STAR WARS (KENNER)
You guys know what day it is, right? It’s May 4th, otherwise known as Star Wars Day! Clearly, I have to review something Star Wars-related.
Star Wars is populated by a plethora of fascinating creatures; some are big, and some are quite small. Today’s focus is an example of the small: the Jawas. Yes, those tiny, little hooded guys, whose actual appearance will forever be shrouded in mystery. The Jawas have been with the franchise from the very beginning, even in action figure form, being one of three alien races to find their way into the original line-up of twelve figures. I’ll be looking at that very first Jawa figure today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Jawa was part of the first retail assortment of Star Wars figures from Kenner, released back in 1978. Unlike later Jawas, which were released in pairs or with smaller droids, this guy was released all by himself. The figure stands about 2 inches tall and he has 4 points of articulation. There were two distinct versions of the Jawa available: one with a cloth robe (the one seen here), and one with a plastic cape (similar to those seen on Princess Leia, Ben Kenobi, and Darth Vader). The end result is two very different looking figures that are fundamentally the same figure at the end of the day. The cloth robe is a bit thick and cumbersome, truth be told, and it really doesn’t fit the figure all that well. When placed on the figure, the actual figure might as well not be there, since you can’t see it at all for all the fabric. It’s a good idea in theory, but doesn’t work so well in practice. What’s under the robe is a whole different story; the underlying figure is fully sculpted, and actually does a pretty decent job of capturing the look of the Jawas seen in the movie. It even has the two bandoliers, which are unseen with the robe in place. Sure, the sculpt isn’t on par with the level of detail seen on more recent Jawas. It has a much more cartoony appearance, proportions that would be more appropriate on a figure twice the size, and those strange pantsuit legs that plagued all of the robed characters in the vintage line, but the general look is definitely there. There’s no denying that this is a Jawa. The Jawa’s paintwork is rather basic: he’s mostly just molded in the appropriate brown, with paint for his face and eyes, hands, and the bandoliers. What’s there is relatively clean, apart from the obvious wear that the figure has taken over time. The Jawa originally included a small blaster.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When I was a kid, my dad gave me his collection of Star Wars figures. It consisted of eleven of the original twelve figures. Care to guess which of the twelve he didn’t have? It was the Jawa (in recent years, I’ve asked him why he never got the Jawa, to which he had no real answer beyond a vague sort of a shrug). Over the holidays, I found this figure at an antique store, and Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on buying it for me. So, 37 years later, my dad’s first assortment of Star Wars figures is complete. That’s pretty nifty.