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Star Wars Action Figures - Ketwal

Overview

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Problem » Strategy

While working at Hasbro, I had the opportunity to work on a number of action figures. Ketwal was one of my favorites. He was a random alien seen in background scenes in both (thanks to the 1997 Special Edition where, among other improvements, newer characters were edited into the original film) the newer and original trilogies. Unlike most of the figures from the newer trilogies, the props and costume used by this character were poorly documented so he required a bit more creativity than normal.

Process

I researched the scene and pulled together as much imagery from the film and photos of the set and props. While doing so, I realized that the character seen in the original trilogy was different than how the character was seen in the newer trilogy. In the original, he had short stumpy legs and a long tail. In the newer trilogy, he was clearly walking around with normal legs. For the target audience (hard core fans and collectors), this would be a problem!

After the head of our team spoke with the Lucas Arts folks, it was decided that Ketwal actually had robotic legs. He used them in the newer trilogy (hidden under loose fitting clothes), but did not in the original. We decided to add a never before seen feature in a Star Wars action figure: removable pants! The pants would be fastened out of a softer plastic so they could be removed to reveal his robotic legs underneath.

After that was sorted out, I drew up the sculpt input, a document that's provided to the sculptor to use as reference. Because of the lack of source imagery from the actual costume, my sculpt input was quite detailed.

Results

Product was released in 2001 and, from what I understand, collectors and fans were quite pleased... many commenting on the robotic legs and removable pants!