‘Star Wars’ Collectibles & Toys Review: Star Wars The Black Series George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) 6-Inch-Scale Collectible Action Figure

Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2022 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

“The Maker” Gets a Tribute Figure!

The 6-inch-scale Black Series figure is detailed to look like George Lucas if he was wearing a Stormtrooper Disguise, featuring premium detail and multiple points of articulation. – Hasbro’s product description in the George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) page on Hasbro.com

“Faster and more intense…or I’ll have to report you to Lord Vader!’ Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2022 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

On June 28, 2022 (45 years after the “Summer of Star Wars” and almost 10 years after George Lucas announced his retirement as chairman of Lucasfilm Ltd., the storied independent film production company he sold to The Walt Disney Company), Hasbro released George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise), a 6-inch scale action figure in its nine-year old (and still ongoing) Star Wars The Black Series collection.

Issued as part of Hasbro’s ongoing celebration of Lucasfilm’s Golden Anniversary – Lucas founded the company on December 10, 1971 after leaving American Zoetrope, the independent studio he had co-founded two years earlier with his friend and fellow director Francis Ford Coppola – is a whimsical and cool tribute to the man who gave the world American Graffiti, the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, and is renowned as one of the most influential filmmakers of his time.

We pay homage to George Lucas and his remarkable accomplishments in film with a likeness of the director himself, clad in the distinctive armor of (an) Imperial stormtrooper. – Hasbro’s product description in the George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) page on Hasbro.com

Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2022 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

What’s in the Package?

I’m a lousy photographer; I know how to “frame” a shot well enough, but sometimes my hands will shake while I am trying to take a photograph. This is one of my few attempts to snap a shot with my smartphone camera.

As the Star Wars The Black Series (Lucasfilm Ltd. 50th Anniversary) figure’s name explicitly says, this whimsical figure depicts a middle-aged Lucas wearing the white-black armor of an Imperial stormtrooper as seen in the original 1977-1983 Star Wars trilogy. Like the similar (but not identical) Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape) figure from 2018, George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) comes with a stormtrooper’s helmet (which “floats” in a little niche in the card back’s plastic bubble) and an Imperial-issue BlasTech E-11 blaster.

Although the director was only 33 years old when Star Wars (which was given the official retronym Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1979 and reissued with the new subtitle in the summer of 1981) and the photograph on the reverse side of the card back shows him on location in Tunisia back in 1976, Hasbro decided to represent the filmmaker as a middle-aged man in his late 50s, with his thick hair and neatly trimmed beard in “salt-and-pepper” rather than the youthful, almost nerdy black-haired wunderkind of his American Graffiti and Star Wars days.

This Star Wars The Black Series action figure comes with 2 accessories that make a great addition to any Star Wars collection. ­– Hasbro’s product description in the George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) page on Hasbro.com

My 40th Anniversary Legacy Pack display in its final form; we added The Black Series figures of Supreme Leader Snoke (far left) and Emperor Palpatine (far right) to get rid of empty space on the floating shelf.

As is customary for Star Wars The Black Series action figures – just as it was for the original Kenner Toys 3 ¾ inch scale action figures from its 1978-1985 Star Wars collection – George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) comes in a transparent plastic bubble placed on the front left side of the card back packaging, with the two stormtrooper accessories (the helmet and the E-11 blaster) in little niches within that transparent bubble. And even though they are small items – the figure, after all, is in the 6-inch scale – they are accurately detailed, especially the stormtrooper’s helmet with its distinctive markings on the faceplate and sides.

“New from Kenner!”

That “Kenner” livery brings back memories of getting my collection started when I was 15….a long time ago in a townhouse far, far away…
Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2022 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

Unlike the other two figures I own from the Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary subcollection in the Star Wars The Black Series, Hasbro ensconced George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) in a card back that is based on Kenner’s 1978 3 ¾-inch scale Stormtrooper figure (one of the Original Twelve[1] in Kenner’s first “wave” of action figures). The art – except for minor details such as the Lucasfilm Ltd. 50th Anniversary logo and the character name “tag” above the figure – is identical to the original 1978 Stormtrooper figure; it features the same publicity still by John Jay of two Imperial stormtroopers exchanging fire with the offscreen Rebels Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia during the “Death Star Escape” sequence.

Adding more punch to the nostalgia-evoking effect of reusing the art and stylized Star Wars collection logo from the late 1970s, Hasbro also uses the blue-white Kenner logo on the lower right side of the card back’s front-facing side.

I own quite a few of these “throwback” Kenner-branded 40th Anniversary figures. Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2020 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

This, of course, is not the first time that a Star Wars The Black Series action figure gets the retro treatment and Hasbro trots out the name of a subsidiary it acquired in 1991 and used as a brand until 2000, when it retired the “Kenner” brand and began marketing Star Wars toys and games under its own name.

Opening this upscaled tribute to Kenner’s “Star Wars Figure #1” to place on my 40th Anniversary Legacy stand was a bit painful, but we managed to keep the card back in a safe place. It will lose its value as a collectible, of course, but I really wanted it on that stand. Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2017Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.
Here’s what my display stand looked like when It was finally assembled and placed on a floating shelf.
My caregiver was putting the Legacy Pack display stand on the “island” in the kitchen. This was taken in June 2020, when she put the finishing touches before setting the figures on it. (This is the reverse side of the backing piece.)
My Star Wars The Black Series 40th Anniversary Legacy Pack display stand. It came with the 40th Anniversary figure of Darth Vader; I had to buy the other 11 figures to complete the display. (Note, this photo was taken before I bought George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise).

In 2017, for instance, when 6-inch Star Wars The Black Series figures based on the Original Twelve were released to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars: A New Hope, Hasbro replicated the original card back art – including retooled versions of the “Collect All the Figures” thumbnail photos of other figures in the 40th Anniversary wave and the 1970s-era Kenner logo.

This is what I call a “hybrid” packaging that combines elements of the Star Wars The Black Series packaging prior to Summer of 2020, and the 40th Anniversary livery, sans the Kenner branding. Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2020 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.
Here’s another figure from Hasbro’s “Kenner”-branded Star Wars The Black Series figures released in 2020’s 40th Anniversary commemoration of The Empire Strikes Back. (C) 2020 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

The same technique of nostalgia-evoking use of Kenner’s livery for its Star Wars collection of the 1970s and early ‘80s was used in 2020 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and you can be sure that we will see characters in their Return of the Jedi variants in similar “retro” packaging that uses card back art and the Kenner logo from the 1983-1984 waves.

My Take

“I’m ready for my close-up, Gilbert!” Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2022 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

I wrote a post, Musings & Thoughts for Friday, September 16, 2022, or: A Whimsical New Action Figure for My Star Wars Collection, a few weeks ago, about why I bought George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise), so if you want the back story on that aspect of the figure, you can read about it there.

I have been collecting Star Wars “stuff” (action figures, the movies and TV shows themselves, books, soundtracks, and even the occasional prop replica) since 1978. I started with the novelization by Alan Dean Foster (but credited to George Lucas) in November of 1977, followed by the 2-LP original soundtrack album by 20th Century Records and my first Kenner collectibles (the Landspeeder vehicle and two figures: R2-D2 and C-3PO)[2], all of which I received as presents for my 15th birthday.

For the most part, the figures depict only the fictional characters from the various feature films and TV series produced by Lucasfilm and released by 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, or, as is the case for the theatrically-released Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated film and the first five seasons of the eponymous TV series, Warner Bros. I don’t have the space or resources to buy every figure made by Hasbro, so I tend to focus mostly on the movie characters.[3]

Nevertheless, when I saw this awesomely cool depiction of George “the Maker” Lucas disguised as an Imperial stormtrooper, I could not resist.

“I have a bad feeling about this….” Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2022 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

Even though I know that George Lucas only has one cameo in one of the six Star Wars films that he was directly involved with – he makes a brief appearance as Baron Papanoida in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith – and he never put on the complex and uncomfortable armor of an Imperial stormtrooper in real life, this figure is clever, tongue-in-cheek funny, and remarkably well done.

The sculpt and the paint job are excellent. They capture the “look” of one of the most recognizable filmmakers of the late 20th Century and early 21st Century well. Most Star Wars fans who have seen photos of Lucas in magazines, books, and Internet web sites will instantly recognize the man depicted in this 6-inch figure; his thoughtful expression should be familiar to anyone who has watched behind-the-scenes materials in home media releases of American Graffiti, the first six Star Wars films, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, or the first four Indiana Jones films.

If I had designed George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise), I would have chosen his likeness to be more like his 1976-era look. But that’s just my opinion. (C) 2007 Random House Worlds and Lucasfilm Ltd.

The most whimsical aspect of the figure is that the designer (or designers) at Hasbro who dreamed up George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) chose an anachronistic approach to the depiction in the homage to the creator of Star Wars.

Instead of portraying him as George Lucas (Director), perhaps as he appeared in 1976 when he was shooting Star Wars in Tunisia or London’s Elstree Studios, Hasbro decided to put him in stormtrooper gear. And the designers also used “middle-aged” George rather than “1976” George, which is comical because although Lucas is said to be a warm, goofy, and humorous man once he gets to know people (like me, Lucas is painfully shy and quiet), I doubt that he’d have gotten into a stormtrooper outfit when he was filming, say, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace back in the late 1990s.

Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2022 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

But that’s part of the figure’s undeniable charm, and to its credit, the team behind George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) does not go overboard by adding weird sight gags (such as, say, adding some graffiti on the armor in “Aurobesh,” the in-universe alphabet seen in signage and computer readouts in the movies and TV series. The Imperial stormtrooper armor is impeccable and pristine, and the detailing is “realistic” as far as movie-image accuracy is concerned.

Star Wars fans and collectors can display this fully articulated figure featuring poseable head, arms, and legs, as well as premium deco, in their collection. ­– Hasbro’s product description in the George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) page on Hasbro.com

Hasbro states that these action figures are intended for the “ages 4 and up” set, but I bet you 1000 Republic Credits that the company knows that most of the Star Wars The Black Series figures are purchased by – and usually for – adult collectors who were kids either when the first two Star Wars trilogies were in theaters or when the Original Trilogy was only available on VHS (and in that awful “pan-and-scan” format!).

A recent photo of my Ikea BILLY shelves, with most of my Star Wars The Black Series on display.

(This is quite a huge demographic group, spanning the decades from folks who were born in the Sixties and early Seventies, to the “next generation” of Star Wars fans born in the Eighties and early Nineties and were introduced to Star Wars either through the Expanded Universe/Legends books or Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.)

Hasbro knows that collectors and Star Wars fans look for movie-accurate levels of detail, especially since many of them like to create elaborate dioramas based on scenes from their favorite films. As a result, the sculpts and paint jobs on figures such as George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) are light-years ahead of their Kenner forerunners’.

Today’s Star Wars The Black Series action figures have at least 24 points of articulation (POAs) that allow owners to pose them in life-like action stances. All four of the 6-inch scale George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise)’s limbs have POAs where a human being’s major joints are located, especially the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles.

While George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) is not canonical nor an “essential” figure, especially if you are living in a small space and on a fixed income, I don’t regret ordering this whimsical figure. Lucas, after all, is the person who inspired me to go into film writing, and even though he is not the best of the directors whose work I enjoy, he is one of the most influential people in the business. He is, according to one of my friends who met him around the time when he was making the Prequel Trilogy, genuinely a nice guy, unlike many other Hollywood figures.

For a small figure – it’s larger than the original Kenner figures I have from the 1978-1985 collection, but it’s not as big as a 12-inch G.I. JoeGeorge Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) is amazingly detailed. Image Credit: Hasbro Promotional Image. (C) 2022 Hasbro & Lucasfilm Ltd.

George Lucas, like his collaborator and longtime friend John Williams, is one of the people who I admire the most, so I believe that this tribute-as-action figure was worth the money I paid for it.

Well, that about wraps it up for this review of a new Star Wars The Black Series collectible figure. 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.

[1] The Original Twelve figures that were released in early 1978 were:

  • Luke Skywalker
  • Princess Leia Organa
  • Darth Vader
  • Chewbacca
  • Stormtrooper
  • Imperial Death Squad Commander
  • Han Solo
  • Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
  • Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2)
  • See-Threepio (C-3PO)
  • Tusken Raider (Sand People)
  • Jawa

The list does not list the figures in release order!

[2] Although I still have all the Original Twelve figures – not in mint condition, unfortunately – I no longer have the Landspeeder. I made the mistake of placing it on a bookshelf that was not the sturdiest piece of furniture ever made, and it lost its windshield when, in the early 2000s, the shelf collapsed and deposited its contents on my bedroom floor. I do have, in its original Power of the Force collection packaging, Hasbro/Kenner’s reissued version from the mid-1990s, and I also have a larger Star Wars The Black Series version – with a Luke Skywalker figure – that I received as a gift for Christmas in 2017.

[3] Of course, there are exceptions; I’ve bought a Kenner-branded action figure based on “the Mandalorian” from the eponymous series that streams on Disney+, and I also bought the Imperial Troop Transport from the same show, partly because it is a cool vehicle that was first introduced in canon in Star Wars: Rebels, but mostly because I once owned the original (but non-canonical) Imperial Troop Transport from Kenner back in 1979.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

3 thoughts on “‘Star Wars’ Collectibles & Toys Review: Star Wars The Black Series George Lucas (in Stormtrooper Disguise) 6-Inch-Scale Collectible Action Figure

    1. I wish I were a better photographer. (I also wish my room were not so tiny; if I had a house or an apartment of my own, I would have more shelves…most of “the good stuff” in my collection is in boxes.)

      I had no idea you were a fellow Star Wars fan! That’s cool to know!

      Liked by 1 person

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