As many of you know, since I bequeathed my collection of vintage '70s-era Star Wars toys to my son about a year ago, my life has been filled with action figures. Paavo received even more Star Wars guys for Christmas and his birthday, so their population continues to grow.
This lovely creature, pictured to the left, has been a part of my household for a few years now. I was on tour in some other state (I forget where), and I pulled my car up to the curb and opened the door. There in the gutter lay a lost and forlorn action figure, dirty and insectlike. I didn't recognize the character, and didn't think he was a Star Wars guy...he looked too skinny and creepy. I thought maybe they'd made toys for one of the Alien films. Never one to bypass an creature in need, I grabbed him and brought him back home for Paavo, who at the time was only about 2 years old. I worried that the alien might be a bit too scary for Paavo, but Paavo seemed to like him anyway.
As the years went by, this action figure remained in our collection, but was a bit excluded from the fun adventures of the Star Wars toys...we were convinced he was from some other movie.
Last week Paavo received a Star Wars stickerbook for Christmas, and as he paged through dozens of alien stickers, he saw a familiar face. "Dad!" he said,"we HAVE this guy!" Sure enough, there in the Star Wars book was a photo of the same alien that we'd been neglecting! He WAS a Star Wars character after all! I decided that I needed to find out this guy's name and history, so I Googled "Star Wars Action Figures" and found zillions of links! I found a page where you could scan through photos of every action figure series manufactured for the past 30 years, and sure enough, I found the guy. Turns out he has a name! He's called a GEONOSIAN HANDLER!
So, Paavo and I immediately grouped him in with the other Star Wars figures, where he was warmly welcomed.
I also thought he may be related to the talk show host on the E! Entertainment Network, CHELSEA HANDLER. It's an unusual name, right? They've got to be cousins or something.