Updated: Apr 17
The first Star Wars Black Series from Episode 9, The Rise of Skywalker, started to hit stores as of the 4th October 2019 - badged as Triple Force Friday. There was a base wave of 8 figures, including 4 from Episode 9. One of these was the Sith Trooper, a figure that had been released as a San Diego Exclusive in July in special packaging and with additional weapons.
The first wave was also available as First Editions in special white boxes.
You can checkout the Exclusive Carbonized release here
The Sith Trooper is available in numerous packaging options including the Carbonized Exclusive which we will compare against as we go through the review. It also comes in the White First Edition box, but the contents and figure in this version are identical to the one we are reviewing.
The usual phase 3 packaging designs apply with the black box, red spine and red backing card. There is a new addition to the front of the box in the Age 4+ white circle, this may be part of the new global packaging strategy.
Our Sith Trooper is number 92 in the phase 3 packaging. The character is illustrated with the usual Gregory Titus the lined artwork of the Sith Trooper helmet and shoulders, and round the back of the box is a short write up.
"In its ultimate push towards galactic conquest, the First order readies and army of elite soldiers that draw inspiration and power from a dark and ancient legacy."
Like other red figures - Praetorian and Imperial Guards - the Sith Trooper does get lost in the packaging against a very similar red coloured background
You can see the direct side by side comparison here with the Carbonized version. The numbering, character name and the back text are all identical - as is the illustration, just presented in grey on the basic release and in black on the Carbonized version.
There is a stark contrast in card backs with the Carbonized trooper on sleek foil black which does make him stand out. The regular release is red on red which does leave him a little lost in the box as mentioned above.
You will also notice in these side by side shots that the Carbonized Trooper is sold short on weapons, coming with one blaster and not two like the Regular version.
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
The Sith Trooper is a new designation of Trooper, and while it looks very similar to previous First Order Stormtroopers it is a brand new sculpt throughout. The helmet and armour is more angular and is textured in places where the basic First Order Troopers are smooth. You have other new touches like the gubbins on the shoulder armour.
The standard release is cast in the red armour plastic with black added where required. There are no other colours on the figure but where black has been painted to define the visor or the panel indications, the application is very neat.
The finish on the figure is good and I prefer it over the Carbonized version, it could just do with being slightly glosier and perhaps have some variations of red to define different parts of the armour.
Aside from the paint job, both Sith Troopers are identical in sculpt and construction.
I may be controversial here but I find the Carbonized version looks mucky and too dark and on a side by side comparison I am still leaning towards the look of the regular release which is crisper and more defined.
The Sith Trooper is armed with two weapons. The first is a new blaster rifle and includes a chunkier barrel, and a sort of mini sights on top. It is cast in grey with parts picked out in the same red colouring as the figure - its just a bit duller being painted on over dark grey. The end of the barrel and sites are picked out in silver.
It fits into the Trooper's right hand, but the fit is not overly snug when you bring the trigger finger into play. It seems to tip the blaster too much and then the bottom grip can be lost. Takes a bit of teasing into place.
The second weapon is a smaller blaster, again cast in a dark grey with red highlighted panels. This is a much better fit into the right hand.
What is cool for both of these weapons is the continuation of the holstering function. The Sith Trooper has a slot in his right thigh into which a panel on the gun slot for holstering.
The larger blaster rifle is packed with both Carbonized and Standard versions of the Sith Trooper. The only difference is the red paint on the blaster which is darker metallic on the Carbonized version.
The Sith Trooper has 18 points of articulation. While this is a full new body, it does have some of the same articulation issues as other armoured troopers. But the weapon posing is helped by the inclusion of the new butterfly shoulder joints.
Head : pivot ball joint neck
Body : torso ball joint
Arms : ball joint shoulder, butterfly shoulder joint, single joint rotating elbow, pivot wrist
Legs : ball joint hip, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rocker
The shoulders cannot raise more than a few degrees as the shoulder armour hits the chest armour and blocks the movement. The head will rotate but can't seem to look up or down, it moves that way but springs back to the starting position. The torso joint is more maneuverable.
Leg joints are much better and the legs can move fully into wider stances and even kneeling positions are possible with the double joint knees. The figure stands perfectly well.
The Sith Trooper is the poster Trooper for Episode 9 and its a great launch figure, even with the multiple versions. This basic version is cheaper than the Exclusives, but still boasts more accessories than the Carbonized version along with the same sculpt and articulation.
I think the paint job on the standard version is more figure friendly than the metallic red of the Carbonized version and looks nicer on display and possibly more accurate to the on screen Trooper.
I score the Sith Trooper a 4 out of 5.