Last week marked 2017’s Celebration Star Wars in Orlando, Florida. Back in 2015 we saw the exclusive character car release R2-KT in honor of the real-life droid tasked with bringing joy to young sufferers of cancer. Though not much to do with official canon, it was a noble gesture, but essentially we got an R2-D2 car with all of the blue parts colored a sort of magenta-pink, much like the pink we see associated with cancer awareness. Last year the initial version of Boba Fett was honored; instead of the battle-scarred blue and gray armor we’ve come to know, the prototype version of Boba was clad in 100% white. Another cool idea, but still not really a character. I think the piece would’ve been more memorable had it been cast in a different shape, but no, it was just a Boba car painted white.
I had my reservations about 2017’s pick, and then quite recently I found out that Biggs Darklighter would be the newest addition. I won’t waste too much time repeating myself (you can read more about my thoughts regarding his inclusion in a previous article) but I will quickly lament that Biggs is damn near too minor to bother with making a character car. Most of his screen time ended up on the cutting room floor, and no, he’s not that pilot buddy you see alongside Luke time and time again during the original trilogy – that would be Wedge Antilles…you know, the guy that actually survived the “Trench Run.”
But hey, he can’t help that he was chosen (and honestly, I’m glad he made it over Sandtrooper and R5-D4 – I guess the 40-Year theme with Episode IV was inevitable) and even though Wedge was the better choice, we’ll give Biggs a proper breakdown.
Whether racing, chasing, or evading a nemesis, this hardcore piece of machinery has all of the handling of an X-wing Fighter for hairpin turns and ultimate canyon carving. Mirroring Luke’s best friend and skilled Red Squadron pilot Biggs Darklighter, this vehicle is sure to bring back memories from their time on Tattooine.
Enemies would be wise to steer clear when large rear fenders and an orange tinted windshield come speeding their way. With a thick mustache safeguarding the front end intercooler and an iconic helmet design for ultimate roof protection, this finely tuned sports car has a huge Rebellion logo plastered on the side – letting everyone know exactly which side he fights for. It’ll be like old times…but better!
Now I don’t have any inherent problem with Hot Wheels wanting to make character cars out of other pilots, but the exact thing that I didn’t want to happen happened: Biggs uses the exact same casting as Luke in his pilot outfit. Not only that, but the 2 cars are damn similar even sporting identical blemishes from battle. There is a small variance in decoration across the top, and Biggs’ chassis is black while Luke’s is white, but wow. I guess the most noticeable differences are the lack of lightsabers on Biggs’ rocker panels and the fact that his windshield is tinted green instead of Luke’s yellow. If this – or any of the Celebration exclusives – were released elsewhere, fans would see it as a cheap and derivative cash grab. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Hot Wheels won’t go a little above and beyond – or even a lot above and beyond and give us nerds something really nerdolicious to feast on!
The mustache at the front of the car is a fun choice…it was pretty much the only defining feature of Biggs and it makes me chuckle to see that Hot Wheels worked it into such a blatant location. I mean really, how else do you just give a car a ‘stache? Humor aside though, I afraid that after 3 years I’ve just gotta conclude that these Celebration offerings aren’t that impressive. It’s like Hot Wheels is squeezing out a budget car and using this event to masquerade it as an uber-collectible exclusive.
But hey, ultimately I don’t mind if characters like Biggs
Redshirt Darklighter get thrown into the mix; I just wish that if they were going to choose guys like these over missing heavyweights like Lando, Padme, Qui-Gon, etc., we could at least get some halfway original designs!
I must compliment the packaging though – they should do all of the 40th Anniversary stuff like Biggs. It’s got a very simple, low-tech, retro feel to it. We get the graphic using a fairly small color palette in lieu of using an actual picture, something you wouldn’t have seen much (any?) of 30 or so years ago.
So there’s Biggs, ready to tide us over for another year. I do think it’s weird that those early concept sketches of the likes of Lando and Scout Trooper and a few others were shown at last year’s event and here we are without any of them! Oh well…time to get your butts ready for Part 3!