#1593: Luke Skywalker – Ceremonial Outfit

LUKE SKYWALKER – CEREMONIAL OUTFIT

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“In the main throne room of a Massassi temple, Luke Skywalker receives an honorary medal for his part in the destruction of the Imperial Death Star.”

There’s a lot of potential Luke Skywalker variants out there.  He got one distinct design for each movie, plus his pilot gear, and at least one other major look for each film.  For A New Hope, he actually has four distinct looks.  My personal favorite is one that doesn’t actually appear for all that long; it’s the snazzy dress outfit he wears during the film’s final scene, set during an award ceremony.  It’s had less figures than other looks, but as a variant of Luke Skywalker, it’s still had its fair share.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker in his Ceremonial Outfit was released as part of the 1997 assortment of Star Wars: Power of the Force II.  He was the seventh of the eleven Lukes in the line, and the second-to-last unique outfit, prior to the line switching over to variations of Farmboy Luke.  It was actually one of two Ceremonial Lukes released in 1997, the other being part of the Princess Leia Collection.  It was a good year for a look that hadn’t yet seen an action figure release.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  This Luke marked the debut of Kenner’s second POTF2 Luke head sculpt.  As noted in the past, it’s not really much closer than the first attempt at a Hamill likeness, but I do tend to prefer this one.  The rest of the sculpt is unique to this particular figure.  As far as this line goes, it was pretty solid.  Sharp detailing, reasonable proportions, and a fairly neutral stance, all of which add up to an above average figure from this particular line.  The paintwork on Luke is pretty standard stuff, which is to say the colors are a good match for the film and the application is all sharp.  There’s no slop to speak of, and everything stays within its appropriate lines.  Luke was packed with a blaster pistol and his medal from the ceremony, which are both missing from my figure, sadly.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was a fairly early Luke in my collection, and is probably one of the Power of the Force figures I purchased closest to his initial release.  I got him from KB Toys, during a trip to the mall with my Grandmother.  He was purchased alongside a whole bunch of others, but the others were all meant to stay at her house, with this guy being the one who would be going home with me.  He’s remained a favorite of mine, and served as my go-to Luke for a good chunk of time.

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#1565: Luke Skywalker – Millenium Falcon Gunner Station

LUKE SKYWALKER – MILLENIUM FALCON GUNNER STATION

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

In the ‘90s, the toy aisle was ruled by gimmicks.  Whatever your toy was, it needed a cool gimmick.  The trouble for Kenner’s just recently relaunched Star Wars brand was that it’s not super easy to work goofy ‘90s gimmicks into the confines of the established brand.  In ’96, they gave it a go, offering up a Deluxe line, featuring four of the franchise’s heaviest hitters, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, and a Stormtrooper, all packed with some big honking missile launching contraption.  Suffice it to say, the line was not exactly the smash hit Kenner was hoping for, so they went back to the drawing board.  The 1997 Deluxe offerings were all much more sensible, and by 1998, they’d even come up with a decent theme: Gunner Stations.  Remember the gunner stations used by Luke and Han in their escape from the Death Star?  Those were pretty cool, right?  Well, Kenner certainly thought so, and offered up new figures of both Luke and Han, each packed with one of the stations.  I’ll be looking at Luke today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Variations of Farmboy Luke weren’t exactly uncommon in 1998, but this one does give us a slight tweak that’s not been done as a figure since.  Like the Smuggler Han figure I looked at a few months back, this figure depicts Luke with a headset, as well as the belt he took from his Stormtrooper disguise.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Unlike the last version of Farmboy Luke I looked at from this line, this particular figure comes from after the line had largely fixed those wonky proportions, so Luke no longer looks like he’s been juicing hardcore.  I think there’s perhaps an argument to made for him looking a little flat in some places, but he certainly looks a lot better than he did.  He’s also sporting a head based on the second style of standard Luke from this line.  This head was definitely an improvement on the prior one, and while it’s still not a spot-on likeness of Hamill, it’s certainly closer than before.  This particular version has been tweaked to give him the headset, which also means he’s got a full ear showing on one side, which I think was a first as far as Luke Skywalkers go.  The paint on this figure is pretty standard.  The application is all pretty clean, though there’s a bit of slop under his left eye.  Overall, though, a solid effort.

THE GUNNER STATION ITSELF

Luke himself is really more of an accessory to the main selling point of this set, which is the Gunner station.  Once assembled, the station is pretty sizable, standing about 7 inches tall and measuring 6 inches deep.  The seat and turret are one connected piece, attached to the base via a hinge.  The hinge isn’t particularly strong, so the seat ends up just resting on the platform beneath it if there’s a figure in place.  There’s a faux-window piece that clips over the main gun, which does its best to sell this as being one of the Falcon’s two guns.  That being said, aside from the window and the general shape of the gun, the overall layout of the station is a bit different from the one seen in the movie.  I guess it’s more about the spirit, though.  As far as paint goes, it’s confined to the main section of the gun, which has some slight blaster scarring, which looks reasonable enough.  There’s also a decal back on the monitor, which replicates the screen in front of Luke in the movie.  Beyond that, it’s just molded plastic.  There’s also a sort of missile launching feature.  The barrels of the gun can be fired in succession when you turn the gear at the back of the gun.  It’s not spring loaded and the missiles don’t actually click into place or anything. which can be a bit on the annoying side when you’re picking this thing up and moving it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was much younger, every year when school finished up, my Nana would take me and my cousin Rusty out and buy us a few small things as a small treat for finishing out the year.  We were each given a set amount we could spend, and I had gotten one or two other things (what they were, I can’t for the life of me remember), and I still had a little bit left to spend, and I believe this guy was marked down.  He was actually my go-to Luke for a good while, and stayed my stand-by Farmboy Luke until I started collecting as an adult.

#1556: Luke Skywalker

LUKE SKYWALKER

STAR WARS MIGHTY MUGGS (HASBRO)

Before Funko created the insane every property imaginable juggernaut that is Pop! Vinyl in 2009, there was Mighty Muggs, another attempt at creating a multi-property pop-culture-driven vinyl figure line.  Launched in 2007, Mighty Muggs were Hasbro’s go at the world of collectible vinyl.  They spanned Marvel, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and even Hasbro’s in-house properties G.I. Joe and Transformers.  With a tagline of “Made from 100% recycled Awesome,” the figures originally debuted on a 6-inch base body, before eventually being scaled down into Mini Muggs in 2011.  They would be scaled down once more, into Micro Muggs, in 2012, before going on hiatus as a whole (apart from an out of the blue SDCC-exclusive ROM in 2014).  In light of Funko’s immense success with Pops, it would appear Hasbro’s giving the brand another try, albeit with a slight…twist…I assure you, that’ll be funnier once you’re done with the review.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke is figure 03 in the first six-figure assortment of Star Wars Mighty Muggs.  The assortment offers a mix of old and new trilogy designs, with Luke coming from the old, specifically from A New Hope.  It’s kind of his quintessential look, so it’s a god place to start.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall, putting him somewhere in-between the scales of the old Mighty Muggs and Mini Muggs.  So, if you have the old ones, you’ll still be starting over.  Perhaps not coincidentally, this sizing means that Luke is almost exactly the same size as his Funko compatriots.  Hasbro clearly knows the market they want to tap into.  Old Mighty/Mini Muggs had three points of articulation, at the neck and shoulders.  These new Muggs lose the neck joint, for reasons I’ll get into in a little bit.  Luke can still move at the shoulders, though, which I’m happy about.  The proportions of the new Mugg body are similar in a lot of ways to the original, but with a definite influence from the figures that have come since.  The main body is a bit squatter, and the head is larger in comparison.  I actually find these changes to be quite aesthetically pleasing.  Another change in this new incarnation is just how unique each figure is.  Old Mighty Muggs would deviate from the base body as little as possible, resulting in a very large number of figures that were sculpturally identical.  If Luke is any indication, that won’t be true this time.  He gets a unique hair piece, as well as a slightly tweaked right arm, holding his trusty lightsaber.  Once again, the changes are things I really don’t mind, and in the case of the hair, it was a direction Hasbro was already starting to experiment with at the end of the original line.  Another change in direction?  An action feature.  Mighty Muggs weren’t entirely without action features before, but they were far from the norm.  This time it’s standard.  Luke has three different facial expressions, made visible by pushing down on his hair.  It’s this feature that robs Luke of his neck movement.  Personally, I don’t mind, but I suppose an argument could be made that a non-mechanical rotation would have preserved the articulation.  Of course, then Hasbro wouldn’t have the gimmick to set them apart from the competition, so maybe that wouldn’t have been so great.  The paint is definitely where this guy really shines, and it mostly comes from those three expressions.  He’s got a standard determined stare, a grin, and an angry screaming one.  I like how they’re all three clearly the same guy, but still very distinctly different and incredibly expressive.  Very definitely the highlight of the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I didn’t have a huge collection or anything, I was definitely a fan of Mighty Muggs back in the day (at least in part via Christian, who had a larger collection than I).  I was a bit sad when they went away, and I always preferred them to Pops.  When I heard they were coming back, I was quite excited, and I was even more exited when I found them at my local TRU.  I came very close to buying a whole set of the Star Wars ones, but decided to try the line out with one, and went for Luke who I thought looked the coolest.  I’m very happy with my purchase, and I can definitely see myself grabbing more of these.  Here’s hoping they take off!

#1544: Luke Skywalker in Imperial Guard Disguise

LUKE SKYAWALKER IN IMPERIAL GUARD DISGUISE

STAR WARS: SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE (KENNER)

“The Empire’s victory in the Battle of Hoth has brought hard times for the Rebel Alliance. Han Solo has been frozen in carbonite by Darth Vader, and two huge bounties have been placed on the head of Luke Skywalker. The Emperor wants him alive, but Prince Xizor , underlord of the most powerful criminal organization in the galaxy, wants him dead. Worse still is that the diabolical Xizor is holding Princess Leia Organa prisoner in his castle on the Imperial Center of Coruscant. this is a tactical maneuver, part of a larger master plan to lure Luke Skywalker into his castle where he can be easily eliminated — the key step in Xizor’s plan to replace Darth Vader at the Emperor’s side. unaware of this danger, the young Jedi and Lando Calrissian sneak into Imperial City hoping to rescue Leia. Simplylaying foot on Coruscant is a dangerous act for these two: high on the Empire’s list of most-wanted outlaws, they could easily be recognized and captured — or assassinated. Disguising themselves as beggars, they “borrow” the armored uniforms from a pair of elite Coruscant stormtroopers. These troopers are some of the Empire’s finest, selected as home guards for the wealthiest and most cultured city in the galaxy. Joining forces with Chewbacca and Dash Rendar, Skywalker and Calrissian attempt to infiltrate Xizor’s nearly impenetrable stronghold and rescue the princess.”

1996’s Shadows of the Empire was important, in that it was the first time the public at large had been introduced to the Star Wars Expanded Universe.  It’s also an interesting experiment in marketing, essentially being a movie merchandising campaign that lacked a movie.  There were a handful of figures, mixed in with Kenner’s then running Power of the Force II.  Newcomers Dash Rendar and Prince Xizor got figures, of course, but there were also new variants of out heroes Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca, all of whom had to take on disguises during this new story.  I’ve looked at both Leia and Chewbacca, which just leaves Luke, who I’ll be reviewing today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker in Imperial Guard Disguise was released in the basic figure assortment of Kenner’s Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire line.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  This Luke uses the same head as all of the other early PotF2 Lukes.  It’s not the best likeness, but hey, here’s to consistency, right? The rest of the figure is brand new.  The packaging dubs his look as “Imperial Guard Disguise,” a name that tends to conjure up the red guards from Return of the Jedi, who look quite a bit different than the look Luke is sporting here.  However, the bio fills us in that this armor is actually from one of the elite Stormtroopers on Coruscant, making it a separate look entirely.  As with so much of the design work seen in Shadows, the armor is undeniably a product of mid-90s comic book design, meaning it’s a little divorced from the original trilogy designs.  His armor’s bulky and ultra padded, and seems to lack that used look we’re so accustomed to.  It’s a little hard to reconcile this as a design that would appear in between Empire and Jedi.  That being said, it’s hardly a terrible look.  In fact, it manages to be rather unique and helps this Luke to stand out a bit from the crowd of other Lukes from over the years.  The paint work on this figure is fairly decent, and, like the rest of his design, fairly unique.  The red’s a nice shade, and all of the application is pretty clean.  He’s packed with a removable helmet and half-cape to help complete his full disguise.  Since Luke lost his father’s lightsaber in Empire and didn’t build a new one until the beginning of Jedi, he of course needed a new weapon, so this figure included a taser staff weapon.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure was, I believe, my first Shadows of the Empire figure.  My cousin Noah had saved up to buy the PotF2 Millennium Falcon, and was along for the trip to go buy it.  Noah’s mother, who took us on the trip, agreed to get me one figure.  Luke was my favorite character, and this figure appealed to my 5-year-old self, so he was the one I picked.  I’d say having this guy in my collection already was probably what pushed me to pick up the Bounty Hunter Chewbacca instead of the normal one, and owning these two is certainly not a decision I regret in the slightest.

#1527: Luke Skywalker – Jedi Exile

LUKE SKYWALKER – JEDI EXILE

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (HASBRO)

Two years with no new trilogy Luke Skywalker figures, and now, in the span of three months, we’ve got two of them!  We’re moving on up, homebiscuits!  Oh yeah!

*ahem* Aaaaanyway, The Last Jedi presented a very different look at our esteemed hero Luke Skywalker, and his two distinct looks from the film sort of play into that.  The first look, seen at the end of The Force Awakens, presents a Luke we’re all a bit more comfortable with.  He’s sort of a merging of the classic Luke and old Ben from A New Hope.  Older and wiser than when we last left him, but certainly continuing down the path he was set on at the end of Return of the Jedi.  The Last Jedi opens and (almost literally) throws that aside.  The wise teacher Luke we were presented with in TFA is mostly ceremonial, and he quickly changes his garb into something removed from his Jedi teaching, and more in line with the isolated, bitter, and morally compromised hermit he actually is.  It’s utilitarian and practical, and perhaps not as distinct, but in it’s own way, it’s still true to the character.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker (Jedi Exile) is, like his sister, part of the second Orange assortment of Hasbro’s The Last Jedi line of figures.  This figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall (he’s a smidge shorter than the last Luke, which is a little odd, but it’s not a terribly noticeable difference) and he has 7 points of articulation.  Yep, this is another figure that’s sporting the wrist movement.  Those joints are showing up with enough frequency at this point that I’m a little bit surprised they aren’t just standard.  It’s certainly nice to have them, though.  Luke’s sculpt is all-new to this figure, and it’s decent enough, but not without its flaws.  The articulation, particularly at the hips, isn’t very well integrated.  I also don’t like the likeness so much on the new head sculpt; I think the last one is a better Hamill.  Sadly, the size of the two neck pegs is different, so you’ll have to pad the socket on the old head if you want to do any sort of swap.  On the plus side, the jacket’s pretty nice, and he has a nice selection pf textures to help keep him visually interesting.  Luke’s paintwork is decent enough.  Aside from a slight bit of slop on the beard, everything’s pretty clean.  Unfortunately, the color scheme just isn’t all that dynamic, so he’s not the most thrilling Luke figure.  This figure’s packed with a walking stick and a removable hood.  The stick is very thin and a bit warped by the packaging, however, it’s a decent enough recreation of Luke’s prop from the film.  The hood’s sort of bulky and goofy, but not terrible.  I do wish there was a pulled down piece to swap out for it, though.  Luke’s Force Link-compatible, and the lines I got out of him were “How did you find me?” “Reach out with your feelings,” “What do you know about the Force?” and “You shouldn’t be here,” along with an assortment of battle sounds.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Luke was a bit of an impulse buy.  I was definitely getting Leia, but Target was doing 20% off all Star Wars toys, and I figured I’d take advantage of the sale.  I like him better than I expected to, but I still don’t like him as much as the Jedi Master figure.  But, if this is the look you prefer, I’m sure you’ll be happy with the figure, and I’m glad there’s more than a single Luke available.

#1516: Luke Skywalker as Stormtrooper

LUKE SKYWALKER AS STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Disguised as stormtroopers and fighting off a regiment of Imperial troops inside the Death Star, the escaping band of heroes finds refuge in a garbage receptacle. The Rebels realize their problem has changed when the walls begin closing in.”

So, apparently there was this movie released yesterday.  Star Wars?  Kind of a big deal I guess.  While I’m still totally up to date on the actual Last Jedi stuff in my collection, I still have plenty of older figures in the backlog.  And, since I looked at the Stormtrooper Disguise Han Solo two weeks ago, why not take a looksie at his companion Luke figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker as Stormtrooper was released in the 1996 assortment of Power of the Force II, as that year’s third variant of Luke, and the fifth overall Luke in the line.  This was our second Stormtrooper Disguise Luke, following the one released in the original Power of the Force line.  He’s about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Despite how it may look, the only re-used piece on this guy is the torso, which is the same one used on the Stormtrooper Han.  Nevertheless, he’s still the same height as Han and the basic troopers, meaning he’s not actually short for a Stormtrooper.  Instead of Han’s more pre-posed look, Luke has a more generic standing pose, which looks decent enough.  He still follows the general style of the line, so he’s far more muscle bound than any of the troopers we see on screen.  But, like I said with Han, if you’re gonna have the style, I guess it’s best to stick with it.  His head is a re-working of the early PotF2 Luke head.  It’s not one of the better Hamill likenesses, but it’s not as terrible as some of the early sculpts.  Plus, it means he fits with the rest of them, which I suppose is for the best.  The paint on Luke is fairly straight forward stuff.  It’s pretty clean overall, and matches up with the rest of the line pretty well.  Luke was packed with a removable helmet (the same one included with Han) and a standard Stormtrooper blaster.  It’s a pretty standard set of extras, but more than one accessory is always nice with a Star Wars figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting Han as a mail-away, I was on the look out for this guy.  It took him a little while to hit, but I ended up finding him at Another Universe, the comic book store in the local mall.  I was pretty excited for him, and he makes for a pretty cool pairing with Han to be sure.

#1488: Luke Skywalker – Dark Empire

LUKE SKYWALKER – DARK EMPIRE

STAR WARS: EXPANDED UNIVERSE (KENNER)

“Six years after the destruction of the second Death Star, the galaxy is thrust into turmoil. A reborn evil threatens to enslave the galaxy, and the Republic’s closest friend – Luke Skywalker – may become their greatest enemy. Freed from their detention cell, a group of rebels begin their escape from the Imperial planet Byss. But the sudden appearance of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master, could mean unfortunate news for the Rebels. Has Luke fallen under the spell of the dark side?”

Remember two weeks ago when I was talking about the Star Wars Expanded Universe?  Well, hows about a little more of that?  Yeah, let’s go with that.  It’s another Dark Empire figure!  Wooooo!  This time, it’s Luke Skywalker, in his ‘90s anti-hero phase.  Let’s have a look!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dark Empire Luke Skywalker was another of the four Dark Empire figures in the one and only series of Kenner’s Star Wars: Expanded Universe line.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation.  Like the Clone Emperor, the seventh point of articulation is on his wrist (though this time it was the right one), which was more to allow for the removal of Luke’s hand…which is why my figure is missing his right hand.  Luke had a totally unique sculpt, based on his bad-boy look from the Dark Empire comics.  It’s sort of goofy and definitely dated, but I can’t help but find it endearing.  By this point in time, Kenner had lost the bulky, puffy look of their early ‘90s Star Wars figures, so this guy doesn’t look anywhere near as goofy, at least proportion-wise.  The head was a new mold, showcasing Luke’s extra bouncy hair from Dark Empire, but it has the same facial construction as Kenner’s second-generation PotF2 Luke heads, which had a slightly better Hamill likeness.  It’s a little strange that he’s ended up looking so much younger, but I don’t think it looks terrible at all.  Luke’s paint is pretty solid overall.  I think it’s a bit more pleasing to the eye than the Clone Emperor, and the application is generally pretty clean.  Luke included a lightsaber—red to denote his flirting with the Dark Side during the events of Dark Empire—as well as a blaster pistol.  He also included another of the fold-out 3D display stand things, which was pretty cool.  Reeeeeaaaaally wish I still had one of those.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I think this was the first instance of me eagerly awaiting the release of a Star Wars figure.  I was at the local Another Universe at the mall with my Dad, and I saw this guy on the cover of a Star Wars fan magazine, which had the details on the whole Expanded Universe assortment.  My Dad was nice enough to buy the magazine for me, and I remember dragging that thing all over the place while I eagerly awaited this figure’s release.  As I mentioned in the Clone Emperor review, I found this guy in the Farpoint dealer’s room the year he was released, and he was purchased for me by my Grandmother.  He’s a pretty awesome figure, and still remains one of my favorites.

#1469: Luke Skywalker – Jedi Master

LUKE SKYWALKER – JEDI MASTER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“After tragedy destroyed his attempt to rebuild the Jedi Knights, Luke Skywalker vanished from the galaxy. Now, the Resistance needs his help to thwart the efforts of the evil First Order.”

FINALLY!!!!!!  I got the freaking Black Series freaking Jedi Master freaking Luke freaking Skywalker!  And it only took me two freaking months to find it!  *deep breath*  Okay, it’s out of my system.  Sorry, it’s been a long journey to getting this guy.  But I have him, so now I’m gonna review him.  I thought about putting him in a nice casserole, but I didn’t really fit the formula.  So, hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to the review we go!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jedi Master Luke Skywalker was released in the first assortment of The Last Jedi-themed Star Wars: The Black Series figures.  He’s figure 46, which makes him the second to last figure in the set numerically.  This figure also saw an early release at SDCC this year, in a two-pack alongside Jedi Training Rey.  As far as I can tell, the only difference is the packaging; the actual figures are the same.  Like the smaller Jedi Master Luke, this one is sporting his garb from the end of The Force Awakens, which is certainly a solid design.  The figure stands a little under 6 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  The joints in his legs are obviously a little bit restricted by the lower portion of his robes, but you can still manage some fairly decent poses, and the rest of the joints are thankfully left unrestricted.  Luke’s sculpt is all-new, and does a pretty respectable job of capturing Luke’s look from the two films.  The likeness on this figure is a reasonable approximation of Hamill, though I think I might actually like the smaller figure’s take just a little bit more.  Similarly, I do find myself drawn to the detailing of the smaller figure over this one.  It’s not that this one’s bad at all.  He’s actually quite well-done.  There’s a lot of nice layering and wrinkling to the clothing.  I just find it to be a little softer than the smaller figure, and I’m not a huge fan of that.  I’m also not a huge fan of the generic gripping pose on the hands, especially since he doesn’t include anything to hold.  It just seems to me that some more specific gestures might make for more dynamic posing options.  Also, like the smaller figure, this one had a loop from which to hang a lightsaber hilt, albeit one that’s not included.  I’m still appreciative of the forward thinking on Hasbro’s part, though; it’s not like I don’t have any Skywalker sabers laying around.  The paintwork on Luke is decent enough.  The best of it’s definitely on the head, which has some nice accent work on the hair and beard, as well as some of the cleanest eyes I’ve seen from this line so far.  In terms of extras, Luke’s got his cloak, which is a fabric piece.  It’s not great.  There’s no real way to keep it in place on the figure, so it just really flops off of him a lot.  I can’t see myself using it much.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Luke, and by extension the rest of the first assortment of Last Jedi Black Series figures, has been quite difficult to find around these parts.  They were practically nonexistent on Force Friday, and they never really showed up after that either.  When I found Series 2, I was pretty much convinced I wasn’t finding Luke.  And then I did find him at an out of the way GameStop, about a week later.  Unfortunately, I’d dropped over $100 on action figures the day before, so I just couldn’t bring myself to buy him.  So, back to the car I went, with the hopes that he’d still be there at a later date.  I mentioned this to my dad, who pretty much immediately turned the car around, said “I didn’t buy anything yesterday” and marched into the GameStop to purchase this figure.  I swear, I try not to always buy stuff, but my family and friends won’t let me escape.  Because they love me or something.  It’s frustrating at times.  I’m happy to finally have this figure, especially after the long wait.  Is he perfect?  No, but he’s still solid, and definitely worth your time if you like this line.

#1460: Luke Skywalker in X-Wing Fighter Pilot Gear

LUKE SKYWALKER in X-WING FIGHTER PILOT GEAR

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

” Growing up on the twin-sun planet of Tatooine, Luke Skywalker had always looked tot he stars. He had been told that his father was a great star pilot, and it was clear that the young Luke had inherited some of his skills. In the arid deserts of the Jundland Wastes, Luke and his best friend Biggs Darklighter, would race their T-16 skyhoppers. Tagging womprats in Beggar’s Canyon or threading the Stone needle, Luke and Biggs were the best of friends, and daring pilots. Unfortunately, they were separated when Biggs went to the Academy, and Luke was forced to stay behind.”

Luke Skywalker figures are a hot commodity these days, due to his almost total absence from the main Star Wars toy lines for the better part of two years.  For a good portion of the franchise’s run, it was hard to go anywhere without tripping over a whole pile of Luke Skywalkers. There were a dozen Lukes in the Power of the Force II line alone, and I’ll be looking  at another one of that particular subset today, with Luke in his X-Wing Fighter Pilot Gear.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke was released in Power of the Force II‘s first year, as a later addition to the assortment.  He was the second Luke in the line, and the second figure of Luke in this particular gear in general.  Despite the claims on the package that this is Luke in his “X-Wing Fighter Pilot Gear,” which is a little bit misleading.  The figure’s actually wearing his cold-weather flight gear that he puts on to pilot his Snowspeeder during the Hoth Battle from Empire.  He does eventually wear it while flying his X-Wing later, but it’s still more commonly viewed as his Snowspeeder gear.  Not that the two designs are that dissimilar, of course.  The figure is about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  The sculpt was unique to this guy at the time of his release, however the body ended up getting re-used later down the line for both Wedge and Dak.  Until around 2010 or so, this was actually the only Hoth flight-suited sculpt Hasbro had on hand.  Just like the rest of these early figure’s, it’s a rather dated sculpt.  He’s got the usual exaggerated proportions, albeit masked a little bit by the more padded nature of the design.  He’s still got the insane bulging muscles, and the crazy thin waist, of course.  On the plus side, the detailing on the costume is pretty decent; the ridges on the arms are pretty cool, and the helmet, while a bit on the tiny side, is quite accurate to the source material.  Said helmet is permanently attached to the head, and missing the visor, but removable helmets were still a ways off at this point, so this isn’t bad.  His face is a slightly different likeness than the other Luke’s from this line.  It’s still a bit off, looking more like Ron Howard than Mark Hammil, but that’s a step in the right direction at least.  The paint work on this figure is on par with the rest of this line’s offerings.  It’s pretty clean overall, apart from a few fuzzy lines on the edge of the vest.  Luke is packed with his lightsaber and a small blaster pistol.  The lightsaber is a lot shorter than the initial Luke saber, but I choose not to judge him for that; Hoth is very cold.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this figure when he was relatively new.  I had gotten the PotF2 X-Wing Fighter as a gift, and didn’t yet have the proper Luke to fly it, so I obviously had to buy this guy.  Along the way, my original was lost, more than likely sold during one of my “purges” over the years.  The one reviewed here is a replacement, picked up at Farpoint a few years back.  He’s hardly the best pilot Luke figure out there, and he certainly shows the line’s flaws quite overtly, but he was my first pilot Luke, and he still holds an important spot in my collection.

#1413: Luke Skywalker – Jedi Master

LUKE SKYWALKER – JEDI MASTER

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Okay, you guys read this morning’s post.  You know what that means.  That’s right, it’s time for my Force Friday II reviews!  Oh yeah!  Let’s do this, homebiscuits!

Perhaps the most anticipated of the new products are those based on Luke Skywalker.  Apart from a few re-released OT figures, Luke was almost completely absent from the Force Awakens and Rogue One products.  In Hasbro’s defense, their original plan for TFA’s small-scale line was to have Luke offered as a mail-away figure, which would have been a super nifty way of handling things, but it was ultimately nixed by someone higher up.  Anyway, I’ve been patiently awaiting a new trilogy Luke.  Now I have him.  Yay!  Onto the review!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jedi Master Luke is one of the 11 basic figures Star Wars: The Last Jedi released on Force Friday II.  The figures were divided into two different assortments: orange and teal.  Luke was part of the Orange assortment, which was the assortment devoted to the more central characters.  Luke’s sporting at least two looks in The Last Jedi.  This figure is based on the look he was sporting in The Force Awakens’ final moments, which he will no doubt be keeping for at least a decent chunk of the new movie.  I like this look a lot; it sort of merges the aesthetics of Obi-Wan’s look in A New Hope with Luke’s Jedi Knight garb from Return of the Jedi.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  His sculpt is all-new to him, and it’s stylistically consistent with the stuff from both TFA and Rogue One, so the leg joints, for instance are cut right through his robes, rather than the robes being a separate add-on piece.  The figure’s stance is simple and straight, but it’s not too stiff; it looks fairly natural.  The level of detail on the sculpt is a step up from the two previous lines, which is quite impressive on such a small figure.  The head sports a pretty spot-on Hamill likeness, and the texture work on the clothing is just top-notch.  The wrinkles and everything really sell that “hermit” look quite nicely.  His belt is a separate piece, affixed in place, which offers some nice depth to the figure.  Interestingly, he’s got a loop to hang his lightsaber hilt from, but there’s no saber included.  It’s good forward thinking, I suppose.  Luke also has a soft plastic removable cloak.  It’s certainly similar to the one from the old PotF2 Jedi Luke, but the execution is quite a bit more precise, the details are sharper, and the overall appearance is far less goofy.  Paint’s always been an issue with Hasbro figures, Star Wars figures especially.  While Luke has a little bit of slop in one spot on his back, the overall application is a marked improvement over the TFA and RO figures.  Apart from the cloak, Luke has no extras.  What?  No weird gimmicky accessory to be thrown straight into my box of weird gimmicky accessories?  Indeed, this time around, Hasbro’s put the gimmick inside the figure itself, with the CommTech 2.0 ForceLink feature.  There’s a chip inside the figure, which, when brought within close proximity of the ForceLink Reader will play character relevant sounds.  I don;t have a reader yet, so I’m not sure how well it works, but it does mean that all the figures get this nifty little symbol on their left foot.  And now I have less excess plastic to worry about dealing with when I open these guys.  Yay!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ever since the end of The Force Awakens, I’ve been wanting this figure, so he was at the very top of my list of wants for this Force Friday.  I actually found him and most of the other Last Jedi product a week early, when I stopped by the Walmart nearest my brother’s college after moving him in.  Unfortunately, they were all restricted at the register, with a code claiming they’d been recalled for lead paint, so I wasn’t able to buy them then.  When Force Friday rolled around, Luke was #1 on my priority list.  When I actually got to the action figure aisle, the Lukes seemed to be missing, but they were just hiding at the back of the pegs.  Of course, I discovered this when the guy next to me in the aisle flung literally ever figure on the peg in front of the two Lukes at me, but at least I got one of those two Lukes, right?  I’m really happy I found this guy.  He’s one of my favorites released in this style, and one of my favorite small-scale Star Wars figures in general.