Holy hell, folks, we’re actually going to talk some Star Wars this week. It doesn’t happen that often here on FigureFan. Why not? Well, I hit overload on Star Wars a few years back and stopped collecting it with any real gusto. I even wound up unloading about three-quarters of my ludicrously huge collection to make room and generate a little extra cash. Obviously, I still pick up a Star Wars figure or ship here and there when it strikes my fancy, but I sure don’t focus on it like I used to. Nonetheless, I was taking a pass through my toy closet this week, looking for things to feature here during this slow week, and I thought I’d give Star Wars some much needed love. Let’s start out with Darth Vader’s Jedi Starfighter.
The ship came out boxed as part of the 30th Anniversary Collection. The packaging is ok, but it followed after the Original Trilogy Collection, which featured some amazing vintage-style packages that I don’t think can ever be outdone. The deco here gets the job done, but I think the best thing about it is the amazing artwork of the ship on the front. Look familiar? Sure it does! This Sith Starfighter is just another in a looong line of repaints of this heavily reused Jedi Starfighter toy. I first bought this style of ship back when it was originally released as Obi Wan’s Starfighter in the Revenge of the Sith line. I didn’t have any desire to own the slew or other repaints until this one came out. It’s pretty much an Expanded Universe ship as Vader never actually piloted it in the movies, but it seems logical enough that he would have made use of this design in the years before the Tie Fighter came into service. Despite being named as Darth Vader’s personal fighter, I actually use this as a general Sith fighter and wound up giving it to my Galen Malek figure.
I absolutely love the design of this ship. It’s intended to be a transitional design between the Jedi Starfighters seen in Attack of the Clones and the Tie Fighters that would appear in A New Hope. I really dig the segmented front window on the cockpit that would become the iconic Tie Fighter windshield, as well as the way the wings deploy to hint at the solar panel wings of the subsequent Imperial fighter design. There are dual barreled wing-mounted cannons as well as a firing torpedo on each of the wings. Underneith you get retractable landing gear, which supports the ship nicely, but only when the wings are folded up. The ship supports an Astromech droid and actually comes with a convincing enough dummy droid head that can be removed to reveal a socket that holds an actual Astromech figure. I always thought that was a cool option. The cockpit flips open and is roomy enough to hold most figures, but as I mentioned above, mine is reserved for Galen Malek.
Beyond the design of the ship, what really grabbed me about this particular release was the fab repaint. The ship is two-tone black and gunmetal grey, which just looks badass on this design. What’s more there’s some brilliant weathering done on the wing symbols and along the paintwork on the front of the hull. Granted, I don’t buy a lot of Star Wars ships these days, but I’ll still say that Hasbro could benefit from checking out some of this work and implementing it on their newer releases. Naturally, you also get a sticker sheet, which is great for me because applying stickers is something I always love to do. It lets me bond with my new toy.
The Sith Starfighter set ran me $20 back in the day. I don’t think it’s been re-released, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find on Ebay. Nowadays vehicles in this size class go for between $25-30, so even if the price is inflated, you’ve got some wiggle room before you’re paying more than it would be on the shelf today. It’s a great looking piece and loads of fun to display and play with. If you want a great little starfighter with an amazingly cool deco, this is definitely a ship you want in your collection. And screw Vader, I’m sure you’ve got a couple of other Sith figures kicking around that would like a ride of their own.