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Review : Star Wars Black Series Princess Leia (Bespin Escape), The Empire Strikes Back




Welcome to my review of the Princess Leia Bespin Escape 6 inch Black Series figure from Hasbro. This Black Series release is an exclusive to Target stores in the US, and a shared exclusive across the rest of the world - meaning it is not numbered and is available to numerous retailers outside of the states. Leia is wearing her outfit from the end of Empire Strikes Back as she works reluctantly with Lando to escape Cloud City and hopefully rescue Han Solo on the way.


Packaging  4/5


Leia sits in the standard Black Series phase 3 box with gloss black colouring and red figure backdrop and side spine. Her character name is also picked out in red text and unusually for the Black Series Leia gets the Bespin Escape sub title in brackets to confirm her outfit. Being exclusive there is no numbering system so the gloss red side spine has a black shaded square instead. 


The Gregory Titus artwork is a side shot of Leia with her Bespin jumpsuit and hair style. This is blown up on the reverse and sids underneath the basic bio text. The text is identical to the blurb used on the #30 Princess Leia from A New Hope. 


"Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance's greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. With her quick-thinking and inspired leadership, Leia ranks among the galaxy's great heroes."

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Sculpt & Paint  3/5


The likeness to Carrie Fisher from the Empire Strikes back is stunning on this figure - utilising the face print technology fantastically well. It is another female likeness knocked out of the park by the face printing across both Star Wars and Marvel licences. The eyes are hyper realistic and the skin tones are gradual around the eyes and the features of the face. The hair is well realised in the looped plaited style, although it is painted a plain brown.


The rest of the body is well proportioned, but is essentially a white jumpsuit. There is patterning in the sculpt but all of it is cast in white plastic with zero paint application. The body also suffers from having originally come off the Hoth Leia figure which is wearing a body warmer. Without the coat section there is quite a gap around the shoulders and again in the waist, particularly when they are posed. Interestingly these wider gaps around the two joints do have a benefit to articulation as we will see.




Articulation  4/5


The flip side of those gappy sections around the shoulders and waist is a wider range of movement in the articulation. Leia has 16 points of articulation and as you pose her you can see why the decision has been made over those wide gaps at the shoulders and waist. The arms start with a ball joint shoulder, the wider gap allows that to come in more than usual and this helps in two handed weapon poses later on without adding a butterfly joint and/or double jointed elbows. The elbows stay as rotating ball joints and the wrists as a pivot peg.


The head is a ball joint with full movement, and the same applies to the waist. Bending this does reveal more of this rounded waist and leaves gaps, but it again helps in action poses.


The legs are the usual layout of ball jointed hips, thigh swivel, double jointed knees and ankle rockers. This leaves Leia able to squat, sit, run or adopt a wider action stance - with appropriate stand where needed. There is one kicker when you do this as there is an ugly great copyright notice in silver text on the inside of one leg - why can't these go out of sight Hasbro?




Accessory  3/5


Leia is armed with the E-11 Stormtrooper blaster, which is of course screen accurate to the Bespin Escape scenes. The gun is well used as a cast, with this being the original E-11 and not the tweaked version from 2016 that came with a number of Rogue One troopers. It is cast in black plastic with no paint apps added.


It fits into Leia's right hand and with some coaxing a trigger finger will slot into the blasters trigger. The arm articulation allows for two handed posing, with the left hand cupping the barrel securely. This leads to the best poses for Leia, recreating the oft used shot of her running down the Bespin corridor with the blaster.





Summary


Bespin Escape Leia gives us probably the best Carrie Fisher likeness so far in the line, and alongside the Bespin Han she looks great. Some may argue the red dress outfit is more iconic, but I almost guarantee that is in the works for a carded Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary line in 2020.


The body is a bit plain, although I am not sure what else could have been done other than a very subtle off white wash to add depth. The gun is a re-use, but is screen accurate and it is good to see the articulation lends itself to the two handed pose she uses during much of the chase.

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With only a couple of gripes around the shoulder and waist joints, I score Bespin Escape Princess Leia a solid 4 out of 5. 




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