Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Before The Clone Wars, there was Clone Wars - an animated series of short episodes drawn and developed by Genndy Tartakovsky. They were based in the same era of the Clone Wars as the subsequent longer running series headed by Dave Filoni. One of the iconic images from the show was Obi-Wan Kenobi garbed in Clone Armour and leading his troops to battle. Roll forward 16 years and the Hasbro team have developed this into a new Black Series Exclusive figure, the first from the Tartakovsky series.
Clone Commander Obi-Wan sits in the phase 3 packaging with black box, red card back and right hand side spine. As an exclusive their is no numbering system, and the figure has arguably one of the longest titles with Clone Commander Obi-Wan Kenobi which itself is then underscored with a French translation underneath.
The figure is exclusive to Walgreens in the US, but is a shared worldwide exclusive. Our figure was imported, hence comes with the Far East over sticker on the reverse of the packaging. On the back of the card is a short piece of background text which is quite wide ranging in terms of Obi-Wan's history in the Star Wars saga.
"A legendary Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi was a noble man and gifted in the ways of the Force. He trained Anakin Skywalker, served as a general in the Republic Army during the Clone Wars, and guided Luke Skywalker as a mentor."
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
The figure brings us a brand new, and hugely improved Revenge of the Sith era Ewan McGregor head sculpt. The hair is longer and combed with a side parting and the beard full and bushy. The face uses print technology with the eyes being the key part as they peer out intensely under his fringe.
After the head sculpt, the body is a direct re-use of the original 2014 Clone Trooper body. The Clone Trooper has been the most reused Star Wars figure to date in the Black Series, spawning a number of varieties. This Obi-Wan version tweaks the base figure slightly with the addition of two roundels on the chest piece that hold in the soft goods robes. The robes are also tucked into the belt sculpt to hold them in place.
There is a disappointment with the re-use of the figure and that is the fact that Hasbro have not altered the right hand. This remains sculpted as a trigger finger and looks particularly odd when holding a lightsaber as we will see shortly.
The soft goods are OK, and are thin enough to flow naturally. There is a pattern within them that does stand out a little, and they are also a touch glossy under lights.
For 2019, and only in certain Exclusive figures, Hasbro added a clear triangular stand to the Black Series. The stand is substantial and includes an imprinted Star Wars Black Series logo. Rather than use traditional foot pegs, the stand has a shaped section into which you slide one of the figures feet. This fit is not overly tight for the Clone Trooper boots but will hold Obi-Wan in place.
Obi-Wan also comes with his lightsaber. This is the same sculpt as the previous saber used on the original Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan, although the paint job is sadly not as good. It is cast in a light grey and parts of the saber are left in this base colour and not painted metallic silver as they were on the original release. You do get a couple of black panels and gold around the base of the blade emitter.
The saber fits in either hand, but as mentioned the right hand still has the Clone Trooper trigger finger so can look a little odd. While they have not adjusted the hand, Hasbro have tweaked the Clone Trooper belt to include a small hole into which a peg on the side of the saber sits to hang it from Obi-Wan's belt. Like the stand, the fit is not very tight and the saber will drop out easily without much movement.
By sharing the original 2014 Clone Trooper body, the figure does carry the same level of articulation - and the same issues. The earlier trooper bodies in the series did include double jointed elbows. This sounds great on paper, but in reality a segment in the joint blocks anything more than a 90 degree bend and will stop double handed saber poses.
Head : ball joint pivot neck
Body : torso ball joint
Arms : ball joint shoulders, bicep swivel, double joint elbow, pivot wrist
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knee, ankle rocker
Like the original figure the arms are also restricted by the large shoulder armour panels which stop the arms being raised once they hit the chest armour.
Hasbro have also neglected to update the elbows to the ones used on Captain Rex. The Rex joints make much more use of the double joint elbows and can give a much wider range of motion. It seems odd that such a change could not be made for all Clone Trooper based figures after Rex?
Likewise, the top of the leg armour blocks a lot of the leg movement. This is where the inclusion of the stand does add value as the foot holder and shape of the stand does allow for some dynamic posing with the legs such as running or striking forward poses. The stand is robust enough to hold these in place.
During all poses the robes hold in place and flow naturally round the body which is a big step forward to earlier soft goods which could look a little stiff when the figure was posed.
Regardless of the source material, this is a great figure and a good exclusive format using an existing body and developing a couple of new parts. I would hope that head sculpt gets a repack onto the original or even a new Obi-Wan body - perhaps in the Archive collection?
There are a few articulation issues, and the pinky finger on the right hand is a bit annoying, but if you are a fan of the prequels and the Clone Wars era then I would go out and grab this figure while you can. I score it a 3 out of 5.