Here we go again. Those of you who read and enjoyed my review of Jaina Solo should know what to expect. That is to say, complete and utter praise for the statue and lots of my Star Wars fanboy coming into play.
Also, MAJOR SPOILERS in regards to Mara Jade in the Star Wars Universe for the next two paragraphs. Skip them if you don't know who Mara is, although if you don't, I must wonder why you want to buy her.
Okay, let's do this (SPOILERS FOLLOW).
Following her niece in the Kotobukiya fashion, Mara Jade has entered the realm of super amazing figures from Kotobukiya. That's right, this woman is the sister-in-law of Leia and Han, which can only mean one thing (okay, technically two if Han had any siblings, but he doesn't): Luke Skywalker finally settled down and married. The two of them even had a son named Ben. Of course, being Luke Skywalker, just any normal girl wouldn't do. No, he went with a woman who originally worked for his sworn enemy as a master assassin, had plans to kill him and almost succeeded, was slightly brainwashed to continue to follow those orders even after the Emperor died, and ultimately just couldn't stand him when they first met.
Which is why it was perfectly fitting that Luke asked Mara Jade to marry him when they were both about to drown. Love knows no bounds.
This is Mara Jade, the assassin with the body of a dancer and the title Emperor's Hand. That title is only give to a very select few (Mara is the only one I know of), and they have a special mission: they are the embodiment of the Emperor. They go where he cannot and carry out his will and they only answer to him. They work outside of the Empire and its chain of command. As such, this had lead to the Emperor's Hand being spoken of in hushed whispers, and just the mention of the name strikes fear into both allies and enemies of the Empire. With all of that, one would think that Mara Jade would be neck-deep in the Dark Side of the Force, but she's not. In a clever bit of manipulation and controlled information from the Emperor, Mara never once suspects that she might be working for the wrong side. She hunted down traitors to the Empire, mainly Moffs who abused their political power, and as such she never once turned to the Dark Side. In short, she is Darth Vader, but without the suit and the evil.
All right, history lesson's out of the way (or at least her basic history. I won't go into detail about her later life because reasons, but fans of hers should know full well about all of that and I am more than happy to discuss it in the comments). Let's move on to the statue, shall we?
Bizzam! Right out of the box you're going to notice a few things. One (and to me, Mara's most impressive physical feature) is Mara's red hair. Much like Huntress, Mara's hair is flared out behind her in splendid glory. It doesn't have any of that fading color at the tips to give the illusion of it thinning out, and I am perfectly fine with that. Mara Jade's red hair is beautiful and the freedom and wildness about it is captured perfectly in this statue.
Naturally, you can't have red hair without green eyes, and Mara's eyes are a stunning emerald. They are looking slightly to the side, as if she's smiling at the next thug who's about to attack her as she hurls his friend backward with her outstretched hand and the Force. It is the casual look of a woman who knows she is in full control of the situation around her, no matter how many blasters and bodies you brought to the fight.
Her outfit is exceptionally plain, but then that's the idea. Mara Jade's entire routine as the Emperor's Hand was to avoid being noticed--unless she wanted to be. So she never carried anything she didn't need to or wear anything fancy unless the situation called for it. That's not to say that the outfit itself isn't nice. It's a special one piece jumpsuit (her favorite) and it is designed to offer maximum flexibility and comfort. You can see this in the creases around her waist and hips. Speaking of hips, apparently this is where Kotobukiya decided to add their trademark 'sexy' touch, since her top is extremely tame. The hips on Mara Jade simply do not lie (I'm sorry, I couldn't help it. She is a dancer after all). Not that that's a bad thing. You can bet that Mara is fully aware of her body's appeal and used it more than once to help accomplish her mission.
Also, lucky DL-18 blaster, getting to ride on her hip like that...
Er, moving on before she kills me. The last part of Mara Jade's outfit, besides the gloves (which, sadly, are not hiding her favorite hold-out blaster), are her knee-boots. They are painted with a slightly different style of paint, giving them a metallic sort of finish. This sells the fact that these boots are not meant to be worn to formal parties, but into combat with their armor plating. She even has knee pads on them, which no doubt come in handy when she is swinging, ducking, and rolling through the many battles that she found herself in. The only odd thing about the boots is that they are high-heeled. Mara Jade can rock high heels no problem (again, it's all part of her job), but the heels on these boots are not something she would wear willingly into combat. She wears normal combat boots. I can only assume that this is Kotobukiya's doing again.
But what is a highly trained assassin without her tools? Let's talk about those.
Mara comes with a flowing cloak which, despite being a sand and brown color, is actually nicely detailed. It is a simple garment with a nice little clasp around the neck, but a detail that some people may miss is the fact that it has tears and tatters around its edges. This really helps sell the idea of practicality and usefulness that Mara lived by, not fancy and eye catching. She also comes with a pair of goggles that rest comfortably around her neck and snugly on her...um, moving on. She also has a 'hood' that you can put on in place of the cloak. And by hood I mean a little rag you can place around her neck that is the same color as her cloak. It's...probably the weakest selling point of this statue.
All three of these items are worn on Mara Jade by removing her head (don't worry, it's supposed to do that) and then reattaching her head to keep the articles in place. And that's all I have to say about her tools...what? I forgot something? Nonsense. What could I possibly have forg...
Oooooh, that. Of course.
Mara Jade comes with two lightsabers. Because she was not only the Emperor's Hand, but also a Jedi Master--a title she earned, by the way, and was not granted just because she married the Grand Jedi Master. Sadly, she can only hold one lightsaber at a time (unless you want to glue the other onto her hand). So, young Jedi, you must make a choice: Do you go with Luke's original blue lightsaber, which he gave to her as a gift, or her original purple lightsaber that was given to her by Emperor Palpatine (Sorry Mace Windu, but Mara Jade was rocking that purple blade long before you). Personally, I always go wit the purple because it was her go-to color and her preferred one. Even when she built her own as part of her Jedi training, she still chose to craft a purple blade.
Finally, Mara Jade comes with a base much like Jaina Solo's. It has two pegs to slip into Mara's boots so she can stand and has a removable base. This allows you to chose whether you want to put the Empire symbol in the base, or the Rebel symbol. Again, I always chose the Rebel symbol.
Educational: Mara Jade's head and left arm come off, allowing you to practice your building skills. The head comes off in order to allow you to switch out her gear. Her arm comes off for the sole purpose of allowing her to fit in her box better. Once you put it on, you have no reason to take it off.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Mara Jade's skin is silky white, as you can see. This is very pretty, but it leads to a problem. When putting Mara's head back on, either with the cloak or not, there is a very real chance that her hair or the cloak will rub against the skin and stain it if you press too hard. Be careful when you do this, less she have stains on her shoulders. Thankfully, her hair and cloak are long enough to hide these scuffs if you do end up making them.
Bottom Line: Mara Jade. Nope, that's it for the bottom line. Mara. Freaking. Jade. The number two red head and number one female Jedi in all of Star Wars (you hear that, Disney? I don't care if you say she doesn't exist anymore).
So if she's number two, then who is the number one red head in Star Wars? Why, the same girl I was begging for in my Jaina Solo review:
Please, Kotobukiya. Please please please make her next. I'm begging you. You did Jaina and you did Mara Jade, so you clearly know about the Expanded Universe girls. Tenel Ka is a logical choice, and I will hit the ceiling if she is made.