When the last Fan's Choice Poll rolled around and was completed, the numbers were really close. Probably as close as they've ever been for one of these doo-dads. I was surprised, personally, to see Captain Antilles the victor by a mere fraction. I was also later surprised to hear Hasbro announce that they not only were going to give us the Fan's Choice figure they promised in Antilles, but also the VERY close runner-up in General Jan Dodonna.
Dodonna's cool, to me, but is a rather boring character. You just can't dispute that. With that said though, Hasbro's managed to crank out a lot of boring guys in the tail end of the Saga Collection. They've made General Rieekan, Admiral Ozzel, and General Madine… all in a pretty short time-frame. That's not too shabby for Hasbro to put that much OT goodness out to us, and decently done at that, despite the figures being of some pretty dull old guys. Well, strong efforts on them, at least.
Which leads me to my review of Dodonna. Is he a solid effort? A craptacular old fartwad? A plastic masterpiece?
We shall see…
Sculpt: He's not a flashy guy. He's really quite “plain”, as a lot of the uniformed officers were in Star Wars. Nothing too elaborate, ya' know? I have to admit though, Hasbro did a spiffy job with what they had to work with. Dodonna came out looking like roses… Smelling like new plastic, which makes me woozy, but still looking like roses.
Dodonna's overall body sculpt has lots of folds, creases, and other details in his uniform. While the sculpt on the coat is a bit bland looking, there's a bit of detail underneath on the pants and shirt. I'd say he's slightly less detailed than his wave-mate Captain Antilles, but not terribly so, and it's not entirely his fault either. He just didn't have the most stand-out outfit.
The headsculpt on Dodonna's really nice though, and I feel it is a very remarkable resemblance to the actor. The General Rieekan figure was also surprisingly accurate, so perhaps Hasbro just has a knack for getting these high-ranking Rebel officers down right? Needless to say, I'm content with my figure's looks from top to bottom. Very accurate to the film, I believe.
Decoration: While again, not eye-popping on the pegs, Dodonna sports as good a paintjob and deco as I think you could get out of him. The colors do vary under the coat, so he does have some sort of “look” to him other than just being all tan… Tough to tell without buying him and opening him up though.
The coat, pants, and shirt are fairly bland in colors, but they are each a little unique and contrast well. Each area is a brownish/tannish color that really shows some diversity to the figure from his main piece of clothing, his big officer's coat. The boots are a nice solid brown shade, and look slightly less worn than Captain Antilles' boots did, but they also sport the same detailing of having the soles of the boots painted black. That's a nifty little deco touch Hasbro's been achieving on most of its figures for some time now.
The belt is the only other major paint detail on this figure, and it's simply a silver buckle on a brown belt. No paint bleeding or smudging on mine, so it's perfect.
Dodonna's head is where the paint aps really look good though, as they are a little more diverse. His hair-did sports a nifty wash of different greys to give a “salt & pepper” look to the old man's do. No paint strayed here, as it perfectly covered the sculpted hair. Top-notch! Further down his noggin, his eyes are also very nicely done on my examples (I got a couple of him in a case). They're very even, nothing off-center and the figure appears to even have a little bit of a concerned look, or one of concentration at least - like he's dictating orders to some pilots, just as he should be.
Articulation: It's not bad… It's not great either.
Dodonna sports some arm articulation for a couple of poses - as if he's giving orders (or at least holding a nice conversation), or as if he's standing with his arms partially folded… Yeah, he has a couple decent poses you can get out of him.
General Dodonna's articulation goes something like this:
-2 standard hip joints
-2 standard shoulder joints
-1 standard neck joint
-2 wrist joints
-2 bicep cut joints
-1 odd and mostly unusable articulation point at his waist.
His arms aren't evenly posed though, so his articulation can be a bit awkward, and on most any other figure I'd probably complain about that, but he can be posed in some good basic “General telling people what to do” poses. My favorite is with his one arm sort of crossed while the other is slightly out like he's talking about tactics. Very cool to me!
Beyond that, the leg articulation is nice, but not super useable due to the coat. I like that he has it though, and having an open coat as he does, I think it's necessary. He's not sporting a ton of articulation that would allow for a wide variety of poses (just the 10 mentioned above), but he's got enough for what he is. General Rieekan could take some notes from Dodonna here because Rieekan NEEDED this articulation to be cooler. Oh, and Dodonna's waist articulation point WAS disappointing though, but I'll hit on that later.
Accessories: Without a doubt, the big drawback to the good General is that he's not exactly covered for accessories. While some Saga figures included amazing things, Dodonna just includes a lot of air.
Sure, sure, sure… He comes with the new Rebel Fleet Trooper blaster, 3 rehashed ceremony Luke medals, and a rectangular Star Wars stand that damn near everyone else has too, but these accessories don't make for a “Pro” from this reviewer. And why 3 medals? Is Hasbro counting the one Chewie won on MTV?
Now, you pack in a tactical map, a little computer screen with the original green Atari looking Death Star on it, or just something else, and I'd be more interested. Dodonna doesn't even have a neat baton to point at people, or slap a cowardly soldier with… Nothing. I was saddened by that.
His coming with a blaster is neat however, so some props there to the H… Uh, big ups, or something.
Waist Articulation: There's a joint there. Well, at least the figure is 2 separate pieces between his waist and his lower torso, but he can't be posed really well using them. The torso articulation doesn't move easily and I've noticed that it feels like it may even break. That's not a good thing in this reviewer's opinion, so I'm a little disappointed in how this turned out. It's somewhat minor though because the coat hides this area of the figure, and posing him “turned” isn't a big deal. It just would be a nice option should I wish to do so myself.
So that's the short of it. Dodonna's a good, solid, boring, (unique) accessory-less figure. I like him, and I'm happy to add him to my collection, but to you guys that are discerning collectors, or those who only like the excitement of a weird alien or something, then perhaps he's not your cup of tea. He is just Santa on his day off, directing Rebel traffic.
I will place him on my Rebel shelf as soon as I wrap this review up though, and look proudly upon him. I've also found that he's great custom fodder too, should anyone out there be into customizing like me!
Oh and here's a little tip…
Word on the street is that if you pop Dodonna's arms and coat off, and you take Captain Antilles arms and coat off, you can actually interchange them. I am here to tell you that you can do just that, but I don't believe this to have been intentional like many have claimed. It seems more like just a lucky break.
So you ask yourself, “Why should I do that?” I'm here to tell ya that you can do that because Dodonna spent a lot of his time on-screen NOT in the trench-coat, but rather in the same jacket/duds that Captain Antilles had on earlier in ANH. If you want total accuracy take a bit of red paint and change the blue on Antilles rank plaque to red. Voila, you have Dodonna in his other outfit.
He looks pretty good that way actually… I have him standing at an extra Rieekan command board telling the Captain Antilles in trench coat that I made with the leftover parts what to do. He looks cool.
And there you have it. Buy, if you want… Dodonna's not bad, just boring.