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Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]

Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) - SW [S - P3] - Basic (’03 #32)

Name: Darth Vader (Death Star Clash)
Collection: Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]
Number: ’03 #32
Source: A New Hope
Availability: August 2003
License: Hasbro

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As the Galactic Civil War raged across the Empire, Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith, was tasked with discovering the location of the Rebel Alliance's secret base. Vader captured Rebel operative Princess Leia Organa and had her tortured to reveal the location of the hidden fortress. Vader also sought technical plans stolen by the Rebels. These plans carried the complete schematics of the Empire's most powerful weapon, the Death Star battle station. When a rescue team successfully liberated the princess, Vader found himself face to face with his former Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Vader defeated the aged Jedi Knight in a lightsaber duel.

By the time the Star Wars “Saga” line came around, Hasbro realized that they needed to keep certain main Star Wars characters in the basic figure line at all times. These popular characters always sold through, but sometimes it wasn’t possible to release an all-new version of these characters to keep them in the line or even tweak them to make them relatively new. So Hasbro conceded that “straight repacks” were going to be the answer. They even advertised this by likening to what Kenner did in the vintage Star Wars line by re-releasing the same figures in every film’s specific packaging. OK, so maybe that wasn’t the greatest analogy, but the choices of action figures Hasbro chose to enter into the line again were obvious, and others were not so obvious. One such introduction into the line was Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) (‘03 #32) figure. Originally part of 2000’s POTJ Masters of The Dark Side (Darth Maul & Darth Vader) two-pack, collectors have believed for a while now that the Darth Vader figure in this multipack would make a great single-carded basic figure at some point. Here is our chance.

Keeping in mind that this sculpt originated in the year 2000, Darth Vader still holds up incredibly well as one of the best versions based on Darth Vader’s A New Hope appearance. And from what we can garner from its re-release, it appears that Hasbro feels similarly. First released in 2000’s POTJ Masters Of The Dark Side (Darth Maul & Darth Vader) two-pack, Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) saw two re-releases almost simultaneously. First released as 2003’s SW [S - P3] Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) (’03 #32) figure, it was then almost immediately released again as 2004’s SW [S - P3] Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) Hall Of Fame release. Every release to date has been barely different from the next, but a critical and discriminating eye will be able to see that things like soft-goods and the smallest paint operations have been changed here and there. This may just also be the result of being made on two different machines at different times as well. You’ll also see varying degrees of flat and glossy paint used as well. Are the differences noticeable? They’re barely noticeable, so don’t sweat it.

Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) comes with seven points of articulation. What makes this “worse” is that his plastic molded skirt inhibits 99% of his hip movement. Aesthetically however, Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) looks rather remarkable. He is tall, muscular and has a stature that satisfies his rather statuesque appearance. Hasbro added a swivel elbow to his left arm. This was added to give him a little bit more movement for lightsaber wielding. It’s not ideal, but it’s good enough for this release. We’re perhaps most impressed with the type, quality and drape of his soft-goods cape. It’s realistic, curls around his frame and hangs at the right length. Soft-goods tend to have a pass or fail grade from collectors. You will be hard pressed to criticize these soft-goods however. We’re thoroughly satisfied with how well they were done for this figure. Thankfully Hasbro has been consistent with their delivery of the soft-goods for this figure, but a side by side comparison of each release will show you that slightly different types of fabrics were used on every release. Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) isn’t definitive, but you can’t say he’s terrible either.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader (Death Star Clash)

Status: Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) is a slight repaint of the figure from 2001's POTJ Masters Of The Dark Side (Darth Maul & Darth Vader) two-pack.

Articulation Count: 7 points (7 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left elbow (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: lightsaber

Date Stamp: 2000

Collection: 2

Assortment Number: 84710/84861

UPC: 076930847107

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 III] Wave 23

WA-7 (Dexter’s Diner) (’03 #28)

Lt. Dannl Faytonni (Coruscant Outlander Club) (’03 #29)

The Emperor (Throne Room) (’03 #30)

Luke Skywalker (Tatooine Encounter) (’03 #31)

Darth Vader (Death Star Clash) (’03 #32)

Added: August 1, 2016
Category: Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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