DARTH TIMES: Comparing Two Generations of Must-Have ‘Star Wars’ Merchandise

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally here.  To celebrate, we’ve collected the best merchandise from the Episode VII and paired each with a classic product from the original trilogy, so every generation is covered.

The Star Wars franchise knows how to merchandise better than anyone.

With all the toys from the new episode already out, we’ve listed the the seven products you’re going to want.

And we paired them with their counterpart from the original trilogy.

There’s no Dark Side here: just 38 years of awesome merchandise.  Happy shopping.


The Droids You’re Looking For

Star Wars R2D2 BB8

R2D2 won the hearts of Star Wars fans everywhere with his can-do spirit and willful determination in the face of adversity.  At least…we think that’s what he was like, all he really did was beep a lot.  The new BB8 droid seems like a worthy successor, a little more adorable and much more mobile than R2D2’s awkward tripod-trashcan design.  Whichever you prefer, with these remote control toys you can bring your favorite droid to life.

Star Wars R2D2

The Classic: Inflatable Remote Control R2D2

Remote Control BB8

The New: Sphero App-Enabled BB8



The Faces (and Voices) of the Dark Side

Star Wars Darth Vader Kylo Ren

Darth Vader’s iconic helmet is the symbol of the Dark Side – sleek and imposing, respirators don’t get more villainous than this.  But if the perpetual raspy breathing isn’t really your thing, you can go with the new and improved Kylo Ren mask.


Darth Vader Mask

The Classic: Darth Vader Voice Changing Mask

Kylo Ren Mask

The New: Kylo Ren Voice Changing Mask



The Unlikely Jedis

Star Wars Luke Skywalker Finn

Luke Skywalker was a simple farm-boy who had who dreamed a life beyond his crops.  After years of yearning, he was finally able to chase that dream after his Aunt and Uncle were fortuitously torched by Stormtroopers.  Finn’s path seems a little different – he was a Stormtrooper himself before he got tired of all the torching  – but like Luke, he seems to have made his way to the Jedi camp where he belongs.  He was a little short for a Stormtrooper anyway.

Luke Skywalker Action Figure

The Classic: Luke Skywalker Forest Mission Action Figure


Star Wars Finn Action Figure

The New: Finn Snow Mission Armor Action Figure



The Hand-Made Lightsabers

Star Wars Lightsabers

It’s well-known that you aren’t a true Jedi until you hand-make your own lightsaber.  Luke decided to go green with his weapon, but he seems to have been one-upped by Kylo Ren’s intimidating crossbar addition.

Luke Skywalker Lightsaber

The Classic: Luke Skywalker Electronic Lightsaber



Kylo Ren Lightsaber

The New: Kylo Ren Extendable Lightsaber



The Hot-Shot Pilots

Star Wars Poe Dameron Han Solo

Han Solo.  He’s dashing, roguish, charming.  He shoots first (I repeat: Han shoots first) and asks questions later.  Han Solo certainly set a high bar for the franchise’s sex appeal – hopefully X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron is up to the task.

Han Solo Action Figure

The Classic: Han Solo Action Figure

Poe Dameron Action Figure

The New: Poe Dameron Action Figure



Women with a Need for Speeder Bikes

Star Wars Speeder Bike

At first glance, Leia and Rey seem pretty different.  Leia is a princess, Rey is a scavenger.  Leia puts her hair up in buns, Rey lets it hang loose.  If anything, it looks like Rey is more akin to Luke: a desert-dweller who gets roped into a bigger conflict.  However, there is one thing the women of Star Wars share: a love of speeder bikes.  While Leia prefers stealing her’s from Stormtroopers and Rey’s is a bit bulkier and popsicle-y, there is no doubt that when it comes to speeder bike piloting, these women are second-to-none.

Star Wars Leia Speeder Bike

The Classic: Princess Leia on Speeder Bike Figure

Star Wars Rey Speeder

The New: Rey’s Speeder Bike Action Figure



The Bounty Hunters You Don’t Want to Mess With

Star Wars Boba Fett Captain Phasma

Finally, we have the Bounty Hunters.  Boba Fett has always been a fan favorite, with his jet-pack and wrist-mounted grappling hook (we all choose to forget his embarrassingly clumsy death at the hands of blind Han Solo).  As for Captain Phasma, she’s a bit of a mystery right now – all we know is that under that helmet lies Game of Throne’s Brienne of Tarth, Gwendoline Christie, and that’s enough to let us assume that Captain Phasma will be just as bad-ass as Boba Fett.

Star Wars Boba Fett Action Figure

The Classic: Boba Fett Desert Mission Action Figure

Star Wars Captain Phasma Action Figure

The New: Captain Phasma Forest Mission Action Figure