Though we got to see the beginning of the Great Jedi Purge in Revenge of the Sith, there was still a long way to go before we reached the point of Yoda and Obi-Wan being the only two Jedi in the universe. Thus, it falls to Dark Horse Comics to fill in the gaps, and that's just what they did with their Star Wars: Purge one-shot.
The Jedi are on the run or in hiding after Order 66 wiped out most of the venerable order. Bultar Swan has a plan to crush the new Empire: destroy Darth Vader and thus weaken the Emperor and his fledgling rule. She brings together a handful of Jedi on the planet Kessel and leaks a false rumor that Obi-Wan Kenobi will be there, knowing Vader will take the bait... and the Jedi will be waiting for him.
This comic pack (number 13 in the series) offers two new Jedi, starting with the impetuous Koffi Arana. Arana is based on one of the multitudinous generic Jedi seen wandering the Jedi Temple in the prequel films. The diehard fans can tell you that he was seen exiting a briefing room as Anakin entered in Episode III, but it's a real "blink and you'll miss it" appearance.
Since he's on the run, Koffi has ditched his Jedi robes for strange red armor. Well, "strange" only in that we've never seen the sort before. It's not extensively weird or anything. The armor has gold highlights, and he's wearing brown clothes underneath. There are long strips hanging from the belt - in the comic they're cloth, but for the figure they're just sculpted plastic. His ensemble is capped off by a grey backpack that almost looks like a Ghostbusters proton pack. His lightsaber is blue.
The figure's likeness isn't very good. Yes, this is an Expanded Universe Jedi toy, but that Jedi was still based on a real person: he wasn't just a CGI creation in the movie, you know? Musician Gervais Koffi was born in Bouake in the Ivory Coast, but moved to Australia in 1998, which is where he was cast as an extra for Ep.3. He's a distinctive-looking guy, and this figure manages to capture none of it.
Maybe the changes were made to avoid paying Gervais any fees for his likeness? The figure doesn't bear much of a resemblence to the Koffi Arana seen in the comic, either. The haircut is similar and that's about it.
Koffi Arana has balljointed knees, peg hips, peg waist, balljointed shoulders, peg elbows and peg wrists. The elbows are at least done with a 45° angle, so poseability isn't terrible, but this type of joint never works as well as companies seem to think it does. His head is a true ball and socket joint, so maybe you can pop it off and put it on a better body.
Packaged with Arana is his fellow Jedi-on-the-run, Bultar Swan.
She, too, is based on a generic live action Jedi seen in the films: specifically, she's seen in Episode II's arena battle, hanging out with the doomed fish-headed guy [Coleman Trebor, you newb --ed.]. Whatever, shut up. She was also supposed to sppear in Episode III (probably getting killed), but her scenes were cut.
Bultar, too, has foregone her Jedi robes in favor of civilian wear, once again proving that Obi-Wan really was an old fool, expecting to hide while still wearing his uniform for all those years on Tatooine. Anyway, Bultar is wearing black boots, brown jodhpurs and gloves, and a cream-colored shirt beneath what looks like a feminine version of Stormtrooper armor. Maybe it's the armor she was assigned when she was a general in the Clone Wars? She's got a pair of pouched belts around her waist, as well: one separate piece, but held in place by the figure's construction.
This is another case where the likeness isn't up to snuff. Bultar was portrayed by Mimi Daraphet, but this figure doesn't look a thing like her. Doesn't look much like the comicbook, either. The sculpt is soft, lacking crisp detail and giving the figure a wide forehead and a look of doe-eyed indifference that gives her a closer resemblence to Smallville's Kristen Kreuk than anything else.
There's another Bultar Swan figure available, in one of the Evolutions three-packs, but it's not significantly better. Get it if you want her in her Jedi get-up.
The articulation starts out really well. She has balljointed head, balljointed shoulders, balljointed elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist and plain swivel hips. What happened to the knees, guys? Ankles? Bultar has this weird, squatting stance, and she's stuck that way permanently because Hasbro didn't bother to include enough articulation. The arms are good - better than Koffi Arana's - but the legs are just crappy. At least she can wield her green lightsaber well.
The comic pack includes another pair of accessories which doesn't really belong to either figure, but you have to read the included comic to get the significance. That's cool, though, because Purge is a really good story. Great plot, great art, plenty of all-around badassery... it's almost worth buying this set just to get the comic, that's how good it is. And not to throw spoilers all around, but don't be fooled by the title - it doesn't quite mean what you think it means.
One thing we can tell you about the story? Vader gets his right arm cut off. Yes, again. That makes, what, four times now? Twice in the movies and twice in the EU.
And that's the extra accessory: his dismembered arm. You also get a short sword, the cortosis blade Shadday Potkin brought to the meeting. Cortosis is a dense metal that can apparently render a lightsaber useless for a few minutes, which is why it would be so useful against a rogue Jedi.
Of course, the fact that there's a hole in Koffi Arana's chest that's just the right size for the blade to fit in should give you a hint that not everything went according to plan. Oops. In truth, it should probably be deeper, but that's still a cool little play feature that adds to the value of an already-good set (and shows off just how inventive Vader is).