STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES
Luke Skywalker is kind of the bread and butter of Star Wars: The Black Series. He’s by far the most recurrent individual character in the line, and is thus far the only character with at least one look from each of the Original Trilogy films covered. He’s already had two figures from A New Hope, in both his X-Wing pilot gear and his Stormtrooper disguise. However, his main look from the film was still left unreleased. Fortunately, Hasbro’s made sure that one of Luke’s most definitive looks didn’t get left out, and Tattooine Luke started hitting shelves over the summer. I’ll be taking a look at him today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Luke was released in the sixth series of the third iteration of Star Wars: The Black Series (i.e. the one launched with the Force Awakens product). He’s #21 in the line (not that the numbers actually mean anything, of course, since Hasbro keeps restarting the counter), and he’s the first Original Trilogy figure to be released since the switch to Force Awakens product. The figure stands just shy of 6 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. As you can probably tell from the pictures, Luke is constructed from a mix of sculpted elements and soft goods. Pretty much, the underlying body forgoes the shirt, the shirt is cloth, and it’s held in place by a rubber belt. The basic sculpt is decent enough, though not without its flaws. The legs and boots are both very nicely detailed and textured, and there is a fully sculpted body under the cloth shirt. However, the upper body feels somewhat under scaled compared to the legs. The shoulders feel too narrow and the arms just a bit too short to be accurate. Rather than re-use the X-Wing Luke head (as was done with the Stormtrooper Luke), this figure gets an all new sculpt. It’s okay, but is noticeably smaller than the last sculpt, and does not possess as strong a likeness. The cloth shirt is okay for what it is, but the problem really lies with “what it is.” The choice to make the shirt a separate piece is somewhat odd. While it’s not the first time Hasbro has done such a thing with this design, it’s never really worked before, and doesn’t really work here. Where a sculpted piece could have captured the texture and specific shaping of Luke’s shirt in the movie, the cloth piece is too clean, too simple, and really just hangs there in a rather unconvincing fashion. The worst thing is that, like Darth Vader before him, the cloth pieces just aren’t tailored correctly to the body, which results in his tunic continuing way too far down his legs, making it look more like a robe than it should. It’s definitely disappointing. Luke continues the trend of lessened paint apps on The Black Series figures, sporting only the most basic detailing. It’s clean, well applied, and well matched to the source material, but it lacks some of the life of earlier figures. Luke is packed with his lightsaber and a pair of binoculars, both of which can be hung on his belt. It might have been nice to get a Stormtrooper belt and blaster, since the belt is already removable and it would allow him to match with the Series 2 Han Solo, but I guess Luke being an all-new sculpt made such extras cost prohibitive.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I found Luke here at the Walmart near where my family vacations. Wasn’t really looking for him or anything, just killing time on my way there, but there he was. I was actually pretty excited to find him, since I haven’t gotten a new Black Series figure in what seems like forever. That being said, I can’t help but feel a little let down by this guy. He’s not awful or anything, but he’s not the slam dunk he should have been. Rather than being THE Luke to own, he’s just another figure in the pack. X-Wing Luke will continue on as my go-to figure for display purposes.