As fans get ready to add to their Star Wars collections on Force Friday II, new action figures of some key Last Jedi villains have been revealed. Writer/director Rian Johnson is set to open up the conflict between the Resistance and the First Order in his film, which means an abundance of merchandising opportunities for Lucasfilm's various partners. Though Supreme Leader Snoke allegedly remains a mystery in the film, audiences will get learn a little more about him and finally see the antagonist in the flesh. One of the more intriguing additions to the saga in Episode VIII are the elite praetorian guards, which are the sequels' answer to the royal guards that protected Emperor Palpatine. Based on their eye-catching design, they seemed they'd make for cool figures.
Due to the abundance of toy leaks The Last Jedi endured over the past couple of months, viewers have already known Hasbro was producing action figures for the likes of Snoke and his guards for a while. But now, with the big day right around the corner, it's time for the latest figures to officially get their moment in the spotlight as the company showcases their newest line.
Released as an exclusive to io9, there are four retailer exclusives that will be available. Snoke can only be found at GameStop, the individual guard is at Amazon, the 4-pack guards of evil (which spans the entire franchise) is exclusive to GameStop, the Disney Store, and Barnes & Noble, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi Force Ghost can be purchased at Walgreens. You can see them all in the gallery below:
[vn_gallery name="Hasbro Retailer Exclusive Force Friday II Figures" id="1055105"]
Of these, the Snoke figure will probably be the one that generates the most interest, as that character was completely absent during the Force Awakens merchandising rush. This is one of the best looks at the Supreme Leader we've gotten yet, giving viewers a taste of his physical appearance in The Last Jedi. In addition to the gold fabric robe (a sign of Snoke's opulence), the figure comes with a throne on which it can sit. The 4-pack of guards has a nice variety, starting with the blue Senate guards from the Republic and working its way to the praetorian forces from Episode VIII. The inclusion of Obi-Wan in this line is simply an original trilogy callback, as the toy is from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. This is not confirmation Kenobi's spirit will show up in Star Wars 8, though that is still possible at this point in time.
Fortunately, it doesn't appear any plot spoilers are included in these toys (which is wont to happen on occasion), keeping in line with the Lucasfilm tradition. The studio has been great at keeping critical information out of marketing materials, even withholding details from licensing partners to preserve surprises. It's certainly an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan, with Episode VIII set to take over the pop culture landscape through the fall and winter.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019