The marriage of Padme and Anakin is the closing sequence of Attack of the Clones, and is likely to be a pivotal moment within the saga overall. Anakin's open defiance, and expressing deep emotion for someone are obviously big turning points in his journey to the dark side, so figures of the wedding at the end of Episode II were no-brainers… But how did these figures turn out?
Well, interestingly enough, both of these figures are a mixed bag of good and bad. While we got what I consider to be the best Anakin Skywalker figure to this point in the line, I still feel that he's lacking in a few areas. The Padme is yet another Padme in one of her many outfits (with many more outfits yet to be made still), but while it's nice to get one more out of the way, it's also not a figure without its own flaws.
All in all, I've found both of these figures to be wanting slightly, and they came off average to me. Not the best from Hasbro, but not their worst of 2002/2003 by a long-shot either. Read on for all the details of how those crazy kids are doing now that the honeymoon is over!
Sculpt: Both figures hold up well to the line's standards, with what I consider the nicest Anakin sculpt we've seen so far, as well as a good representation of Natalie Portman in her figure also.
Anakin's robes are sculpted with amazing detail, that goes pretty well beyond any Jedi figure in the line so far. Folds in the fabric are a-plenty, and textures to the cloth are also noticeable to give the plastic a much more realistic look. Also, the sculpt hides his articulation points fairly well compared to some other figures.
Skywalker's head sculpt is easily the best likeness to Hayden Christensen so far, and that includes figures produced of the character after this figure was put out on the retail shelves. It's a generic sculpt with a slightly angry expression, but nothing too exaggerated such as we see on the Swoop Bike Anakin, or the Clone Wars Anakin.
Also, Anakin sports his metallic bronze-ish right hand seen only in the final ceremony sequence of Episode II, though this figure seems to be made for anything BUT that scene. More on that later in this review.
Padme's sculpt is also quite up-to-snuff with the modern line's overall quality. She sports a nice and intricately patterned design on the inner fabric of her wedding gown that really shows off the sculptor's talents in designing the figure. Her gloves and outer robes of the dress also sport a lovely design in them that's even more complex than that of the inner robes.
Along with these patterns in her dress is a nice head sculpt including her hood/veil. The face sculpt is a reasonable likeness to Natalie Portman, though not Hasbro's best, which I still maintain is the Pilot Padme, but this is certainly a decent sculpt in its own right.
Another plus to the Padme figure, and a surprise to some… Sort of disturbing to others… Padme's “undergarments” for the honeymoon are all right there for Anakin to, uh, do what he will with I guess. She sports a wedding garter on her right thigh, and both the garter and her panties (yeah, she's sportin' some underguchies) are painted in a pearly/satiny color to give them a realistic look. That's some very intricate detailing under that dress, and it's rather tough to notice unless you know what you're looking for.
Another plus to the sculpting of this duo is the scale. Getting the proper proportions for these newlyweds appears to have been a carefully attended to detail by Hasbro. Anakin towers noticeably over Amidala, just as he should and actually does in real life.
Accessories: Neither figure comes with a ton of gear, but as basic figures neither should be coming with a pile of accessories either. Though Padme comes with a pretty decently large base, that in itself has a nice accurate sculpt.
Anakin's sporting the most extras though, which include:
- Lightsaber (single-piece)
- Blast Deflection Effect
- Removable Cloak
Padme's gear includes:
- Bouquet (Which can be placed in her hands or a vase on her stand)
- Large stand/railing half
Anakin's robe is sculpted as nice as the figure itself, with excellent folds and fabric texturing throughout. His saber is what we've come to expect from the single-piece sabers, and isn't anything exciting but a logical accessory for him. The blast effect isn't really something you'd expect with a figure for this particular “scene,” but the more the merrier I say, and at least it's removable.
Padme's bouquet is a nicely sculpted little bundle of flowers painted red and green. It's her base though, that brings out the “wow” in her accessories, as it is a very nice piece. The base's sculpt is rather intricate and elegant looking. It's very accurate to the film as well, and looks genuinely great as a complement to the figure. What I don't understand is why Anakin did not come with the other half of this portion of railing, which is obviously made to connect to something, and having to buy an extra Wedding Padme just for the base would… Well, frankly it would, and does, suck.
Anakin's Paint/Decoration: While I cannot say I have the same sentiments for Padme, Anakin really does have a good paint application. My figure's eyes are evenly painted, as are his eyebrows, giving him a dark but neutral look that accentuates the figure's neutral sculpt.
Anakin's mechanical right hand is a bronze color, and evenly painted. It truly sets it apart from the browns of his robes/sleeve, and the paint doesn't run onto the outfit at all, even though the hand is recessed slightly in the robes. Also, a nice contrast to the robes is the dark red pouches and metallic accents on Anakin's belt.
In addition to all of this, there are the multiple shades of brown on the various layers of his outfit. There's the lighter brown for his undershirt, a darker brown for his inner robes, a shade darker for his pants and boots, and a yet darker shade for Anakin's sash-like robes. All these colors give the figure depth, despite the color brown dominating the figure's decoration. The various shades do a lot to make this one stand out.
Padme's Decoration: While Anakin may sport a nice layering of various colors and fine paint detailing, Padme didn't fare quite as well. At least not my Padme figure anyway.
The skin tone of my figure's neck/hands is VERY different than the skin tone of the plastic used on Padme's face. It's quite a noticeable difference actually, and really ruins the overall look of this figure even at a quick glance. Such fine sculpting and detailing shouldn't ever be ruined by a sub-par paint job, especially on a figure that is hardly poseable at all, so cost-cutting measures weren't completely necessary.
Hasbro could've at least focused on the paint job, ya know?
Anakin's Articulation: While many will say the Anakin sports a good articulation count, I for one disagree in its overall execution. The figure's poseability isn't what it could be, and this really could've been a decently made Anakin to fill the void of an “all around” Ani that we would've all liked to originally see in the initial waves of Ep. 2 Saga figures. Unfortunately he's still a little lacking in how you can pose him, and some of his articulation is odd, to say the least.
Anakin sports articulation at:
-2 Ball/Socket Shoulders
-2 Swivel Elbows
-2 Ball/Socket Ankles
-2 Standard Hips
-1 Standard Neck
-1 Standard Waist
Not a bad total, standing at 10 individual joints, but the style of the articulation points, and one minor sculpting issue, make the articulation less effective than it could've been.
Anakin's ankles are the weirdest joints on the figure. While a ball/socket joint, it isn't recessed into the boot/leg area in which each foot connects. The joint is visibly noticeable, and a simple change in design would've actually hidden this joint very well.
Anakin's shoulders are great though, and allow for a wide variety of arm poses overall, but his elbow articulation doesn't allow for the obvious “2-handed saber” pose that every Jedi should be capable of. The other issue, and the minor sculpting one, that keeps this figure from holding a saber 2-handed is that Anakin's left hand is sculpted so it cannot hold any accessory, but is rather in a “force use” kind of pose.
Lacking wrist articulation is also somewhat of a disappointment. This is a figure I'd have liked to see include a second “flesh” hand, and poseable wrists would've given a little extra push to the figure, and made it slightly more fun to play with.
Disappointing that, even though this figure's got a lot of articulation on paper, it really isn't as poseable as one would think, and the ankle articulation is an odd choice for a figure whose legs aren't too easily posed. I will say that at least the ankles help Anakin stand easily enough.
I'd personally have done a handful of things differently to make this figure the best Anakin it could've been though, so I cannot give the articulation glowing marks for that reason. Perhaps someday we'll see a truly poseable “ultimate” Anakin circa Ep. 2, enabling us to put this figure aside.
Anakin's Pose: Anakin's not as awkwardly posed as a couple of his previous Episode 2 figure incarnations, but he's also not “neutral” enough to be labeled as the Wedding scene figure either. It's odd that Hasbro made a figure for this scene that's sculpted as if he were in combat.
First, Anakin's robe accessory is noticeably blowing, as if he were dancing around fighting someone. This is rather odd considering the figure's title, but it's what Hasbro chose to go with. Some would say that we've yet to see a true “Wedding Ceremony” Anakin because of these sculpting issues with this figure.
Second is Anakin's awkward left hand that's in “force use” mode. Was he mind-tricking Padme into going through with it? Anyone who whines like he did in the film probably would have trouble finding a life-partner I suppose, but did he really need to use the force on her to say the vows? Hmmmm, it makes one wonder.
Third, and what I find the most odd, is the overall pose of Anakin's legs. Spread somewhat wide, they also don't match the idea that this is to be a figure for Anakin during his wedding. What was he bracing himself for with a wider stance? A kick from Padme for using the Force on her perhaps? It's really just odd how Hasbro chose to do this figure, and then slap the “Secret Ceremony” label on it. The only thing that lets you know this was actually from the wedding scene is that Anakin's right hand is mechanical. Beyond that one detail, this figure doesn't really represent a character that's standing there professing his love of a woman to the world... unless he's doing a little butt-kicking at the same time anyway.
Padme Won't Stand Up… Even with a Stand!: This one's weird, but this is how my figure is so this is a huge let-down to me. My Padme won't stand up, even with her stand. She sort of stands leaning forward when on the stand, and without it she topples right over. Why? Well, I'll gladly explain…
The sculpt of Padme is a bit top-heavy for a figure with such tiny feet. Most of the prior Padme figures have had their gown/robes act as a bit of a stand unto themselves, but not this one. Unfortunately Padme Secret Ceremony's gown is just short enough that it puts the balance of the figure on her feet, and the weight of the figure pulls her forward and subsequently flat on her face.
It's like watching America 's Funniest Videos, when the people in the wedding ceremony are too tense and cause themselves to faint. Padme just can't take the pressure of marrying a Dark Lord of the Sith I guess.
Even when I place her on her stand (and a lovely stand it is), she barely can get her foot to fit on the peg, and the weight of the figure bends the plastic so she's always leaning forward. This is a bit of a bogus and inexcusable flaw in this figure and how it interacts with her accessory. I am clueless as to why Hasbro didn't sculpt the robe to the floor so she'd just stand up correctly.
The sculpt is great, but this one poor decision really does hurt this figure, and added to her other flaws it's a bit of a let-down to say the least.
While these two figures serve a nice purpose in clearing out the needed “Secret Ceremony” duo, I almost wonder what this would've looked like had Hasbro decided to do it as a single small Screen Scene type of thing? Maybe even a Deluxe set perhaps?
I like the Anakin figure enough to call it the “Best” Anakin from Episode II that we have so far. I think it's a solid sculpt with great decoration, and even though the articulation is lacking, for Hasbro it's not that terrible. His accessories are beyond what you'd want for this scene, though he could've maybe used the corresponding stand to Padme's, so you could connect them and create the actual scene for these two.
I give Anakin his props in the long-run and suggest nabbing him because he's simply superior to all other Anakin figures to date. Hopefully we'll see this figure improved upon someday though.
As for Padme however, she gets a big thumbs down from me. I love her sculpt, but a figure is not sculpt alone, and she doesn't have it much of anywhere else really. It's a shame that a figure's inability to stand and lack of a decent paint application can ruin what is obviously a wonderfully detailed job by the sculptor though.
I can't lie and say that I'm not disappointed in this one though, so she gets a disheartened negative opinion from me overall. Most of you will buy her anyway though, as I doubt we'll ever see another wedding Padme again. I'd suggest maybe a little customizing if you're so inclined, to at least clean up the sloppy paint job, and see if you can't get her to stand on her own.
So, one to buy and enjoy for what it is, and one to buy and customize or leave on the shelves and hope that she's made again. Regardless, Hasbro managed to cover the wedding sequence one awkward way or another, and probably won't be revisiting it again anytime soon.