Master Replicas Expanded Universe
Shadowtrooper (Black Hole) Stormtrooper Helmet

Back in 2007, Master Replicas decided to do an ultra-rare 100-stong limited edition all-black "Shadow Stormtrooper" helmet. However, following the expected "I want one of those" feedback from fans they decided to increase the run to 500.  Despite the increase they all sold out VERY quickly - what great marketing!

Fast-forward five years and we've finally got out hands on a Shadow Stormtrooper after one showed up for a decent price on eBay here in the UK. So, was it worth the wait?

Pick this helmet up and immediately you notice its a substantial weight and feel in your hands -since its cast out of Fiberglass, as opposed to the cheaper eFX version produced a few years later (which was vac-formed plastic). Since the Shadow Stormtrooper was never featured in any of the Star Wars movies - there's no argument over "emulating the screen-used version". This was solely a game/comic-book character so having it in fiberglass gives it real gravitas.

The finish (which is excellent btw) is all gloss black with matt black detailing in the trapezoids, vocoder and vents. The only other colour/shade breaking through is the silver frown and chrome eye lenses which really make the helmet stand out. The "ears" are not separate but all part of the single helmet structure - although the matt black ear tips on them have been added on top- along with a couple of fake screws. As with all the Master Replicas LE helmets it comes with stand and polished metal (numbered) plaque.

The interesting thing about this helmet is that its NOT using the same mould MR (and later eFX) used for the Limited Edition (white fiberglass) Stormtrooper Helmet. Around 2006, Master Replicas were prototyping a symmetrical version of the Stormtrooper helmet (the guys at Lucasfilm were very keen on this idea) and although it never went into production - the mould was not wasted as it was used for the Shadow Stormtrooper instead. In addition the symmetrical mould was later used by MR and eFX in their cheaper vac-formed plastic line of Stormtrooper helmets.

This symmetrical Stormtrooper is itself derived from the asymmetrical (read "wonky") helmet as they both came fro the same source - a cast off an original screen-used ANH Stunt Stormtrooper helmet. Though we've not seen documentation we're pretty sure the MR artists took half the helmet and then mirrored it across - and then manually adjusted the final appearance so it looked right.

Above a close up of the frown, Vocoder and mic-tips (same ones as used on the standard Stormtrooper). And finally, below a nice front-on shot with the chin slightly raised which clearly illustrated the symmetry of the helmet - which for this particular character works well. Again like the LE Stormtrooper, the brow trim is a rubberised strip affixed to the section where the face and cap sections would have joined - had this been vac-formed.

Parting thoughts - its taken us five years to get hold of one of these and the wait's been worth it. Its a very cool looking helmet and even though its an "Expanded Universe" character - it doesn't look out of place when sat next to Original Trilogy helmets like Stormtrooper and TIE pilots. Its an extremely well put-together product - but then all the fiberglass Master Replica LE helmets were fantastic collectibles - and the internal leather-lining makes it look it was manufactured by Porsche. Uber cool looking lid this one - worth keeping your eyes out for one!

These shots from 2007 were all courtesy of P1x4r, with thanks.

If you cast your mind back you may remember that MR was initially going to do 3 different Stormtroopers a CE LE and EE. Now they've effectively made the CE and LE with the Budget and LE Hero helmets. However the mould for the EE is what they've used here in creating a more idealised and symmetrical Stormtrooper helmet.

In creating this symmetrical helmet it wasn't just a case of taking a the half of an existing helmet and then flipping it over - if you check out the bottom of the this page you'll see why doesn't work. So you'll probably find that it isn't perfectly symmetrical, but at least less asymmetrical than the "wonky" screen-used helmets.

I don't normally go for the expanded universe stuff but this is an exception - marvellous!

Its a really superb looking helmet from the Expanded Universe, thanks again to P1x4r for the photos

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