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Luminara Unduli

SWII: Attack of the Clones
by yo go re

Enough with the Jedi monks, already; let's get some Jedi nuns!

Luminara is a Jedi Master who commands the 41st Elite Corps as a Jedi general during the Clone Wars.

That she may be, but the image on the back of the card is from the Geonosis arena, so we're filing this one under Attack of the Clones. That's where she first appeared, and where she got her first action figure - a wildly pre-posed figure with an incredibly dynamic look (as was the style at the time). Her second figure, the one we reviewed back in 2005, was actually fairly good, even by current standards. Good enough that you really have to wonder if an update was even needed. Let's take a look at this new release and find out together.

Well, for one thing, the head is better. And not just because of an improved sculpt and more intricate paintwork, though both those things are true. No, what makes this one better is that her headdress is removable, rather than being molded on - a first! Apparently Luminara has small dreadlocks pulled into a ponytail, just like actress Mary Oyaya. Or Darth Nihilus.

Her skirt and cloak are softgoods, and the cloak is just as removable as her hat. The skirt comes down much lower than her feet, which really only means that it's going to bunch up on the ground and make it hard to keep her standing. Her sleeves are sculpted, so that they "poof" appropriately around her elbows, while her bracers and the strip hanging down from her waist are sculpted so that they can actually have all the intricate details seen on the movie costume. They're not as colorful as before, but they seem to match the film. Oh, and while her cloak seems to have a flap that represents a hood folded back against her shoulders, it's just that: a flap, not a real hood.

Luminara has a balljointed head, swivel waist and wrists, T-hips, and swivel/hinge joints at the shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles. Now, in several ways this is an improvement: the previous toy's elbows were just swivels cut into the arm at an angle, and it had no ankles; on the other hand, the headdress on this one restricts the head more, and even gets in the way of the shoulders. Sure, it's removable, so it will just get pushed out of the way, but it already has enough trouble staying on thanks to the bulk of her softgoods cape - and particularly the vestigial flap at the top.

The figure's only accessory is her lightsaber. That kind of makes sense, since this figure was originally planned for one of those Build-A-Droid series, before Hasbro cancelled those in favor of the 5 POA budget line. But while a single accessory may be understandable when you're also getting a piece of a droid, it's less acceptable here. No doubt the softgoods bit into the budget, but how about an unignited lightsaber hilt that could plug into her belt?

This Luminara Unduli is a very nice figure, but she's not such a substantial improvement that if you got the last release you need this one. If you don't have the last one though, this one's great!

-- 01/25/14

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