Saturday, September 2, 2023

Action Figure Review: Mara Jade from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV by Hasbro


   I liked The Mandalorian season 3, I still love the Marvel Star Wars comics, and I'm very much enjoying Ahsoka, but I do have to say that Hasbro's Star Wars: The Black Series offerings haven't done much for me this year to date. I'm finding that sets are either just very overpriced at MSRP or they feel too much like simple repaints and kitbashes. Thus far this year the only other new Black Series figure I've purchased was Doctor Aphra, part of the same series as the Mara Jade figure I'm looking at today. Mara Jade was a huge part of the Star Wars galaxy when I first got into Star Wars back in 1995 as a sixth grader and she was a major player in the Expanded Universe books and comics. While those stories have been relegated to the Legends at this point, Mara Jade is one of the most popular characters who hasn't found her way back into the main canon/ new canon. I still remember how excited I was when Mara Jade showed up in Galoob's Micro Machines Epic Collections and when Kenner released her in the Power of the Force 2 Expanded Universe line. Now, about 10 years into the Black Series, we have Mara Jade in the 6 inch scale. She appeared in video games, radio plays, multiple novels and comics, was portrayed in official photography by model Shannon McRandle, married Luke Skywalker, served Emperor Palpatine, and became a Jedi Master. She's well deserving of a Black Series figure, don't you think? Mara Jade is part of the 5 panel boxed figures designed to look like books which feature characters largely from the comics and books and are sold as Fan Channel exclusives with a $3 dollar price hike. Ready to see how Mara Jade turned out? Let's check her out after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 5 3/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, abdomen hinge, balljointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged neck, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Blaster, 2 piece lightsaber, and shoulder straps

Non-Scalper Price: $28 dollars


* Interestingly, Mara Jade shares her torso and legs with two other book based characters: Doctor Aphra and Jaina Solo. It works just fine here and doesn't seem in anyway out of the ordinary for how Mara Jade is typically depicted, so I think it works,

The Positives:

* Here's an official Lucasfilm image of Shannon McRandle as Mara Jade. Looking at that, I think you can see that, costume wise, Hasbro really did capture Mara Jade's look and style, even with reusing the torso from Jaina Solo. It works. It's a black, sleeveless, leathery looking outfit with brown shoulder straps and a belt. Simple, but it works. 

* I really like the portrait here. It's quite lovely. It doesn't quite look like Shannon McRandle, but it definitely fits within her depiction and the many other artistic depictions of the character. The packaging uses a comic image from Dark Force Rising. I kind of think she looks like Elizabeth Mitchell, though I doubt that's intentional. 

* The shoulder straps Mara Jade is wearing our removable while her goggles and scarf combo are not. Well, not unless you pop her head off. Her head isn't easily removed (many of the Black Series heads aren't), so unless you really heat things up, it's a permanent piece. It does nicely add some more uniqueness and character to this sculpt, though. 

* Mara Jade's hair looks pretty nice. It doesn't have a wash or any dry brushing but the detail looks pretty good.

* Mara Jade's torso and legs are an older sculpt but they really still move quite nicely. Her arms are new and are pinless, so they're extra impressive. She moves well, has a nice range of motion, and is a pretty sturdy figure overall.

* Mara Jade also has the same standard BlasTech styled blaster pistol that Doctor Aphra and Jaina Solo came with. It's still a crisp sculpt with a few nice paint applications and she looks great holding it. I wish she had her DL-18 as well, though.

* Mara Jade constructed her lightsaber after she became the Emperor's Hand. The blade is magenta and it looks pretty cool. There's some very small detail on the hilt along with a ring for holding the weapon on her belt.

* Like nearly every other lightsaber in the Black Series, Mara's has a removable blade. The blades are much easier to remove and reattach now, which is a relief. The early blade felt overly fragile. 

* Mara's belt conveniently holds the blaster pistol in the holster on her right hip and the lightsaber on the loop on her left. The lightsaber hook is a bit snug, but it fits and it stays on there.

   Mara Jade turned out to be a really nice figure and I'm glad I went ahead and picked her up. Who knows if we'll see her in the Black Series again unless she turns up in a Disney+ show. Could she ever appear in Ahsoka, The Mandalorian, or a future project? Maybe even in the Marvel comics? Disney did bring dozens of elements of the Expanded Universe into the current canon, plus Thrawn and Dark Troopers, so anything is possible. Mara Jade is a Great figure whose only real drawback is the inflated price Hasbro charges for the book based figures. Can they not just put them in the mainline? Surely Mara Jade would sell as well as any random figure from Andor or any random Gaming Greats trooper.

This is the first figure of Mara Jade I've reviewed. For more Star Wars: The Black Series Phase IV reviews check out the following:


  1. I remember reading the Heir to the Empire trilogy in college. It was the first major Star Wars story since Return of the Jedi. Always wanted to see Mara Jade in the toys - finally a Black Series version. Would love to see her appear in one of the Star Wars Disney+ series.

    1. If she shows up in Ahsoka at some point, even as a cameo, I'm going to go nuts. We need Mara Jade immediately!

  2. Replies
    1. I can see that! I had to look Cassidy Freeman up as I don't believe I've ever seen anything she's been in, but, yes, there definitely is a resemblance.

  3. MekaneckfrenchiefrogSeptember 4, 2023 at 4:09 AM

    Just received Black Krrsantan this morning. I know it isn't a very popular figure due to it being merely a lazy Chewbacca repaint (whereas Krrsantan is supposed to be much bulkier), but just like Vice Admiral Holdo, I think he just looks great in spite of his shortcomings. In fact I want to build a selective and subjective collection of Black Series figures - only obscure and eccentric Star Wars characters that appeal to me visually.. and both Holdo and BK definitely check all the right boxes for me. Oh, the box art on that BK is really great too !

    1. I love the comic based characters but I just cannot bring myself to buy that Black Krrsantan. I haven't bought many Black Series figures at all this year (maybe 3?) but I definitely wouldn't mind having the Book of Boba Fett Black K. He's a much nicer figure it seems.


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