On April 13, 2018, Rhode Island-based Hasbro released the 60th figure in the long-running Star Wars The Black Series 6-inch scale action figures based on characters from the Star Wars multimedia franchise. Called Death Star Trooper, this black-clad and helmeted Imperial Navy member is a reissued version of 2017’s Star Wars The Black Series Death Squad Commander, which was itself a more cinematically-accurate reboot of the original 1978 Kenner figure from the first 12-figure wave.
Death Star Troopers were the elite of the Imperial Navy who were stationed aboard the first and second Death Star. They were responsible for piloting the super-structure to its destinations and firing the superlaser on the orders of those in command of the station. They wore black uniforms and flared, reflective helmets. – Hasbro product description, Death Star Trooper
Based on the black-garbed Imperial personnel assigned to serve aboard the Death Stars seen in 1977’s Star Wars (aka Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) and 1983’s Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Death Star Trooper was one-sixth of a The Black Series wave that included Jawa, Han Solo, Grand Moff Tarkin, Range Trooper, and Lando Calrissian.
What’s in the Package?
The red-and-black Star Wars The Black Series box – with a convenient transparent “window” on the front panel through which you can see the 6-inch scale figure and its accessories – contains one Death Star Trooper and two accessories: a removable helmet, and a DH-17 service blaster pistol.
This 6-inch-scale Death Star Trooper figure inspired by Star Wars: A New Hope includes 2 character-inspired accessories, so kids and collectors can imagine recreating amazing Star Wars cinematic action. Figure features premium detail and 9 points of articulation. – Hasbro product description, Death Star Trooper
Though Death Star Trooper is based on one of many similarly attired Imperial military background characters, the figure is just as nicely done as any of the other figures based on leading and supporting characters from the Star Wars films and TV shows. The sculpt and paint job are excellent; Hasbro’s modern manufacturing tools and methods do give Death Star Trooper a reasonable amount of accurate detailing and verisimilitude that Kenner could only dream of in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Unlike the original Kenner Death Squad Commander, which in my eyes was a hybrid between a high-ranking Imperial officer and the basic Imperial Navy fleet trooper, Death Star Trooper is shown wearing a movie-accurate black uniform with a silver-toned belt at the waist.
I like the fact that the figure comes with a functional – as opposed to merely decorative – holster in which the DH-17 blaster can be tucked for non-action poses. It’s realistic, for one thing; soldiers do not go around with their firearms in hand in non-combat situations, and even in the movies, we see Imperial Navy troopers walking along corridors or standing at guard posts with holstered blasters. So props to Hasbro for that.
And unlike his 1978 Death Squad Commander ancestor, which only had five basic points of articulation (POAs), Death Star Trooper has nine POAs. This allows imaginative kids or adult collectors to pose the figure in more realistic and lifelike stances, including two-handed firing grips or “Let me see your ID” poses.
All in all, this 2018 figure based on a background character is a nice addition to any collection of Star Wars toys and collectors’ items. I have both variants – the 2017 Star Wars 40th Anniversary Death Squad Commander and this 2018 – and I actually opened one to place it on my Star Wars 40th Anniversary Legacy Display Stand earlier this summer. It looks cool, in the box as well as on my study’s Ikea floating shelf, and I don’t regret having duplicates.
Well, Dear Reader, this wraps up another Star Wars Collectibles & Toys Review here in A Certain Point of View, Too. I hope you enjoy reading these write-ups of my Star Wars The Black Series collectibles as much as I enjoy writing them. In these sad and challenging times, you have to squeeze every bit of joy you can, no matter how fleeting, or if you derive that joy from something as seemingly mundane as a Star Wars figure. Until next time, I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things, and remember: the Force will be with you…always.