Sideshow Exclusive Star Wars Anakin Vs. Asajj Diorama
An epic struggle of Light and Dark captured in Polystone...
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Continuing to be a character as mysterious and interesting as she is popular, the Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress made her debut in the original animated cartoon series Star Wars: The Clone Wars back in 2003 on Cartoon Network. The series of three-minute shorts co-created by Genndy Tartakovsky paved the way for much of the expanded universe of Clone Wars stories and became a jumping off point for the 2008 series. While the Anakin Vs. Asajj Diorama is not directly taken from the 2003 series, it has to be greatly inspired by the epic duel between the two warriors depicted in the show, taking place on the planet of Yavin 4 in ruins that featured a long set of stairs similar to those on this piece. It wouldn’t be the first Sideshow product inspired by the original animated show as they also released a 1/6-scale figure of Obi-Wan Kenobi in his Clone Trooper General armor from the series.
The diorama’s packaging features the same color scheme and details of all the various Sideshow Star Wars lines. The overall box features an all around black color with the front corners edged with a sloping grey design. Each side of the box features a full-color photo of the statue, with the back featuring short bios on the characters. On the inside everything has been packaged and protected wonderfully. Every part is wrapped in tissue paper with the dio in three main pieces, along with Asajj’s two heads and the character’s lightsabers wrapped individually as well, and everything then encased in a Styrofoam shell.
Everything about this piece is dynamic and interesting, despite being fairly simple in construction. The set piece is a large broken staircase with Asajj leaping down to meet Anakin in battle. The staircase is so visually interesting, with it's carved block construction and all of the cracks and wear, that it makes a striking impression that is sure to stand out in your collection.
Asajj is the clear focal point of the piece as she is facing the observer from almost every angle and looks graceful and beautiful in her pose that gives her the look that she is almost gliding down the stairs. This is helped by her long, flowing skirt that is expertly sculpted to show movement and wrinkling as it billows out behind her. The exclusive version of the set comes with two different head sculpts for Asajj, a closed mouth head and angry, open-mouthed head. I prefer the former as it says “Asajj” much more to me, being more focused and menacing. The open-mouthed sculpt is kind of ugly, but I think it might have to do more with the way the mouth is painted than the actual sculpt. One particular issue I have with Asajj, and I don’t know if its widespread, but I can’t get either her body or head to line up in such a way that she is actually looking at Anakin instead of off to the side.
Anakin features a fantastic sculpt that really looks like Hayden Christensen, but suffers from that way he fits in the diorama, as it’s hard to get a good view of his face from the way he is posed. Anakin once again foolishly takes on someone who has the high ground on him (I wonder if he’ll ever learn his lesson?). Much like Asajj, Anakin has a great look to his costume, with the tattered garment flowing back behind him. I think a focus of the Anakin sculpt is the awesome looking robotic arm that has been revealed through his duel with Asajj.
As far as paint application goes, I think the award once again goes to the staircase. Sideshow did such a great job, utilizing a variety of coloring and texture to give the stairs their worn, stony look. Both characters feature shading on their outfits to show depth and folding in the fabric and I particularly like the use of a brushed metal on Anakin’s armor pieces. If I had to choose an area where paint needed improvement, its on Asajj’s head sculpt. On both heads, her tattoos/markings are painted with a watery, semi-transparent purple that looks very sloppy and unfinished. And as I said earlier, her open-mouthed head sculpt looks entirely too red, like she ate a tube of red lipstick.
Despite my small grievances, this is a pretty stellar piece both in terms of design and quality, but also in the presence it brings to your collection. This is the first and only Clone Wars-themed diorama Sideshow has put out and very few remain in stock at this point. You can order your own Sideshow Exclusive Anakin Vs Asajj Diorama from Sideshow Collectibles HERE!
Review Sample Courtesy of Sideshow Collectibles
Review & Photos by Michael Klein