Friday, January 24, 2014

It's Not Easy Being Gamorrean

Return of The Jedi will forever be known as the Star Wars movie that introduced us to those lovable (or hated, depending on who you ask) little furry creatures from the moon of Endor, the Ewoks. Whether you’re a fan or not, one can’t deny that the ewoks were a hit right out of the gate, finding life past Jedi through 2 straight to video movies and a Saturday morning cartoon. Because they were so big, many seem to overlook the fact that they weren’t the only unique alien species introduced in Jedi. In fact, you don’t really have to wait too long into the movie to meet this other…not so cute and furry alien.

Looking like the offspring of Kermit & Miss Piggy, the Gamorrean Guard was not designed to win any beauty contests. In the first act of Jedi, we are introduced to these big green hulking…pigs, when C3-PO and R2-D2 enter Jabba the Hutt’s palace where the Gamorrean Guards are emplyed as…well, guards. And that’s all they really do, guard the palace and look ugly and gruesome. The next memorable thing these guys did was die, either by ending up as Rancor chow or lightsaber fodder. Yup I guess life isn’t so great when you’re a gamorrean.

Anyway, as a kid I didn’t really care much for these dudes and I cheered along as I saw them die. And I was not really torn up when I never got his action figure. And speaking of his original action figure, here’s an interesting fact about it. To save money, toy companies like Kenner were known for reusing toy molds. And this re-use wasn’t just limited to stuff within a said toyline but between different toy properties as well!

instant priest!
When it came to rolling out a toyline for the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Kenner turned to some existing Star Wars toys to beef up the line. With a slightly different paint job and a few more added parts, the Ewok Village playset instantly became Sherwood Forest. And for Friar Tuck, they just used the old Gamorrean mold with a new head of course and called it a priest!

So fast forward years later and I’m doing some toy hunting during a trip to Singapore. I come across this guy…..

Now although I’ve bought a Star Wars figures here and there, I never really considered myself a full on collector. I’ll scoop up any ewok I see or some cool looking Jedi or Sith, but I never imagined that I would get myself a Gamorrean Guard! However holding this dude in my hand, I couldn’t help but admire the details put into his modern design. First of all, his sculpt and paint job was excellent, but more than that…I think what really got me was that he was FUZZY! Yeah you read right…fuzzy.

When it comes to Star Wars, Hasbro is known for mixing in actual fabrics (called soft goods) into their designs. Usually when a character has a cape or a robe (like a Jedi), its more often than not actual cloth…which usually doesn’t work really well in my opinion.

But this Gamorrean Guard, with his fuzzy um…..pants? WORKED! It really added an extra touch of realism into this dude. I just had to have him. Luckily I found a store that was selling him at a discount and so pretty soon I was the proud owner of my own little green pig man! Now if only I can find him a Rancor to keep him company…