LUKE SKYWALKER — BESPIN GEAR
STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
“Sensing his friends are in critical danger, Luke Skywalker ventures to Cloud City before finishing his Jedi training. Unbeknownst to him, Darth Vader has prepared an elaborate trap with the darkest of intentions.”
Star Wars being one of the earliest franchises to cater specifically to merchandising, it’s also one of the ones to first introduce a commonplace concept: built-in variants. Not only were we privy to all sorts of situation-specific gear sets for the main characters, they were even given unique default looks for each film. That Luke Skywalker from the first movie’s not going to do at all after Empire hits; you have to have his fancy new Bespin look!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Luke Skywalker in Bespin Gear was released in the 1998 assortment of Power of the Force II. He was actually one of the last prominent Luke variants to be issued in this line, and the last of the Empire looks, following the Dagobah and Hoth gear. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation. Yes, he gets an extra point of movement at his right wrist, since it was designed to be removable. This Luke made use of the second standard PotF2 Luke head, which, while still not sporting a spot-on likeness, was certainly the superior of the two. The rest of the sculpt was new to this figure, and it’s one of the best Lukes that this line produced. Gone were the insane steroid-influenced proportions, and he’s only got a subtle bit of pre-posing. The details on the uniform are nice and crisp, and even got the slight damage to his pockets that he received during his duel with Vader. And, as mentioned above, the figure’s right hand can be removed, allowing for the replication of his injury from the film; this was a first for a Luke Skywalker figure. This Luke also marked some innovation in the area of paint. A lot of the PotF2 figures possessed only basic work, but in order to capture Luke’s mid-battle appearance, this figure’s been given a lot of accenting, especially on his jumpsuit. This helps bring out a lot of the smaller sculpted details, and just makes for a slightly better looking figure. Luke was packed with his lightsaber and his blaster pistol. Luke was also one of the figures to be offered during the “Freeze Frame” era of the line, so he came with one of those little projector slides, showing off a still of Luke as he traverses through the corridors of Cloud City.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Have I mentioned Ageless Heroes yet on this site? <checks backlog> Looks like I’ve touched on it. Well, to elaborate, it was a comic book store that went out of business when I was 7 or 8. They had a huge stock of ’90s toys (not a huge shock, what with it still being the ’90s and all), and they were clearing them out at really low prices. My dad took me there I don’t know how many times, and I picked up quite the collection. A lot of it was Marvel, but this guy was, I think, the one Star Wars figure I got. He was actually still relatively new at the time. The Bespin look has long been a favorite of mine, and this particular figure is definitely my favorite PotF2 Luke.