With the sacred Jedi temple under attack by Separatist forces, Padmé Amidala and Master Yoda travel to the frigid world of Ilum offering reinforcement to the Jedi resistance. Ambushing the Separatists, Padmé and the Jedi are able to regain control of the crystal caverns which contain precious minerals used by the Jedi to power their lightsabers.
Do you know how torturous it is to want a certain Star Wars character in specific outfit as a high end collectible and then be disappointed by the final product? And do you realize how the frustration gets amplified when it’s from a source that Lucasfilm, Ltd. typically doesn’t want being touched by licensees anymore because it “conflicts” with The Clone Wars television show? Well, if you don’t know what that is like then you are probably much happier people because the Padmé Amidala (Snow Bunny) mini bust is one that we’ve wanted for years and the final product is encumbered by the fact that she is holding up mistletoe and makes it very specific to the Christmas season. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but purists may find this to be a little disappointing. We like keeping art and life two separate things and this blended interpretation of Padmé would have worked had the mistletoe been removable. They cleverly made the Yak Face Mini Bust work by including interchangeable parts so you could make him “Christmassy” or authentic to the film. This option unfortunately does not exist for Padmé and we find it a setback to an otherwise pretty good piece. The mini bust still fails in a few small areas, but overall it’s well done and is one of the “chosen few” pieces to include mixed media. In short, it’s bittersweet.
We are a little perplexed how Gentle Giant designated her as well. Snow Bunny? What about using "Ilum" instead. Snow Bunny is slang for her collectors have used for years or it's a skiing area in Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon. We're not sure if that term should have transferred over into the naming of this Mini Bust. The visual interpretation of Padmé Amidala is a stretch. When she was on Ilum in her "Snow Bunny" attire, her hair was tucked underneath a skull cap that made up her sexy bodysuit. For Gentle Giant Ltd..’s mini bust, they have given her long curly hair like how she looked throughout most of Episode II. So, Padmé technically isn’t too accurate to her appearance in Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars. Her face is very pretty, but we think she has a bit of an Asian look which contradicts her features as we know her and this will likely cause people to feel her likeness isn’t accurate. And they would be right. It is hard to get human female likenesses right. Hasbro did good, but perhaps not good enough. Despite this, her body is flawless and her arms are thin but athletic and the rest of her proportions appear to be perfect. From a short distance, Padmé Amidala (Snow Bunny) is a pleasing piece. It loosely satisfies the requirement of the Tartakovsky character, but besides the inconsistencies, perhaps we are so far removed from that 2003 series that it has slightly lost its excitement for that reason alone. Who really knows? But something is just missing and we’re not sure we can pinpoint it.
Gentle Giant has created some new shadowing technique on her cape that looks remarkable and stunning. It makes her snow-white outfit look a little too dark, but it works to the bust’s advantage as it breathes life and depth and realism into it. Collectors should count themselves lucky because Gentle Giant has incorporated soft-goods synthetic fur which wraps around her hood and the outside perimeter of her cape. And she has real pompoms hanging from strings, just like in the Clone Wars. It is nice and tailored and isn’t flyaway and does a great deal to enhance the quality of the bust. The paint job is near flawless and the frame of Padme’s body is sleek and sexy, but it’s that darn mistletoe which is causing unnecessary aggravation to us. Why didn’t they just include a detachable magnetized secondary hand? Originally intended to ship in time for Christmastime 2010, the mini bust was severely delayed and didn’t start shipping until the end of the following February. It may not be Gentle Giant’s proudest piece. We feel it serves a purpose, but with the rarity of anything Tartakovsky inspired being made into collectible form these days, we just don’t know why a different approach wasn’t taken for this Mini Bust.