If it looks like a Stormtrooper and sounds like a Stormtrooper, it may, in fact, be George Lucas in disguise. At least, it might be, if the Stormtrooper comes from Hasbro.
Timed to coincide with the 50th annivesary of Lucas’s production company, Lucasfilm, Hasbro recently announced the debut of the fourth wall breaking action figure for 2022. The figure, which will release as part of the Star Wars Black Series, features Lucas in classic Stormtrooper armor and will be accessorized with a blaster and helmet to complete the disguise.
“As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I have both the honor and privilege to bring characters from the franchise to life in product form every single day.” Vickie Stratford, the senior director of product design at Hasbro was quoted as saying on StarWars.com. “When the opportunity came to design the George Lucas figure, we were especially excited for this project. This figure is just one of the many ways we can honor his legacy for years to come and we hope fans cherish it as much as we did!”
Hasbro is the heir to the Kenner Star Wars toy legacy, having bought the company in the early 1990s. Kenner acquired the toy license after Lucas won the rights to merchandising from Fox during negotiations for the distribution of The Empire Strikes Back. Kenner continued production of toys under its license until 1985, with the release of the Power of the Force line and the cancellation of the line called The Epic Continues that would have hit the market in 1986.
In 1995, Hasbro revived the Star Wars figure line with the release of the Power of the Force II series, and have been continually and successfully marketing the franchise ever since. The Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker collection is their most recent release, and the basic series from the original Kenner line is still a sought after collection to this day, with Luke Skywalker going for nearly a hundred dollars each in the third party market as of 2019.
While the upcoming Lucas figure is likely to be a sought after collectible in its own right, being an anniversary edition, this release will not be Lucas’s first time being immortalized in plastic. Lucas’s first figure was produced in 2002 for Star Wars Celebration II. The figure, featuring Lucas’s likeness on an existing pilot body and paired with a Micro Machines X Wing, was called ‘Commander Jorg Sacul.’ The figure was otherwise typical for the period, featuring standard articulation.
His second figure came as a mail away exclusive as part of the then-new Vintage Collection in 2006. As was fairly standard with most all mail away exclusives of both Hasbro and Kenner properties, it was available for $4.95 plus five proofs of purchase. This figure put a new Lucas head on the existing Stormtrooper body, echoing Lucas’s likeness from the 70’s and including a similar helmet and blaster accessory set to the upcoming release, all packaged on a classic Kenner Stormtrooper card back.
The third Lucas figure was, technically, not a figure of George Lucas himself, but of his cameo role in Revenge of the Sith as Baron Papanoida. The part is, to date, Lucas’s only cameo in a Star Wars film, and the action figure came as part of a StarWarsShop.com exclusive set featuring not only Lucas as Papanoida, but his three children Jett, Amanda, and Katie who had cameo roles of their own. The figure is the only entirely original creation that bears Lucas’s likeness, and also shares ties to The Clone Wars animated series, where the character of Baron Papanoida mades an appearance in one episode.
Liz Carlie, the Mad Woman with a Box, a regular book reviewer for SCIFI.radio and a regular guest on ‘The Event Horizon’. She has been in and around science fiction fandom for years, and works with the American Red Cross on blood drives at science fiction conventions all over Southern California.