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Power of the Force Rebo Band (Special Edition Version)

May 14, 2010

I’ve mentioned my feelings about the “special edition” of Return of the Jedi before. To me, the changes to the Jabba’s palace scenes (particularly those involving the Rebo Band) make the film unwatchable. Truly cringe inducing stuff. Let’s look at the two versions, just for a minute.

Here is the original version, featuring the song “Lapti Nek.”

And here is the “special edition” version, which replaces the entire song with something called “Jedi Rocks.” Not only is the song different (and inferior), but they have added some very cartoony CGI members to the band, replaced the Sy Snootles puppet with CGI, and added three new dancing girls who sing chorus.

The three characters in the Rebo Band were pretty popular in their own right, having been released as a nice vintage box set and also on many other products, so I don’t understand what Lucas was thinking by essentially erasing them from the movie. Sy Snootles is almost unrecognizable, and the other two characters barely appear. Instead we get two CGI abominations that look like they belong in a saturday morning cartoon.

But I digress. Today I’m here to talk about the toys for the “new and improved” Rebo Band. These were originally released under the “Power of the Force” label (called “Max Rebo Band Pairs”) and were Walmart exclusives. They were later re-released in different packaging. The new versions included one more band member and Jabba’s dancers.

Here they are out of the package.

I guess they’re not bad figures, considering the source material. But I must say that Sy Snootles and Joh Yowza not only have legs that make it hard for them to stand up, they lack the holes in their feet that would allow you to use a stand!

Anyway, the main reason I bought these (aside from a sick compulsion to have everything) was to get nice modern versions of core Rebo Band players for my modern Jabba’s Palace display. So let’s see how they compare to the vintage figures.

First is Max Rebo. The original figure was quite nicely done. The only thing I would change would be the weird way they painted the eyes (pink circles with black dots inside). The modern version sticks pretty close to the vintage one overall, but it does fix the eyes and makes his color a more vibrant blue. One thing I didn’t notice at first was the size difference. The vintage figure and piano is a good 20% bigger. Still, the modern one is nicely done.

Now for Droopy McCool. The vintage figure was fine, really, it just needs some better paint. I think the modern figure accomplishes that, although they went a little overboard with the painted wrinkles. He doesn’t have a microphone stand like the vintage figure did, however.

Lastly we have Sy Snootles. Ugh… I can’t really say that one is inherently better than the other — both versions of the character are kind of ridiculous. But I really prefer the original puppet to the cartoony CGI version, so I also don’t care for the modern figure. I’ll be using the vintage figure even in my modern Rebo Band.

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