So, my relationship status with Star Wars Black has changed. Initially we were just going to get together one time for a planned event (Darth Maul). Then we had another casual meet up and enjoyed our time together (R2-D2). Now, that I have both Luke Skywalker and the Sandtrooper, I think it's fair to say that we're going steady. I really fell head over heels for Star Wars Black and am now eagerly awaiting series 2 (Seriously- Greedo? Han Solo? Slave Leia? Boba Fett? Who could resist?) with the plan of becoming a completist on this line, at least until one of Hasbro makes a major character an SDCC exclusive and makes them completely unavailable to people who don't sit on Hasbrotoyshop.com 24/7, constantly refreshing their screens. Anyways, most of that is neither here nor there so let's just stick to talking about the toy. I'm wondering if Hasbro is intentionally releasing two figures per series that are naturally teamed together as series one has this Luke and R2-D2, series 2 has Han Solo and Greedo, and Star Wars Black series 3 looks to have Obi-Wan and Anakin, probably from Revenge of the Sith. While some fans have expressed that Luke in his X-Wing flight suit is rather limited in use for a six inch scaled line where we'll most likely never get an X-Wing that he can pilot, I disagree. My POTF2 X-wing Luke (although the original version from 95/96 was actually in his Snowspeeder outfit) served as my default Luke for quite sometime for non-canonical adventures until the yellow jacketed ceremony Luke came out. All that's to say I like this guy, and here's why....
Luke's quite nicely articulated and I haven't had any problems with his joints. He features ball jointed ankles with lateral ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, a ball jointed abdomen, ball jointed shoulders, ball jointed elbows, ball jointed wrists, a hinged neck, and a ball jointed head. There's a really good range of motion here, especially in the head, ankles, and elbows. I'm not really going to complain about this, as it's a necessary part of the design, but Luke's harness straps do hinder the movement of his legs. While a good deal of the articulation is well hidden, one spot that isn't is Luke's neck hinge. It's easily visible when Luke's head is in certain positions and I'm not sure like that piece of extra articulation enough to sacrifice the figure's look.
super buff Luke here!)
The lightsaber is the blue bladed model given to Luke by Obi-Wan Kenobi that originally belonged to Anakin. The blade and hilt easily detach and the saber hilt itself is fantastic. Every on the 1 1/8th inch hilt corresponds with pictures of the film prop. It even has the loop to hang it on Luke's belt clip. The blade is perfectly smooth and doesn't have the "flare" seen on so many of the toy lightsabers since the Attack of the Clones figures were released in 2002. The coolest piece is definitely Luke's helmet, though. It's excellently painted with a nice weathered look and it's easy to put on and take off of the figure. This could very well be a contender for accessory of the year.
FYI, here's a list of the top five Luke Skywalker variants I want to see in Star Wars Black:
1. Luke Skywalker in his Bespin Outfit
2. Luke Skywalker in his first Jedi outfit from Jabba's palace
3. Luke in his Tatooine "Farmboy" outfit with the floppy hat
4. Luke in his yellow jacket and black shirt from the ceremony at the end of ANH
5. Luke in his Snowspeeder outfit- yes, it is different than the X-wing outfit plus he would come with a grappling gun