Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Review : Luke Skywalker, Farmboy (A New Hope)
Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)
Wave/Series : Figure #20 (Phase 3 Wave 6 / Wave 2 2016)
Released : April 2016
Price : £22.99
Since it's announcement, the Luke Farmboy figure has done nothing but court controversy. And even now in hand it continues to split opinion across collectors.
Luke is the first Original Trilogy figure to be included in the phase 3 red & black packaging, but is due to be followed later this year with A New Hope Princess Leia, who will almost be a companion piece for this figure in a way and gets fans one step closer to a line up of the original heroes from the original movie (C-3PO still being an absentee).
The box is standard fare for phase 3 with Luke number 21, and released in what we would term as Wave 6 or 2016 Wave 2. The bio on the back is in the usual 4 languages and is a very top line of the situation in which Luke finds himself in A New Hope.
Out of the box and Luke stands 5 3/4 inches high, so accurate in terms of how he stands shorter than Han Solo. The head sculpt, or certainly the hair, is a new sculpt with the face being similar to the Stormtrooper Luke from phase 2. The facial element is a decent enough likeness to Mark Hamill, but suffers from being too glossy and also quite basic in paint applications - something that has deteriorated over time with the Black Series. I say this in nearly all my Black Series reviews now - "I would love to see what a talented painter would do with the sculpt".
The glossy skin tone continues into the chest and arms and these are covered by the controversial soft goods tunic. There will be loads of arguments to and for soft goods for this type of clothing. Purists will want no soft goods at all, or just reserve them for capes/robes. Others will applaud Hasbro trying something different - and how it helps cover unsightly joints without holding back the articulation. I've taken a few days to consider how I feel about the tunic. It is a light enough material so holds a decent shape across the body - but is too puffy on the sleeves. The longer edges are stitched, but the sleeves and the bottom are not and look very susceptible to fraying at some point. My biggest issue is that I think it is too white - it needs dirtying up a bit. Out of the box it looks like Luke is advertising Tatooine's version of Daz.
The belt does a good job holding the tunic in place and is pretty well detailed with a darker wash over the brown and then various implements and pouches hanging down. I do find myself frustrated here though where they can apply washes and highlights to a belt, but not to a characters face.
The trousers are a pale sand colour and up close do have a bit of texture to them, although the paint is a plain colour so there is no attempt to bring out the texture. The boots on the other hand are weathered to look like they are sandy and dirty - which then makes the difference between boots (dirty) and tunic (Daz white) not make any sense.
Articulation is pretty awesome however, one of the better Black Series figures in phase 3. The head moves freely and can rotate fully as well as look up and down. The arms are pretty amazing, with no constraints from clothing or robes thanks to the soft goods. The ball jointed shoulders rotate fully and go up and down, and the elbows - well wow - these can actually fold back on themselves so Luke can easily get into double handed light saber action poses. He can even touch his own chest if he feels the need. A torso joint also sits neatly under the tunic allowing Luke to bend back and forward and rotate his torso.
Legs are fully maneuverable at the hips, again un-encumbered by the lower part of the tunic. There is then a thigh swivel, which is probably a bit unnecessary, but is hidden behind the tunic also so isn't a detraction. Knees are double jointed, and the ankles are on a ball rocker so not only do they point forward or back but they also move side to side which means Luke's feet can always be planted flat to the floor despite how wide his stance is.
Accessories are a light saber and the binoculars that Luke uses in his pursuit of R2-D2. The saber fits well into either hand, as well as being held double handed. The blade is clear coloured plastic, perhaps a little pale than I would like and on mine there was also a flaw which is a shame. The blade comes out from the hilt, and the hilt can then be hung on Luke's belt if needed. The binoculars are also well done - cast in black plastic with painted silver details. They fit into either or both hands, and thanks to that awesome arm movement you can pretty much get Luke into a pose so that he is looking through the binoculars looking for Sand people.
And here is my big issue with this figure, not the head sculpt, not the soft goods - but the lazy lack of accessories. Had this figure come 3 years ago at launch we would have had a wealth of options to allow us as fans to choose which Luke from A New Hope we had on display. For an ultimate collectors figure then this Luke should have also come with his Tatooine head gear & rifle, training ball and helmet from the Falcon and perhaps even the Stormtrooper belt from the Death Star escape. With Hasbro unlikely to re-release this figure any time soon with different accessories this is a big miss and economically could have generated additional sales for Hasbro as I for one would have bought at least two to display with different options - the way I did with Anakin and Darth Maul, back when this range had accessories that gave fans display options.
In summary Luke is fine and its pretty much what we have come to expect from phase 3 figures. As prices go up however (I paid £24 for this one) and accessories and paint jobs go down then there will be a point where this range becomes too rich for many collectors, and that is where the likes of SH Figuarts will clean up if they can get their figures to market in the US and UK and in greater numbers.
Don't be put off by the soft goods, it does work and I guess over time on display it will grime up nicely if you don't have an airtight display. Articulation is top notch for a Hasbro figure and it is only really what you don't get that cost Luke a 4 out of 5, and instead comes in with a middle of the road 3.