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Star Wars [Saga - Phase I]

Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) [Version 1] - SW [S - P1] - Basic (’02 #54)

Name: Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) [Version 1]
Collection: Star Wars [Saga - Phase I]
Number: '02 #54
Source: A New Hope
Availability: January 2003
License: Hasbro

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Luke Skywalker, a young farmboy on Tatooine, is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived for years in seclusion on the desert planet. Obi-Wan begins Luke's Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful Rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil Empire. Although Obi-Wan sacrifices himself in a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader, his former apprentice, Luke proves that the Force is with him by destroying the Empire's Death Star.

The Rebel Blockade Runner Tantive IV was on an urgent mission to Tatooine. Princess Leia Organa, armed with secret plans to the Death Star, was on her way to find General Obi-Wan Kenobi when the ship was attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer. The heroic Rebel troopers were the last line of defense as the ship was boarded by Darth Vader and a platoon of Stormtroopers.

The Star Wars “Saga” line may have not been the first basic figure line to introduce the “running change” variant by any means, but it was this basic figure line that made it more of a rule rather than the exception. It was the Star Wars “Saga” line that released no less than five sets of running changes throughout the entire run of the collection, and we’re not even including the figures that borrowed so many parts from each other that they too can almost be considered running changes unto themselves. The Power Of The Jedi line, for lack of a better way of explaining things, ended rather suddenly. Hasbro had to get down to business and start producing a line of figures to coincide with the next Star Wars film, so many of the planned running change variants had to be shelved until a later date and they ended becoming part of the Star Wars “Saga” line instead. The Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) (what a clumsy name, eh?) figure from the Power Of The Jedi line was screaming “running change” when it was first released in 2001. But this became a reality in 2003 as the final set of figures from the first phase of the Star Wars “Saga” line were packed alongside the second phase figures for the first couple waves of the Star Wars “Saga” [Phase II] line look. We know we’re speaking mouthfuls here, but it’s important to explain these figures’ histories. In short, two different packaging types shipped in the same case assortments. Anyway, two new head sculpts were tooled for the Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) body and they both were released as ’02 #54, but each were packed in different case assortments.

What may be first time news to you however is that although there are two unique sculpts in the Star Wars “Saga” line (and a third unique sculpt in the Power Of The Jedi line), there are actually three (3) distinct paint jobs for the Star Wars “Saga” figures themselves. So when all is said and done, there are actually four (4) “unique” figures from the Power Of The Jedi/Star Wars “Saga” span. Don’t worry, we’ll explain everything as thoroughly as possible. Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) [Version 1] is the very first release of this character in the Star Wars “Saga” line. He may be the best looking of the bunch and has dark hair which is very easy to see. He is also the most common, aside from the POTJ version maybe. For the next two versions, it’s relatively unknown which version came first so we’ll describe them in unison. Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) [Version 2] is the character with light brown or red/strawberry blonde hair, but there are two distinct shades of the hair color. Our photo gallery will illustrate this very clearly for you. One shade of hair is more light brown, while the other is more noticeably red. However, both of these versions utilize the exact same sculpt and you shouldn’t think that there is a third unique sculpt in total in the Star Wars “Saga” line. Hasbro didn’t make these helmets removable sadly, so you need to look at the hair color when the figure is upside down so that enough light is able to show these differences clearly. You may even notice some variation in the brown belts too. But all “three” versions are shown next to each other in the photo galleries for these figures.

You may not even care that variations exist in these figures because the Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) figure really isn’t that great of an action figure to begin with because of its funky swivel articulation and limiting sculpt. Surprisingly, the figure can stand upright without issue and can even kneel in a firing position quite convincingly, but that’s about it. Unless you have him in a pose that’s just static or in action, you’re just not going to have a naturally looking action figure. It’s biggest issue is the arms. They have no elbow joints, so his arms will either be at his sides or outstretched pointing the included gun. What would have made these running change variant more interesting if Hasbro sculpted removable helmets for them. Right now you cannot make out their personality all that well and the helmets obstruct much of the head obviously so you really don’t get to see much. It’s a bit frustrating. We all should be used to this now since we’re accustomed to what this action figure brought to the Power Of The Jedi line. But we wonder why Hasbro would go the extra mile and develop an all-new head sculpt, only to return to the way they made him in the POTJ line. Another disappointment for us is that Hasbro had ample opportunity to correct the paint job on the helmet. With two new head sculpts, you think they would have updated the paint job so the black paint doesn’t come all the way down to the brim of the helmet. Obviously the figure is far from perfect. But if you must have them all, please know that you’ll need to search for three in the Star Wars “Saga” line alone. The POTJ version makes four, not three.

Collector Notes

Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) [Version 1]

Status: Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) [Version 1] is a retool of 2001's POTJ Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) figure. This time the figure comes with a unique head sculpt.

Articulation Count: 11 points

Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 swivel shoulders, 2 swivel wrists, 2 swivel hips, 2 swivel knees, 2 swivel boots

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: removable vest, blaster pistol

Date Stamp: 2001

Collection: 1

Assortment Number: 84993/84851

UPC: 076930849934

Retail: $4.99 USD

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

Star Wars [Saga - Phase I] Wave 17
Rebel Trooper (Tantive IV Defender) [Version 1] (’02 #54)
Imperial Officer [Version 1] (’02 #55)

Eeth Koth (Jedi Master) (’02 #56)
Teebo (’02 #57)

Added: March 5, 2014
Category: Star Wars [Saga - Phase I]
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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