Sunday, March 10, 2013

Darth Maul

Presenting the one, the only, Clone Wars Darth Maul from the 2013 Star Wars Toy line.

You have to admit that when you watched Episode 1 and saw Obi-Wan Kenobi slice Darth Maul into half that you thought "What a waste of a kick-ass villain!"

Clearly George Lucas agrees because the guy was cut in half but he was still able to crawl his way back out of a pit. Through sheer hatred - and because a lightsaber strike is cauterizing - Darth Maul found his way to another planet where he would spent a full TWELVE years fixing himself and becoming a horrifying spider creature.

Driven insane with hatred, Darth Maul would eventually be rescued by his brother, Savage Opress, returned to his home planet of Dathomir, healed, given a new cybernetic body and join his brother on a rampage across the universe.

Darth Maul's blister card simply says that "Darth Maul is healed by Mother Talzin." The rest of the blister card promotes the "" game and the fact that Darth Maul's lightsaber can spin.

Darth Maul's fractured, hate filled mind was indeed healed by Mother Talzin after he was "recovered" by  Savage Opress. Savage would then become Darth Maul's apprentice - The fact that Savage was never as powerful as Darth Maul actually haunted  Savage Opress till his death - following the Sith Rule of Two.

Darth Maul's infamy would later earn him the name "Demon in the Light" and his rampage led to him kicking Obi-Wan Kenobi's butt more than once and the death of Jedi Council Member Adi Gallia.

Maul would eventually claim the life of the Mandalorian Nightwatch leader Pre Vizsla. Maul would also claim Pre Vizla's infamous Darksaber.

His current fate following his defeat at the hands of Darth Sidious and the death of his brother,  Savage Opress remains to be seen.

What's to like about the 2013 Clone Wars Darth Maul?

Conceptually, he's a cool character to have. Especially since - let's face it, we do miss him after Episode 1. Prior to Episode 1 a double bladed lightsaber was something most Star Wars fanatics - including myself - would not have even conceptualized. I'm sure we all grew wide eyed with shock when Darth Maul ignited his second blade. 

Now imagine Darth Maul's spinning lightsaber and high-flying acrobatics then replace his feet with steel claw-like talons that can rend flesh and bone! Look at how meacing those feet are! He was bad enough before, he's even deadlier now. 

Aside from the detailing and menacing look of his new lower body - just realized that yeah, I'd be really pissed too if I lost my manhood - I'm also particularly happy about the fact that Darth Maul's Lightsaber can be split so that he can fight Jar'Kai style - with two blades:


And Darth Maul's facial sculpt is incredible:

Very Black Swan actually.

What's NOT to like about the 2013 Clone Wars Darth Maul?

The very poor articulation. It really is disappointing that in today's day and age. What with the release of the wonderful Star Wars Vintage line, that figures like this are still being released. 

Let's go from top to bottom: Darth Maul's head is not on a ball joint, it's just on a swivel joint; His upper arms and elbows are finely articulated and his forearms can swivel, but his hands cannot, so no, despite the photo on the back of the blister card, he actually has difficulty holding his lightsaber with both arms; His torso DOES NOT SWIVEL!!! despite the fact that Darth Maul has a wonderful area for a torso swivel - you'd think he can, in fact it's the first thing I tried when I opened him, but no; And to add insult to injury, Darth Maul cannot even move his legs forward and back.  What you see in the pictures here is an illusion. Darth Maul cannot move his legs forward and back, but he can spread his legs and his back-cantered legs can be positioned forward and back, happily his claws can be made to adjust to whatever angle his legs are in. 

So you can see I'm terribly, terribly disappointed. 

And that swiveling lightsaber looks like crap:

I can't seem to find the Clone Wars Darth Maul on Amazon and I also know that this is actually a reissue - though I can't seem to find that either. I purchased him from Toy Kingdom here in Manila at the retail price of PhP 699.75 (Roughly US$ 17). Darth Maul's true redeeming value? The fact that he looks great with his brother Savage Opress.

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