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Hera Syndulla

Star Wars Rebels
by yo go re

On the first "Force Friday," I bought exactly one figure; this year, I doubled my haul! And despite the fact that the event was supposed to be all about The Last Jedi, everything I got was from Rebels.

The captain and soul of the Ghost's rebel crew, Hera Syndulla was a gifted pilot and leader. Her command of her crew and the respect she earned from the Phoenix Squadron prompted her promotion to squadron leader by Commander Sato.

Hera is a second-generation Star Wars character: remember the story arc on Clone Wars that involved Mace Windu going to Ryloth, and he had to help the local resistance get across a bridge made of light so they could capture the capital city? The resistance leader Mace dealt with was Cham Syndulla, Hera's dad. While he was going into battle, his wife and infant daughter were safely hidden away, but tiny Hera watched the Republic ships coming down to rescue her people and knew instantly she wanted to be a pilot. Tensions between father and daughter escalated after Hera's mother was killed by the Empire: Cham wanted to focus on freeing his planet, while Hera wanted to focus on freeing the galaxy.

Hera is a Twi'lek, the same species as Aayla Secura and Oola. And as an aside, did you know "Twi'lek" is pronounced not like the word "twilight," the way you'd assume it is, but like the word "twill"? TWILL-ik, not TWY-lek. How weird is that? Twi'lek Twi'lek Twi'lek. TWILL-ik. Anyway, Hera's voiced by Vanessa Marshall, and if you kind of squint at the toy's sculpt (an untooned version of the animated design), you can almost make out hints of the real woman's likeness in the pale green face.

Like all Twi'leks, Hera wears headgear that would conceal the line between body and prosthetics if this were turned into a live-action character. Her goggles are a separate piece resting on her forehead, rather than simply being molded on. She's definitely the most-clothed Twi'lek woman ever, eschewing the stripperiffic outfits her species generally prefer for baggy pilot pants (with separate straps hanging around the legs), a long-sleeved gray shirt, and a bit of brown armor. In fact, the only skin she's got exposed is on her face and her two lekku. So conservative!

The paint doesn't have to be very complex, since her costume is basically just large blocks of color, but the lekku have swirling patterns printed on them - natural markings, not something she added herself or anything. On the show, they're a paler shade than the surrounding skin, but here they almost look... gold? Something. Is "grayellow" a real color? Her skin should be a little bit darker, while the marking should be a little lighter than the skin currently is. They did a nice job making the lines crisp and clean, so that is nice to see, and it photographs better than it looks under normal lighting.

Despite spending most of her time sitting in the pilot's chair, Hera has as much articulation as any other Star Wars Black Series action figure: a balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows, and wrists (with one wrist hinged side-to-side, and the other up-and-down). a balljointed torso hidden inside her pants, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. In theory she's as graceful and athletic as every other female Twi'lek, so feel free to pose her like an exotic dancer. You perv. They could have made the goggles a pivot, so they could slide down over her eyes, but that's just spit-balling.

While her "main" weapon would just be the cannons on the team's ship, the Ghost, Hera is not without a weapon of her own. She carries a Blurrg-1120 holdout blaster, a tiny little gun named after a native Rylothian creature. Befitting a holdout pistol, she keeps it in her boot.

It's been a long time since we got Hera's boyfriend, Kanan Jarrus, and a not-so-long time since Sabine Wren never showed up in any stores. But with the Force Friday release of Hera (she was supposed to be in an earlier wave, but production issues pushed her back), we now have half the Rebels crew. Now hurry up and make Zeb and an Ezra/Chopper two-pack, Hasbro!

-- 09/10/17

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