ULTIMATE COMMTECH GUIDE

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What is CommTech?

In 1999 Hasbro released toys with CommTech technology, which was developed by British company called Innovision Research & Technology.  This technology allowed people to use a special player/reader to play voice phrases & sound effects from the Star Wars movies.  The sound data was stored on CommTech chips which doubled as an action figure stand.  When the chip was swiped over the CommTech reader, it would electronically transmit & play the data sounds stored on the CommTech chips.  This offered a very interactive play experience.  Due to trademark conflicts, this technology was referred to as CommTalk is some countries.

Star Wars CommTech Commercial

How does it work?

CommTech uses a technology known as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).  RFID methods utilize radio waves to accomplish this.  At a simple level, RFID systems consist of three components: an RFID tag, RFID reader and an antenna.  RFID tags contain an integrated circuit and an antenna, which are used to transmit data to the RFID reader. 

The reader broadcasts signal through the antenna.  The RFID tag receives the signal.  It is charged with enough energy to send back an identifying response.  The reader collects the data sends to a computer to process and convert the data into an electronic sound.

Conceptual Designs

Early concepts of the CommTech chips were referred to as DataTalk.  The DataTalk chip was red and featured a hole to keep chips organized on a ball chain.

This design transitioned to include the capability of using it as an action figure stand.  This would allow the figure to be connected to the data tag for a more improved play experience.

Chip Development

Early models of the CommTech chip contained a large circuit board in a hand-made black case.  The RFID antenna is located on the left side of the circuit board.

As development progressed, the circuit board was greatly reduced in size, comparable to the size of a finger nail.  This was accomplished by condensing the microelectronics and relocating them inside the antenna.

Variations

There are several variations of CommTech chips.  The first is that they were recorded in different languages to include: English, Spanish, French, German & Italian.  

Early CommTech Chips included a holographic photo.  Some chips included a white photo.  As this transition occured, some character chips were produced with both holographic and white photos.

The last variation is extremely rare.  Some chips included RFID circuits that had two tiny electronic components mounted to the back of the circuit board.  This created a "flat" look when viewing the front of the circuit board.

Holographic Photo Insert

White Photo Insert

Standard Circuit

Flat Circuit

2nd Generation Chips

There were plans to release second generation CommTech chips that would utilize a larger Winbond chip and feature "Twice the Speech".  This would've potentially extended both "Power of the Force" and "Episode I" product lines.  These chips would've been included wih newer figures and reissued figures. They were designed to be completely compatible with the original 1999 CommTech reader.

Unfortunately Hasbro cancelled the 2nd generation CommTech chips and transitioned the packaging into a line known as "Power of the Jedi".  Even though there are early concepts of the POTJ line that include a CommTech chip, this technology was completely discontinued and replaced by a "Jedi Force File".  There were many second generation CommTech chips that made it far in the development stage, but they were never released.

Here are some early prototypes that represent various stages of production.  Notice that there was a design change within the first shot stage of development.  Early versions feature an upside-down logo on the back.  Working samples were developed and feature the rare recorded speech.

Foam Conceptual Mock Up

First Shot V2A

Working First Shot

First Shot V2B

Proposed CommTech V2 Chips

There is a large list of figures that were considered for CommTech V2 chips.  Many were never developed or were destroyed due to the cancellation of the line.  The following chips are surviving working examples.   Click the play button and listen to the rare recorded phrases & sounds for these chips!

#17 Qui-Gon Jinn (Jedi Master) Rerelease

Play Sounds

#17 Qui-Gon Jinn chip was originally released as a first generation chip.  This V2B design has additional speech lines.  This sample was found in orange tint and frosted white.

Original CommTech V1 Speech:

"Obi-Wan, he will bring balance.  Train him."

"Obi-Wan wait! We must attack as one force."

"You over-estimate your skills." (lightsaber battle)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Obi-Wan wait!  Control your anger.  We must attack as one force."

"You over-estimate your skills." (lightsaber battle)

"Obi-Wan promise."

"Promise me you will train the boy."

"He is the chose one."

"He will bring balance. Train him."

#30 Naboo Royal Guard (Rerelease)

Play Sounds

This CommTech V2 example is the only working example known to feature the early V2A design shell.  The chip inside appears to be the same speech lines as the original V1 production version.

Original CommTech V1 Speech:

"Yes sir!"

"Blast that tank!  Now!" (explosion)

"Battledroids! It's a counter attack!  Open Fire!" (laser blast)

"Wait for the queen's signal, before we attack."

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

Same as above.  It is unknown what lines were to be added.

#39 Gungan Warrior

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Mackineek energy blasts no gettin' through!

"The droids they are broken.  Yahoo!"

"Wesa in big doodoo."

"Starting up, da shields!"

"Fire!"

"General Jar Jar, da droids are breaking through da energy shields!"

(Blaster fire short)

"Da droid army is attacking!"

Target da mackineek machines..."

Alternate CommTech V2 Speech Considered:

"Gungan Warriors!  Prepare for ground assault!"

"Wesa must hold our position until da droid ship tis destroyed!...Wesa must not fail!"

"Energize da shield generators!"

"Yeh!  Da shields aresa holdin'!  Mackineek energy blasts aresa not gettin' through!"

"Da machineek droids aresa penetratin' da energy shield!"

"General Jar Jar!  Da Droids are attackin'!  They have broken through!"

"Target da mackineek machines...  Cadapultsa, stand by...  Launch."

"Reload weapons!  Fire!"

#47 Tusken Raider (Sniper)

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

(Tusken growl)

(Blaster fire, Tusken growl, blaster fire)

(Tusken growl)

(Tusken growl, blaster fire)

"Looks like a few Tusken Raiders are camped out on the canyon dune turn!"

#48 Battle Droid Security

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Roger, roger.  Blast them!" (blaster fire)

"Viceroy we have captured the Queen."

"Weapons loaded and charged.  Fire!" (blaster fire)

"These Gungans are no match for our forces.  They will be destroyed quickly sir."

"Viceroy, the Jedi have broken through our defenses." (lightsaber battle)

#52 Nute Gunray (Hologram)

Play Sounds

This CommTech V2 chip was planned for a figure that was never released.

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"One Naboo cruiser got past the blockade."

"Process them."

"This is impossible!"

"She has disappeared my lord."

"Destroy what's left of them."

"Ah, victory!"

"Close the blast doors."

(Blaster fire short)

"They must be dead by now."

Alternate CommTech V2 Speech Considered:

"What is going on down there?"

"I want droid decars up here at once!"

"Process them."

"This is getting out of hand."

"Now there are 2 of them."

"We have taken over the last pockets of primitive lifeforms."

"We are in complete control of the planet now."

#53 Coruscant Guard

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Chancellor Valorum, the starship from Naboo has entered our airspace."

"Security craft have been sent to escort the Queen's ship."

(Blaster fire short)

"Central control has confirmed that the flight path for the cruiser has been cleared."

"Chancellor, the guards are in position and the landing platform has been secured."

#54 Mas Amedda

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Control of the senate must be maintained."

"The Queen's request must be challenged!"

"You must appoint a commission!"

"The supreme chancellor requests a recess."

"Order!  We must have order!"

"Chancellor Valorum, you must do something!"

#55 Obi-Wan Kenobi (Jedi Cloak)

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"I will train Anakin.  Without the approval if I must..."

"Qui-Gon believed in him."

"You will be a Jedi, I promise."

"Master Yoda, I gave Qui-Gon my word."

"Counsel has granted me permission to train you."

"I am ready to face the trials."

#57 R2-D2 (Battle Damage)

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

Various beeps & whistles

#60 Sabé (Queen's Royal Decoy)

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Queen Amidala, we will create a diversion so that you can capture the Viceroy."

"Viceroy, your occupation here has ended." (blaster fire)

"I am Queen Amidala of the Naboo."

"We have searched you out because we wish to form an alliance."

"My name is Sabé. I'm the Queen's royal bodyguard."

#61 Jar Jar Binks (Tatooine)

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Ooooh... ickey... icky goo!"

"Me no watching!"

(Sticking out tongue sound)

"Wit no-nutten mula to trade."

"Dis is bery, bery bad."

"Oh, dissen gonna be messy!"

"Come on Annie!"

"Dis sun doen murder to mesa skin."

"Pee yousa!"

#66 Anakin Skywalker (Mechanic)

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"I'm building a droid."

"Will I every see you again?"

"I'm the only human that can race pods."

"It's working!"

"I'm sorry I wasn't able to finish you."

"Cho skrunee dopat, sleemo."

"I've built a racer."

"I will come back and free you Mom."

"I can fix anything!"

"What will happen to me now?"

#67 Shmi Skywalker

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"I don't want you to race...  It's awful."

"Now be brave, and don't look back... Don't look back."

"We must survive on our own."

"We will see each other again."

"I may not like it, but he can help you... He was meant to help you."

"Is he to become a Jedi?"

#68 Sebulba (Boonta Eve)

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Oh oh (laughter)... Bazda wahota, shag."

"Una notu wo shag, me wompity."

(Blaster fire short)

"Neek me chawa, wermo, mo killee ma klounkee."

"Yoka to Bantha poodoo (laughter)."

#75 Boss Nass

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Peace!"

"Yousa all bombad."

"Ke ke ke ke ke."

"Ke ke ke ke ke, mesa like dis."

(Shaking head noises)

"So, wesa maken yousa Bombad General."

#76 Fode & Beed

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"O grandio lust, Jabba Du Hutt."

"Gasgano."

"Sebulba is in the lead, followed closely by Skywalker!  It's Skywalker!"

"I see Ben Quadinaros."

"Inkabunga!"

"Granee champion Sebulba, and young Anakin Skywalker, a local boy."

#78 Darth Maul (Final Duel)

Play Sounds

CommTech 2 Proposed Speech:

"I will destroy you!" (lightsaber battle)

"Your master is defeated!"

"I sense your weakness."

"Now Jedi you will die!" (lightsaber battle)

"Fear is my ally."

"Your destiny now lies with me."

#C10 Chewbacca (Dejarik)

Play Sounds

Prototype chips can be found be found with a photo insert or a paper insert marked "931" signifying Group #93, Figure #1.

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

(Chewbacca growl)

"He made a fair move, screaming about it can't help you."

"It's not wise to upset a Wookie."

"That's 'cause a droid don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose."

"Let the Wookie win."

(R2-D2 sounds)

(Chewbacca growls)

(R2-D2 sounds)

(Blaster fire short)

(Alien sounds from dejarik game board)

(Chewbacca growls)

#C12 Obi-Wan Kenobi (Jedi Knight)

Play Sounds

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"It's your father's lightsaber, this is a weapon of a Jedi Knight."

"The force is what gives a Jedi his power."

"In my experience there's no such thing as luck."

"It's an energy field created by all living things... It surrounds us and penetrates us... It binds the galaxy together."

#C13 Jek Porkins

Jed Porkins CommTech V2

Play Sounds

Prototype chips can be found be found with a photo insert or a paper insert marked "923" signifying Group #92, Figure #3.

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"I've got a problem here... Eject... I can't hold it... Pull up... No!  No !... Aaaah!

"Red six standing by."

"We've picked up a new group of signals, enemy fighters coming your way."

"I'm going in!  I'm right with you red three!"

(Blaster sounds)

Other CommTech V2 Chips Considered

#19 Obi-Wan Kenobi (Jedi Knight) with Lightsaber & Commlink (Rerelease)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#27 Darth Sidious (Hologram Light Up?)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#32 Darth Maul (Jedi Duel) with Double-Bladed Lightsaber (Rerelease)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#34 Rune Haako #34 (Rerelease)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#35 Battle Droid with Blaster Rifle

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#37 OOM-9 with Blaster & Binoculars (Rerelease)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Yes sir!"

"Blast that tank... Now!"

"Wait for the Queen's signal, before we attack."

"Battledroids!  It's a counter attack!  Open fire!"

#38 Destroyer Droid (Battle Damage) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#40 Lott Dodd

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"This is outrageous.."

"I object to the Senator's statements!

"I object, there is no proof!"

"We recommend a commission be sent to Naboo."

#44 R2-B1 (Rerelease)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

(Various beeps & whistles)

#45 Darth Maul (Soft Goods) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#47 Queen Amidala (Light-Up).  This number was also assigned for the Tusken Raider (Sniper)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#49 Daultay Dofine (Neimoidian) Unproduced

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#50 Sio Bibble (Rerelease)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"How will you explain this invasion to the Senate?"

"Your negotiations seem to have failed Ambassador."

"They wouldn't dare!"

"Our only hope is for the Senate to side with us..."

"...Senator Palpatine will need your help."

"This invasion will gain you nothing."

"...The people have decided."

"They will not live under your tyranny!"

#51 Bail Antilles (Unrleased in this series).  This number was also assigned to the pit droid 2-pack.

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#51 Pit Droid (2-Pack) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#56 Jar Jar Binks (Swimming) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Oy mooie mooie I luv yous."

"I spake."

"No no mesa stay."

"Messa called Jar Jar Binks, Mesa yous humble servant."

"Oh boot it is."

"Tis demunded by da guds tis a live debt it is.  Oh no."

"Well yousa Jedi not so special as yousa cracked to be."

"Where wesa going?"

"Oh maxie big da force."

"How Wude!!"

#58 General Ceel (Unproduced)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#59 Padme (Original) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#62 Wald with Droid (Unproduced)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#63 Ketwol

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#64 Qui-Gon Jinn (Farmer Poncho) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#65 C-3PO (Take Apart) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#69 Kitster with Droid (Unproduced)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#70 Quarrens (Squid Face)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#71 Queen Amidala Battle (Soft Goods) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"...Our two great societies have always lived in peace."

"I ask you to help us."

"The battle is a diversion.."

"The gungans must draw the droid army away from the cities."

"Without the Viceroy they will be lost an confused."

"We'll send what pilots we have to knock out the droid control ship orbiting the planet."

"Well that is why we must not fail to get the Viceroy..."

"Let's go!"

"Now Viceroy we will discuss a new treaty."

#72 Anakin Skywalker (Naboo Pilot) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#73 Darth Sidious (Hologram) Rerelease

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#74 TC-14 (Rerelease)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#79 Plo Koon

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#80 Ben Quadineros (Unreleased in this series)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#116 Pit Droid Cinema Scene (Unproduced)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech Unknown

#C8 Princess Leia Organa Blockade (Rerelease)

Original CommTech V1 Speech:

"I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board."

"Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?"

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Darth Vader, only you could be so bold."

"I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board."

"Will someone get this big walking carpet out of my way?"

#C9 Admiral Motti (Rerelease)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

"Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes.

#C11 Wuher (Rerelease)

CommTech V2 Proposed Speech:

Droid Alarm (sound effect)

"Hey, we don't serve their kind here."

"Your droids, they'll have to wait outside."

"We don't want them here."

There were more chips proposed, but not assigned a number and the speech is unknown.  These include a Spirit Dagobah, Luke Bacta Tank & C-3PO.  There were also plans for a Toys R Us promotion.  Special CommTech chips would reveal whether the consumer won or not.  There were plans to have both "winner" & "loser" CommTech chips.

 

CommTech Reader 4.0 Battle Station

In addition to the standard CommTech reader, there were plans to also offer a deluxe reader known as the CommTech 4.0 Battle Station.  This reader would've featured interchangeable sound cartridges to represent different scenes in Star Wars Episode I.  Unfortunately this item never made it to production.  For more information regarding the design and features of this prototype, click the learn more button.

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