For all my talk about barely knowing anything about Star Wars, most people seem to think I know a lot. Sure, I know the line isn’t “Luke, I am your father” and of course I know that Han shot first. But when it comes to knowing about the prequels, I’ve seen each of the films once but I did watch the first of the Clone Wars series since I am a huge Samurai Jack fan and would watch anything by Genndy Tartakovsky. But like the mystery of Boba Fett, The Clone Wars brought a new villain to the forefront: the Dark Jedi, Asajj Ventress!
Asajj Ventress is a female Dark Jedi (so she isn’t a Sith) best known for being one of the baddies in the Clone Wars show. But fans latched onto her for one big reason: she didn’t have much of a back story when she first appeared. She was some female baddie who looked oddly inhuman and wielded two red lightsabers, that was it.
Since Asajj originally had a design to make her fit the Clone Wars style, she had to get a new design when she joined up with the rest of the Expanded Universe. So before even getting to the figure, Asajj went from being a slightly deformed cartoon character to a “realistic” alien design then to the highly stylized Heroes’ design. All of these reimaginings of the character are drastically different and seems to have left the sculptors of unsure of where to go. Asajj is wearing her outfit that she wore in the computer animated version of the Clone Wars. It’s dark and light purple with an ornate waist cloth and bandaged arms. The outfit looks fine even though I prefer her original black and bandages look.
While her outfit is well done, her face and body sculpt just don’t work for me. The figure is sculpted to look like a bald human, but Asajj is anything but that. Her look can only really be described as skeletal and this figure doesn’t hold up. Much like her outfit, Asajj’s face is taken from the CGI Clone Wars and is a drastic change from the white face and white eyes with only black outlines, to an oddly detailed head with lines and vibrant red lips. Even her pale eyes, which should be almost solid white, look far too blue. In an interesting move, Asajj is actually articulated at the wrists allowing a few poses with her lightsabers (which has their handles properly curved).
Paired up with Asajj is her Sith mentor: Christopher Lee! As Count Dooku, he played the villain besides the Emperor in two of the prequels. A fallen Jedi turned Sith; Dooku seems like an odd choice for a big bad guy. It’s like the market research came back and said, “People like Yoda because he’s old” so Lucas made a villain who was an old man too.
Unlike Asajj, Dooku is based on an actual actor so there is much less leeway in how to portray the character. Dooku falls back into the classic Galactic Heroes pose, legs slightly squat and arms out to the side with the most minimal articulation: one point – his right hand.
Dooku is wearing a black outfit that is reminiscent of the Jedi. Black boots, pants, top with a brown belt and cloak. The silver details on his belt and hood’s chain are clean and crisp, while the glossy black used for the rest of his outfit make it look like it is more than just cloth.
Since the face is the only part that has to resemble the actor, it’s a decent enough likeness given the style. It’s an old man with a beard and brown eyes. It doesn’t scream Christopher Lee, but it works well enough so the character is recognizable. What is most odd is the color used for the skin, it seems too dull and gray and makes Dooku seem sickly. Dooku has his unique lightsaber with the curved hilt.
As a two pack, these characters work great together for anyone who is a fan of the Clone Wars series. Getting a Sith and a Dark Jedi in the same pack is a treat and would help fill out the ranks of army. It does seem odd to me though that Hasbro would pack an old man with a skeletal female, but given how hard this pack is to find now, it seems to have worked.
While I wish Asajj was based on her original look, I still find the sculpt and paint on her face disjointed and really detracts from the figure. Dooku isn’t bad but unlike some people, I prefer figures that have some possibility to them instead of having all of them look exactly the same.