For the most STAR WARS-fans, "Shadows of the Empire" is
certainly since a longer time already no more "Expanded Universe",
but an absolute adequate adaptation to the, existing episodes. It
has - unofficial - achieved something like the title "Episode
5 ½", because it is situated between TESB und ROTJ.
"Shadows" or "SOTE", like most fans shorten
it, was a Multi-Media project.
First, there was the novel by Steve Perry, then, nearly at the same
time, came the comic and the computer game, which first was released
for Nintendo, later for PC. I remember a full-sheet advertisement
in the "Journal of the Whills" (the Journal of the Official
German STAR WARS FAN CLUB) which said: "Stop with rough pixels:
Shadows of the Empire". Indeed, this game opened a new era
of graphic-quality in the ego-shooter games. Then, a super Soundtrack
was released, which was composed by McNeely and performed by the
"Royal Scottish National Orchestra". A funny thing is
that the European Soundtrack CD was produced by the company "Schallplatten
GmbH" in Nürnberg. A further milestone for the STAR WARS
Fandom in Nürnberg and Franconia. Finally, some 4-inch SOTE
figures were produced by Kenner-Hasbro.
These figures, on a own "Shadows of the Empire" card with
the now legendary violet stripe, became the hottest collector pieces.
These figures were:
"Prince Xizor", "Leia as Boushh", "Luke
as Coruscant Guard", "Chewbacca as Snoova".
there were two double-figure-sets on card with a comic included:
"Darth Vader vs. Prince Xizor" and "Boba Fett"
"Swoop Bike with Biker" and Dash Rendar´s "Outrider"
and Boba Fett´s "Slave One".
These all were the so-called "Violet Toys" in American
For the European market, these toys were released with a green stripe
and without "Shadows"-printing. Nevertheless, these toys
have not such a high collector value on the market like the American
SOTE toys have.
Especially Guri is such an interesting person from SOTE. Because
this figure was never produced by Kenner-Hasbro, I built it by myself.
I built her a several times out of different figures. Most I like
the custom out of a "Leia Slave Girl". I only had to model
her hair. For that, I used the two component glue "Stabilit
Express" from Henkel. I mixed the glue with the hardener and
waited until the fluid glue gets thicker. First, I cut the plait
from Leia´s head away and put glue on her head, which now
was like a thick honey and slowly streamed down.
I pushed the glue a several time up again until it hardened. When
I did this, I also tried to get the right wave into her hair. Then
I took a cutter-knife and cut a light structure into which looked
like single hairs. Finally I painted the figure. A great help for
this was the book "The Art of the Brothers Hildebrandt"
from the Hildebrandt Brothers which also painted the cover for the
SOTE Comics and Trading Cards.
The body itself, I had
to change less. Only the bikini-top I had to cut of, also the band
round her arm. The upper body, I painted in blue and gold. The stripes
between her legs were painted blue, the boots in gold and hair yellow
Then I customized the card. For that I have a little collection
of cards with carefully opened bubble (mostly opened only at one
edge and put out the original figure).
I put the customized figure in the blister and stuck bubble and
card again together.
With computer I made new pictures for front- and rear-side with
according text and stuck it on the card. Finished!
© Thomas Riedel 2002