Today’s review is part of the Toy Advent Review Calendar. Visit for a new toy review every day until Christmas!


Star Wars holiday items are generally stupid. Anachronistic and stupid. Why the hell would Yoda or Darth Maul or Jango Fett wear a Santa costume? Why would Boba Fett be armed with a candy cane? The R2-D2 bobble head with a Santa hat and Christmas gifts around him? It’s a cash grab that leaves the recipients of these crapola gifts with only one response:

“Thanks, I guess.”

But when I saw this snow globe, I had to have it. It’s so bizarre and whoever designed it had a spectacular sense of humor. Just throwing red and green on characters, or turning them into a string of lights, lacks imagination. Whoever thought Darth Vader might kick back after the Battle of Hoth and make a snow-Death Star was a genius. The Empire just scored a victory, but lost their quarry. Not bad enough a loss to make Vader force choke yet another senior staffer, but bad enough for him to blow off some steam.


Consider that, after Hoth, Vader is downright calm. He rampages through A New Hope yelling and choking and threatening people non-stop. He’s a snarling menace, and we’d expect him to be even nastier after losing the Death Star and being flung into space for godknowshowlong. But then in Empire he captures Leia on Bespin and decides to just leave her under house arrest? That lady was scheduled for execution just one movie ago, helped kill more than a million imperial employees and wrecked trillions of credits in infrastructure since, and he spared her and the Wookie who helped her escape? Why?

Poor character continuity?

No. It’s because The Dark Lord of the Sith got some fresh air and totally zenned out in the snow. Not a sound, save the hard Hoth wind, and he was alone with his thoughts. He reevaluated his goals, examined his feelings, and found them all lacking authenticity. The New Vader, the kinder and gentler Vader, emerged from that frozen planet more in touch with his inner self than ever before. It’s all very apropos; his first birth into hate was on a planet of fire, and his birth into calm on a planet of ice.

Some fan, somewhere, might actually buy that steaming pile as plausible.

There is no explanation needed for this thing. It’s just hilarious. Turn it over, wind it up, and Let it Snow plays as you shake Vader into a blizzard of wintry goodness. I’d never have bought this if he was in a Santa suit. I won’t buy the other one I saw with an AT-AT in the globe; it’s just a scene from the movie. It’s just the strange plausibility that Vader could do this that makes it awesome.

After a Web search I’ve had a tough time locating it [Poe’s note: X-Entertainment reviewed it way back in 2006]. I bought this several years ago at Target, but there is a listing on eBay that shows the same globe with a 2013 date stamped on the box, so happy hunting.

And finally, who calls these things “waterballs”?