Review: Star Wars Black Series Death Trooper

It’s hard to believe that there’s a Star Wars movie coming out in a few weeks. Mostly because that’s exactly what I thought one year ago right before The Force Awakens hit theaters. It’s weird that we’re now living in a world where a Star Wars film is coming out every year, even if we’re alternating between episodes and spin-offs. My biggest fear for the franchise is that, like the Marvel films, they’ll start to get stale and formulaic after a few years. It’s impossible to say at this point, but it’s comforting to see that the first spin-off, Rogue One, seems to have a much different tone from your typical Star Wars film. Instead of a science fantasy space opera, this looks to be a relatively grounded science fiction war movie, with an overall darker feel, as we’re seeing the Empire at the height of its tyrannical power. And since we’re here to talk about toys, a new Star Wars movie means we get a new variant of armored space soldier toys! The starring newcomer for Rogue One is the charmingly-named Death Trooper, who apparently serve as Director Krennic’s bodyguards.

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Appearance

Looking like a mix between shadow Stormtroopers and Darth Vader, the Death Trooper is a lean, mean-looking mook. The sculpt here is dead-on to the design (or at least the promo shots) from what I can tell, with none of the odd gummy look of the original Black Series Stormtrooper. The paint work, for what little there is, is mostly spot-on, with the most noticeable feature being the glossy black of the armor plating, which contrasts nicely with the matte plastic of the undersuit. It’s a great touch that I’m glad carried over from the First Order Stormtroopers. Unfortunately, I’m really disappointed to see the green dots on the bottom of the helmet so dull, when they should be glowing bright according to the promo image. 

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One of the most confusing aspects of this figure is the proportions. The Death Trooper is very tall and very thin, to the point of looking noticeably strange. There are some theories that this might be intentional, and that the Death Troopers look weird and thin because they’re actually droids… but it could just be that the toy was designed that way, since this figure seems to be the only depiction of the trooper as being this lanky. I don’t mind it personally, since it gives the Death Troopers an extra level of creepiness, but it is going to look strange next to other figures.

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Articulation

Thankfully, the Death Trooper’s articulation is much closer to the Imperial Stormtrooper or Clone Trooper than the First Order Trooper, mainly thanks to the slimmer and lighter armor design. All the expected joints are present, with a much nicer (but not quite 90 degree) range on the elbows, and the pouches on his hips and his shoulderpads are soft enough to not be a hindrance on articulation. The only joint that’s somewhat limited is the ball joint for his neck, but all you’re missing out on is left-right tilt.

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Accessories

The Death Trooper takes another page from the FO Trooper book by coming with two weapons: a pistol and a rifle. Both guns are pretty standard fare, with little-to-no paint apps (the rifle has a little red line and speck of silver on the inside) and made of a soft, easily-warped plastic. The pistol came out all right, but the rifle is bowed slightly. He holds them well, at least, and the pistol even has a holster. The holster itself is a little rubber loop that… I think is a holster? You pretty much just stuff the gun into it and it fits snugly, if a little awkwardly. You could even put the rifle in there if you really wanted to.

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Overall

With the exception of a few quirks that may or may not be intentional, the Death Trooper is a solid figure with very few flaws. He’s not especially a step up or down from the Black Series standard, but I can say he’s very much on the higher end of the line’s releases. The design is cool, the articulation is great, and I’m sorely tempted to buy a couple more to stand behind Krennic. And judging by how things tend to go, I’ll probably want to buy even more once I see the film.

Where to Buy

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