ball-jointed ankles and they’re helpful, but they mostly just enhance the figure’s balance more than anything else. The joints are a tad wobbly, but other than that, Darth Vader [Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi 35th Anniversary] stands without issue.
Darth Vader [Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi 35th Anniversary] comes with a fully lit lightsaber. Only his right hand can accompany it as the left-hand mimics the “I am your Father”/" Join me!" type of gestures from The Empire Strikes Back. With only a hinge-jointed elbow, swivel wrist and ball-jointed shoulder to give this figure all the lightsaber swinging movement possible, which as you can assume isn’t much at all. Still, Darth Vader looks pretty nice when posed in a lightsaber swinging motion, especially when utilizing the included Star Wars display stand as an anchor. The removable helmet breaks down into two pieces. The outer dome is metal, and the faceplate is plastic. We’re eager to see how far this line will go and what other Original Trilogy characters Disney will make in the future. And if they could work in some enhancements that would make these figures relatively flawless (like better movement), we believe the line would have even more interest than it currently has.
Darth Vader [Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi 35th Anniversary]
Status: Darth Vader [Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi 35th Anniversary] is a retool and repaint of 2015's Elite Series Darth Vader figure.
Articulation Count: 18 points (14 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), hinge-jointed left elbow (1), hinge-jointed right elbow (1), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel waist (1), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), hinge-jointed left knee (1), hinge-jointed right knee (1), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: lightsaber, removable helmet, Star Wars display stand
Date Stamp: N/A
Assortment Number: N/A
Retail: $26.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.