Monday, September 26, 2011

More Average In Retrospect, The Bespin Luke Skywalker Figure Still Has Some Surprises!

The Good: Decent sculpt, Good accessories
The Bad: Limited poseability, Balance issues
The Basics: Between being a decent sculpt and including a highly sought-after Freeze Frame, Bespin Luke Skywalker is a worthwhile Power Of The Force figure!

When Kenner (now Hasbro) rebooted the Star Wars action figure line in the mid-1990s, they had a huge, diverse universe they were working within. As a result, there were recognizable heroes to be made into plastic collectibles as well as innumerable aliens from the background of the three (at that point) films that fans would still get excited over. As far as the heroes went, this meant that characters who had outfit changes became very popular and fans gobbled them up. One of the earliest, most popular Luke Skywalker figures had to be the Bespin Luke Skywalker from the Power Of The Force figure line.

For those unfamiliar with Luke Skywalker as he appeared on Bespin, this incarnation of Luke was the one who rushed to save his friends Han and Leia from the Empire after he trained on Dagobah. It is this incarnation of Luke who got into a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader at the climax of The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!). This is one of the most recognizable and worthwhile Luke Skywalker figures and is arguably the essential The Empire Strikes Back Luke.

The 4" Bespin Luke Skywalker figure is rather cool and even if it has been improved upon by subsequent Hasbro Bespin Lukes, this one is not a bad toy and is worthy of one's time, attention and money.


Bespin Luke Skywalker is a human, an almost-Jedi, seen on Cloud City near the end of The Empire Strikes Back. The figure stands 3 7/8" tall to the top of his bare head. Bespin Luke Skywalker is dressed in a light brown flight suit (which keeps up Luke's desert motif while aboard the futuristic Cloud City). The outfit has realistic shading in that the shoulders are darker than the chest and it looks like there is more wear on one leg than the other. The figure is made entirely of hard plastic.

This toy is a decent sculpt, looking precisely like the hero of the Rebellion. Bespin Luke Skywalker is fairly bland in his coloring detail, as far as the skin tones go. There is no sense of shading to face, lips and the eyes are little more than pinpricks of white and blue. The fingers do not even have molded fingernails! Still, the figure has enough detailing to make it worthwhile. The flight suit has pockets molded into the chest, including one that has been almost torn off. As well, his right leg has a blaster holster molded on and his belt buckle is silver gray.


Bespin Luke Skywalker, hero but not quite Jedi, comes packed with accessories. The most obvious, of course, is Luke's light saber. The 2 3/4" plastic tube is realistically molded with clear blue plastic as well as silver gray plastic for the handle. This fits easily in either of Luke's hands, though it fits better into his right hand. The lightsaber is limited to a one-handed grip because of the figure's lack of articulation.

This is actually fine, though, as 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.

As part of the Power Of The Force toy line, Bespin Luke Skywalker comes with a Freeze Frame action slide. The Freeze Frame was a gimmick to appeal to those not necessarily into action figures (arguably the trading card collectors) and was a simple slide that featured a picture of Luke Skywalker on Bespin. This green carded version had a picture of Bespin Luke on the back which was identical to the image in the Freeze Frame. Still, it was a nice touch and that Kenner tried something remotely creative ought to earn them some points.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Bespin Luke Skywalker is a little better than fair in that regard. The figure is poorly articulated, though he does have one bit of essential articulation that fans will likely get a kick out of. Bespin Luke's right wrist rotates. Why will fans like this? Well, the hand also can be pulled off! This wonderfully allows fans to recreate Luke losing his hand to Darth Vader at the end of The Empire Strikes Back! Barring that, it allows fans to have Luke block using his lightsaber, which might prevent him from getting killed in play easier than other Luke figures.

Outside that, though, Bespin Luke lacks significant articulation to make him interesting. In addition to low articulation, Bespin Luke Skywalker is barely poseable. If the feet are moved even slightly out of a flatfooted position, this figure tips over, especially when he is holding both of his weapons. He comes with only seven points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints. He has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, neck, right wrist and waist. The elbows do not extend, so all arm posing is straight-armed.

As well, the legs and arms cannot be spread without the figure tipping over. This is a very tipable figure, but he is saved some by holes in the soles of his feet that may be stuck in pegs on various playsets. With those, he may stand better. Barring that, this figure tips over easily, a point driven home to me as I wrote this review when my dog came in and began scratching herself on the floor near my desk and Luke tipped over!


Bespin Luke Skywalker is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. Bespin Luke Skywalker was overproduced, appearing on at least two different cards as an identical sculpt, but still it seems to be one of the harder early Luke's to find. Still, Bespin Luke Skywalker is a poor investment and it may often be found inexpensively and might well be better for fans looking to play than make money eventually off it.


Bespin Luke Skywalker is a cool looking hero figure and this incarnation is worth the buy, despite possible better versions that have been released since.

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
Power Of The Force Luke Skywalker In Dagobah Fatigues
Power Of The Force Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise


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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