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Review : Star Wars Black Series Luke Skywalker (Bespin), The Empire Strikes Back




Welcome to our look back at the Star Wars Black Series Wave 3 Luke Skywalker in Bespin fatigues from 2014. The figure was released alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi and a Stormtrooper, with a repack of Han Solo from the previous wave.

Packaging 3/5

The original Black Series Orange Line packaging was finished in a more matt cardboard and was susceptible to shelf wear. The design is of course iconic and the orange stripe running through the packaging and the grey lined artwork would be carried on to later waves. While we know this as Bespin Luke, the character name was given only as Luke Skywalker and he was #11 in this first releases of the Black Series.

The rear of the box uses a grey lined scene from the movie to sit below the basic background text.

"Luke battles Darth Vader on a narrow platform in cloud city and rejects Vader's urging to turn to the Dark Side and rule the Galaxy With Him"

"You'll find I'm full of surprises"


Sculpt & Paint 3/5

The figure is obviously well before face print technology so the likeness to Mark Hamill in Empire is passable. The skin is one tone and quite glossy and there is only colouring applied to the eyes and eyebrows - the lips go unpainted and are left skin coloured. The hair has some level of lighter brown highlights and is a good reflection of the messy hair Luke sports in Episode 5.

The body is the beige jumpsuit and this has a texture in the sculpt with seams and pockets sculpted on the jacket, down the arms and into the trousers. The whole thing is a beige colour but a dark wash has been used on top which then accentuates the sculpting lines and also weathers the body nicely - after all he has just come from a swamp. The boots are a darker grey and also washed.

Luke is sporting a belt which is a separate piece that is glued together around the waist and that also straps around the thigh. This is cast in a brown rubber but it has painted silver detail on the clasp and rivets. It too gets a wash, with a dark wash over the top and left to settle around the fastenings.



Accessories 4/5

Luke is armed with a DL-44 blaster. This is cast in dark plastic and has a painted silver barrell and a dark brown handle. The plastic is a touch soft and the barrel can be slightly warped. This is designed to fit in Luke's right hand where a flexible trigger finger can be slotted into the trigger.

When not in use the DL-44 can be holstered in the working holster on the side of Luke's belt. The fit is snug and a thin strap wraps across the blaster handle to hold it in position.

Accessory two is Luke's blue lightsaber. This is the same saber as was included with the Wave 1 X-Wing Luke and comes in two parts. The hilt is painted silver with black around the grip and a red button near the emitter. The blade is cast in translucent blue plastic and it clicks neatly into the hilt when you want an ignited saber effect on display. Like the blaster, the hilt is a little soft in the plastic used and can warp.

If you would rather have your saber slung, then there is an inconspicuous hook on Luke's belt that allows the loop at the end of the saber to hang on and stay in place.




Articulation 3/5

Luke has 16 points of articulation starting with a ball jointed head complete with pivot - which can be slightly unsightly from certain angles. There is a waist ball joint just above the belt which allows Luke to lean forward and backward as well as turning to the sides. The legs are ball jointed hips, with quite a gap between hip and groin to allow full movement. Below this is a thigh swivel, double jointed knees and ankle rockers.Being a loose part the thigh strap for the holster moves with the leg and does not' restrict any movement.

The arms are ball jointed at the shoulder with full movement, but sadly the elbows are just single rotating joints. While these can get into a two handed saber pose - it is quite stiff and not any kind of action stance. Below the elbows is a wrist pivot.

For some reason the ratchets in Luke's ankle rockers don't quite line up to having flat feet in a standard pose. I find Luke is difficult to stand naturally and the feet are never quite both planted on the floor.



Summary

Considering this is now nearly 5 years old, the figure just about holds up along side more recent releases. The head sculpt does stand out as being quite basic - but he body sculpt, shape and paint are still pretty impressive. Accessories too are similar to more recent standards, and articulation too hasn't moved on massively since these 2014 figures.

Luke is ripe for an Archive revisit with an updated head / face print technology. And doing so will also allow for a variant Dagobah Luke if Hasbro wish to go with the re-release of Yoda.


As it stands, this version of Luke scores a just above average 3/5 for me and is as good at present as any other Luke on your shelf from a likeness perspective.



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