Sunday, December 4, 2011

Walrusman (SW 1978-79)




Walrus Man is another poorly (many would say humorously) translated Cantina character into figure as far as clothing goes. This garish presentation wouldn’t be corrected until the updated figure in the 1990’s line. Sometimes it hurts my eyes just to look at it, like the tint on my TV is way out of whack. The figure has an, um, orange turtleneck, with blue arms and legs. It came with the same blaster that many of the Star Wars aliens came with, a Stormtrooper-issue model. Walrus Man came on the original Star Wars card, as well as ESB and ROTJ.

What always bothered me about this figure, other than the eye-straining colors, was that the card back wasn’t a photo but a photo-like picture. This character had real screen time and they couldn’t put a real photo on there? Really, I joke (Hasbro give me free stuff). Not only that, but the picture shows – glaringly – that the figure has the wrong clothing.

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Common weaponry. Lose the figure and you’ve still got a gun that goes with a dozen other figures.

2. It is so damn funny. Orange turtleneck. Orange turtleneck!!!???

3. Again, no Cantina scene you make should be without him. After all, he gets his arm cut off.

4. Get enough of these and put them around a sleeping friend. When he wakes up convince him he’s having some kind of acid trip.

5. Finally, you have an excuse for ripping the arm off a figure – it happened in the film!

Backstory:

Like many of the aliens names from the original films, Walrus Man was more of nickname than anything else. In the mythos, his name is Ponda Baba and his race is Aqualish. Because of the mix-up in the original movie, where the standing Walrus Man has webbed hands and the severed arms has hairy fingers, the Star Wars universe says that there are two species of Aqualish, each having one of these traits. So, in actuality, Ponda is kind of a hybrid. It is also never explained why his is the only lightsaber wound that isn’t instantly cauterized.

Ponda Baba rescued Doctor Evazan (the other bad guy in the Cantina) from a bounty hunter and the two became partners. Eventually they ran into Luke and Obi-Wan, who cut off Ponda’s arm. Evazan made him a prosthetic arm which didn’t work, but he kept trying to make Ponda whole, even trying a mind transference device to another body. To this day they are probably both still alive.

Want more? His Wookieepedia entry

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1 comment:

Kaizar said...

That mouth creeps me out....