LUKE SKWALKER — YAVIN CEREMONY
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“On Yavin 4, the Rebels hold a ceremony to award the heroes who bravely fought to destroy the Death Star. Luke Skywalker receives his medal for bravery from Princess Leia.”
Do you ever have that moment where you have something really monumental and important in front of you, and you think to yourself really hard about how this is the absolute worst time to screw up, and you focus so hard on that only to inadvertently screw up terribly on something that you’ve managed to do correctly hundreds of times previously, to the point where it should be second nature to you? Because we know Hasbro had that moment. And today we’re looking at that moment. Behold, Luke Skywalkwer—crap, I mean Skwalker!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Luke Skywalkwer – Yavin Ceremony is figure 100 in the Black Series line-up. Of course, thanks to re-numberings and exclusives, there are far more than 100 figures in the line, but getting to the number is a momentous occasion nevertheless. And before we get any further, yes, you read all those instances of Luke’s surname above correctly; on the packaging for the momentous number 100 figure, Hasbro somehow managed to misspell poor Luke’s last name, the name of a whole saga, three times in two different ways. As someone who’s worked in publication design, my heart goes out to the poor designer who let that slip through. They’re probably never going to live it down. The truth is, if this had been any other numbered release, I don’t know that it would have caught quite as much flack, but unfortunately it’s the big 100, the one that people who very well may have never bought another Black Series will hold onto, and the one that people are far more likely to keep in package. Heck, I’m a loose collector, and even I’m hanging onto the box for this one. Admittedly, in my case it’s purely for the typos, but the point still stands. This one’s probably going to be well-remembered. Well, enough about the box, let’s talk about the actual Luke Skwalker figure inside! As the properly written section of his name denotes, he’s wearing his slightly more uniform-esque get-up from the ceremony on Yavin IV that ends the first film. Though only seen in one scene in the main films, the look served as Luke’s primary attire for his portion of the Holiday Special (I know) and recently saw a resurgence when it was used prominently in Marvel’s Star Wars comics. This figure was actually released a little earlier last year as a con-exclusive with several additional accessories and a Marvel-inspired box. As has become the trend with such exclusives and their inevitable re-releases, the core figures in the two packages are essentially identical. The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation. Apart from being shared with the exclusive release, this Luke has a unique sculpt. It’s our first truly new OT Luke since figure 21, and the line’s come a long way since then. The result is definitely the most technically impressive Luke we’ve gotten in The Black Series. The articulation is definitely one area of notable improvement for the most part, although the hip joints on this guy have a weird set up which places a definite learning curve on using them. I’m not much of a fan. Like the Jabba’s Palace figure, this Luke uses the new style of head construction with separate pieces for the hair and face, which makes for slightly more depth in the sculpt. On my figure the hair and head don’t line up 100% perfectly, but it’s close enough to work. It’s honestly Hasbro’s best Hamill, displacing the Jabba’s Palace figure’s very brief moment with that title. The body construction is in a lot of ways very similar to Bespin Han, which is fine by me, because that was a good lay out for a figure, and the designs of the two costumes are also pretty similar. His paintwork is fairly standard for the line at this point. The base color is all pretty clean, and he’s got the printed face which looks plenty realistic. The con-exclusive release had a lot of extras, where as this one is comparatively pretty light. Both figures include the blaster, and this figure also includes the medal, making him specific to the ceremony. That’s all he gets, which leaves the rather glaring omission of a lightsaber. He doesn’t have it during the scene in the movie, so I guess there’s that reasoning, but that didn’t stop them from including both a saber and a helmet with the pilot Luke. It’s also not a new piece, so it feels like it should have been an easy inclusion. I’ve got a few of my own, so I can loan him one, but it’s a little annoying.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As a kid, Cermony Luke wound up as my default Luke for a good while, and as such I’ve always had something of a soft spot for this particular look. I like that the comics brought the design back, and I was very happy to see this figure unveiled. He’s a proper choice for the big 100 number, and even with the goofiness surrounding the packaging and its many errors, this is a really nifty figure, and probably the best Black Series Luke.