According to Wookiepedia, Willrow was a Rebel sympathizer who was taking a computer core to dispose of it before it could lead to the Rebel Alliance. Thus, the ice cream maker was actually a computer core.
Sorry, in my Star Wars universe it will all ways be an ice cream maker. The props department for the Star Wars films has always done a great job of repurposing found items. From flash tubes made into lightsabers or razors turned into communicators, there’s a great history of that in these films. But I just can’t buy this being anything but an ice cream maker.
I know some of the younger readers will be stumped by this. Before companies realized foodies are gadget obsessed, this is what ice cream makers looked like. I’ve got one of those fancy newer ones with the freezable insert. But back in the ’70s my family had one that was similar to Mr. Hood’s. You put ice and rock salt in the outer bucket and your ingredients in an inner canister that is churned by an electric motor.
I’ve probably only used my new fangled one a few times. I doubt that when I was younger we used ours much more. I really wish I’d payed more attention to it. It probably would have helped me with my fourth year thermodynamics class.
Background characters are always the hardest for me to judge in this category. In Willrow’s case, he’s on the screen for a fleeting second. It’s what he’s carrying that sets him apart from the rest of the fleeing Bespinites.
That said Willrow appears to be slightly overweight. Instead of being an average Joe, he has a distinct belly. While not as bulky as Porkins, Willrow has a what can be referred to as a beer belly. Mainly in the midsection, the stomach is mostly above his belt.
Ironically, I could see a number of people being interested in him to make a custom figure of themselves from. If I had a spare figure with a bald head and a goatee this would be the perfect place to start a custom Star Wars Universe Engineernerd figure.
The overweight form of this figure sure makes me want to lean more towards ice cream maker more than computer core. From the screen captures I’ve seen, Willrow was not quite as stout as his figure portrays. But, that’s hard to judge for sure.
When I look at this figure, I get the sense the costume department grabbed a stage hand, put him in an X-Wing pilot jumpsuit and boots, handed him an ice cream maker, and said, “Run!”
His face and head are well done. Passable enough for a minor background character. In some of the screen captures, it looks like he might have a headset or something on, but it’s hard to tell for sure.
This is a figure for collectors pure and simple. While he has all the great articulation that we’ve come to expect, he’s a background character. I just can’t see kids begging in aisles, “Mommy, I want Willrow Hood! He’s the savior of the Rebellion’s data!” If you hear this, run.
Most people are going to buy this guy for one reason, the ice cream maker. Neither figure or accessory make much sense without the other. The appliance itself is okay. Not overly detailed. It doesn’t fit as snuggly as I would have like to have seen. There’s a bit of detailing on the top. Most surprising of all is a tiny Rebel Alliance logo on the bottom.
Willrow comes with a couple of other items. The first of which is a standard “Bespin” type blaster. While a nice add on, it sadly doesn’t fit in his hand real well. I couldn’t even get mine to stay put long enough to get a picture. As he wasn’t seen with one in the film, I’m okay with it. I won’t display him with it.
Willrow also comes with a BAD part. Mine came with a metallic blue droid arm. Meh. More Jawa diorama fodder.
For a figure of a background character, Willrow Hood isn’t half bad. No, not the most exciting figure ever, but it’s cool to finally have a Cloud City civilian. He’s pretty close to his screen appearance and really I don’t know what would make him any better, except maybe a painted belt buckle.
I understand that not every figure is made as a collector figure, so it’s nice to see Hasbro throw us a bone ever now and then. I know a number of fans have wanted to Willrow in plastic form for awhile. Willrow, Gargan, CZ-4, Wilosea, and a number of other recent figures are out there mainly for us collectors. Now that we have Willrow, who will be the next big fan request? I know some folks are hoping to see Jocasta Nu, we’ll have to wait and see if Hasbro listens.
Now if they really wanted to listen, I’d like to see some unarticulated background civilians. Kind of like the Episode 2 clone army builders. Bespin, Coruscant, Mos Eisley, etc. I think there’s a number of folks that would be interested in something like that.