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Asajj Ventress

SW: The Clone Wars
by yo go re

Welcome home, sister.

An assassin trained in the ways of the dark side by Count Dooku, Asajj Ventress yearned to be considered a true Sith, but such status wasn't allowed under the Sith's Rule of Two.

Asajj Ventress is easily the most successful character to come out of the original Clone Wars microseries (of course, since it's basically just her and Durge, that isn't saying a whole lot). She continued to appear in comics after the original cartoon was over, and became a major part of the followup CGI series. She even got her own novel, based on eight unproduced episodes from Seasons 7 and 8 of The Clone Wars. The last time we reviewed Asajj figures, she was a mysterious figure of unknown origin; now she's appeared in so much stuff we know her entire biography from childhood onward. Not that that's a bad thing, because in fleshing out her story, the various creators have managed to make her one of the most interesting characters. Not just in the Clone Wars, but in Star Wars all together.

Asajj is Dathomirian, a subspecies of Zabraks who hail from the planet Dathomir. If that sounds vaguely familiar to you, it's because that's the same thing as Darth Maul. In fact, she's part of the same clan as him. Other Zabraks have horns no matter their gender, but Dathomiri display sexual dimorphism - that's why Asajj is just bald, not horny. She can grow hair, she just chooses to shave to show her dedication to the Sith order (not that Dooku really cares that much - she's just a tool to help him overthrow Sidious).

She's worn several different outfits over the various media and continuities she's appeared in, but she does definitely have a specific sense of style: fitted top, loose skirt, dark colors. This particular costume is how she was seen in the CGI show, with a purple shirt featuring a wide boob-window and short sleeves, cloth wraps around her forearms and abdomen, and a skirt with crossed belts and an ornate loincloth hanging from the round central disc. If you lift her skirt, her legs have wrinkles all the way up them, like oversized leggings or very narrow wrapped strips.

Dathomiri women have exceedingly pale skin - the light gray here is a natural color, though the markings on her scalp and jaw are tattoos. All her clothes are purple, so that's either her favorite color or there was a great sale. The shirt is the darkest, and the stomach bands the lightest. Her sleeves have two shades, to keep them from looking dull, and the background of her loincloth fades from a darker magenta to a very pale one. The skirt matches the darker shade on the arms, even if it's a different material.

So that the figure's legs don't get restricted, the skirt is softgoods. It's reminiscent of the one Elizabeth BioShock wore in terms of texture and thickness, so it doesn't look bad on the toy. Her articulation is standard for the Black Series, with joints at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, torso, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and head. She's a lithe, gymnastic fighter, darting all around her enemy rather than brutally beating them down, so the plentiful joints and the soft skirt will definitely come in handy. The only down side is that the stiff loincloth gets in the way if you bend her legs too low.

As a young child, Asajj was rescued from slavery by a Jedi master, who trained her as his padawan. When he was killed by Weequay pirates (not Hondo's crew... probably), she fell to the Dark Side. So she already knew how to use lightsabers, but now she uses curved ones that are similar to the style Count Dooku uses (which makes sense: he gifted them to her, and they'd originally belonged to his second Jedi padawan). These are two different molds, not just the same one twice, because they have to have pegs on different sides so they can plug into her belt, and they have to have different ends so they can plug together as one double-ended weapon.

The design for a pale-skinned, female Sith came from the development of Episode I. It was then developed into a full character during the development of Episode II (though that character eventually became Dooku). Even when all that work was put together to create a new antagonist for the 2D Clone Wars, her working name was "Juno Eclipse." Hey, after being made entirely of hand-me-down ideas, it's only fair she'd get to pass something on to a later character herself! There are other versions of her that could be made in this line (one with hair, for instance), but if this is the only Asajj we get, at least she's a good one.

-- 07/11/21

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