(Shadows of the Empire)
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:
"Dash Rendar", "Prince Xizor", "Leia as Boushh",
"Luke as Coruscant Guard", "Chewbacca as Snoova".
Additional there were two double-figure-sets on card with a comic included:
"Darth Vader vs. Prince Xizor" and "Boba Fett" vs.
as well in boxes:
"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 packaging.
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
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
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 (blond).
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
With computer I made new pictures for front- and rear-side with according
text and stuck it on the card. Finished!
© Thomas Riedel 2002