The newest wave of the Star Wars Black Series has a particularly interesting offering in it. No, I’m not talking about Old Han Solo… I’ll get to him eventually. No, I’m talking about a realistic treatment of Kanan Jarrus, the fugitive Jedi from the Rebels animated series. Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen animated characters get a realistic makeover. Hasbro did it to Ahsoka Tano in the Vintage line. Actually, they did it to her again in this wave, only not in the wave I got stuck with. My case had two Lukes in it instead. But don’t get me started again on that. Really, don’t.
Despite the Rebels crossover there’s nothing new to be said about the packaging. You get a monochrome portrait of the character on the front and a little blurb about him on the back. Kanan is Figure #19.
So, right off the bat, I’m going to say that I think this is one of the nicest figures we’ve had in the Black Series in a while. Putting aside whether or not the realistic portrait works or not, and looking at it from the neck down, the sculpt and paint on this figure are both fantastic. Hasbro added texturing to the pants and part of the shirt to give the outfit a realistic look, while also downplaying those vertical stripes on the shirt from the animation model. There’s also a more drastic color difference for the darker parts, which adds a little more complexity to this new realistic look. Overall, the colors are more muted, making for a grittier appearance.
The armor on his right shoulder and arm looks particularly good. The paint is very convincing as worn metal and the added white insignia on the shoulder looks appropriately worn and weathered. The cross strap for the shoulder armor is sculpted as part of the buck and the fixtures are neatly painted. He also features a smuggler’s style belt with a low slung holster on his right hip. No doubt about it, this version of Kanan looks like he would be right at home swaggering through a backwater planet in the live action Star Wars Universe.
The portrait is no slouch either. To be clear, I enjoy Rebels in spite of its stylistic look, not because I’m a fan of that look. I didn’t like the style at all in the beginning, but the show ultimately won me over. So, I was likely an easy mark for this figure and I really like what they did with the head sculpt. There’s a little over spray on the beard and I do wish Hasbro would stop using the waxy plastic for the heads or at least find some way to paint more realistic flesh tones, but that’s the best nitpick I can come up with here. The head looks great, right down to the little ponytail in the back.
The articulation here is as solid as we get in the 6-inch Black Series. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivel cuts in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the torso and both a ball joint and hinge in the neck. I would have loved some swivel cuts in the biceps, but Hasbro seems to be done putting those into this line.
Kanan comes with both his lightsaber and his holdout blaster. The blaster is a great sculpt, and looks a lot like the ones carried by some of Jabba the Hutt’s henchmen in Return of the Jedi. His right hand is sculpted to hold it and it also fits nicely in the functional holster on his right hip.
The lightsaber includes a removable blade and the hilt breaks into two parts so that they can be worn separately on his belt like he does on the show. After all, you can’t go around advertising you’re a Jedi. The larger part tabs in horizontally on the back of his belt and the smaller tabs into the front. After getting so many of Luke’s lightsaber in this line, it’s nice to get a fresh and original design.
Sure, I was excited for this figure to begin with, but I didn’t expect it to turn out anywhere near this good. It’s no secret that the Black Series has been languishing in mediocrity a lot of the time, so to get a figure that impresses me is a nice surprise. Granted, there’s nothing about this figure that couldn’t have been done just as well in the 3 3/4-inch scale, except maybe the hilt would be too small to break apart. Still, at this point, I’m just happy to get a figure that looks this good and feels like Hasbro put a lot of work into it. Sabine from Rebels has already been confirmed for the Black Series, and I seriously hope that Hasbro plans to follow through with the rest of the crew at least.