We’ve looked at the figures from this Ultimate Battle Pack, so now it’s time to check out the first of the two vehicles: The Jedi Starfighter. Obviously, this toy is based off the Clone Wars era starfighter, which I don’t find quite as appealing as the one that superceded it in The Revenge of the Sith. Still, it’s a cool little ship with some nice features. This particular toy is a repack that has been released several times since 2008 as part of Hasbro’s $20-25 medium sized vehicle assortment. The only version of this Jedi Starship that I’ve ever owned was the Obi-Wan Starfighter that came with the Hyperspace Ring. It was the same basic design, but lacked some of this ship’s gimmicks, so this toy is essentially new to me.
My first impression of this starfighter was that it seems to lack the heft of other Star Wars toys in this size class. As I said, I have never owned this exact mold before, so I may be entirely off base here, but it feels like Hasbro may have skimped on the plastic quality a bit when producing this one. It just doesn’t feel as heavy or sturdy as the plastic used in Slave-1 or any of the other ships I own in this size class. The sculpt is very nice, as it features a good number of panel lines and details. There are no stickers to apply, although the Republic emblems are already in place. The paint scheme is ok, a little drab, and the paint lines are kind of sloppy in places. I think my biggest complaint, is that the ship looks a bland with no other paint apps or weathering or stickers. Maybe it’s designed to look a little more clean and cartoony because it’s a Clone Wars toy, I don’t know. But when I compare this ship to my Revenge of the Sith Starfighters, there’s a huge difference.
The rear cockpit opens to reveal a nicely detailed interior, which can seat either Mace or Anakin or most other figures. Just in front of this cockpit is the Astromech droid slot. There’s actually a hinged hatch that opens so that you can put the droid in and close it around his head and shoulders. It’s a nice feature as it keeps the droid locked in place and he won’t come flying out if you’re inclined to have your ship whooshing around the room and doing barrel rolls. The inside of the droid slot compartment is actually nicely detailed and features a cockpit that is clearly intended for a humanoid pilot, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
The starfighter includes three firing missiles/laser cannon. Two are mounted on the top and the third is concealed in a channel under the ship. It can be easily pulled out to fire or to serve as a third landing strut.
This starfighter’s main gimmick is that you can pull it apart to become two separate ships. The back portion resembles a smaller, cruder prototype of the Jedi Starfighter seen in Revenge of the Sith. The front has two spring loaded wings that deploy when the ships are separated. So here’s where I get confused. On first glance it seems like the ship made up of the front portion is meant to be piloted by the Astromech, but then the slot obviously is designed to accomodate a humanoid figure. Of course any figure sitting in there and piloting this smaller ship would be exposed to the vaccuum of space. I’ve seen most of the Clone Wars cartoon, and I’ve never seen one of these ships split apart, so I’m really unclear on what the purpose of it is. If anyone out there knows, feel free to drop me a comment. Either way, it’s a pretty cool gimmick that doesn’t interfere with the overall design of the toy, so I’m fine with it.
As a pack-in ship, this starfighter is a pretty nice item. I wouldn’t have bought it on it’s own, as I’m not overly fond of the design, but now that I have one in my hands, I may actually wind up keeping it. It’s a cool little ship, but there’s nothing about it that makes me all that excited.