By the time Kenner had recovered from the initial overwhelming demand for Star Wars figures during the 1977 Christmas season, and the odd Early Bird Certificate program, they were able to issue eight more figures to go with the four promised early bird figures. The first figures promised were (Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2D2 and Chewbacca).
Soon, eight others were available: Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, C3PO, Stormtrooper, Jawa, Tusken Raider and Death Squad Commander. Like I wrote before, I had all of these figures and most met an untimely demise at some point. It wouldn’t be until The Empire Strikes Back toys, that I had some understanding of how to make these toys last.
These first figures were not up to the same quality of later editions. Kenner needed some trial and error to figure things out. These early figures tended to lose their heads way too easily and the vinyl capes just sucked.
They were fun to play with, and before too long Kenner would add another group of figures and some vehicles. It was then that the toys really became fun to play with as a kid.
The Death Squad Commander was the weirdest of the bunch. As children, we just pretended he was Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing). Why did he never get a figure during the initial run? He was the creepiest bad guy I had seen in a movie up until then. Seriously, blowing up an entire planet just for the hell of it. That is a serious bad guy!