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The Saga Collection

Death Star Gunner - TSC - Basic (SAGA 041)

Name: Death Star Gunner
Collection: The Saga Collection
Number: SAGA 041
Source: Return Of The Jedi/A New Hope
Availability: July 2006
License: Hasbro

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Death Star Gunner

Battle of Endor

specialty: heavy artillery

weapon of choice: death star superlaser

satisfied by: blasting y-wings into vapor

The immense weaponry of the Imperial fleet was operated by these highly skilled gunners. They were easily recognizable in their large, distinctive helmets, which were designed to protect them from the dangerous flashback of turbolaser batteries. Accustomed to the vast power under their control, they operated with smooth, calm precision, even during the fiercest battles.

Just as Chief Chirpa (SAGA 039) changed the path for Ewoks in the basic figure line, so did The Saga Collection’s Death Star Gunner forever change the way we were going to be receiving our Imperials. The Death Star Gunner is a total mixed bag of mostly good but some bad as far as an action figure is concerned, but you’re probably more preoccupied with what Hasbro has decided to do with Imperial action figures going forward instead. Per Hasbro, Lucasfilm, Ltd. has stated that all Imperials are clones. Therefore, a concerted effort will be placed onto making Imperials with removable helmets with a clone head. Fans were hurt, outraged and irritated that Hasbro would fall victim to this new rule. And we have to side with them because the vintage line certainly didn’t have any removable Imperial helmets and we didn’t have any idea what a clone even was. So it’s a little disconcerting that the new Death Star Gunner looks really no different than Clone Commander Cody (SAGA 024) under his helmet. But apparently this is something Star Wars collectors are going to have to swallow for the time being. But it likely will be a bitter pill for most. Despite our chagrin, Hasbro has crafted a well-proportioned and excellently scaled Death Star Gunner figure. And we do like it overall.

The removable helmet has aesthetic issues besides in addition to the egregious act of adding the clone portrait. It doesn’t really sit perfectly on the action figure. It very slightly leans left or right depending upon how you placed it. And it if you decide to move and actually play with the Death Star Gunner, well, the helmet isn’t going to stay in place and you’ll likely get annoyed about how freely it moves. There are obvious remedies (like stuffing the free space with some sort of packing) to keep the helmet in place, but we suppose this is another thing we’re going to have to accept going forward with Original Trilogy Star Wars characters. To be fair, the Death Star Gunner is actually a pretty good action figure. It’s only flaws are the swivel elbow joints. We’re jaded about the use of this articulation, so maybe our assessment is unfair; but it would have been nobler for Hasbro to exclude any elbow joints at all than include this type. But the rest of the figure is articulated well, with included ball-jointed shoulders and knees and the obligatory swivel waist and hips. The clone head sculpt is attached via a ball-socket head, so that was a nice touch as well (if we have to have a clone for his head that is). You get a great range of movement from this figure, and are able to pose him in ways that are not needed, but possible.

Hasbro has included some meaningful diversity with the Death Star Gunner as well. It doubles as both an Episode IV and Episode VI Imperial gunner action figure. They’ve included a fitted, but removable radiation vest (which is exclusive to the Episode IV character) so you can have him at the gunner station of the Death Star to blow up Alderaan or the Home One. So, it’s pretty cool that we can source this action figure to both films. Obviously, the 1985 Power Of The Force figure was from Return Of The Jedi, but the 1996 POTF2 figure was from A New Hope. Now we have a better made figure that can be interchanged to represent both. The Death Star Gunner also comes with a blaster rifle and the personalized action figure stand (complete with the Return Of The Jedi logo). Expect this figure to be hot and not last long because this is one that collectors will indeed buy multiples for their armies. The figure ranks overall as satisfying to us, but we’d love to see a revised version with ball-jointed elbows. Until that happens, we’ll just hope for a slightly upgraded version down the road. This doesn’t mean that the Death Star Gunner won’t fulfill your immediate needs of course, so get at least two. It's great to have such diversity in a single action figure, and we hope that Hasbro keeps this trend going strong.

Collector Notes

Death Star Gunner

Status: Death Star Gunner is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 16 points (12 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left elbow (1), swivel right elbow (1), swivel left glove (1), swivel right glove (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2)

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: removable helmet, radiation vest, blaster rifle

Date Stamp: 2006

Assortment Number: 86930/85770

UPC: 653569126584

Retail: $6.99 USD

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

The Saga Collection Wave 6
Chief Chirpa (SAGA 039)
Moff Jerjerrod (SAGA 040)
Death Star Gunner (SAGA 041)
C-3PO With Ewok Throne (SAGA 042)
Emperor Palpatine (SAGA 043)

Added: October 4, 2011
Category: Saga Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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