June 3, 2016 – During its prime years, Kenner produced and sold over 100 unique Star Wars action figures from 1978 through 1985. But despite this abundance of riches, Kenner overlooked a good number of figures, which many fans thought were obvious choices to release.
The following video suggests a Top Ten List of missed opportunities. Keep in mind that the focus is on vintage (i.e., Kenner-made) action figures, and not any Hasbro-produced figures which have subsequently filled in some (but not all) of the gaps.
According to the video, the hoped-for-but-not-produced figures include:
1) CZ-3, the off-white communications/business droid, played by Anthony Daniels (yes, the same actor who portrays C-3PO)
2) Y-wing Pilot: Kenner gave us A-wing, B-wing, and X-wing pilots. So why no Y-wing pilot? We had to wait until 2000, when POTF2 introduced the first one.
3) Luke Skywalker: Jedi Training on Dagobah: Our patience was finally rewarded in 2004, when Hasbro released a very well received Luke Skywalker OTC #01 (The Original Trilogy Collection). As a nice bonus, Luke could be posed in “training mode” (standing upright) and in “handstand mode” (upside down, his hair pointed toward the ground).
4) Bantha: Sure we got the Sand People (i.e., Tusken Raiders). But how are they supposed to get around without their trusted Banthas? Kenner did manage to produce a Dewback, a Rancor, and a Wampa. But no Bantha.
5) Wedge Antilles: More than a background character, Wedge appeared in all three original Star Wars movies and assisted in the destruction of both Death Stars. But Kenner didn’t seem to care. No vintage action figure of Wedge ever saw the light of day.
6) Slave Leia: Yes, the character name received some controversy in the latter half of 2015 (to which Carrie Fisher famously replied, “I think it’s (the controversy) stupid.” Call her whatever you wish – Leia in Prisoner Outfit, Slave Leia, Leia in a Metal Bikini – but, no matter. It doesn’t explain why Kenner never produced this action figure in the first place.
7) Han in Stormtrooper Disguise: In 1985, Kenner issued its “Luke Skywalker (Imperial Stormtrooper Outfit)” in its POTF line. The face-sculpting was horrible and looked nothing like Luke, and the shoulders and chest were too bulky. Luke retailed for $2.99 in 1985. But look at him now: a just-concluded Ebay auction saw him sell for $202.50 after 28 bids. It’s a shame no Han equivalent was ever released by Kenner.
8) Dr. Evazan: The obnoxious, pig-faced Dr. Evazan harassed Luke at the Cantina bar in A New Hope – and his buddy, Ponda Baba (Walrus Man), promptly got his arm cut off. So guess which one got the Kenner treatment, and which one was ignored?
9) Rebel Troopers: Kids in the 1970’s/80’s were able to build an army of Stormtroopers. But Kenner declined to manufacture Rebel Troopers to oppose them. How short-sighted is that?
10) Grand Moff Tarkin: “Charming to the last”, Peter Cushing’s cold-as-steel character was every bit as ruthless and cunning as Darth Vader. Of course Kenner should have made a Tarkin! All Kenner had to do was to apply Tarkin’s head to an existing Imperial Commander’s body. But they didn’t.
Hasbro posthumously released Tarkin’s figure in 1997 (POTF2), 2006 (Death Star Briefing 7-Pack/Saga Collection), and again in 2012 (TVC).
While the video above does not mention additional characters, we would have loved to have seen Kenner produce Admiral Motti, Mon Mothma, Porkins, a Sandtrooper, and even Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen (charred or not).