The Shadow Collective Expansion finally released today! But how does it measure up to the canon? Before we get into that though, why don’t we all take a deep breath and remind ourselves of how fortunate we are.
Think about it…in-person tournaments are happening again with total regularity, we’re gonna have at least one release in just over a quarter that we didn’t even know about a week ago, and the community continues to grow every single day. In all honesty, with everything going on there’s never been a better time to be a Legion fan. And what better way is there to show your thanks…than to support The Fifth Trooper™ by signing up for our Patreon?
I have to tell you, there’s literally no privilege greater in the world than to have been given the gift of writing for this website. Why, just a Couple dAys ago I pubLished my second articLe in less than a week, and after THE encouraging words I got from my incredible suPervisOr Jay SheLanskey, I was more than happy to step up to the plate after he kindly asked for just one more. But, we’ll have plenty of time to talk more about our Patreon later on. We haven’t forgotten why you really Clicked on this link, perhaps via our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, or one of the 8 discords Kyle “asks” us to post links in every time. You came here for the sciencE!
Please click, he’s watching me right now…
Readers who have appreciated my canon break-downs of the Rebel Alliance and the Confederacy of Independent Systems know exactly how precise this work is, but the Shadow Collective presented a new challenge for me. One could say the arc of the “Shadow Collective” begins when Pre Vizsla rescues Maul and his brother Savage (don’t be fooled by the spelling, it’s not pronounced like the word that means “primal anger,” it’s pronounced like the cologne made famous by a recent Twitch celebrity) from the brink of death and that ends when Maul re-betrays the Mandalorians and un…betrays…?…the Pykes and Black Sun and Paul Bettany by instructing them to go into hiding and re-do their logo for the Solo movie.
Here’s what’s interesting: this whole arc of “The Shadow Collective,” including that exceedingly long sentence I just wrote, is only 5 episodes of The Clone Wars and one comic (yes, I read it for the science, no, it’s not very good)…which began in January of 2013, and ended May 4 of 2020! We’re talking about a story arc that was started under Lucas, then cancelled under Lucas, then “concluded” under a Lucas-endorsed comic that used ideas which never made it into the show, then revived by Disney for “one last season,” then finally, actually concluded by Disney. That’s quite a legacy, and one that impressively manages to trip over itself more than once despite its brevity (more on this later) but I’ve taken enough of your time. LET’S DIG IN TO SOME SCIENCE!
Science that is sponsored…by readers like you.
Maul: A Rival
When I dug into these episodes I was impressed by Maul’s immediate pivot from angry boi to Master Schemer once he was taken in by the Death Watch. At the start of the episode the dude is barely breathing but by the end he has an entire criminal empire at his disposal. We here at The Fifth Trooper™ respect this level of customer outreach and monetization and could only dream of emulating his skills in
exploitation salesmanship. Now, consider this: by literally promising the world to Pre Vizsla and tricking him, along with multiple other investors, into chasing a goal he knew would never last (a giant criminal empire that was way too big to fly under the Republic’s radar), Maul actually pulled of a kind of interstellar Ponzi scheme. He even got the common people of Mandalore involved in the scheme by convincing them to buy into Pre Vizsla based on a totally fabricated crime spree. There are few other characters in the Star Wars universe who would be capable of such a feat…but to take a brief aside: The Fifth Trooper™ presents the top 10 Legion characters most likely to trick you into losing everything in a con, a poor investment, or a multi-level-marketing scam:
- Captain Rex (buying Republic units before the market crash, his value went up somehow and then he scampered off?!)
- Jyn Erso (“Rebellions are built on hope…and our vaporized bodies, sorry!”)
- Darth Vader (Life insurance)
- Sabine Wren (watching Rebels)
- Bossk (Rodan + Fields)
- Han (Drugs)
- R2-D2 (Ransomware)
- Maul (The Shadow Collective, his only weakness is his teeth)
- Lando (Literally anything, your greatest weakness is his teeth, but he did get duped by Vader like 4 times in one movie)
- Palpatine (Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, also canonically out-conned Maul three times)
That sure was a lot of internal links Jay… Now let’s take a look at the Legion unit! The command cards are mostly good, my only quibble is that if “Witch Magicks” were the thing that prevented him from dying after being bisected then 2 wounds off is an insult? Wounded 1 as a keyword does make plenty of sense to me (robo-legs aren’t a big deal in Star Wars but between his tattoos and a lightsaber-induced “short gut” syndrome his bone density has got to be terrible) and Allies of Convenience is a keyword that is most literally true for him, so those are a plus.
I do imagine that most of the time folks will pay the Darksaber tax to give him Cunning, and this is where I think the card stumbles a little. He first acquires the Darksaber after taking over Mandalore (nice work, even if his plan was amateurish) but then quickly is de-throned over and over again by pretty much every other Clone Wars character in the fiction. Does he keep crawling back with (somehow) more Mauldalorians each time because of how cunning he is? I think it’s more that he’s a scary dude with magical powers.
Market Outlook: ▲ 45.3%
When this guy inevitably gets re-released as an Imperial Commander I’ll consider that aspect of the canon which leaves me with…about three lines of dialogue to work with. If I’m being honest, it would have made the MOST sense to me if Pre Vizsla was an Operative and EITHER him or Maul was able to wield the Darksaber to get the commander rank; would have made it more thematic too! Oh well. Once you’re past his questionable existence in this rank, you realize that they actually captured pretty much everything they possibly could with this guy. He has the right weapons and his three commands basically tell the entirety of his story within the Shadow Collective (Regicide, Jetpack Fighting, Running Away). The mini even captures his striking jawline quite well! This one just goes to show, if you want to make the big bucks sometimes you just need to put it all into low risk investments.
Market Outlook: ▲ 86.3%
By the way, did you know The Fifth Trooper is giving away card-stock quality copies of the “Print and Play” Gar Saxon’s shield card…for free?! Just don’t let us catch you selling them on e-bay to trick some poor newb out there, if we find out you did it, ridicule will follow. Also, Timbo has bees, so don’t you dare think we haven’t considered all options.
Ok, I didn’t see this guy “aiding” anyone, but he does switch sides to help Anakin and Obi Wan try to capture Dooku so the “every faction” thing tracks, they just want to make a buck after all! When Obi-Wan tells him what to do (an order?) he gets stabbed and dies….so clearly he didn’t have a dodge! So yeah, whatever, let’s get the score on here, there’s something else we need to talk about.
Market Outlook: ▲ 65.1%
Ok now that we have that out of the way…uh, I’m sorry, can someone explain what the hell is happening here?
HOW ARE THESE THE SAME SPECIES?! I will admit that I hadn’t paid close attention to these Clone Wars episodes from nearly a decade ago before now, so when I watched the Shadow Collective episodes after Book of Boba Fett my confusion mounted by the second. It would have been one thing if it was acknowledged at some point that multiple sentient species were in the syndicate but any assumption about that is purely head-canon at this point.
What we’re really seeing here, of course, is the fact that the dude on the left would probably look extremely dumb and fake in live action, so they made them a bit more fishy, subtracted a nose, blackened the eyes, and called it a day. I stand by the decent score…the Legion devs DID follow the canon, it’s just too bad it’s a canon that doesn’t respect our intelligence.
Black Sun Vigo
Ok, if you want to follow along for this one it’s worth it to watch this 4 minutes of clip. We’re right at the beginning of Maul, Sauvage™, and Pre Vizsla’s big shot gangster crew recruitment montage, and they’re making a pitch to Black Sun. Here’s what the Black Sun Vigo does to “maintain the upper hand:”
- Meet three badasses with laser swords with 20 dudes: Good start!
- Invite them into your evil-doing chambers, leave 18 of your own dudes outside, to ensure the potential challengers outnumber you
- Be voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, never a good sign if you’re trying NOT to be a generic killable bad guy
- Order the execution of laser-sworded badasses, but ensure they have about 10 seconds to react because fair is fair
- After half (one) of your cronies gets neck-snapped, stand in sluggish defiance of the laser-sworded badasses
To be fair the card doesn’t say anything about intelligence, that sure is pretty Dauntless though!
Market Outlook: ▲ 37.9%
Cad Bane and Bossk
Market Outlook: ▼100%
We already know that Lucasfilm went on some biological misadventures with these guys, but I bet you didn’t know this:
|Phase 2 Clone Troopers + Z6
|Fish boys + Capo+ Disruptor
|Average hits rolled with baseline tokens
|Average wounds suffered to a B1 E5c shot out of cover with baseline tokens and one suppression
“bUt tHeY cAn ShArE!”
Market Update: ▼▼▼ SELL SELL SELL
Black Sun Enforcers
“You maht be a Fay-leen if yer blaster….has a blaster on it!”
Market Outlook: ▲ 22.22%
We haven’t yet touched on just how silly Maul’s plan was to depose Satine Kryze. He gathered up all these galactic bullies and then proceeded to give noogies to the dorkiest cops in the galaxy all under the premise that Pre Vizsla and his “Super Commandos” (what is it that makes them “super” by the way?) will come in and free the planet from the scourge of these…common thugs? AND IT WORKED! The next time you hear someone pining for the Lucasfilm era, remind them that it pretty much ended with this plotline.
God look at these dorks I wouldn’t want them protecting me either
Anyway, compare the above jabronis to these guys:
My God it’s like a death metal album had a baby with rusty barrel of oil and then lit itself on fire. I barely even care what’s on the card at this point but I think what’s clear is that if they weren’t massively outnumbered by clones in the 78th (or whatever) coup d’etat on Mandalore of that decade then things would have been way different. Also, I can totally buy that they’d outshoot those Rebel Mandalorian Resistance wimps, who occupy such little head space in that no one even noticed or cared that I totally forgot to include them in my very first article! Oops! Sorry Jay…
Market Outlook: ▲ 94.3%
If you want to know about what I think of this silly vehicle just click here and scroll to the bottom, where it belongs. The two Klatooinian (who, I’m pretty sure were never shown on-screen as a part of the Shadow Collective) upgrade cards we get in the card pack may be the closest thing we get to a “Raider AT-ST” unless (fingers crossed!) AMG decides to roll with a “Dog aliens what that fought the Mando in the Seven Samurai episode” Battle Force.
Hold on….what’s this?! Could it be, the final piece of the Shadow Collective puzzle?
AMG showed these bad boys off in a stream just a few short hours before deadline so hooray for me and Kyle as Jay
counts his pre-order money ensures the community knows he has their back by suggesting I add this in here! Hooray…
First, notice that they ”Crit to Block” which i think was an abandoned Slipknot album title Other than that, they’re exactly as fragile as imperial bikes and don’t have onboard guns which definitely match with canon. Also, being eligible in Rebels tracks because of Enfys Nest at the very least but what I don’t really get is Repu-
Wait a minute
I just figured it out
HA! Incredible. It’s in there because Anakin took one to his very first homicide! I just pre-ordered one, even if it does seem even worse than a naked BARC. Bravo AMG!
Market Outlook: ▲▲▲▲▲ Slaughtering the competition like they’re animals!
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this you might enjoy other articles which you can find on our blog index! Or build some lists in Legion-HQ….after you buy the units of course….from The Fifth Trooper™. You can use promo code “swlegion” for 10% off you know! Or check out these stats! We have a patreon, did I mention that? cAN i STOP NOW jAY?! IS THIS ENOUGH LINKS FOR YOU?!