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Review : Star Wars Black Series Kanan Jarrus, Rebels


In 2020, Hasbro announced a new packaging format for the Star Wars Black Series. This Phase 4 packaging would be called the Galaxy Collection. This new format would group figures by movie or series - and would launch with two waves. Wave 1 was a mixed wave, while a 2nd wave would be a special release for Rebels. It would finally complete the Ghost crew with the release of Zeb as a Deluxe figure. It would also repack the previous Rebels figures, updating those who predated face printing to an improved decor. In this review we will be taking a look at the re-released Kanan Jarrus.

Packaging 4.0


Kanan is packed in the new for 2020 Galaxy Collection (Phase 4) packaging. It retains the exact same dimensions as the previous box but now has a cut in angled side spine on the right hand side. Here we have character specific artwork with a specific colour hue running through it which is unique to Rebels. The artwork links in to previous and future releases and allows boxed collectors to display these at an angle to create a large montage of images. The image for Kanan shows him in his Season 1 outfit. His lightsaber is lit and held out front. Like the figure itself, the artwork converts Kanan from the animated style to what we see in Rebels to a more real life look. There is certainly some influence from voice actor Freddie Prinze Jr. in the illustration.


The purple hue for rebels continues throughout the box with a purple stripe running under the window on the front, where it is confirmed this is a Star Wars Rebels release. Under this is the character name, also in purple. The stripe then continues round the left hand side where it angles upward and continues onto the back of the box where it provides a divider between the lower legal and safety text to the figure details above. The new figures still have a numbering system, which is now specific to the source material. Kanan is REB 04 and this numbering designation sits on the box reverse within the purple border stripe. Above this is another zoomed in version of the Kanan artwork and some top line background text in 4 languages.


"Not every Jedi perished in Order 66. Kanan Jarrus survived the Emperor's purge, going underground for years and hiding the truth about who he really was"



The shape of the new packaging dictates the need for quite a lot of sealing tape on the top flap and the straight left hand spine - this does look messy against the duller black of the new box. It is easiest to extract Kanan via the base flap which is only held in with one piece of tape. The innards of the box slide out complete, including the window front which is part of the inner tray. Kanan is set against a plain grey neutral card back - there is no re-use of the purple here and this grey is consistent on all Galaxy Collection releases.


The figure, blaster and lightsaber are held into the inner tray purely by the way it is shaped, there are no ties or straps to cut through or untangle and nothing is taped into place.

Paint & Sculpt 4.5


Kanan features the same head sculpt from the original 2016 release, but is now hugely enhanced thanks to face print technology. The sculpt takes elements from the animated Kanan and with influences from the voice actor to create a real world version of Kanan. The new face print application gives the eyes a much more realistic look with shading around the facial features to enhance the sculpt. The hair is swept back and painted quite simply in brown. The facial hair is a sculpted element so it remains painted like the hair. I wonder how much better a face printed version would be when we consider the success of some other facial hair applications on recent Black Series and Marvel Legends figures.


Kanan is wearing his outfit from the early Rebels season. It is made up of a green suit with two tones of green with a strapped on shoulder armour piece complete with white graffiti artwork on the shoulder pauldron. The legs are a grey leading down to knee pads and two tone boots. A belt and holster is in situ and all of the fastenings on the shoulder armour and the belt are well painted with silver clasps and fasteners.


The colours on Kanan in Rebels are reasonably subtle compared to some of the others, and there has been further toning back in the colours used for this figure. While there is no weathering as such, the textures of the body sections help add some depth simply via the way the light falls. The paint on my review figure was clean and crisp with no obvious issues.



The original Kanan is now 4 years old, and this new 2020 version is a direct re-use. There are significant improvements in the head with the face print tech making a big difference. There also seems to have been a tweak to the pony tail which sits more naturally at the back of the head rather than sticking out.


There are some very minor colour variances, but these are to be expected with two factory runs four years apart.



Accessories 4.0


Kanan comes with his DL-18 blaster, the same as the previous release. It is shaped well enough, but is a little soft in the details when you look closer. The blaster is cast in grey with a silver dry brush applied. The blaster sits into Kanan's right hand and when not in use it slots into the holster on his belt.



While the inclusion of the blaster is nice, and relevant to the character, it is the lightsaber that is the star of the accessories for Kanan. It arrives assembled in the box with a silver hilt and translucent blue blade. The blade arrived warped on my Kanan, a result of it being restrained in the box top and bottom - nothing hot water won't sort. Like all Black Series sabers, the blade can be removed from the hilt so you can have a lit or unlit option for Kanan.

There is then a pretty cool feature on the hilt that those who had the first figure will know about, but there is nothing in or on the box that explains to new collectors how it works. As we see in the show, Kanan's saber splits into two pieces that he then wears on his belt as a disguise to it being a lightsaber. The top emitter comes off and there is a shaped piece that slots into a socket on the front of Kanan's belt. The rear part of the saber then has a simple piece that slots into another socket on the back of the belt.



Articulation 3.5


The one disadvantage of Kanan being an older body is that he misses out on some of the newer articulation used on other Jedi characters. He comes in with 16 points of articulation in total.


Head : ball joint neck with pivot

Body : ball joint torso

Arms : ball joint shoulder, single joint rotating elbow, wrist pivot

Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rocker


The head is pretty mobile and the pivot set far enough up the neck so it is not visible and therefore not an eyesore. The chest joint can rotate, but adds no real movement in terms of ab crunch or allowing Kanan to lean into a pose.


The shoulder joint is blocked on the right arm due to the pauldron which halts the arm being raised all the way up. There is however enough motion in the elbows and wrist joints for action posing with the weapons, including just about getting into a two handed saber grip.



The legs joints should offer a full range of motion including the ability to kneel or crouch, but the holster does block the movement needed on the right leg to achieve these. Kanan also has a few stability issues once you move beyond a neutral stance and a stand may be needed for more action oriented posing.


All Kanan's joints are tight and secure with no obvious issues.



Summary


There is no escaping that this is essentially a repack of an existing figure, but it does bring some improvements to that original figure via the face print tech. One of the niggles in the Black Series at the moment is when figures are sat side by side with such a gulf in finish where older figures didn't get the face print. By repacking Kanan and the others with this update the Hasbro team have ensured our full crew is given an update. That being said, it would have been nice to throw in a bit of added value - perhaps a 2nd head with his eye injury, or perhaps the mask he uses to face down Maul (although I know this was a different outfit in a much later season).



I do like the new packaging and they are growing on me as I open more and more of them and see the montage build and develop when the boxes are side by side. It also struck me today that I could open the box and display the figure and the side art without it looking too odd that the boxes were empty.


I am pleased with the new Kanan and while I think Hasbro could have snuck in a little bit more variance to the older figure, he certainly feels much more worth buying than the repacks of Chopper and Ezra in the same wave. I score Kanan Jarrus, Jedi Knight, a total of 4.0




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