September 27, 2014 – Earlier this week, I ran an article HERE on the “Save the Lars Homestead” campaign in Tunisia, which occurred over two years ago. So that prompted me to dust off and pull my old “Disturbance at Lars Homestead” playset (a ToysRUs exclusive) which, at one point, was on clearance for about $20.00 or so.
This boxed diorama (MSRP $49.99) was released in September, 2008. The set is intriguing because it begins with the understated title “Disturbance at…” Not “slaughter”. Not “arson”. Not “violent encounter”. The more genteel “disturbance” sounds like a minor kerfuffle or excessive noise-making at the neighbor’s house next door.
Next, the way the action figures are posed does not hint at the horrific scene about to unfold. Aunt Beru is standing outside the doorway of the domed entrance, as if greeting a guest or solicitor. Uncle Owen’s pose is a bit more aggressive, as one arm is extended and he is pointing at the sandstrooper, and his other arm is somewhat akimbo. The sandtrooper faces the couple in a somewhat neutral pose, with his left hand holding a blaster pointed toward the ground, and his other arm and hand in a neutral gesture. And curiously, a large womp rat stands in the background next to a moisture vaporator ignoring everyone.
The violent aftermath is only suggested by the photo of the two armed sandtroopers on the front packaging and by the full descriptive text on the back. (Thus no skeletons or charred remains are seen anywhere on the packaging.)
Ostensibly, this playset is made for children, but who are we kidding? Children have little or no interest in the Uncle Owen/Aunt Beru figures or this particular scene of Star Wars (1977). “Disturbance at Lars Homestead” was made with the collector in mind, though it languished for the longest time on store shelves at ToysRUs.
I enjoy this particular set because of its uniqueness (we will never see another like it), although the set was met with mixed reviews (thin plastic base; uninspired dining table which is revealed when you lift up the domed building; re-release of rather stiff versions of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru). You can read one such review HERE made in September, 2009.