Monday, July 17, 2017

Another Year, Another Mediocre Star Wars Character Ornament: Luke Skywalker Underwhelms.

The Good: Some of the sculpted details, Some of the coloring details
The Bad: Light on sculpted detailing, Poor coloring details, Right bias on the balance front
The Basics: The Luke Skywalker ornament from The Force Awakens is another underwhelming Star Wars character ornament.

Hallmark has a decidedly mixed record with making ornaments of major characters who are, essentially, human. While there are a vast number of quality ornaments Hallmark makes, the Star Trek and Star Wars (and other science fiction genre ornaments produced by Hallmark of human characters) ornament lines have suffered mightily over the years by having sculpts that are less-detailed and coloring that is far less-accurate than their subjects.

The new Luke Skywalker ornament is the twenty-first in the series of character ornaments from Star Wars. Fans of the Star Wars Saga know who Luke Skywalker is and have the potential to recognize him in ornament form from The Force Awakens (reviewed here!), despite the fact that Luke had only a few seconds of screentime in that movie. Hallmark captures Luke Skywalker, cloaked, with his naked cybernetic arm in ornament form with his faint beard painted on.

This is a comparatively pricey, simplistically-rendered Star Wars ornament with no bells and whistles, which is a tough sell for its key demographic of hard-core Star Wars fans.


The Luke Skywalker ornament recreates the aged Jedi in solid plastic. The ornament, released in 2017, is the Jedi in his cloak seen waiting for Rey at the climax of The Force Awakens. As a result, most of Luke Skywalker's body is the character in his indistinct cloaks and cybernetic arm from The Force Awakens. Hallmark charged $15.95 originally for this ornament and it is nowhere near selling out at that price. Luke Skywalker is in the same scale as the other ornaments of people from the Star Wars films. This character ornament is four and three-eighths inches tall, two and a quarter inches wide and one and three-quarter inches deep.

The Hallmark Luke Skywalker ornament is made of a durable plastic and has him without any weapons or tools, staring much like he did at the climax of The Force Awakens. His feet are obscured by the cloak. Luke Skywalker's outfit from The Force Awakens is hardly as distinctive as his cloaked heavily in Jedi robes. The detailing on the robes are actually pretty cool; there are fine lines of the robes make it look like it is burlap or some other wide-weave. Ironically, the finest detailing on the new Luke Skywalker ornament.

Luke Skywalker is detailed generically in the face, hair and even for his bionic arm. Unfortunately, Luke Skywalker looks virtually nothing like he did in the movie. The skin tones are monotonal and the eyes lack the intensity of Mark Hamill's eyes. The best aspect of the coloring details are the hair on Luke Skywalker's head, which has multiple shades of gray. As well, the robe coloring has surprisingly realistic depth and shading as well. Unfortunately, those coloring aspects are not at all matched by the monolithic skin tones on the character's face, the simplistic painting of the character's beard (much thinner in some places than Luke Skywalker's beard in The Force Awakens!), and the sloppy paint job on the bionic arm.


As a Hallmark Keepsake ornament, Luke Skywalker could have a function like a sound chip or light effect, but does not. This is just an ornament, a low-cost (comparatively) option for those who might not want to shell out for the ship or diorama series' of Star Wars ornaments. This is Luke Skywalker ornament simply hangs.


As with all ornaments, the intent of the Hallmark Keepsake Luke Skywalker ornament is to be hung on a Christmas Tree. And for those creating the ultimate Star Wars Christmas Tree, this version of Luke Skywalker is entirely unnecessary, though one suspects that after The Last Jedi is released, some iteration of this Luke Skywalker might become essential. The ornament has a steel hook loop embedded into the top back of the character's skull. From that hook, the Luke Skywalker ornament hangs with a noticeable right-bias. The right side is slightly heavier than the rest of the ornament, so he is very minorly off-balanced.


Hallmark Keepsake began delving into the collectibles market in 1991 with Star Trek when it introduced the exceptionally limited edition original U.S.S. Enterprise ornament (reviewed here!) and the marginally more common Millennium Falcon ornament from the Star Wars line. Since then, they have branched out into other popular franchises like Star Wars and The Wizard Of Oz. The Luke Skywalker ornament is very common and one suspects more will sell on clearance after the holiday is over. At this point in the Star Wars ornament collections, the primary characters have all been done and the popular secondary characters are being explored, as well as alternate versions of principle characters.

This is not a great investment piece and it is unlikely to appreciate for some time, if at all.


The Luke Skywalker ornament is a disappointing one, despite the cloak and hair coloring, As a result, most fans will be underwhelmed by the ornament and not feel the need to add it to their collections.

For other Hallmark ornaments of Star Wars characters, please check out my reviews of:
2017 First Order Stormtrooper FN-2199
2016 Death Trooper Rogue One
2016 Imperial Stormtrooper
2016 BB-8
2016 Han Solo The Force Awakens
2015 Captain Phasma The Force Awakens
2015 Kylo Ren The Force Awakens
2015 C-3PO and R2-D2
2015 Admiral Ackbar (Limited Edition)
2014 Yoda Peekbuster Ornament
2014 Imperial Scout Trooper
2013 Jango Fett
2013 Wicket And Teebo
2013 Lego Yoda
2013 Boushh Limited Edition
2012 Lego Imperial Stormtrooper
2012 Sith Apprentice Darth Maul
2012 General Grievous
2012 Momaw Nadon Limited Edition
2011/2012 Lego Darth Vader
2011 Jedi Master Yoda
2011 Bossk Limited Edition ornament
2010 Lando Calrissian Limited Edition ornament
2010 Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot
2010 Boba Fett and Han Solo in Carbonite mini-ornament set
2009 Greedo Limited Edition ornament
2009 Han Solo As Stormtrooper
2008 Emperor Palpatine ornament
2005 Slave Leia ornament
2000 Darth Maul
1999 Max Rebo Band mini-ornament set
1998 Princess Leia


For other ornament reviews, please be sure to visit my Ornament Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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