The Figure: “I will be the most powerful Jedi ever!”
A hero of the Clone Wars, Anakin was caring and compassionate, but also had a fear of loss that would prove to be his downfall. – Hasbro packaging blurb, Star Wars The Black Series: Anakin Skywalker (Padawan)
On May 31, 2020, Hasbro released Star Wars The Black Series: Anakin Skywalker (Padawan), the 119th six-inch scale action figure in the Rhode Island-based company’s long-running Star Wars The Black Series line. Based on the talented-yet-troubled 19-year-old Jedi apprentice who is destined to shed his true name – Anakin Skywalker – and become the feared Sith Lord known throughout the galaxy as Darth Vader, the figure represents the character as he appears throughout much of George Lucas’s Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002).
Star Wars The Black Series: Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) comes in a black-red box that contains a figure sculpted and painted to resemble Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) during his apprenticeship with Obi-Wan Kenobi, the young Jedi Knight who agreed to train the former slave from Tatooine a decade earlier following the death of Kenobi’s own Master, Qui-Gon Jinn.
Star Wars The Black Series: Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) is shown in his Jedi learner’s outfit, which the highly individualistic teen has customized extensively to show his independent streak. As in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Anakin wears:
- A standard Jedi tunic with an unconventional dark brown color intended to show young Skywalker’s individualism in an Order that usually adheres to strict traditions
- A synthetic leather surcoat that provides more protection than the traditional Jedi cloth garment
- A utility belt with pouches for emergency rations, a comlink, mechanical tools, and a medical kit
- Synthetic leather protective boots, which are weighted for training
Although the Jedi Order does not have a dress code and Knights, Masters, and even Padawans dress in whatever style of clothing they like, Anakin’s clothes are unusually darker than the average Jedi’s robes and/or tunics. This makes Anakin stand out in the staid environment of the Jedi Temple and raises some concerns among the Masters of the Jedi Council.
MOVIE-BASED CHARACTER-INSPIRED ACCESSORY: This Star Wars The Black Series action figure comes with an Anakin Skywalker (Padawan)-inspired accessory that makes a great addition to any Star Wars collection. – Hasbro packaging blurb, Star Wars The Black Series: Anakin Skywalker (Padawan)
The figure also comes with the precursor to the famous “Skywalker Lightsaber,” the Jedi lightsaber that he will lose shortly before the Battle of Geonosis during an attempt to rescue his Master from the clutches of Count Dooku and his Separatists.
According to David West Reynolds in Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (2008 edition):
Most Jedi Padawans build their lightsabers to resemble those of their masters as a gesture of respect. Anakin constructed his own lightsaber while in a trance-like state, resulting in a design that favors maximum strength.
As in the Star Wars films in which it appears – the “Skywalker Lightsaber” seen in other Episodes is identical to the one in Attack of the Clones – the Star Wars The Black Series: Anakin Skywalker (Padawan)’s “laser sword” has a blue blade (depicted here in translucent plastic) and a silver hilt with black detailing.
ANAKIN SKYWALKER: With the potential to become one of the most powerful Jedi ever, some believed Anakin Skywalker to be the prophesied Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force. – Hasbro product description on its official website
I recently acquired my figure of Star Wars The Black Series: Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) when I realized that my collection is dominated by characters from the Original Trilogy (Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and the more recent films, with only two representatives from the Prequels – Jar Jar Binks and General Grievous – among the ranks of Star Wars The Black Series 6-inch scale figures.
I like Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, the second installment of the Prequel Trilogy, even though (like most Star Wars films) it has a few narrative issues I don’t particularly like. And since I already had at least one character from the two other Prequels (The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith), I chose to buy two figures from Attack of the Clones: Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) and Padmé Amidala. (Hey, if one owns figures of the Skywalker Twins, Luke and Leia, one should have figures of their parents, right?)
PREMIUM ARTICULATION AND DETAILING: Star Wars fans and collectors can display this highly poseable (4 fully articulated limbs) figure, featuring premium deco, in their action figure and vehicle collection. – Hasbro product description on its official website
Anakin Skywalker (Padawan), like most of the figures in Hasbro’s eight-year-old Star Wars The Black Series reflects the company’s efforts to make action figures that are fun for kids to play with but also have authentic-looking detailing and movie-accurate “deco” that appeals to older collectors.
Following trends that began in the early 2000s with Hasbro’s various Star Wars lines of 3.75-inch scale figures (including ones for the original iteration of Star Wars The Black Series), this figure has more points of articulation – or POAs – (12) than Kenner’s original Star Wars figures (except, of course, for Kenner’s 12-inch action figures, which had more POAs than the more numerous 3.75-inch figures, which only had, at most, five points of articulation).
This is another reason why many adult collectors – such as this reviewer – like Star Wars The Black Series action figures, especially the larger six-inch scale ones. POAs are analogous to the human body’s ball-and-socket and swivel joints and allow fans – young and old – to pose their figures in more life-like stances than you could ever do with their Kenner counterparts from the early days of the Star Wars saga. (You can see this in the promo photos from the official Hasbro website in this review.)
STAR WARS: ATTACK OF THE CLONES: Fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the Star Wars Galaxy with this premium Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) toy, inspired by the Star Wars: Attack of the Clones movie. – Hasbro product description on its official website
Furthermore, Hasbro’s modern design and manufacturing techniques have evolved in the 43 years since Kenner introduced the smaller action figures that are the older cousins of the 6-inch scale Star Wars The Black Series line. Like all of Hasbro’s Star Wars The Black Series action figures in this scale, Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) is a well-made replica of one of the most popular characters in the Star Wars franchise. Benefitting from computer aided design/computer aided-manufacturing, precise scans of images from the films, and improved sculpt-and-paint jobs –Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) looks like the impatient, impulsive, well-meaning but perpetually angry Jedi hero played by Hayden Christensen.
The figure is remarkably well-done and gets the details as right as possible for a mass-produced action figure. Anakin’s dirty-blond hair is close-cropped in the style worn by Padawan learners and even has the learner’s braid that will be cut off at the Ceremony in which he will be granted the rank of Jedi Knight. His expression is grim and even haughty, visual “tells” that the little kid we met in The Phantom Menace has become a brooding, arrogant, and rebellious Padawan.
All in all, Anakin Skywalker (Padawan) is a well-made action figure that will make a fine addition to any Star Wars fan’s collection.
Well, this brings us to the end of my review of a new Star Wars The Black Series collectible. I had fun writing it, and I hope you will find it both enjoyable and informative.
Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and find joy in even the small things in life. And remember, the Force will be with you…always.
 Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary (2008 Edition), page 82.