It kinda has a roleplaying game-like feel, which reminds me of the time when the Rangerlord and I would get the siblings/cousins together for many a spot of the old West End Games Star Wars Roleplaying Game. There was a real sense of boundless potential for your characters. You could be anything you wanted to be--a Force sensitive but untrained character, a half-trained Jedi, a wrongly trained Jedi, or even a guy who thinks he's a Jedi and has powers because of it. But my favourite was coming up with your own "occupation," like "Space Cowboy" or "Galactic Ladies Man" Heh, those were the days.
Barriss Offee, I picked up this lass too--how could I possible resist the "Character Debut: Never before offered as a figure!!!" sticker? I'm such a sucker!
From seeing her in-package, this was what I could garner: Jedi? Check. Double-bladed lightsaber? Check. Funky new hair sculpt? Check. Fancy Schmancy duds? Check. Snazzy name? Check.
So let's take a look at her out-of-package, shall we? :)
Like: Her outfit. Star Wars-ishly outlandish but not overly loud. It's also a great attempt to do a non-conventional getup with a leather skirt complete with strips hanging from her hip front and sides. The whole brown leather over yellow cloth idea makes for a cool Jedi-like combo.
Dislike: Her legs look short because you can see her hip/leg joints. This is actually a great sculpt for female characters except that in most cases, you don't see the leg joints exposed because of a skirt, or the character's wearing pants and has the appropriate detail at the region. But in Bastila's case the area is smooth and devoid of any detail, so it looks kinda glaring against all the texture of the rest of her clothes.
Like: That they attempted to cast her hair in a very difficult to do style. And from the picture on card, you can see it's a very nice hairstyle for a female human Jedi. Heck, It's a nice hairstyle for a female human.
Dislike: That despite a valiant attempt, the hair ends up looking like a padded helmet from the front (think Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal for all you football [soccer] fans...) From the side and the back, the hair looks great though. I'm just not sure how they missed the front right!
Like: She's got unrestricted movement of her joints! Most female figures are hindered by skirts/capes (like Bariss Offee) but her lack of either allows her to be put in the widest possible stances of have her raise her arms over her head without obstruction.
Aesthetics: 7.5/10 - A pretty figure. But just short of being truly a stunner up close. The potential is there but the funny-looking hair from the front and the funky crotch throws her off up close. Bastila also suffers from the too-wide stance, which adds to the illusion of her shortness.
Poseability: 8/10 - The unrestricted limbs and PoAs are a huge plus. I also think being out of Jedi robes and in her own gear makes her more interesting to pose--you can see her legs and feet. I also love the little hole in the belt which allows you to plug on her unlit lightsaber. I might be wrong but this could be the first time a Jedi gets to clip a double 'saber on his/her hip. Maybe Darth Maul can do it too, but I love that the unlit weapon hangs down to her boot-top. It's like Dirty Hary walking around with his Smith & Wesson Model 29 Revolver--"the most powerful handgun in the world." Lol.
Also, I like that she has a "Jedi hand." which can both perform the necessary Jedi mind-trick and hold a lightsaber when needed. :)
Fun: 8/10 - As I mentioned earlier, the fun in this figure for me is in the not-knowing who she is and hence her potential to be anyone--a Jedi extra for my display (who has a name, because they all do in the SW universe anyway) or the heroine of the video games that she is. Even then, her "adventures" could continue and she could go anywhere in any Star Wars display without looking at all out of place/time. Together with other characters from the Old Republic? Already there. Arena battle scene? No problem. Jedi temple massacre? Sure. Killed by Clone Troopers during Executive Order 66? That works. One of Luke's Jedi trainees in the New Jedi Order? That works too. Buying Bastila fr me was like buying a figure of a character I came up with. :)
Value: 7/10 - With her lit double lightsaber and another unlit one, Bastila's only got two accessories. But would you look at the size of those double 'sabers? They're like two weapons in one so those might as well be four weapons she comes with. Har.
Her head sculpt is also unique, while the tooling on her leather vest, shoulder pads and skirt are really well worked. And needless to say, Star Wars figures have the most flexible PoAs on a 3.75" figure, so that's always value-for-money there.
Overall: 7.7/10 - A Good Toy All Around with some minor flaws - I may not like her as much as Bariss Offee, but for a character I knew nothing about and bought based on how cool I thought she was (my wife thought so too, probably moreso than me. Heh.), she turned out to be a fantastic buy. I like Jedi (doh! Who doesn't? The Sith. I know, I know...), especially ones with non-standard outfits and are popular enough to make it into the toy line but yet are unknown to me. (Heh.)
Whether you're looking for a Jedi to fill in the gaps in your existing Jedi display or putting together an Old Republic one, Bastila Shan is perfect for both. either way, I think human female Jedi figures are hard to come by (I can only think of Mara Jade now...) so if you're a Star Wars fan, I don't think you can avoid her! ;P