I’m a big fan of Sideshow Collectibles’ Star Wars diorama statues and have been collecting all of them as they’re released. The newest one recreates a scene from Episode 2 and is the Padme Vs Nexu diorama. Here’s a look at it, with photos.
The first and most striking thing about this diorama is that it’s the tallest in the series so far, reaching a full 19″ in height. Most of that height is due to the big pedestal, translated from the Geonosis arena battle in Attack of the Clones. The scene Sideshow chose for this piece is the one in which Padme, having freed herself from her shackles, battles the Nexu monster from atop the pillar to which she was chained. There’s a ton of action in this piece, and it’s incredibly dynamic, in keeping with the other three pieces released so far in this series.
The pillar has a good rocky texture, and the seams in the sides add a nice and accurate touch to it. There are faux metal rings around the sides at the top, accurately showing where the prisoners were chained. The pedestal itself is a hefty piece, making up most of the weight in this heavy statue. I was very glad when I felt that weight, because I had been a little concerned that the diorama might topple over after I’d seen the prototype photos. There’s no chance of this thing just falling over on its own. Sideshow is great with their engineering, from being able to reliably suspend Darth Maul in the air in the previous Episode 1 diorama to taking weights into account here with this one.
The Nexu is a fearsome beast and comes separate from the pedestal. He attaches to the column via a metal post in one of his legs that slides into a hole in the column. The Nexu actually comes in two parts: the main body and a separate tail that attaches to his backside by a magnetic peg. I’ve seen Episode 2 loads of times but never really paid close attention to the design of the Nexu. After looking closely at the diorama representation, he’s one ugly son of a gun. His tail is ratlike but splits toward the end, and there are tentacle-like suckers on the underside. The fur on the main body is striped black on white, and there’s a bristly mane of black on his back. His head is a horrifying spectacle of fangs and a few too many eyes for comfort. It’s no wonder the Padme figurine looks terrified. The beast looks fantastic, and the only part that worries me a bit is the bristly hair on its back. The hairs are hard polystone and look like they would shatter if a hand brushed across them the wrong way. I had none of them broken in the box and haven’t given it a test, so maybe they’re sturdier than they look.
The Padme figure comes separate from the base and attaches by a peg into a hole, like the Nexu. One thing I don’t really like about the way Padme attaches is that the peg and hole are round, so it’s easy for her to swivel on top of the pillar, thereby scratching up her knee and the top of the column. It’s definitely a situation where you’ll want to place the base wherever you’re displaying it and then plug Padme in. The likeness to Natalie Portman looks better in person than it did in any of Sideshow’s preview images. Looking straight on at the face is the best way to see that the figure does indeed look like she’s supposed to. Padme’s outfit here is pre-mauling, so it’s intact and isn’t missing the material at the midriff. It would have been neat for Sideshow to offer an exclusive variant edition that came with a clawed version of Padme, but this is the only version offered, and she looks great.
There are two pieces of chain that attach into Padme’s hand. Thankfully, both pieces are made from a semi-flexible plastic material. It works well with the polystone of the rest of the statue but isn’t super fragile like polystone chains would have been. Once inserted, the chains look great in mid-swing, lending to the dynamic nature of this battle scene.
This diorama is an easy recommendation for me to make, especially if you’re already a fan of the line, as I am. The Padme Vs Nexu piece is limited to 750 pieces and has been sold out at Sideshow for a while now. They do have a Wait List going, though, if you want to try your luck at getting one of these before they’re gone forever.