Friday, December 6, 2019

Road to The Rise of Skywalker: Luke Skywalker (Skywalker Strikes) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    Does anyone feel like having an opinion on Star Wars one way or the other is like wading into a minefield these days? Sheesh!
   That being said, despite not liking The Last Jedi very much, there's still quite a bit to like about the Disney era of Star Wars with one of the best things being the steady stream of quality comic books from Marvel. I really love the ongoing Star Wars series from Marvel set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back (which is getting ready to reset its numbering since it will not cover time between Empire and Return of the Jedi) as they absolutely remind me of the stories I imagined as a kid playing with my Kenner POTF2 figures. When Kenner finally released Luke Skywalker in his slick yellow jacket, he became my go to Luke. I was thrilled that Marvel used this outfit for Luke's default look in the new comic series, too. Hasbro has released two versions of this figure in the Black Series and today I'm checking out the deluxe version that is based on the comic appearances (the other version is referred to as Yavin Ceremony). This guy is referred to as "Skywalker Strikes" and he comes in a cool display box that is loaded with accessories from the comic series. Let's check this version of Luke out after the break...

 The Facts:

Height: 5 5/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, balljonted mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Blaster, 2 piece lightsaber, deflection effect, helmet, training remote, 2 piece stand for training remote, journal, and box.

Non-Scalper Price: $30 dollars

 The Positives:

* This is one of my favorite Luke Skywalker outfits and Hasbro did an excellent job of capturing it. They didn't do anything different with this figure from the standard Yavin Ceremony release, so they are pretty much exactly the same figure with different accessories, but it's accurate to both the film and the comic look. I love the subtle lighter stripes on the jacket and the design of the black shirt underneath. This is such a cool outfit!

* I don't know what it is but Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill both have fairly difficult likenesses to capture. That being said, this is a pretty good Luke likeness. Yeah, in pictures it looks like he's wearing a lot of makeup, but in person I really think the photoprinted face looks excellent. It's a solid sculpt and the printing is very realistic. I've heard a few complaints that he looks kind of David Bowie-ish, but I fail to see that as a negative.

 * The Black Series consistently has excellent articulation and Luke here is no exception. His holster might impede his right hip just a bit but it's nothing you can't work around. Hasbro has been on a role with this line since the release of Solo and they're just not letting up!

 * Let's talk about the accessories, which is where this guy excels. Luke comes with Anakin's lightsaber, which nearly every Luke Skywalker figure has come with. It's still a cool accessory with a great hilt (there's a lot of painted detail) and a removable blade.

 * Need something to practice with? How about a Marksman-H training remote? I believe this appeared in the fourth issue of the comic. Oh, and also, in A New Hope! How awesome to get a really nicely done training remote like this right? It looks really slick. I love the paint apps on it. It's tiny, so be careful with it!

 * It really hovers, too! Well, not really, really. It actually has a clear plastic flight stand that it plugs onto. The stand has two pieces and the base is balljointed, allowing you to pose the remote in different flying positions.

* To further sell the awesomeness of the training remote, Luke comes with a deflection effect for his lightsaber. this reminds me so much of the energy and Force effects that came with the Episode II toys, which I loved. This slides over the blade easily and looks fantastic. The upcoming Count Dooku also comes with something similar (his is a "motion blur" for his blade), so it's nice to see Hasbro constantly improving the line and adding new features.

 * To practice using his Force senses, Luke comes with a helmet with the blast shield down. This isn't the same helmet that he uses aboard the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope, though. This is his pilot helmet from the comics. It's a marvelous accessory with some fantastic paint applications. The printing on this is just fantastic. Very neat and clean.

* I've always loved the look of Luke's outfit in this series of publicity stills (I'd love another variant of this figure without the jacket). In these, you can see Luke is carrying a Defender sporting blaster, just like Princess Leia. Luke's is just a little different than Leia's, though. This is the only accessory this figure shares with the Yavin Ceremony version of the figure, by the way. Everything else is unique to this release.

* Luke has his holster and the Defender blaster fits snugly inside, allowing the strap to close with ease. Brilliant!

* In the Marvel series Luke is guided by the journals of Ben Kenobi, which Luke finds at Obi-Wan's home on Tatooine. The journal is a cool little accessory with "Journals of Ben Kenobi" written on the front in Aurebesh.

* The journal was stored in a case with the words "For Luke" on the top, so Hasbro included that here, too. The case opens and the journal can be stored inside.

* The packaging on this set is really cool and different from most other Black Series releases. Not only does it look like the cover of the trade paperback of Star Wars Vol. 1 but it also opens in the middle, like a book, displaying Luke and his accessories. Once Luke is removed from the plastic ties holding him in place he won't really fit back in securely, but the accessories do pretty well. This reminds me of the Galoob Micro Machines sets based on the Expanded Universe novels, so this definitely gets some points from me. I'd love to see Hasbro release a few more of these. Leia next, please!
 The Negatives:

* Luke's belt buckle is really scuffed. This isn't a "worn universe" thing, either. It's just a quality control error.

* The lightsaber pegs are still far too fragile. Seriously, Hasbro needs to go back to just giving us a hilt and an ignited saber.

 * I love the look of the helmet but the fit is tight. So tight that you can actually see the outline of Luke's nose protruding through the front of the blast shield. That doesn't seem accurate to me!

* I love the journal and the storage box but I'm disappointed that the storage box doesn't have an actual hinge. The plastic hinge just bends, and you can already see stress marks. A regular hinge would have been preferable.
  I definitely had a few nitpicks, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that this is one of the most exciting Star Wars releases for me yet. I love this Epic figure. It's one of my favorite looks for Luke and it comes loaded with extras. What's not to like? This guy was originally on sale at Hasbro Pule for $30 bucks but he's been showing up at GameStop for a bit more. Shop around a bit and you should hopefully find a deal, This is like getting a solid figure and an accessory pack. Heck, I'd love to see Hasbro release a deluxe sub-line of figures with more accessories like this. Comic characters, video game based characters, and certain movie characters would all really benefit from this approach.

I've reviewed so many Luke Skywalker figures that Luke now has his own review archive. Check out Tosche Station for all things Luke Skywalker!

For more Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III figures, check out the following:
0-0-0 (Triple Zero)
442nd Siege Battalion Clone Trooper, 212th Attack Battalion Utapau Trooper, Coruscant Guard ---(Phase II), and 501st Legion Clone Trooper 4 pack
Admiral Ackbar and First Order Officer
Admiral Piett
Ahsoka Tano 
AT-AT Pilot 
Battle Droid
Baze Malbus
BT-1 (Beetee)
C-3PO (Resistance Base) 
Cal Kestis
Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu) 
Captain Phasma
Captain Phasma (Quicksilver Baton)
Captain Poe Dameron
Cara Dune
Chewbacca (Target Exclusive)
Chewbacca (The Force Awakens)
Chirrut Imwe 
Chopper (C1-10P)
Clone Captain Rex (HasCon Exclusive)
Clone Commander Gree
Clone Commander Fox
Clone Commander Obi-Wan Kenobi
Clone Commander Wolffe 
Constable Zuvio
Darth Revan 
Darth Vader (Emperor's Wrath)
Death Star Trooper
Dewback/ Sandtrooper
Director Krennic 
DJ (Canto Bight)
Doctor Aphra
Dryden Vos
Elite Praetorian Guard
Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade)
Emperor Papatine and Throne
Enfys Nest's Swoop Bike/ Enfys Nest
Ezra Bridger
Finn (First Order Disguise)
Finn (FN-2187)
Finn (Jakku)
First Order Flametrooper
First Order General Hux
First Order Jet Trooper
First Order Snowtrooper
First Order Snowtrooper Officer
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
First Order Stormtrooper
First Order Stormtrooper Executioner 
First Order Stormtrooper (with Gear)
First Order TIE Fighter Pilot
Gamorrean Guard
General Grievous
General Leia Organa
General Veers
Grand Admiral Thrawn (SDCC Exclusive)
Grand Moff Tarkin 
Guardians of Evil 4-Pack
Guavian Enforcer
Han Solo (Exogorth Escape)
Han Solo (Mimban)
Han Solo (Solo)
Han Solo (The Force Awakens)
Hera Syndulla
Imperial AT-ACT Driver
Imperial Death Trooper
Imperial Death Trooper, Captain Cassian Andor, and Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha) 3 pack
Imperial Hovertank Pilot 
Imperial Jumptrooper
Imperial Patrol Trooper
Imperial Shock Trooper 
Imperial Royal Guard 
Inferno Squad Agent
Jaina Solo (Legends)
Jango Fett
Kanan Jarrus
Kylo Ren 
Kylo Ren (SDCC 2016)
Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi) 
Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base)
Kylo Ren (Throne Room) 
Lando Calrissian (Solo)
Lando Calrissian (The Empire Strikes Back)
Lando Calrissian (Skiff Guard)
Luke Skywalker 
Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape)
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master)- Ahch-To Island
Mace Windu
Maz Kanata 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Force Spirit)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Padawan) 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC 2016) 
Padme Amidala
Phase 1 Clone Trooper Commander, Phase II Clone Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper, and First Order ---Stormtrooper Officer four pack
Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron and First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper
Princess Leia (Bespin Escape)
Princess Leia Organa 
Princess Leia Organa (Hoth)
Qi'ra (Corellia)
Qui-Gon Jinn
R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2
Range Trooper
Rebel Trooper
Red Squadron (R2-D2, R5-D8, and R2-X2)
Resistance Tech Rose
Resistance Trooper
Rey (Island Journey)
Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 
Rey (Jedi Training)
Rey (Jedi Training)- Crait
Rey (Starkiller Base) 
Rey's Speeder (Jakku)
Rio Durant
Sabine Wren
Sandtrooper Sergeant, Crimson Stormtrooper, Lieutenant OXIXO, and R2-Q5
Scarif Stormtrooper
Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader 
Second Sister Inquisitor
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha)
Stormtrooper (Mimban)
Stormtrooper (With Blast Accessories)
Supreme Leader Snoke (Throne Room)
Tobias Beckett
Tusken Raider 
Val (Vandor)
Vice Admiral Holdo
Wedge Antilles
X-34 Landspeeder & Luke Skywalker (SDCC Exclusive) 
X-Wing Pilot Asty 


  1. Got this guy at GameStop. It inspired me to get the comic.

    1. Awesome! I love the comic series. I've really enjoyed it. I've got a few of the other Marvel trades on my stack to read right now: the latest Doctor Aphra trade, the Han Solo: Imperial Cadet trade, and the Age of Resistance Villains trade.


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