Thursday, July 22, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,840: Luke Skywalker (Heir to the Empire, The Black Series 6-Inch)

& Ysalamiri

The Black Series Publishing - Shared Exclusive
Item No.:
No. F3006
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Lightsaber, Ysalamiri (for Thrawn)
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $24.99
Availability: May 2021
Appearances: Dark Horse Comics

Bio: Five years after the destruction of the Death Star, Luke Skywalker fears there is no hope as the remnants of the Imperial fleet are readied for war under the command of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Using ysalamiri to sever a developing Jedi clone's connection to the Force allowed mentally stable Jedi clones to be created - a discovery Thrawn would use in his war against Luke Skywalker and the New Republic. (Taken from the packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

I was expecting to dump on Luke Skywalker & Ysamiri but it turns out it's good! Sure it's a repaint of last year's Dagobah Training figure with a different lightsaber and one new accessory. But it does closely mimic the reference material (Dark Horse Comics' cover of Heir to the Empire which used The Empire Strikes Back stills as a model) and it's engineered well. I'd have preferred they either match the cover exactly (blue blade) or update things to what Luke looked like canonically (ROTJ-ish head), but this is pretty good.

Luke is, as I said, the same as last year - which is good. Now black instead of brown, the Jedi master-to-be can still stand perfectly with arms that look great and can be easily posed to grip his lightsaber. The legs hide the joints nicely, and can swing forward with no fuss. There's very little paint to speak of - this was a very cheap figure to produce, so I'm not crazy about the mark-up - but it's perfect. Everything about him just works - the legs bend nicely, there are no belts or cloaks in the way, and I immediately got him balanced and standing on my desk without a fight. It's almost nothing like Hasbro's other super-articulated figures which generally had fussy joints and would typically fall over if not leaned against something.

The lightsaber is his green-bladed Return of the Jedi rebuild - he holds it well, and the silver hilt has cleanly painted gold and black trim. Short of actually making it light up through some alchemy, I don't know how they could have done much to improve it. It's great. It's also very amusing because this is, for all intents and purposes, Luke from an alternate timeline to his appearance in The Mandalorian. (It's been seven months, spoiler gloves were off around February.) The one thing the old Expanded Universe and Disney agree on is that Luke was clearly in a goth phase after he burned his dad's corpse and helped take down the space government.

Also included is the Force-bubble-pushing ysalamiri, and this is his debut in this size. Of note, he was not sculpted to fit Luke - rather, this figure was designed to rest on Grand Admiral Thrawn's shoulders. (Since he shares parts with Motti, Piett, and Tarkin, he'll fit them just fine as well.) Luke's frame is a little too small. Our lizard alien pal has four eyes and no articulation, with Hasbro painting him lightly so the sculpted detail pops out a little bit. It's a nice extra, and since Hasbro rarely releases a figure with an accessory specifically for another, older figure, this is something I'm happy to commend. Luke's good, but if you already bought Thrawn you're going to want this set just for the lizard. He just curls around the neck and hangs out nicely, copying the look Oliver Vatine drew in the comic books a few decades ago.

While Luke does look young, and the comic look of these characters aren't everybody's favorites, you can't deny Hasbro did a staggeringly competent job with these figures. Usually I have something to nitpick - and I guess I kind of do with Luke's head - but it's still excellent. Hasbro picked one of its best molds to repaint, and engineered the accessory to perfectly fit an existing figure. It's a fun toy. Everything works. I'm happy. Get this one if you have a crack at it.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,840: July 22, 2021

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