Friday, April 27, 2012

How Darth Maul Encourages Equality?

Sideshow Collectibles is soon to release a new series of high-end figures based on Star Wars characters outside of and around canon. They look awesome, with great sculpting and creative designs, such as a nomad Obi-Wan looking like Alec Guiness but carrying his Clone Wars belongings around in a backpack. The Darth Maul caught my eye immediately as well. Sideshow has caught some backlash from female-centric sites for their slave Leia figures, but Maul seems ready to beat Leia at various ways to show skin, if not how much is shown. I have trouble actually having a problem with this, but the seeming reversal of the double standard is interesting.

The weapon the figure wields (picture in the link) is based on the comic "Nameless", in which Maul wore his usual all-concealing robes. It makes sense to give the character some variety, especially when he wears so much black - not the most visibly arresting color - and his red skin is so vibrant. He is portrayed as violent and capable, almost antagonistic toward the viewer. Sideshow's slave Leia is likewise armed and angry, although her big eyes make her look more vulnerable than does Maul's glare. Both are designed to be appealing - not necessarily empowering, but appealing.

So I suppose Sideshow gets points for both equality and some awesome sculpting. 

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