Friday, May 20, 2011

Oft Recast, Barely Yellowing, The Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise Is A Good Figure!

The Good: Good concept, Good accessories
The Bad: Proportions are a bit off, Some yellowing of plastic
The Basics: Fairly easy to find and good despite the discoloring and proportion issues, Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise is worth picking up!

In the annals of Star Wars figures, especially those focusing on A New Hope, there are few characters that have better exposure than Luke Skywalker. I swear, there are more figures and concept figures of Luke Skywalker than any other Star Wars persona. Of course, that makes some sense as he was the integral character in the original Star Wars Trilogy. Still, when it comes to the costumes and personas Luke Skywalker adopted in the Trilogy, there are surprisingly few. One of the most famous, recognizable and oft-merchandised variations on Luke Skywalker would have to be Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise, which was one of the earlier figures Kenner made as part of their "Power Of The Force" reboot of Star Wars figures.

For those unfamiliar with Luke Skywalker when he was in the Stormtrooper disguise, the young hero of the Rebellion went to the Death Star in the middle of A New Hope (reviewed here!). There, he was forced to disguise himself as a stormtrooper in order to get into the detention level where Princess Leia Organa was being held prisoner.

The 4" Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise figure is pretty cool and it fleshes out the full Star Wars universe wonderfully, but it has since been recast, making the Power Of The Force figure more or less obsolete. Still, this is a generally good figure and one can never have too many stormtroopers, even if they are truly just Luke Skywalker underneath!


Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise is essentially the 1995 Luke Skywalker head on a 1995 Stormtrooper body. The figure stands 3 3/4" tall when his helmet is on and the helmet comes off to reveal Luke Skywalker's head underneath. Like many of the early Stormtrooper figures, this suffers from the same discoloration I described in my review of the Death Star Escape 3-pack. As well, fans of the series will find that Luke is unusually buff for a Stormtrooper . . . or anyone else! The figure is made entirely of hard plastic, including the helmet.

This toy is a decent sculpt, save in the proportions and coloring. Luke's head figures big-80's hair and a somewhat clueless expression. He is a bit topheavy, though owing to the broad shoulders and chest that defined the poor original sculpts of the Power Of The Force line (for some reason, Kenner was convinced fans wanted their figures buff and their female figures . . . well, buff also). Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise is accurate in his coloring detail, at least for the armor. That means the figure is blandly black and white. This figure does feature a human head under the helmet, though and that is well-cast. The skin tones and hair, though, lack coloring details, so they are monolithic and seem more animated than realistic. As well, Luke's eyes have a dead look to them and are miscolored. Mine has brown eyes and white pupils (Luke had blue eyes and, like most humans, black pupils).

The Stormtrooper outfit is bland and this is a very clean version of Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise, so it clearly is intended to be from before Luke went into the trash compactor! There is no shading detail on the costume, which makes some sense. However, like most white figures produced by Kenner, the figure's chest and torso have taken on a yellow tint as the plastic has denatured over the years. Even though mine has not been in direct sunlight (not by any stretch of the imagination) most of the figure is more yellow than white. The arms and legs have begun yellowing, but they are not as bad as the chest.


Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise, inscrutable Imperial warrior, requires few accessories. In fact, all he comes with is his Stormtrooper helmet and his Imperial blaster. The helmet is the familiar white helmet of a Stormtrooper which has been hollowed out to fit around the head on the figure. This is in proportion to the rest of the figure (Luke's head is slightly smaller than the figure's pectoral armor) and looks pretty good. The helmet slides over the human head and may be easily pulled off when one wants to reveal the Rebel leader!

Luke also comes with a little blaster. The inch-long choking hazard fits in either hand, but seems more natural in the figure's left hand. This is a monolithically molded black plastic blaster that is simple and not actually in proportion with the rest of the action figure.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise is good in that regard. The figure is poorly articulated and lacks significant articulation to make him interesting with his firearm. In addition to low articulation, Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise has limited posability. While this Luke has decent balance for such a topheavy figure, if the feet are moved out of a flatfooted position, this figure tips over. He comes with only six points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints. As a result, he has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, neck, and waist and he twists at any of those points. The elbows do not extend, though he may hold the blaster in either hand.

Fortunately, there are playsets with foot pegs which fit into the holes in either of Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise's feet.


Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise was ridiculously overproduced, appearing on at least four different cards as an identical sculpt. In other words, Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise is a poor investment and it may often be found dirt cheap. The Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise figure on the red (or orange, to be accurate) card was the first of the four. As well, the figure has been recast at least once (I think even more than that, though!).

Despite it being a decent overall figure, this is a figure better for play than collecting or investing.


Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise might not be particularly collectible or posable, but he was a cool idea and a good figure until it was recast later on for the new Saga series. And for those building an armada, Luke as a Stormtrooper may often be found cheaper than the original Power Of The Force Stormtroopers, which makes him a good choice for picking up cheap and in quantity!

For other Luke Skywalker figures, please check out my reviews of:
2006 Saga Collection 005 Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot
2004 Original Trilogy Collection 01 Luke Skywalker (Dagobah)
2003 Original Trilogy Collection #03 Hoth Attack Luke Skywalker
2002 Attack Of The Clones Collection Bespin Luke Skywalker
Deluxe Luke Skywalker with Desert Sport Skiff


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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