Star Wars Transformers Toy Reviews: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Jedi Starfighter)

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Star Wars Transformers

Star Wars Transformers

General Information:
Release Year: December 2005
Retailer: General US (Toys R Us, Target etc.)
Price: $15.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Accessories: Blue Lightsabers/missiles x 2, Obi-Wan Kenobi mini-figure

Images:

Tech Specs:
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has a bad feeling about this. His mission is to track down and eliminate General Grievous, the much-feared leader of the Separatist droid army. Obi-Wan summons the Force to change into Jedi Fighter mode and flies across the galaxy to battle his enemy in a duel for the ages!

Strength: 10  Intelligence: 10  Speed:Endurance: 10
Rank: 10  Courage: 9  Force Knowledge: 10

In the original Star Wars trilogy, Obi-Wan Kenobi did not really have any vehicle one would associate directly with the character. The Star Wars prequels solved that by having obi-Wan pilot a Jedi Starfighter. The version used for this figure is the more advanced version seen in Star Wars Episode III.

Each of the first wave Star Wars Transformers were given write ups on The Official Star Wars web site, Obi-Wan's read as follows: Obi-Wan Kenobi was never a fan of flying, but he better get used to it because now he's actually a Jedi starfighter. The Jedi Master transforms into the Episode III fighter design, and comes equipped with a lightsaber and two missiles that actually launch.

Mini-Figure:
The obi-Wan Kenobi figure included with the vehicle shows Obi-Wan in his regular outfit minus his large Jedi robe. The figure represents the character well, even including a tiny detail like his Lightsaber handle hooked onto his belt. The figure stands on a flat base giving it stability. The arms can move up and down and the legs move at the hips so he can sit inside the fighter. His top robe is cast in an off white plastic. His boots and belt are brown. Most impressively the designers made sure his eyes were blue, matching the movie character. Out of the first three of this line, this is perhaps my favorite of the mini-figures.

Vehicle Mode:
A design precursor to the Tie Fighters of the original trilogy, the Jedi Starfighter has a central tube with a spoke windowed cockpit. The wings are semi-wedge shaped, wide on the sides and narrowing in the front. This design was reproduced very well by the designers, replicating the shape without having to sacrifice the ship's appearance.

Overall shape isn't the only thing the designers got right with this vehicle, they managed to include a lot of the details from the movie. Line detail goes from the front to the back of the vehicle, giving panel details. On the left side of the vehicle is an Astromech droid sculpted into the wing (though in the fiction the droid can be removed). R4-P17 (the droid in question) has the same basic design as the famous R2-D2 and this design is replicated very well down to the small sensors on the head. On the edges of the vehicle you'll find more detail. The front details have two missiles sticking out and next to them smaller tech details. The missiles are actually the ends of the Lightsaber weapon used by the robot. It is pretty cool how the Lightsaber handles also resemble high tech missiles so well. On the insides of the wings (in front of the cockpit) are long blasters sculpted into the wings. Inside the cockpit is a fairly detailed chair along with controls lining the sides.

the primary color of the vehicle is a dark, metallic grey. Gunmetal grey is used for details such as the long blasters on the insides of the wings. Various symbols including those of the Republic are painted onto various points on the wings and cockpit. The R4 unit is colored to match the fighter, mostly made up of the same reddish-brown used for details on the ship itself.

When a Jedi Starfighter enters combat, it deploys hexagonal wings, and this vehicle mode is able to do that as well (which honestly surprised me). On the top and bottom of each wing you can flip these panels out. I really appreciate how much the designers tried to keep the design of the vehicle true to the one shown in the movies, and this extra bit of play is representative of that. The two front wings also have landing gear on the front ends which flip down to keep the vehicle upright. An added bit of play comes with the launching missiles activated by pressing the gunmetal grey panels on the wings next to the missile ends.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Eject both missiles and set them aside for now.
  2. Remove the mini-figure from the cockpit.
  3. With the cockpit open, swing the front cockpit window back into the cockpit.
  4. Pull the wings out to the sides, then swing them back.
  5. On the sides of the cockpit, swing out the robot arms.
  6. Swing the rear thrusters on the underside of the vehicle forward, twist the waist around and snap it into place.
  7. Extend the thrusters downward.
  8. Turn the lower legs and flip the robot feet out.
  9. The left wing folds back, connect the right wing over it, using the peg on the left to hold the two together.
  10. Fold the rear of the vehicle back to reveal the robot head.
  11. Slide the chair inside the cockpit up and then close it.
  12. Place the Lightsabers in each hand.

Robot Mode:
The difficulty in creating any Transformer meant to represent a humanoid character is trying to replicate the look of clothing and so on. This problem is sidestepped since this is not a humanoid but rather a robot fashioned after a person. In that sense this toy succeeds very well.

Many fans have stated that this figure reminds them of Galaxy Force Vector Prime, and the resemblance is rather interesting to note. The styling looks very much like a character with some sort of robe or cape on, owing mostly to the fighter wings being on the back. Add to that a face with beard and "hair" details and the robot looks distinctly old, like it has age and wisdom, much like Vector Prime. The head design has lines through the "hair" piece and a look that is very similar to Obi-Wan's serious scowl whenever he is seriously contemplating something.

The rest of the figure is much more robotic. The main body is mostly made of the cockpit, but inside you can have Obi-Wan sitting in the chair controlling the mech. The legs are basic rounded upper legs and rectangular lower legs and feet. There are good details sculpted into each port such as the inner legs, where angled lines and rectangles provide nice detailing. The arms actually have some cool detail too from the shoulders down to the lower arms. This generic appearance may have been intentional as this sculpt is due to be reused, with a new head, as Anakin Skywalker in a later assortment.

Color-wise things remain consistant with the vehicle mode. A bit of gold shows on the various parts of the legs (inner and outer) to accentuate details. The "hair" on the robot head is painted dark yellow to simulate Obi-Wan's beard. Some light yellow is used on the arms to give extra details, particularly near the joints.

The starfighter has nineteen points of articulation in this form, mostly focused in the arms which boast six points of articulation each. Each hand can hold the Lightsabers nice and tight, allowing for some good play value. Interestingly the wrist joints are on ball joints, allowing for a large range of motion which is appropriate for Lightsaber fighting.

Want to store the Lightsabers? Simply insert them back into the wings as they sit in vehicle mode.

Final Thoughts:
Obi-Wan's fighter is a fun toy as it works very well as both a "generic robot Transformer" and a Star Wars toy. The level of detail given to the vehicle both in terms of sculpt and play features is quite impressive. Highly recommended.