So in case you haven’t heard Hasbro is back with another Black Series Fan vote for the 6 inch line. Unlike previous votes however the only characters who are eligible to be voted are those who were in The Empire Strikes Back. Now they claim that it is due to the 40th anniversary of the film. However, what I want to focus on today is a possible ulterior motive. This is just a theory however and aside from speculation and history I don’t have a lot of evidence so make of this what you will.
Let’s go back to 2015 when we had the first of these fan polls. After sweeping through the initial rounds Darth Revan (A character from a video game) looked to be the favorite but campaigning by Dave Filoni managed to push Sabine (A character from a cartoon) to second place and both got a figure. This at the expense of the Gamorrean Guard (A character from the movies) who the collectors wanted.
The next year they had another fan poll. Unlike in the previous one where Revan lead Sabine by about 20 points in the finals, Starkiller (A character from a video game) and Jaina (A character from the books) had a close back and forth race up until the very end when Jaina managed to edge out the win. Meanwhile the movie character that the collectors wanted Dengar finished near the bottom. After the polls the collectors found out that there had been an organized campaign behind Jaina which further enraged them.
Finally in 2017 they came back with another fan poll, this time for the vintage line. Legends fans voted in mass for Ben Skywalker but many fansites, for various reasons, decided to not count votes for Ben and reported this to Hasbro. Most took issue with the campaigning, and even accused EU fans of ballot stuffing. This caused Ben and many other figures who should have made the finals like Pong Krell (A character from a Cartoon), Satele Shan (A character from a video game) and others to be missing from the finals despite them winning more than enough of the 1st round polls to warrant them being on the list. As you can see by the image to the right
At that point pretty much all of the EU fans, including myself dropped the poll and left it to its fate. The collectors finally had us beat and a straight shot for their favorite for that tournament, Yak Face (A movie Character), to win the poll. Only he didn’t win it Dr. Aphra (A comic book character) did. And although those of us in the EU movement had no hand in her winning we were still blamed for the victory of another non movie character. In fact Yak Face finished 3rd behind Ashoka another non movie character.
Now to EU fans the notion that we were voting and campaigning for a Disney Canon character may seem ridiculous however, you need to understand this from the point of view of a collector that does not know the full story of our gripes with the new direction and may not even know the difference between Disney EU and legends EU. What they are seeing is fanpoll after fanpoll characters that aren’t from the movies keep taking the top spots in the finals. These are also the people who are in the ear of Hasbro and are one of their largest groups of customers.
Now, we know that the reason we vote for non movie characters is that Hasbro will eventually just release the movie characters anyway as they have demonstrated in this image.
In fact, even Yak Face got a figure not even a year after he finished 4th in his fanpoll as announced at NYCC last year. So, one could argue that their votes actually count more than our own as with the exception of Rex none of the non movie characters have been made into a figure outside of these polls. But again, the collectors don’t know this. All they see is that time and time again they get out voted in what is supposed to be their polls. It get to the point that in 2017 they openly complained to Hasbro and got multiple characters eliminated from the finals. And their complaining is likely the reason we got no fan poll in 2018. Now here we are in 2019 and we have a poll but only movie characters are eligible.
So that is just my theory to what has happened and why. If you have read that far and are wondering who we as EU fans should vote for I’d say that just go with whoever you like as many characters in the film had much bigger roles in the EU than they did in the film. Wedge Antilles, Tonya Farr and Wes Janson soon to be the most popular of these so one of them may be a safe bet just to make sure there is at least someone in the finals we can vote for.