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Jarael & Rohlan Dyre

by yo go re

Hasbro never really seemed to hit their stride with the Star Wars Comic Packs. For every set that flew off shelves never to return, there was at least one stinker that just sat and sat and got moved around every time the store did a reset. No surprise the line was officially canceled, but a few sets had already been put in the pipeline, so they're finding their way out as exclusives.

Mandalorian warrior Rohlan Dyre and Arkanian protector Jarael are caught up in the Mandalorian Wars that ravage across the galaxy in the days of the Old Republic. The lives of these two very different people - the fierce Jarael and "Rohlan the Questioner" - intersect when they meet the Force-sensitive Zayne Carrick.

Knights of the Old Republic is a comic based on the popular videogame. Set 4,000 years before the movies, the videogame did its best to mirror the story fans were familiar with; set approximately a decade prior to the game, however, the comic has its own story to tell, and new characters to tell it with.

Jarael (no last name given) was a former slave and a former slaver living a fairly quiet life in an old garbage freighter before meeting Zayne Carrick and getting pulled into his space-faring adventures. She's one of those rarest Star Wars figures, one that doesn't share parts with any previous toys. Artist Brian Ching designed Jarael to look like a worker rather than a sexpot, so she's wearing big boots, normal pants, and a top that may have been a dress at one point but has been cut into something more utilitarian.

Jarael (nee Edessa) has a very elven face. She has a narrow chin, and pointed ears. Well, ear - the other is covered by her hair, since she tended to keep them hidden. Canonically, her skin is meant to be white, but the toy is a very pale blue/gray - the comics do the same thing, though, so it's not really a mistake. More of a stylistic choice, like blue highlights on black costumes.

The character has distinctive tattoos, and the toy does its best to duplicate them (but if we're being honest, they're not perfect). Known as "the Flames of the Crucible," a runic language used by the slavers who had once held young Jarael, the tattoos were reserved for those who had become a permanent part of the organization. The paint on the figure is very intricate, and perfectly crisp - very nice work, whether it exactly matches the comic art or not.

Though she's one of the few non-Jedi characters to master the lightsaber, Jarael doesn't come with one - instead, this figure represents her earlier in her life, when she'd first met Zayne and was still using a shockstaff (you know, the same kind of weapon General Grievous' guards used). The weapon is a bronze staff with a long translucent blue section at the tip, and a smaller blue section close below that. She also has a small removable satchel worn across her chest.

The second figure in this set sounds rather intimidating, doesn't he? "Rohlan the Questioner." It's like "Ronan the Accuser" or something, right? Well, no: they called him "the Questioner" because he questioned the Mandalorians' reasons for for going to war and their tactics in fighting the Republic. Basically, he was a conscientious objector, which can't have been easy for a guy from a warrior culture.

Looking at Rohlan, you can definitely see the proto-"Boba Fett" elements in his design. He wears body armor, a jetpack, and a helmet with a T-shaped visor. It's a rougher, more primitive look, naturally, but the parallels are there. His left pauldron has spikes on it, and the sculpt is detailed enough to show that two of the spikes have become dislodged in some prior battle. There's an area on his chest that should be painted red, like his armor, but is instead blue, like his clothes; next to that are some straps that should be brown, but are the same blue. This is probably a cost-saving measure, but it's the only real paint error to be found.

For whatever reason, the helmet is connected to the jetpack by a thin black cord. Remove the helmet, and you'll find a black man beneath, proving it wasn't just Lando and Mace! We'd say that this would piss off the idiots calling for a boycott of Thor or mad about Muslim Batman, but who really gives a crap what those brain donors think? Rohlan is obviously a battle veteran, judging by the scars sculpted and painted on his face. He looks harsh!

Most of Rohlan Dyre's articulation is a balljoint or equivalent: he moves at the neck, shoulders, chest, elbows, waist, wrists, hips and knees, and only the wrists, waist and hips are plain swivels. His jetpack is removable, taking the shoulder strap with it. He's armed with a pistol that holsters on his right thigh, and a short knife that fits in a sheath on his left boot. Cool stuff, all around!

This comic pack, #55 by Hasbro's indecipherable numbering system, includes a reprint of Knights of the Old Republic #6, the finale of the opening arc. It's a nice story, but not for either Jarael or Rohlan Dyre - if Zayne Carrick were in this pack, it'd be great, since it shows his big moment; Jarael only shows up a little, and Rohlan's not in it at all. It's a good read, though, and serves as a really nice hook for the KOTOR story. Careful, after reading this, you might get sucked in!

This set is available only at Entertainment Earth, where it's slightly overpriced, but such is the fate of limited exclusives. Keep an eye out for sales, though: EE has them frequently, and these are two all-new figures to add to your Star Wars collection, ones that likely won't be seen again.

-- 01/01/11

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