LUKE SKYWALKER — JABBA’S PALACE
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“Luke Skywalker was a Tatooine farmboy who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever known.”
And lo, the Post-Christmas reviews begin!
There were a few years running where my first post-Christmas review was invariably an Alien Queen, but after my friends and family ran out of Alien Queens to buy me, I’ve moved onto another theme, it would seem: Star Wars. Honestly, it’s not all that new a concept, me getting Star Wars figures over the holidays, going all the way back to the Millenium Falcon I received for Christmas of ’96. So, I guess I can dig it being the new trend. So, let’s kick things off with a Luke Skywalker figure, shall we?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Jabba’s Palace Luke Skywalker is a Walmart-exclusive Black Series offering. Much like the two Captain Americas that they got last year, they also got two versions of Jedi Luke back to back. Sometimes, I think Walmart’s toy buyer might be a little limited in their sights. Whatever the case, this figure theoretically started showing up alongside the Triple Force Friday stuff back in October, though realistically, he started showing up shortly before the holidays. This Luke is the second Return of the Jedi Luke we’ve gotten in the Black Series line-up, following the more end of the movie inspired version released back in 2014. This one, as the name denotes, is based on Luke as he first appears in Jabba’s Palace, prior to ditching his vest and getting his robotic hand damaged. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. For the most part, he’s fairly reliant on parts from the previous Jedi Luke figure. He uses the body of that figure, along with a new head, the right hand from Bespin Luke, and an all-new vest overlay piece. The new head is the real star attraction. While I always felt that sculpt on the original Jedi Luke head was far better than the sub-par paint job allowed to show through, it’s never the less a little bit of an artifact of an older way of doing things, since the separate face/hair pieces have become the new way of doing things, and allow for a more realistic recreation. This new sculpt follows that new styling, and is honestly one of Hasbro best attempts at a young Hamill likeness, at least as far as the face is concerned. The hair I’m still a little iffy about, but it’s certainly not terrible. The new vest piece is a decent overlay; it’s not too bulky. Of course, it’s also not designed to be removed, which I was a little let down by, but if you don’t want it on the figure, it’s easy enough to remove, keeping in mind it’s not really going back on. And, on top of that, after removing it, you’ll also discover that he’s missing the previous figure’s belt (which would have no doubt affected the look of the vest at this scale, so I get why it’s gone). The figure is also privy to the improvements in paint since the last Jedi Luke. That previous figure was honestly one of my worst experiences with iffy paint in the line, but this guy gets the new face print tech, which works very well for him. There’s a part of me that wouldn’t mind seeing this paint on the old sculpt, just to see how the two pair off, but as is, this one looks very good. This Luke ends up being a little better accessorized than the last one. While he no longer has the swapable flap for the front of his uniform, he still gets his lightsaber (with a more accurately painted hilt this time), a cloth-goods cloak, and the blaster he steals from one of Jabba’s guards (re-used from Kanan Jarrus). Not a bad assortment of extras, and certainly enough to make him worthwhile even if you have the prior figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve been looking for this guy pretty much since Force Friday. As a kid, I went as Jedi Luke for Halloween, so I’ve always had a soft spot for this costume design, and felt the old figure wasn’t doing it justice on the shelf. I found this figure just before Christmas and actually bought him with some money I got from my Grandmother for the holiday. He’s solid improvement without being a straight replacement. I just kind of wish Hasbro would stop giving their best figures to Walmart as exclusives…