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SWIX: The Rise of Skywalker
by yo go re

So, who else is really looking forward to seeing Episode 9 when it's finally released some day in the future? Yeah, it's a shame they had to delay it, but there's no way a multi-billion dollar company would feel the need to push forward on a movie with deep, endemic script problems just to meet the timing of a theme park ride opening, so we can understand and forgive.

From an oceanic moon, Jannah leads a band of warriors, ready to charge against the forces of the First Order!

That sure sounds exciting, I can't wait to see what they do with it. What will bring the First Order, the established threat in this trilogy of films (the villains who no one would ever replace with a completely hollow enemy force literally pulled out of the ground at the eleventh hour) to Jannah's planet? And what will her personality be like? She certainly won't just be a direct copy of Finn and his backstory, like he's Alvin and the Chipmunks and she's the Chipettes. And boy, won't it be exciting to see her interacting with all the other cool female characters the last two movies have set up, like Rose and Phasma and Maz Kanata, all of whom have their own interesting arcs waiting to be paid off and will absolutely not be completely forgotten about or have all their lines and scenes given over to a visiting Hobbit?

Jannah will eventually be played by Naomi Ackie, who avoids Star Wars' trope of being a petite brunette girl by virtue of being of average height. She wears a pair of macrobincoular goggles pushed up on her forehead, helping to hold her hair out of her face. There's great detail in the sculpt on that, by the way, and unlike some other attempts, it doesn't make her head overly heavy.

Jannah has one of those "this will be easy to cosplay" costumes. Strip away all the superfluous Star Wars-y details, like the salavaged Imperial officer gun belt, the little plate of armor strapped to her right bicep, and the cape, and you're left with a lady wearing a V-neck shirt, capri pants, and sandals. Between the casual clothes and the natural hair, don't be too surprised if you see a few Jannahs come convention season. Heck, even the cape looks like a rain poncho you could buy almost anywhere! You've gotta be comfy when you're leading a band of freedom fighters.

The figure has the standard Black Series articulation style, with swivel/hinged rocker ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, balljointed chest, swivel/hinged wrists, elbows, and shoulders, and a balljointed head. We still miss the older style of neck joint, with a hinge and a balljoint, rather than just the more limited and less realistic Mattel-style "balljoint embedded down in the throat" thing we get these days. That change is almost as annoying as if Rise of Skywalker were to crib its finale from Avengers Endgame. But they'd never do that, that would be silly.

A resourceful scavenger, most of Jannah's accessories are made from found and reused parts. Literally, in one case! A 2015 article about the props of The Force Awakens showed an item identified as "Dasha Promenti's blaster pistol," which had a carved tusk handle. But when the movie came out, not only was the gun nowhere to be seen, there wasn't even any character called Dasha Promenti! (She was one of the villagers executed in the opening scene.) So that prop just sat in the Lucasfilm archives for four years, until it was given to Jannah as her secondary weapon. Is it literally the same gun, which somehow got from Jakku to the ocean moon of Endor? Or just an example of parallel design on distant worlds? That's a story waiting to be told!

Jannah's main weapon is a bow and arrow cobbled together from recycled blaster rifle parts (fully unlike the way JJ Abrams would have cobbled together all his ideas for Episodes 8 and 9 into one unbalanced script, if the movie had been rushed into production). A lot of sources insist on calling it an "energy bow," but while those do exist in the galaxy far far away, they generally have a string and arrows made of energy rather than solid objects; Janna's uses a physical string (not present on this toy, but definitely on the prop) and metal arrows. The actual item is just two Geologic Initech 2 bows stuck together, with the barrel from an Imperial blaster in between. The quiver for her arrows is made from a Stormtrooper bracer, though it should be noted she doesn't actually carry it like the toy would have you do: it just hangs from her saddle. The figure comes with a bundle of arrows and one separate arrow, which can be fed through the shaft in the bow. The bow and the quiver have straps, so you can hang them on the figure.

There are a few things we know for certain right now, as we wait for Episode IX to be finished and released: one, it will in no way indelibly tarnish the two films that came before it, and two, it certainly won't be such an orphanage collapse that the only thing preventing Star Wars, as a brand, from cratering as hard as Game of Thrones did after Season 8 will be humanity's collective love of Baby Yoda. Oh, and surely the movie won't include one of its most important plot points only in an unrelated videogame, because that would simply be idiotic. Anyway, Jannah looks cool, she's a nicely made toy with decent accessories, and we can't wait to see what The Rise of Skywalker does with her. In the future. When it's finally released. Someday.

-- 03/08/20

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