Sunday, December 4, 2011

STAR WARS Knights of the Old Republic: Jarael

Presenting Jarael, the Force sensitive Arkanian Offshoot from the STAR WARS Knights of the Old Republic comic-book series who was released in a Star Wars Legacy Comic Book 2-pack along with the Mandalorian Rohlan Dyre.

Jarael is probably one of the more complex characters ever to become a part of the Star Wars Universe. Let's begin with her orgin: Jarael is an Arkanian Offshoot. Arkanians are master geneticists who bred sub-species of their race to handle the more menial tasks of society that require hard labor, such as mining. As such you have the pure-bred Arkanians, and you have the members of the "Offshoot Question" (A reference to the Jewish Question). Her original name was "Edessa": Arkanian for "triumph" because she was the first successful clone of a highly revered Arkanian Jedi Master Arca Jeth - who turned out not to be a pure blood resulting in Jarael's elfin features because of Master Arca Jeth's Sephi blood. Jarael was supposed to be the first in a a series of "Mandalorian Knights" - Force sensitive Mandalorian warriors to be used to exact revenge upon the Jedi Order who had defeated the Mandalorians in the Great Sith War.

Unfortunately, the project goes to hell after they get raided by the Crucible - a group of slavers and Edessa, now nicknamed "Snow Hair" by her new owners is trained to become a fighter. She becomes so good that she defeats her trainer and becomes the Crucible's new trainer. It is there that she discovers that slaves  who lose their matches are not set free - as she naively believed - but rather were sent to mines so she doubles her efforts to train the younger slaves to fight better and gains the moniker "Jarael" - or "protector."

While in the crucible, she earns the "Flames of the Crucible" tattoos on her face and arms that detail not just her new name of "Protector" but her ranking and deeds in the Crucible. Eventually she gets fed up and escapes from the Crucible which is where she meets the Jedi Padawan Zayne Carrik who is set up as the murderer of four of his fellow Padawans by his Jedi Master trainers because they had a vision that one of these Padawans would become a threat to the Jedi order. Jarael kicks the crap out of Zayne Carrik, who now has a fondness and affinity for an electro-shockstaff, when they first meet earning the new moniker from Zayne "Darth Sunshine" kicking off a series of events that would bring the Republic to utter chaos.

Sigh. Still with us?

One last bit: because she's "made" from the genetic remains of a Jedi Master, Jarael is slightly Force Sensitive and eventually ends up using Sith Lord Exar Kun's double bladed light-saber

Jarael comes packaged with Mandalorian Crusader (Supporters or the Sith Lord Ex-Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma) Rohlan Dyre. Their blister card reads: "Mandalorian warrior Rohlan Dyre and Arkanian protector Jarael are caught up in the Mandalorian Wars that ravage the galaxy in the days of the Old Republic. The lives of these two very different people - the fierce Jarael and "Rohlan the Questioner" - intersect when they meet the Force-sensitive Zayne Carrick." We should note that they don't even bother to mention the "Weak in the Force Zayne" as a failed Jedi padawan, but just a Force-Sensitive.

What's to like about STAR WARS Comic Book-2 Pack Jarael?

Well if you're into Elves and you love Star Wars, then this lithe, kick-ass, sun-starved, stuck-up, face & body tattooed alien who has a genetic issue problem, and a bit of a messianic problem is for you.

Jarael comes as seen which fits her character: Spartan casual wear dressed to fight - minimalist tank top, heavy gloves and boots, loose baggy pants with knee and elbow supports/pads. The skirt is deceptive and does little to hinder her leg movement and is probably used to distract and deceive opponents into a false sense of security

Her accessories include a small shoulder pack and an electro-shock staff which she expertly wields - at times against impossible odds - note the interesting design where the upper part of the staff is in between two energy arcs.

Her Sculpt is unique, I haven't quite seen this particular mold used yet and a lot of people will like the paint effort that went into her facial and upper arm tattoos - which are not as detailed unfortunately as Darth Talon's - but then Darth Talon's tattoos are meant to intimidate, Jarael's tattoos are meant to express one's legacy - or simply just add to her "Elf" look and make her kinda sexy.

Now one last bit of trivia for Jarael:  Her original name, Edessa means "water" in greek, while her new name "Jarael" or "Jara-El" in Arabic and Semitic means "Earthen Deity
What's NOT to like about STAR WARS Comic Book-2 Pack Jarael?

I have some issues with her facial sculpt, which may be just the result of a bad draw and may not be a constant for the toy - note the extra flesh on the underside of her jaw. It looks like she has a double chin.

Also given what we know of Jarael, I'd rather that instead of what she's dressed in that they went direct, gave her combat armor and Exar Kun's Lightsaber. which really looks cool as can be seen from the picture from Jarael's wiki 

Lastly. while her upper torso is quite articulated, her legs need help. I honestly wonder why Star Wars has not bothered to adapt the hip-joint strategy of G.I. Joe to give their characters more articulation other than the vertical action of their characters legs.

I don't really advise that you grab this particular 2-pack if you are a general Star Wars collector. This particular pack is probably best suited for those who followed the Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic comic books because while I appreciate this space Elf, Jarael is just too.... plain. 

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