Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Road to Rise of the Skywalker: Emperor Palpatine and Throne from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    On December 20th, 2019 Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of the Skywalker will hit theaters and it seems like Sheev Palpatine is going to be making a reappearance.I'm pretty excited for that and I'm really, really hoping that an appropriate mixture of material from the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy will make Rise of the Skywalker a satisfying conclusion to the Trilogy of Trilogies, particularly after how disappointed I was by The Last Jedi. Regardless, we're getting some cool merchandise from Hasbro and today I'm checking out the Amazon exclusive Emperor Palpatine and Throne set from Star Wars: The Black Series. Emperor Palpatine was released in the Black Series nearly five years ago (way back in Phase II) but that figure was a little disappointing. Rather than simply re-release him in the Archive Series with a redone headsculpt, Hasbro fixed most of the problems with the original figure, threw in some additional portraits and the Emperor's throne, and are offering him as a deluxe set. Ready to see this new and improved version of the Emperor? Then join me after the break...

 The Facts:

Height: 5 7/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: Cloak, walking stick, three interchangeable heads, 2 regular hands, 2 lightning hands, throne, and throne base.

Non-Scalper Price: $40 dollars

*On the left is the new Phase III Emperor Palpatine while the Phase II Emperor Palpatine is on the right. The two figures are very similar with the following differences: The headsculpt has the new faceprinting technology, there are paint applications on the hands, the robes are slightly different (the new robe is a bit shinier), and now the lower body features a soft robe rather than plastic, allowing the figure to actually sit down.
 The Positives:

* Overall Palpatine just looks better thanks to his new outer robe and the interior robe that now covers his lower body, too. The Emperor has a pretty simple costume that is very dependent on the shape of the robe, which can be more difficult to capture when using actual soft goods, but I think Hasbro did a pretty decent job here. The shape of the hood is especially well done and it sits quite well over the Emperor's head.

* The first portrait is the same as the one included with the figure's original release, though this time the paint applications are so much better. The face printing really captures the look of Ian McDiarmid from Return of the Jedi quite well, clearly marking this is an OT era Palpatine rather than Palpatine from the Prequels (who deserves his own figure/ figures).

* The second face captures a very angry Palpatrine with a truly nasty grimace on his face. Check out those eyes! They're very, very wicked.

 * Last up is my favorite: Darth Sidious emitting a menacing chuckle. He never seems more evil than when he's cackling over his evil plans or Luke Skywalker's attempts to turn Darth Vader back to the Light Side of the Force.

* Palpatine has the same articulation as the original figure, which means he has double hinged elbows, but he can now use all of the articulation in his lower body, too. The fabric lower robes on this updated Palpatine now allow for better leg motion and the ability for Palpatine to sit down on his throne.

 * Besides his regular hands, Palpatine now comes with a set of Force lightning hands. They look pretty cool as they're molded in translucent blue plastic an transition nicely from the lightning effect to his hands. The two biggest issues with the original Palpatine was that he couldn't sit down and he couldn't shoot Force lightning. Now bot of those problems are rectified!

* Emperor Palpatine also comes with his cane, which appears to be the same accessory as was included with the original release. It's a fine accessory, so no change was really needed at all here.

 * One of the big selling points of this set is the Emperor's throne. It's made of two separate pieces (the base is removable) and can swivel at the base. The purple padding of the seat looks great and Palpatine fits into the throne perfectly. There are lots of cool little details, too, making this an excellent backdrop for your Black Series figures.

 * The panels on the sides are also fairly detailed with multiple paint applications.
 The Negatives:

* There are a few negative aspects to this figure, mainly the fact that the hands and the heads are fairly difficult to swap. They require a lot of force and the hands seem like they could be a bit flimsy, so be careful when swapping things out.
   This set is definitely an improvement over the original release and there's really no flaws with the Emperor himself other than that it's a bit difficult to switch out the hands and extra headsculpts. The throne is pretty cool, too, and makes a welcome accessory for the figure. The figure costs around $40 bucks though, which makes it seem around $5-$10 dollars overpriced. Still, it's tough to really skip this set if you're an Original Trilogy fan. It's still a Great set and lots of fun. Combine this with Luke, Vader, and some Royal Guards and you're in for a good time!

   If you're interested in Darth Sidious/ Emperor Sheev Palpatine I have reviewed a few other figures bearing his likeness in including the Black Series Emperor Palpatine, the Hero Mashers Yoda Vs. Emperor Palpatine set, the Micro Machines Darth Sidious from the Episode 1 Collection IV set, the Micro Force Emperor Palpatine, and the holographic red Emperor Palpatine from the Micro Force Advent Calendar.

For more Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III, check out the following:
0-0-0 (Triple Zero)
442nd Siege Battalion Clone Trooper, 212th Attack Battalion Utapau Trooper, Coruscant Guard ---(Phase II), and 501st Legion Clone Trooper 4 pack
Admiral Ackbar and First Order Officer
Admiral Piett
Ahsoka Tano 
AT-AT Pilot 
Battle Droid
Baze Malbus
BT-1 (Beetee)
C-3PO (Resistance Base) 
Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu) 
Captain Phasma
Captain Phasma (Quicksilver Baton)
Captain Poe Dameron
Chewbacca (Target Exclusive)
Chewbacca (The Force Awakens)
Chirrut Imwe 
Chopper (C1-10P)
Clone Captain Rex (HasCon Exclusive)
Clone Commander Gree
Clone Commander Wolffe 
Constable Zuvio
Darth Revan 
Darth Vader (Emperor's Wrath)
Death Star Trooper
Dewback/ Sandtrooper
Director Krennic 
DJ (Canto Bight)
Doctor Aphra
Dryden Vos
Elite Praetorian Guard
Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade)
Enfys Nest's Swoop Bike/ Enfys Nest
Ezra Bridger
Finn (First Order Disguise)
Finn (FN-2187)
Finn (Jakku)
First Order Flametrooper
First Order General Hux
First Order Snowtrooper
First Order Snowtrooper Officer
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
First Order Stormtrooper
First Order Stormtrooper Executioner 
First Order Stormtrooper (with Gear)
First Order TIE Fighter Pilot
Gamorrean Guard
General Grievous
General Leia Organa
General Veers
Grand Admiral Thrawn (SDCC Exclusive)
Grand Moff Tarkin 
Guardians of Evil 4-Pack
Guavian Enforcer
Han Solo (Exogorth Escape)
Han Solo (Mimban)
Han Solo (Solo)
Han Solo (The Force Awakens)
Hera Syndulla
Imperial AT-ACT Driver
Imperial Death Trooper
Imperial Death Trooper, Captain Cassian Andor, and Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha) 3 pack
Imperial Hovertank Pilot 
Imperial Jumptrooper
Imperial Patrol Trooper
Imperial Shock Trooper 
Imperial Royal Guard 
Inferno Squad Agent
Jaina Solo (Legends)
Jango Fett
Kanan Jarrus
Kylo Ren 
Kylo Ren (SDCC 2016)
Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi) 
Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base)
Kylo Ren (Throne Room) 
Lando Calrissian (Solo)
Lando Calrissian (The Empire Strikes Back)
Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard)
Luke Skywalker 
Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape)
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master)- Ahch-To Island
Mace Windu
Maz Kanata 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Force Spirit)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Padawan) 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC 2016) 
Padme Amidala
Phase 1 Clone Trooper Commander, Phase II Clone Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper, and First Order ---Stormtrooper Officer four pack
Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron and First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper
Princess Leia (Bespin Escape)
Princess Leia Organa 
Princess Leia Organa (Hoth)
Qi'ra (Corellia)
Qui-Gon Jinn
R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2
Range Trooper
Rebel Trooper
Red Squadron (R2-D2, R5-D8, and R2-X2)
Resistance Tech Rose
Resistance Trooper
Rey (Island Journey)
Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 
Rey (Jedi Training)
Rey (Jedi Training)- Crait
Rey (Starkiller Base) 
Rey's Speeder (Jakku)
Rio Durant
Sabine Wren
Sandtrooper Sergeant, Crimson Stormtrooper, Lieutenant OXIXO, and R2-Q5
Scarif Stormtrooper
Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader 
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha)
Stormtrooper (Mimban)
Stormtrooper (With Blast Accessories)
Supreme Leader Snoke (Throne Room)
Tobias Beckett
Tusken Raider 
Val (Vandor)
Vice Admiral Holdo
X-34 Landspeeder & Luke Skywalker (SDCC Exclusive) 
X-Wing Pilot Asty 


  1. Oh wow, this version is way better than the original release. Glad I skipped it. Will definitely have to try get my hands on this one.

    1. Yeah, he is definitely an improvement. Now I really want a Darth Sidious with his lightsaber, though.


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