We all know that Luke Skywalker is an important character in the Star Wars Universe. Hell, he was certainly arguably the most important character until Lucas retconned Vader into that position. But it still feels like Hasbro is really over-pimping the hell out of Luke in the 6-inch Black line. The series of figures is still relatively young and yet here I am looking at the third version of the character and we’ve already seen pictures of the fourth (Hoth) Luke arriving soon in the next Deluxe Wave. I get it, Hasbro, but how about spacing out the Lukes and getting us a Lando? Or maybe a Princess Leia with her clothes on? The glut of Lukes is kind of getting out of hand, especially in the absense of so many other important characters, or even not so important characters that I’d still like to get figures of. Now, with all that having been said, I do have to admit that this version of “Jedi Luke” makes for a nice companion figure to the “Return of the Jedi” Vader that also shipped in this wave. Let’s take a look at Luke #3…
The package is a little worse for wear because I left it on the floor and the cat tried to open it. Actually it turned out that he just wanted the box to play with and not the figure inside. Well, there’s no accounting for taste. Anyway, the window box is exactly what we’ve seen for the last couple of figures in the wave. It’s a black box with a black tray and a mostly black figure inside and it’s called Black… that’s a lot of black!
So speaking of black, that’s really one of the few things worth mentioning about the figure. His Jedi Knight outfit is almost void of any notable detail apart from some sculpted wrinkles and seams. Seriously, this is one of the most nondescript figures I’ve seen in a while. To help things along, Hasbro included a removable piece for his tunic, which can be replaced with another piece that makes it look as if his flap is folded down.
I call it the Captain Kirk “Wrath of Khan” look. All it’s missing is a bloody handprint. I guess the extra tunic part is a nice touch, but you know what would have also been a nice touch? A FREAKING SOFT GOODS JEDI ROBE!!! Even the god damn original Kenner 3 3/4” version of this figure came with that! Seriously, there’s no excuse for leaving it out this time. I’m beginning to think we may not even see one with the “A New Hope” Obi-Wan when he comes out.
The head sculpt is OK, but it’s not great. It’s very gaunt and sickly looking, so maybe this is supposed to be Luke after he got the shit zapped out of him by Palpatine. The likeness is sort of there, they certainly got the chin dimple right, but it strikes me more as a caricature than anything else. It’s definitely my least favorite of all three Luke portraits in this line. In fact, I think the X-Wing Luke is the best, so I’d argue they’ve been getting progressively worse. Seems like it should be the other way around.
Anyway, the only other thing worth mentioning about Luke’s outfit is it has a separate belt with a hook that you can hang the lightsaber hilt on. Hey, at least that’s better than Darth Vader got. In fact, all the Luke figures in this line so far have had ways to carry the hilts on their belts, so that’s cool. Naturally the blade can come out of the hilt and Luke’s articulation allows him to wield the saber in both hands.
Speaking of articulation, Luke’s poseability is right in line with what we’ve been seeing all along. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There is also a ball joint just above the waist and the neck has both a ball joint and a hinge. Luke is a pretty fun figure to pose and I’m happy to report no soft or mushy joints.
So, how does Jedi Luke fare against my 6-inch Black Litmus Test? He fails, because there’s virtually nothing about this figure that couldn’t have or hasn’t been done better in the smaller 3 3/4” scale. The lack of a soft goods Jedi robe is frankly inexcusable, especially for a figure that required so little sculpting and paintwork. Plus, I don’t see why Luke’s head sculpts are getting worse and not better. Both Luke and Vader are both similar in that they are not bad figures, just decidedly average. They strike me as missed opportunities and fine examples of how this 6-inch Black series continues to be wildly inconsistent.