Updated: Apr 17
The Yavin Ceremony Luke Skywalker is number 100 in the phase 3 red and black releases which started in 2015 when The Force Awakens was released. The figure base is shared with the Skywalker Strikes exclusive - but there are variances in packaging and accessories. He was released in wave 23, the last for 2019, along with Wedge Antilles from A New Hope as well as new figures from the Rise of Skywalker - Jannah and the Jet Trooper - and Cara Dune from The Mandalorian.
Luke Skywalker, Yavin Ceremony, arrives in the black box with red side spine and figure cardback. The figure is number 100 in the phase 3 packaging and this means a resizing of the numbers on the red side spine to accommodate the 3-digits. The figure is subtitled as "Yavin Ceremony" to differentiate this release from the other Luke Skywalker figures
Gregory Titus provides the artwork for the front and back of the box which shows Luke in his Yavin Ceremony outfit looking wistful. He seems to be wearing his medal, but the image cuts off - which is a shame considering that is the key selling point of the figure. The rear image is blown up, but further clipped so we only get the head alongside some basic text.
"On Yavin 4, the Rebels hold a ceremony to award the heroes who bravely fought to destroy the Death Star. Luke Skywalker receives his medal for bravery from Princess Leia"
The Luke Skywalker Yavin Ceremony release, the number 100 in the Phase 3 packaging, was released with a couple of pretty embarrassing spelling errors on the box. This included an extra W in Skywalker on the front of the box and to even out the extra letter they then went and missed a Y on the spelling on the reverse and on the large text that sits on the black left hand side spine.
Future runs will likely be corrected, but it is unlikely this packaging error will carry much value as it was released in volume. It is a disappointing error for box collectors that figure 100 will carry such as typo.
Paint & Sculpt 4/5
It is worth starting with the fact that this is the identical figure as was released early in 2019 as an Exclusive called Skywalker Strikes. That version was accessorised to represent the comic book appearance that would directly follow on from the ending of A New Hope.
The head sculpt for Yavin Luke is new for 2019 and is a good likeness to the 1977 Mark Hamill, although the neck is a little short and gives him a hunched look. The face print tech works well and the figure comes with the bright blue eyes and the shaded skin tones. The standard version has a less intense face print, with more natural shading and a less glossy head - making it, in my eyes, superior to the exclusive. On the flip side the Exclusive version does have a lighter and better coloured hair piece.
The costume is well executed with the Corellian style trousers and knee high boots - complete with yellow stripes. Luke is then wearing his black shirt and the yellow jacket which is a cast piece and then painted down the him and with the black insignia on the chest.
Everything is coloured and painted well with no obvious errors.
The Yavin Medal is a new piece and while it was originally photos in the Exclusive set, it was held back to differentiate between the two releases - and so we'd buy both. It is cast in a softer beige plastic with the gold of the medal painted - front and back. It is shaped to fit over Luke's head and rest against his chest. It can be removed if you wish.
Luke is armed with a Defender Sporting Blaster Pistol. This is cast in black with painted silver barrel tip and another silver panel on top of the weapon at the grip end. The blaster is identical to the one in the Exclusive release.
The blaster fits into the gun toting hand that Luke comes with, and the trigger finger slots into place. When not in use the blaster slips into the working holster. You unclip the soft strap, slide the blaster in, and then replace the strap.
There is no lightsaber for Luke in this release.
Luke arrives with 17 points of articulation, 1 more than a standard Black Series release. This is down to the neck articulation update with a joint at the base of the neck as well as the top, removing the need for an unsightly pivot in the neck.
Head : ball joint neck, ball joint neck base
Body : torso ball joint
Arms : ball joint shoulder, single rotating elbow, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rockers
The arms are fully mobile and are fine for weapon posing as Luke only needs to be firing his Sporting Blaster with a single hand at any one time. He can also pose as though clasping his hands behind his back, as seen in the Yavin 4 ceremony.
You would assume the leg articulation would work well considering the joints - including those double jointed knees - and this is true for kneeling poses. However, the hips seem to be locked and cant swing out into a seating position or for kneeling on one knee, that leaves wider stances the only other alternative. The same issue exists on the Exclusive Luke and therefore it must be a design issue with the leg shape on all the figures.
Luke does stand well with solid ankle rockers.
The Yavin Ceremony Luke Skywalker is a perfectly good release of an iconic character in a pretty iconic, albeit short lived outfit. The sculpt is good - a big improvement for Luke figures and one I hope may get recycled into the Archive Series for figures like Farmboy Luke?
Articulation is OK, but the figure does suffer with some odd springy issue with the hips which prevent some posing of the legs.
The key to this figure is the accessories. If you bought the Skywalker Strikes Exclusive then you will be missing the Yavin Medal that this one brings - and that is unusual as Hasbro normally throw everything at the Exclusive (Thrawn, First Order Troopers) but make it so you don't need to buy the standard if you don't want to.
I score the wave 23 Luke Skywalker Yavin Ceremony a 3 out of 5.