Nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker lives on the desert planet Tatooine where he serves the junk dealer Watto. He's a natural mechanic and talented pilot who doesn't realize that he's extraordinarily strong in the Force.
We have watched a few featurettes focusing on the making of Episode I in which George Lucas was interviewed about how he came up with the idea for the film. Interestingly, one scene in the featurette showed him having, what is in our interpretation, an arduous moment of writer’s block. “Now all I need is an idea” is what he claimed. (Uh, didn’t you have over 20 years to mentally work on the pre-story of the Classic Trilogy?) Now, that’s not to say that these moments of blankness transposed themselves into the film, but when you look at some of the cold hard details and facts in the film, you have to wonder if that had some way affected the storytelling. Did we really witness the Chosen One utter “Yippee!” and whine incessantly to the point that you were looking for the nearest sharp item to puncture your eardrums? Did we watch the one who would bring balance to the Force zip around Tatooine in more laps than we could count in the Boonta Eve Classic? Perhaps these questions put the cart before the horse and the real issue is that the character who would become Darth Vader did not need his back story taken back to the bed wetting phase. Clearly, young Anakin Skywalker isn’t one of our most favorite characters in the Star Wars saga, but Hasbro feels otherwise as they have released more Anakin Skywalker action figures than we care to admit in the basic figure line. And even a line look change couldn’t prevent them from delving into tooling an all-new sculpt for the Power Of The Jedi line, this time as a mechanic.
Podracers are a model of futuristic engineering using energy fields to bind massive turbines to a levitating cockpit via the most tenuous connections yet have the entire vehicle operate as a single harmonious unit. It therefore makes perfect sense that an eight year old slave with no formal education can not only repair but build these technological wonders [/sarcasm]. Podracers are the Star Wars equivalent of a Formula 1 race car and NHRA dragster rolled into one. Do you know what the one thing you will never see in the pit of either of those events is? STUPID KIDS WORKING ON THE CARS! Enough about the character. Let’s talk about the action figure. Anakin Skywalker (Mechanic) is the new addition in the family of young Anakin Skywalker figures based on his appearance in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The figure itself isn’t terrible, but it’s not wholly great either. Mostly swivel articulation, Anakin Skywalker (Mechanic) also comes with hinge-jointed knees which for us is a feature we’re not really sure if we understand all that well. As far as his arms, he only comes with swivel shoulders. So if you’re a mechanic, wouldn’t it make more sense to include the extra articulation in the arms? That would be our guess. Sadly, his arms lay too closely to his body and the hands aren’t big enough to accept the included tool. You can get it to stick in his right hand for a few seconds, but either gravity, or pressure forces his to drop the tool within moments. It is very, very frustrating. Maybe we should start whining like Anakin Skywalker and see if we get our own acceptable results.
The paint job is more than fair and the likeness and sculpt are above average. We just don’t know if we were looking for an update to Anakin Skywalker in our collections so soon after the Episode I line retired. But we have to be fair and we have to credit Hasbro for making a truly unique version of this character for the basic figure line. It’s easy to complain, but it’s the right thing to do to acknowledge a figure’s merits as well. The bonus here is the unique Otoga-222 maintenance droid. It differs from the Episode I release (that was packed in with Ody Mandrell) and is shockingly an all-new sculpt. It is even bigger than the Episode I version. In all honesty it looks so similar, but we can find no shared parts, so it's more than safe to assume that the droid is all-new and not a simple retool. One thing we really do like about the Otoga-222 maintenance droid is the paint job. It’s a colorful droid full of rust and dirt. And we’re not hard to please when a figure gets great deco, so in that regard it is flawless. Besides, all of his limbs are removable for Anakin to work on him with the included accessory. Anakin Skywalker (Mechanic) also comes with an included Force File pack-in premium. Inside it’s loaded with details (screen accurate and EU related) to give kids (and collectors) play ideas and a background on the character. This isn’t the first young Anakin Skywalker action figure and it certainly won’t be the last. But it really isn’t a big step forward from what Hasbro has already given us in the Episode I line. If you’re considering this figure, it’s worth it for the droid accessory (which is really another whole figure), but beyond that , you may be left feeling unimpressed. (Editor's Note: This review was written by Paul Harrison and edited by Chris Swanski.)
About Chris Swanski: Chris Swanski is one of the co-owners and administrators of the tongue-in-cheek and brilliantly written BanthaSkull.com Star Wars fan site. We appreciate his willingness to edit this review in an effort to add his own two cents as well as enhance it with his own sarcastic style.
Anakin Skywalker (Mechanic) [& Otoga-222 Maintenance Droid]
Assortment Number: 84445/84254
Retail: $5.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Anakin Skywalker (Mechanic)
Status: Anakin Skywalker (Mechanic) is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 9 points (9 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), hinge-jointed left knee (1), hinge-jointed right knee (1)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: wrench
Date Stamp: 2000
[Otoga-222 Maintenance Droid]
Status: [Otoga-222 Maintenance Droid] is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 4 points (4 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1) (all limbs are removable)
Accessory Count: None
Accessory Details: None
Date Stamp: N/A