Jan 15, 2020

Star Wars Playing Cards by Theory 11

I discovered this deck of cards purely by accident through an ad in my Instagram feed. See kids? Sometimes advertisements can actually be good! 


There are two decks available, light side and dark side. Both decks have the same cards in them, the only differences are the box art and card backs. The boxes are very nice with foil embossing on both sides. I did my best to try and capture the shine of the foil.

The deck is sealed with an Alliance starbird logo sticker. While these look nice, I am never a fan of these sticker seals because I will either damage the box in some way or if I leave it on, it makes it a little difficult to get the cards out. If you visit Theory 11's site, you'll see stuff about card magic and handling, so it makes sense they'd want to provide a sealed deck.

It's hard to see here, but if you click for a larger view, you'll see the inner flap has a Y-Wing that says "Stay on target." below it.


I hadn't heard of Theory 11 before and sadly, it seems like Carta Mundi no longer has the rights to make Star Wars playing cards. This probably happened awhile back and I never noticed. I think the last movie deck I have from them is Rogue One. They always put out quality stuff and I had fun collecting the decks. Anyway, back on track!

The back of the box has got a lot going on! There are tiny X-Wings on the sides of R2's head. There's even some Aurabesh (the in galaxy language) which says The Force Light Side. But the trick here is that you have to read it top to bottom when you'd think it would go left to right. At first I thought they made a mistake because the right side was printed upside down.


The card back is the same as the back of the box and despite how busy the image is, it still looks very clean. The Jokers are BB-8 and D-O. I really think they should have been one Joker and R2 and 3PO on the other. They aren't even on the cards! Except for R2's head on the backs but being an older fan, I think they deserve a bit more presence.

And this is where my biggest "complaint" is with this deck: the theming.


I love the art style used for the court cards. I really enjoy that they worked a ship into each Ace. I know it's not easy to pack 9 movies into 4 suits but I would have tried to find a way to make each suit a little more cohesive and that's just the fan in me wanting that little bit more. In Hearts, we have the Falcon, Old Ben, General Leia (Last Jedi), and young Han.


Clubs brings Vader's TIE, the Emperor, Mon Mothma (?), and Kylo Ren. I get that you probably want to use a woman for the Queen and there aren't really a lot of women to choose from, much less any dark side females in the movies. I want to give Clubs a pass but Vader is over in Spades while his ship is here.


Diamonds delivers Fett's Slave I, Jedi Master Luke, Rey, and Lando (Return of the Jedi). Why not swap Old Ben here in place of Lando? Then you'd have Lando with the Falcon, Leia, and Han and a trio of Force users.


Lastly, is Spades. The Ace has Yoda raising the X-Wing from the swamp followed by Vader, Padme, and Boba Fett.

Despite my griping about the suit theming, I really do like these cards. They have a nice feel to them, the art is great, and the box is a collectible by itself.

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