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Princess Leia Organa (Boushh)

SWVI: Return of the Jedi
by yo go re

Back before the home video market really took off, they used to show Star Wars on TV all the time; the frequency really dropped off once the VHS tapes were released (in silver or gold boxes, depending on whether you got the fullscreen or widescreen version). Anyway, the point is, I watched it a bunch as a kid. I'm not sure if I remember the first time I ever saw it, but I definitely remember the first time I saw it and was able to appreciate the story ("she's his sister?!"). But that's not the point of this overly personal anecdote.

I watched the movies a lot, but I didn't get obsessed like some people. So in the '90s, when Star Wars started to get big again, I had to put an effort in to learn about the characters. Everybody was going nuts about Boba Fett, but I didn't know who that was - and when he was described as "the bounty hunter in the cool helmet," I thought they meant Boushh.

Boushh was a Ubesian bounty hunter who had a love for explosives and a reputation for being suicidal - it was completely false, but he cultivated it so that anyone who tried to cheat him would believe he was willing to blow himself up along with them. Although he was named in the Return of the Jedi script (and subsequently, in the novelization), his name is never said in the movie. All the information there was to know about him came from secondary sources, like action figures and roleplaying books.

Boushh was shorter than the average Ubese male, which is why his clothes could fit tiny little Leia. And yet this figure, topping out above 5⅝", is taller than Slave Leia. Significantly taller. One's head comes up to the other's chin. Are the boots we see on the ends of her legs fakes, and she's actually standing on tip-toe inside them? The early concept art for this costume showed her wearing Japanese-style sandals (or at least high heels) - the fact that she still had human feet would have been the flaw that allowed Jabba to see through her disguise. So maybe her ballerina-dancing her way around his palace isn't the craziest thing in the world. Still, Carrie Fisher is 5'1", so this figure is too big to be in a 6" scale.

The likeness is very good, though. They really did a good job with Fisher's face, which isn't something that can be said about a lot of Leia figures. Her hair is parted and pulled into a tiny bun, and a few loose strands fall across her forehead and down her cheeks. The eyes on mine are painted a bit poorly, and she's wearing a lot of blush.

Boushh's outfit is all warm colors: orange, tan and brown. It's got large boots, bunched material over the knees, a short skirt, big poofy sleeves, and cloth wraps all the way up the arms. There's a pad of armor over the shoulders, and metal studs on the back of the hands. An ornate bandolier comes over the right shoulder, and runs right into the belt. A pair of small tanks on the back provides fresh air in extreme conditions, and there's a softgoods cape hanging off the bandolier strap. The belt has a peg in the back that fits into a hole in the figure's waist, but it feels like it's just a little too low.

The helmet is very distinctive. It's got a large, flattened top, two visors (one over the eyes, the other over the forehead) and a distinctive "snout" piece that suggests there's an air filtration system to be found in there. What you won't find, however, is adequate room for the figure's head. The mask is so tight, it feels like it's going to rub the paint off her nose. I left the helmet on for a few hours, and there was already a small divot in the front where the nose had deformed the inside of the mask. See, this is why physical sculpts are important: just because the numbers say something will be okay, that doesn't always mean it will. The trick is to tip her head down slightly, rather than trying to have the eyes line up with the visor.

Leia has swivel/hinge rocker ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips and torso, swivel/hinge wrists, elbows and shoulders, a hinged neck, and a balljointed head. She's armed with a large grey staff (a decent size this time, so not the same sculpt Slave Leia came with) and of course the thermal detonator. It has a hole that allows it to peg onto her belt, and can be held in her left hand with some careful work.

Surprisingly, it took until 1996 for a story to finally reveal where Leia got a bounty hunter's outfit in the first place: Guri gave it to her so she could sneak onto Coruscant and meet with Xizor, and she just kept it afterward. If you can look past being the wrong size, and having a helmet without enough room for the figure's head, this is a decent Black Series Boushh.

-- 10/11/15


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