Monday, November 21, 2011

Despite A Pretty Crappy Accessory, The Saga Legends X-Wing Pilot Luke Skywalker Is Worth Purchasing!

The Good: Decent detailing, Great balance, Wonderful articulation!
The Bad: Low collectibility, Head/helmet issue
The Basics: The Saga Legends Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot) is pretty much the final version of this figure fans will truly ever need.

Luke Skywalker is, perhaps understandably, arguably the most sculpted and resculpted Star Wars figure in the toy line(s) from Kenner and Hasbro. In fact, the X-Wing Pilot has been a pretty over-utilized sculpt, arguably because Luke appears in the outfit in all three films in the Star Wars Trilogy. The last time Luke Skywalker was recast in the X-Wing pilot uniform was for the 2006 Saga Collection (that figure is reviewed here!). But as part of the 30th Anniversary tribute to The Empire Strikes Back, there was another - ultimate? - recast of Luke Skywalker in the iconic orange outfit for the Saga Legends Collection.

For those unfamiliar with Luke Skywalker, he escaped Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back (reviewed here!) in his X-Wing, after fighting the AT-ATs in a Rebel Snowspeeder. Luke escaped a potential crushing death from an AT-AT and used his grappling gun to get into the underside of an AT-AT where he managed to blow it up!

The 4" Luke Skywalker figure from the Saga Legends Collection is Luke in his X-Wing pilot flightsuit with the helmet, straps and tubes molded separately to increase the realism of the sculpt.


The Luke Skywalker figure stands 3 1/2" tall to the top of his head. He is dressed in the orange flightsuit with control box on the front typical of X-Wing pilots.

This toy is an excellent sculpt, with details that make him look like Luke in the key scenes of The Empire Strikes Back. This Luke Skywalker features the head wrap under the helmet that was evident when he removed his helmet and it looks realistic. The sculpt is a pretty easy to create one, given how little there is to the X-Wing pilot outfit. It is an orange suit, though this sculpt adds detailing to the boots, like the textures that make the shins look like they are straining against the laces. There is also the tool cuff on the left shin that has never before been so realistically rendered. The belt has loops and buckles that are also realistic and things like the ribbing below the breastplate has a realism that make this an exceptional sculpt. Also great is the detailing on the figure's face. This head does look like Mark Hammil and that's a step up from many of the earliest sculpts!

The coloring of the human elements, which is only the face, is decent. While all of the rest of the coloring of the uniform is monotonal - a very clean look for the character - this Luke Skywalker's face is appropriately rosy. In fact, the only facial detail not well-rendered are Luke's lips, which are the same color as the rest of his flesh. His eyes are appropriately white, blue and black, so the figure looks better than most. The rest of the coloring details are great. This is a completely clean look for an X-Wing pilot Luke Skywalker, so the orange flightsuit is clean as are the boots, the whites on the straps and chestpiece. The control box on the front of the flight suit is appropriately highlighted with silvers, blacks and grays that make it look realistic.


Luke Skywalker, Hoth survivor and generally likable terrorist, comes with three accessories, in addition to his stand. He has a helmet, lightsaber handle and grappling gun. The helmet is an exquisite work of sculpting and coloring. The 5/8" tall soft plastic helmet is a perfect fit for the figure's head and it features the chin strap and translucent yellow visor that is frequently seen on the helmet in the movies. The insignias and vents are all immaculately detailed and it is a perfect match for the figure when it is on the figure's head. Unfortunately, removing the helmet illustrates one of the figure's weaknesses. The ball-and-socket joint the head rests on lacks much in the way of support under the jaw. So, trying to remove this helmet more often than not causes the head to come off with it. Bummer to have to decapitate Luke to get his helmet off!

The lightsaber handle is a pretty anemic accessory. The 3/4" silver cylinder does not have a blade and while it has the peg that should allow it to attach to the figure's belt, there is no corresponding hole in the figure to allow that. So this Luke Skywalker can grapple to the top of the AT-AT, but at that point, it is up to the player's imagination for the lightsaber to do anything!

Finally, there is the grappling gun and this is a huge disappointment as far as accessories go. In addition to not being springloaded, this accessory is not at all practical. First, the tool is 3 1/4" long from the clip to the business end of the gun. The clip goes around the tube that connects the control panel to the figure's thigh, but when one tries to hang the figure, there is a decent chance that the tube will come loose from the thigh. Worse than that is that the grapple cable, which is connected to a fine grapple with four claws, does not come connected to the actual gun. This is, arguably, because Hasbro couldn't figure out how to make the accessory work and they threw the pieces together hoping fans could do something with it. The thread that the grapple gun comes with cannot be put into the barrel of the gun - which would be the most realistic place for it - because the knot needed to hold it there has to be bigger than the opening and because the shaft of the grapple cannot fit into the hole while the cord is in there. This means in order to use the grapple gun, the cord has to be tied behind one of the two handles and that eliminates about an inch of the effective range of the cord. Why is this so bad? The cord then is only effectively seven inches long. This is pathetically short compared to the height of the AT-AT toy that came out concurrent with this figure. In order for this accessory to truly work, the cord needed to be at least 14" long!

Luke Skywalker does come with a stand which was emblematic of the 2010 Saga Legends series. The stand is a 2 3/8" wide by 1 7/16" deep by 1/4" tall stand that is light gray colored. The holes in either of Skywalker's feet fit the pegs on the stand and allow him to stand completely stable. As well, there is a slot for the game card that comes with the Saga Legends figure. The figure also comes with a bag featuring a random assortment of weapons from Star Wars figures (in my case seven) that allow one to customize the play experience. Some don't even fit in Luke's hands; others look ridiculous there.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and this Luke Skywalker is exceptional in that regard. Luke Skywalker has decent balance on or off his stand, which makes him good for play or display, so long as one keeps him flatfooted. Out of a flatfooted position, Luke Skywalker tips over, but because of his ankle articulation, it is very easy to get this figure into a number of more complicated poses!

This Luke Skywalker figure is articulated at the ankles, knees, groin socket, midriff, shoulders, elbows, forearms and neck. The head is on a ball and socket joint, and comes off exceptionally easily, though the articulation is great. The shoulders, ankles, elbows and knees all have great articulation with the hinged ball and socket joints. This gives him great poseability and allows him to be posed in almost entirely lifelike ways. All of the rest of the joints are simple swivel joints, but they articulate the toy well.


Luke Skywalker is part of the Saga Legends line that was released in 2010. This Luke is 2010 Saga Collection figure SL21. Luke Skywalker was fairly common and demand for it was easily met. Because Luke figures, even in X-Wing pilot outfits, have been produced in so many toy lines since the Power Of The Force line, this is one many fans feel they can pass by, but as I said in my opening, this seems to be the ultimate version of it! Even so, this is not a great investment toy, despite the popularity of the hero of the Rebellion.


The Saga Legends Luke Skywalker X-Wing pilot is arguably the last one we ought to ever have to shell out money for, even if the accessory for it is not ideal.

For other Saga Legends Star Wars figures, please check out my reviews of:
SL02 IG-88
SL09 General Grievous
SL18 Chewbacca
SL22 Hoth Han Solo
SL23 Snowtrooper


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!

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