Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dead Jedi File, Vol. 4: Luminara Unduli, Jedi Master (Snicker) Is All Skirts, No Substance.

The Good: Well detailed, Some interesting articulation, Accessories
The Bad: Limited pose, Lightsaber breaks easily, Not as detailed as the packaging shows.
The Basics: Ultimately an average figure, Luminara Unduli is limited by her pose, the breakability of her accessory and the underpainted detailing Hasbro taunts collectors with.

When I was a kid, Jedis were cool. Sure, there were only two or three left in the galaxy, but they were powerful and they had a philosophy and they were cool. Then, I became an adult and George Lucas decided to continue the Star Wars films and the Jedi were turned from very cool, powerful warriors to the lamest standing army the galaxy could conceive. After all, how could so many Jedi - even overwhelmed by superior numbers - survive the Geonosian Arena in Attack Of The Clones only to be picked off one by one by the Clone Army, who appear now to be stormtroopers before the Replicant fading began. Still, the clone warriors were not the most fearsome, clever or worthwhile army in the galaxy. But hey, they defeated the Jedi, so they have to be good for something.

One of the Jedi they defeated was Luminara Unduli, a Jedi Master who appeared briefly in Attack Of The Clones (reviewed here!). One of the background Jedi, she is largely memorable for being a woman which helped bulk up the total recognizable women in the Star Wars Saga to at least a dozen (pretty sad after five movies!). She had billowing robes, a green lightsaber and an apprentice who had her back. But mostly, she was among the legions of background Jedi, though she survived Episode 2, who did not have a speaking part, but made for a worthwhile addition to Hasbro's growing army of Star Wars action figures.

This 4" Luminara Unduli figure is generally decent and it is a good figure in that it fleshes out the full Star Wars universe fairly well. However, posed as she is, this is a figure that is limited to the action kicking appearance that she appears to be in the middle of or a strange, Jedi bellydance pose that one can pretty much figure from the hand. Ultimately, it ends up as a pretty average action figure and given that it is already geared toward a very specific niche audience, one suspects those in that niche (Star Wars action figure fans) would want something a little bit better.


Luminara Unduli in this form is a Jedi Master posed in a dramatic action moment during the Battle Of Geonosis from Attack Of The Clones. Her right leg is posed in a bent back position as her left leg extends into a kick. Judging from the way her robes and skirts are billowing, the collector is supposed to assume she is descending in a kick, likely taking out several Battle Droids as she does. This is a woman who should never have been taken out by dumb robots or cloned soldiers. The Luminara Unduli figure stands only 3" tall, because she is not so much standing as she is soaring through a kick. Luminara Unduli is appropriately coifed in robes and boots with her green-skinned face and hands showing. This figure is made of a combination of slightly hard plastic - the main body is solid, but the arms and legs illustrate the start of using more flexible plastic that actually feels more rubbery - and has soft plastic robes and skirts, though the skirt is fairly flexible. The figure is cast the hard plastic, then colored appropriately . . . for the most part.

This toy is a wonderful sculpt and if one can find Luminara Unduli in the film for comparison, one will note the body shape and costume detailing are pretty decent. Luminara Unduli is amazing in her coloring detail . . . to a point. The detailing on the figure's face is extraordinary with her dark eyes bearing a piercing quality even in this small scale. Equally impressive is that Hasbro was able to provide detailing for her facial tattoos and even her fingernails are painted! Unfortunately, the figure could be better and Hasbro is to blame for that. The photograph on the package shows Luminara Unduli with the detailing on her robes painted in. As a result, the front sash in the image on the packaging shows what the figure is intended to be, with gold trim and colored highlights. Such accents are also supposed to be present on the broach and boots. Seeing what this figure was supposed to be in terms of detailing makes one a bit disappointed at the way she was ultimately detailed.


Luminara Unduli, being a noble Jedi Master, requires very few accessories. As a result, this figure comes with a lightsaber and a "blast" deflection for the lightsaber. The lightsaber is a two and five-eighths inch plastic green lightsaber that is translucent like the one in the movie to its base. This lightsaber is rather beautifully cast in shiny silver plastic and the "blade" of the lightsaber may be pulled off to allow Luminara Unduli to appear peaceful, at least so much as a figure in mid-kick might appear peaceful. Unfortunately, because the base of the lightsaber blade is a thin pin that fits into the base, this accessory breaks real easy leaving one with a detached blade and a choking hazard. As it is, the lightsaber may only fit into Luminara Unduli's raised right hand. The other hand is posed with a "come hither" two-fingered beckoning.

The other accessory is a bolt of light energy meant to be a laser blast that is being deflected by the lightsaber. This bolt attaches to the the lightsaber blade and is essentially three spikes of red plastic that are about one and a half inches each, angled in various vectors as if it is dispersing. It is a cool idea, but just annoying after the blade has broken off the lightsaber hilt.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Luminara Unduli is not bad in that regard. First, the action kick pose is pretty decent for playing with. As well, with capes and skirts made of the stiff plastic, this figure is one of the most stable Star Wars figures Hasbro produced. It is virtually impossible to knock her over, save by flicking her right in the face. The arms and hands of Luminara Unduli may easily be posed in any way because there is no way to unbalance her in order to knock her over!

Unfortunately, the reason for Luminara Unduli's stability is her low amount of articulation. Between the stiff-enough skirt and legs that have no joints, Luminara Unduli is pretty much stuck looking like she will kick the tar out of all of her enemies. She is gifted with only six points of articulation and that is a huge letdown considering the overall quality of the figure. The lowered flexibility pretty much mandates collectors pose the figure in very set ways. Luminara Unduli, as an action figure, has joints at the elbows, shoulders, neck and waist. There is no articulation in the knees or ankles, presumably because the stiff "skirt" cape that descends from the waist is stiff plastic and would not allow posing with it. The elbow joints are not bending joints, but rather turning ones. As a result, this Jedi Master may rotate her forearms, but not extend her arms straight.

Also limited are the figure's ability to do action in a reasonable motion from the shoulder joints. The veil on the back of the figure's headpiece restricts the right shoulder from having much of a range of motion. The left arm is unencumbered by such things, but given the drape of the robes Luminara Unduli is wearing, this looks utterly ridiculous when rotated past a certain point. As well, the headpiece veils restrict the head from turning more than thirty degrees. In other words, this figure has very limited poseability, but when one needs to punt battle droids, she might well be the ideal!


Luminara Unduli is part of the 2002 Star Wars saga collection of four-inch action figures. This series of Star Wars action figures was fairly common and the Luminara Unduli figure was #26 in that collection and was in no way shortpacked in the cases. As a result, Luminara Unduli was pretty well available in the cases of this product and as a result is still widely available on the secondary market today. In other words, this Luminara Unduli is a poor investment and is more ideal for collectors and children who actually want an interesting Luminara Unduli to play with!


Luminara Unduli is an interesting figure, but despite the inability to tip her over, she makes for a poor play and posing figure do to the way she was cast. There is another action figure of this character and that might well be a better way for fans and collectors to go.

For other Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones action figures reviewed by me, please check out my reviews of:
#01 Acklay Battle Obi-Wan Kenobi
#02 Arena Escape Padme Amidala
#10 Shaak Ti
#13 Kamino Escape Jango Fett
#23 Yoda
#27 Count Dooku
#35 Orn Free Taa
#39 Supreme Chancellor Palpatine


For other toy reviews, please click here to visit my index page!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment