I thought that hairy beast would be the end of me. Of course I’ve looked better. – C-3PO, referring to his misadventures with Chewbacca, to R2-D2, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
On December 9, 2019, Hasbro released its exclusive-to-Amazon Deluxe Figures set Star Wars The Black Series Chewbacca & C-3PO, which foreshadowed the company’s deluxe figures Imperial Probe Droid and Luke Skywalker & Yoda (Jedi Training) for its 2020 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary line.
Chewbacca & C-3PO
Encountering a Stormtrooper in Cloud City, C-3PO was blasted at point-blank range and his limbs were scattered. Chewbacca gathered the parts of the protocol droid and partially reassembled him. – Hasbro packaging blurb
Based on the characters Chewbacca (the late Peter Mayhew) and See-Threepio (Anthony Daniels) in several Cloud City sequences in The Empire Strikes Back, this two-figure set comes in the now-discontinued red-and-black Star Wars The Black Series packaging, along with seven accessories and a set of instructions. The accessories include the net in which Chewie lugs the disassembled Threepio on his furry back, “blasted droid” components, and an Imperial-issue E-11 blaster.
Fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the Star Wars Galaxy with these premium Chewbacca and C-3PO toys, inspired by the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back movie. – Hasbro promo blurb on the Chewbacca & C-3PO Amazon product page
What’s in the Box?
Well, at least you’re still in one piece! Look what happened to me! – C-3PO to R2-D2 in Cloud City corridor
Inside the 2 x 7 x 9 inch red-and-black box that these pre-2020 Star Wars The Black Series figures are shipped are two six-inch scale action figures and several accessories. The figures are, of course:
- C-3PO (disassembled and already in his net)
Packed in between the unlucky golden droid and the mighty Wookiee copilot of the Millennium Falcon is the aforementioned E-11 Imperial blaster which Chewie “liberates” from a dead Stormtrooper during the Rebels’ attempt to escape from Imperial-occupied Cloud City after they fail to rescue a carbonite-encased Han Solo from the infamous bounty hunter, Boba Fett. Other accessories include the net in which Chewie will carry the partially reassembled Threepio and components of the blasted-apart (and, I think, surprised-looking) protocol droid. (I haven’t opened the box to see if Chewbacca’s bowcaster is included. Probably not, though.)
CHEWBACCA AND C-3PO
Imagine the Wookiee warrior making a hasty escape from the Empire in the Cloud City of Bespin with the timid protocol droid strapped to his back, after having been blasted to pieces. – Hasbro promo blurb on the Amazon product page
Stormtroopers? Here? We’re in danger. I must tell the others. Oh, no! I’ve been shot! – C-3PO, upon realizing his predicament after Chewie partially reassembles him
I have been collecting Star Wars action figures since I was 15. I can’t claim that my collections (there are several Kenner and Hasbro product lines, and I consider them as separate) are complete, because they are not. Still, I know a good collectible when I see it, so when I saw Chewbacca & C-3PO on Amazon, I decided to buy it.
Although I love all of the Star Wars canonical movies, I was a teenager when Star Wars (now known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)and The Empire Strikes Back hit theaters in 1977 and 1980 (respectively). Therefore, although I have tried to get figures and other collectibles from across the franchise, there’s a definite bias toward figures from the Original Trilogy.
And because Chewbacca & C-3PO is a deluxe set that serves as a precursor to my two Star Wars The Black Series deluxe sets commemorating Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’s 40th Anniversary, I just had to have it.
PREMIUM ARTICULATION AND DETAILING
Star Wars fans and collectors can display these highly poseable (4 fully articulated limbs) figures, featuring premium deco, in their Star Wars collections. – Hasbro promo blurb on the Amazon product page
Even in their red-black box, the figures are beautifully sculpted and painted. See-Threepio has a neutral, expressionless face, like all of the protocol droids he resembles in that galaxy far, far away. But somehow he still manages to convey indignant surprise at his current “blown into pieces by a Stormtrooper” predicament.
Hasbro’s sculpt-and-paint team gets the coloring and detailing of both of these iconic Star Wars sidekicks right. See-Threepio even has subtle scorch marks on his chest and head to indicate the damage from that Stormtrooper’s blaster bolt. The outer covering of the protocol droid is mostly a dullish gold color, save for the silver shin on his right leg.
As for the mighty Chewbacca, his russet and brown fur is simulated, of course, and sculpted and painted to look like the Stuart Freeborn-designed costume which was made out of yak hair and other materials. I like how Hasbro carefully painted Chewie’s blue eyes and his black dog-like nose, and that the expression on his face isn’t an angry, fang-baring roar as in Kenner’s 1978 mini-action figure, but a more neutral one that conveys a multiplicity of emotions. The bandolier and leather-like pouch Chewie wears in the films are well-done, as well, and they look realistic and authentic.
Each figure has multiple points of articulation, so if you decide to take Chewbacca & C-3PO out of their Star Wars The Black Series box, you can pose them in lifelike stances that were not possible with the first-generation figures made in the late 1970s and early 1980s. You can also – if you wish – “rebuild” C-3PO either in part or completely, and you can also have Chewie carry the “in-pieces” droid on his back in that net accessory that comes with the figures.
The one pose you can’t do, I regret to say, is the homage to Hamlet bit when Chewie, stuck in a Cloud City detention cell with a box of Threepio parts, holds the golden droid’s head in his clawed hands and looks at him in an “Alas, poor Yorick!” manner.
I have been a fan of Hasbro’s Star Wars The Black Series six-inch scale action figures since I received the Darth Vader figure in the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Legacy Pack for Christmas in 2017. I can’t set out to acquire the entire collection; I have neither the space nor the money for a damn fool idealistic crusade like that. But I do treat myself to a few figures every so often, and I try to get ones that I think are cool and meaningful to me.
Well, that about wraps it up for this review of a new Star Wars The Black Series deluxe set. 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.