I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m gonna need two shelves for my Star Wars The Black Series Empire Strikes Back display. There’s no need to try and cram Hoth, Bespin and… Dagobah on one shelf. OK, maybe three. Today I’m looking at two core characters from the Bespin wing in Chewbacca and C-3PO, who are in rough shape after Lando’s betrayal. This set is absolutely essential for the final act of ESB and I’ve been eying it for months now. Let’s see if this noisy brute and Goldenrod were worth it.
Packaging: Bouncing back and forth between the newer packaging style and the classic style definitely helps me appreciate Hasbro deciding it was time for a change. In fairness the older packaging isn’t as plain with the two-packs.
Both figures are laid out prominently. Like most two packs this set isn’t numbered. The bio is written with a snapshot of the moment perspective as if almost being mindful of spoiling what’s to come. For whatever reason I like that approach here.
Likeness: The main telltale for the Star Wars and ESB version of Chewbacca is the head. His fur is raised up in the front almost as if he’s got thick eyebrows with a dramatic arc. This is otherwise the same as the New Hope version of Chewie.
C-3PO is very well sculpted with random wires hanging from his arms and leg sockets. The exposed wiring wasn’t haphazardly done either with some smart tangling and detailed work with the coils.
It’s not just a mass of black plastic and was done with great attention to detail.
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Paint: Chewie’s varying shades of brown is accomplished nicely here and there’s no slop with his bandolier. I was more impressed with how precise the work was around his eyes given how small and sunken in they are on the sculpt.
C-3PO is not in the pristine shape he was at the start of the movie and reflects the scorching from the blast marks. That’s a nice touch. It’s along his head and chest. Not all of the wires are colored — to be screen accurate — but the ones that are don’t have any slop or overspray.
Scale: Chewbacca is the measuring stick here for the line as he’s the tallest of the figures.
C-3PO doesn’t matter as much since he’s in a net at this point and is only standing by himself when he’s mostly fully assembled.
Articulation: I thought I was going to have some trouble with the bicep swivels, but Chewbacca doesn’t have any issue properly holding the Stormtrooper blaster. He’s not going to be able to raise it up to look through the sights, but it’s not like that ever helps the Stormtroopers, right?
He can choke out Lando no problem though.
C-3PO can be reassembled so his arm and leg sockets can be posed for full fussing at Chewbacca for putting him in jeopardy.
Chewbacca can turn OK with his head although that tends to make the bandolier drop so it’s not the best trade off. I wish he had a little more back and forth range so he could look down at people better. He’s also got some torso movement as well.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbow (with swivel)
- wrist hinge
Accessories: Depending on your perspective, 3PO is the accessory.
For argument’s sake let’s just focus on the extras. He has swappable arms and legs for the various stages of reconstruction. That’s a very useful breakdown of 3PO and allows for the completely scattered parts post-shooting, his initial look as Chewbacca starts putting him together in the cell and his nearly complete look as he’s back on the Falcon scolding R2-D2.
Most of this is kept together from the mesh net, which is a far better likeness than the old Kenner version I got 30 years ago. Pay attention to the instructions in terms of making this work properly. I took 3P0 out of the net to assemble him and it was a pain keeping the wire coverings back over the leg posts so I doubt I’ll ever feel the need to assemble him again.
I really appreciate the screen accuracy of this pack as Chewie doesn’t have his bowcaster rifle and has a confiscated Stormtrooper blaster instead.
Worth it? This set is typically $50, which is still a little high despite 3PO’s. versatility. I managed to get it for $35, which is a great deal for two SWB figures. Given the various Black Friday sales, I’d recommend waiting until it reaches that price point again.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
I’m not sure what else Hasbro could have added to this set. It’s a tremendous two-pack and added value with a completed, albeit dinged up 3P0.
Where to get it? This set is an Amazon exclusive so short of eBay this is your only option.