Review : Chirrut Imwe (Rogue One)
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : Wave 10 (Phase 3)
Released : March 2017
Price : £24.99
After pushing out a raft of Jyn figures across the first few releases, Wave 10 finally see's us able to complete the Rogue One team with the release of Baze Malbus and the figure we are taking a closer look at here - Chirutt Imwe.
Chirutt is number 36 in the Phase 3 releases, and on first glance it follows the Phase 3 design with its gloss black packaging with vibrant red spine and figure insert card. It does however reflect a running change in the Black Series packaging for the first time mid-phase.
While not a huge change, you will see that the bottom half of card front is now a lot deeper and extends further up into the window box. While this covers some of the figures feet, it does open up more room for the line drawn art and allows the safety notice to shift side rather than be planted on top of the art.
To the left side (as you look) the side panel has also been widened - cutting down the window space again while allowing the large print of the character name to be easier to read. The red character print moves up slightly and more central while staying the same size overall.
For MIB collectors, the opening up of the artwork is a nice touch - but to change a box design mid-range will potentially frustrate some collectors.
Round the back and the four language background text remains, and talks about Chirrut's spiritual belief and his allegiance to the Force. Out of the box and the figure sits in the inner tray surrounded by his staff on one side and his light-bow on the other.
With the figure in hand the first thing that struck me is the head sculpt which is a really great likeness to Donnie Yen - one of the better sculpts we've seen on a human character in the Black Series. The head is cast in a flesh tone, so there are no other skin tone paint applications. The sculpt however is strong enough to use light and shadow to define the face. The eye brows are badly painted with clear flesh colour visible underneath, this is a disappointment.
The same can be said of the eyes. Chirrut is blind, and in the movie this was replicated with the milky tone of the eyes and the faded iris. Here the iris is a bit too blow, and doesn't quite capture the same look Chirrut has in the film. You will find yourself thinking the figure is staring at you, rather than representing a blind character. Like the face, the hair is also a single tone and perhaps a touch too shiny.
I obviously hadn't paid enough attention to the promotional images for the figure as I was surprised to find the outfit for Chirrut was part sculpted and part soft goods. The top half of the figure is a simple black robe. And when I say simple I am doing the sculptor a dis-service as up close you can see lots of detail in this robe with varying textures, panels and seams. A lot of this detail is lost as the whole piece, arms included, is cast in a black plastic and has no wash or dry-brush application to just make that detail pop. Down the left arm of the figure we do get a white strap on the bicep and a large bracer come glove on the hand. Both are painted onto the black with an off white tone, and the bicep strap in particular isn't too neat and looks quite dirty where the black is coming through. The bracer is a nicer finish with added silver and red details added. The two hands are the same flesh colour plastic as the face.
Across the chest of Chriutt is a white sash come belt which is cast as a separate piece in off white rubber. Like the clothing there is a lot of detail on this up close, but without a wash to bring it out it gets lost at a distance. From the point all three straps converge hangs a device of some kind which was never really explained in the film. In terms of replication, the figure piece is a good go and it is painted really neatly considering there are at least four different colours at play.
Spin Chirutt round and the strap actually attaches to a rubberised cloak round the back. As we saw with Krennic, sculpted cloaks have come a long way on the Black Series and this piece is folded and creased really nicely with an underlying texture to it. It is one colour though and again a tad too shiny.
The lower half of the figure starts with eastern inspired pantaloons which billow out and down to the ankle. Despite being hidden these carry the same cloth behaviour with creases and folds. They are again a one tone black colour. The legs finish in grey slip on ankle boot. Around the legs are an arrangement of soft goods. The first is an inner skirt of red, a colour and cloth that I would expect to be seen again on the Royal Guard. This wraps both legs and then splits at the front. On top of this is a black skirt which is offset to the left of the figure, this has an added detail of a red and white seam trim that is applied on top of the cloth with some kind of fabric paint. Where this outer skirt comes together on the right hand side it turns into two tie sashes. These are not actually tied, but rather stitched. Sadly they don't behave particularly naturally and stick out to the side of the figure.
Accessories for Chirrut start with his staff. This is a single piece cast in brown plastic. While some areas of the staff are a good look of gnarled wood, others look crude and lumpy. There is a metal cap to the cane and a hand grip (yes I think the staff was the wrong way round in our images - sorry). I felt the staff was probably too short when I first unpacked it, but it is actually a touch too long - with the prop only reaching the characters armpit.
The light-bow is an articulated weapon with the two arches of the bow folding out on a hinge. It is designed in two pieces with the "rifle" part coming apart from the bow if you wish. It's made of that cheaper plastic we saw a lot of on the Force Awakens weapons, this means what should be an intricately carved weapon actually carries very little detail. There is a good application of gold paint to try and help this, but compared to the prop this doesn't get close.
Articulation starts with the ball jointed head which has a full range of movement. The arms are then ball jointed at the shoulder with a swivel joint at the elbow. The hands are pegged on both sides so rotate and pivot as needed. This all means that holding the staff or the light-bow isn't a problem, and the light-bow can be put in some good firing poses.
A waist joint can be felt under the soft goods, but it doesn't move. That means the hips are the next points of any great movement, ball jointed as usual and supported a bit further down with a thigh swivel. The knees are double jointed, allowing for Chirrut to kneel easily with the soft goods having enough movement to flow round adjusted leg poses. Articulation ends with ankle rockers, which on mine are sadly very loose and are impacting the figures stability.
My final observation, or rather lack of, is I had hoped that when not in use the light-bow could be slung on Chirrut's back as seen in the movie. It would have only needed an added strap or even a hook or peg/socket mechanism on the back of the figure. Instead the best you can probably do is to slot the bow in the cloak and hope for the best.
I love the Chirrut Imwe character in Rogue One and it is brilliant that as collectors we can add him to the Rebels line up alongside Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO. Sculpturally he is one of the best looking human figures for a while, and yet it doesn't capture the figure in terms of how they have painted his eyes and lost that "look" that Yen carries so well in the movie. Some of the paint is sloppy and the light-bow a bit disappointing in terms of design, finish and its ability to be slung. There is also a stability problem with those loose ankles. Chirrut is far from a disaster, and will look great on your display. It's just at a time where Black Series are hitting £25 a pot I feel the notch needs to go up a little on paint, quality and design.
I award Chirrut Imwe a 3 out of 5.