Sunday, March 11, 2012
That title for Episode I is so sweet I still haven't gotten over it in 13 years...;P
Finally! A Qui-Gon! Funny thing is that when I first saw Phantom Menace, I actually loved it! I strongly suspect it had to do with being starved of big screen Star Wars love from a galaxy far, far away for a long, long time.
And I loved Qui-Gon! Perhaps is was because he was the only actor who didn't seem like he was trying to act. Perhaps it was because he reminded most of old Ben Kenobi from Episode IV more than even the young Obi-Wan did. Perhaps I just I love old Jedi dudes who (1977/1999 spoiler alert! Spoiler Alert!) die. :P
Either way, I'm really happy I have a Qui Gon! And here's why:
Like: He's a large figure for a large dude! And instead of just giving QGJ longer lower legs or arms, it seems like they've given him completely re-molded parts. He's got a larger lower torso, longer legs (both thighs and calves), larger hands, and bigger feet! Ditto for his arms and hands. And you know what them bigger feet mean, eh? Why, a better base to stand on, of course! ;P
Oh yeah, and even his clothes are a little larger. :)
Like: The figure's likeness to Liam Neeson is pretty darn good! This is where Star Wars has always shone. But then again, they make so many versions of the same character they're bound to hit the jackpot sooner or later.
Dislike: The Milkbeard. When buying Qui-Gon, you're gonna watch out for the overly painted white on his hair and beard. Most of the figures I've seen have a touch too much white highlights and thus has this milkbeard/dairy hair effect. Yes, dairy. ;)
Like: His flexible arm articulation allows for double handed grip on his lightsaber--a trademark Qui-Gon Jinn lightsaber grip technique! Lol. You can get about 90 degrees from each elbow, which is standard these days for Vintage Collection Star Wars figures. His shoulders are also very flexible in its range of motion.
Dislike: Those Jedi vests. Those mini sleeve-thingies stick out just enough to really get in the way of maximizing that fantastic shoulder articulation. You can still pretty much do most double-handed lightsaber grips with Qui-Gon, but the one that he should be able to do but can't is the overhead grip. It's a pity because he needs to be able to do that mighty two-handed blow hat gets him killed by Darth Maul. Haha. :P
Like: That his hair doesn't get in the way of his head as much as expected. Despite being long, it's nice and soft, like in those shampoo commercials. It's that Vidal Sassoon shampoo he uses, I tell ya.
Dislike: That he only comes with a lit lightsaber--there's no unlit one to clip on his belt! He's also doesn't have the hole in the belt to peg on an unlit lightsaber. :/ Having said that, I like the unique Qui-Gon 'saber design. It's a tiny detail that makes all the difference!
Like: How stable the figure is despite being taller than the average figure. This is largely down to his big feet but also because of the wide basic stance he's stuck with because of the swivel leg joints.
Dislike: That he's got a real long, thin neck that makes him look slightly giraffe-like without his cloak on. And we all know this isn't true for Liam Neeson because he's so handsome that even his neck is good-looking.
Aesthetics: 8.5/10 - Qui-Gon Jinn looks real good! As I just said, there's very few who are more handsome than the handsome Liam Neeson. And since the figure looks very much like him, it's way more handsome than other figures. Yes, it's one damn handsome piece of plastic man.
The only drawbacks are that he's got a bit of a needle neck and a potential milkbeard if you end up choosing an overpainted figure. He might also be a tad just to thin for the robust (and handsome) Liam Neeson but that and the neck could be down to a design decision to make him look just right in his cloak.
Poseability: 8.5/10 - Qui-Gon's got your average Star Wars VC PoAs but the one that stands out is the great torso pivot. Now I know I keep going on and on about how I love a good torso pivot, but Qui Gon's is vital because he doesn't have a waist swivel.
Also, he's got a longer than usual body so the pivot really helps give him some real character while posing. He's got a good hunch while holding the lightsaber with two hands and he also opens up to a nice wingspan when you twist him around into a backswing. His legs are locked in a wide stance, and swivel/hinge legs are always nice, but I doubt you'll have him just standing there so that shouldn't be a problem.
Fun: 8/10 - What is it about vintage actors that make such fun Vintage Collection figures? Perhaps it's the great job they do of acting despite the less than convincing lines, or maybe it's the screen presence they bring that shows up all the younger noob actors. It could also even be that they end up being killed off despite possibly being the best hope for their causes. (I'm also thinking of the late Sir Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing.) Or perhaps in the sum of all of the above. And somehow these carry over to their plastic 3.75" selves and make them all that more fun than if say Joe Nobody were in the role.
Value: 7.5/10 - He's just above average here. Qui-Gon's newly sculpted larger parts make up for the fact that he comes only with his Jedi cloak and lit lightsaber--he's missing the usual unlit 'saber that most other Jedi have. But then again Qui-Gon's the badboy of the Jedi, so he has to be punished somehow, even in plastic form. The only thing is that the people being punished are us, who have less accessories for him to pose with. Bad Qui-Gon! Heh.
Overall: 8.5/10 - He's a keeper! (For sure). Qui-Gon is solid all round and I really like him for his subtle differences, such as the slightly larger body parts and the slightly longer cloak. I dig my Jedi but I'm a huge Qui-Gon fan just based on the movie. He should've had a much bigger role in the Prequels, I feel, but then again I ain't George Lucas. That being said, there's no excuse for not giving him more action figures because even the likes of Quinlan Vos (who appeared in the background somewhere in the Phantom Menace) has a figure. But for what's been released so far, I'm gonna say this is the best Qui-Gon Jinn that's out there.