Luke Skywalker (Pilot)
Star Wars Unleashed
Released January, 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on February 11, 2004
As a fan of the orange flight suit as well as of Hoth, few things are as nifty as the prospect of an Unleashed Luke Skywalker just like this one. While not nearly as striking as the Jedi Knight version from last year, it's still a vibrant, nicely made piece. Let's just hope that this Rebel pilot means that an Unleashed Wedge Antilles isn't out of the question.
The set includes a figure, a removable lightsaber blade, and a snow base.
Like many Unleashed figures, this isn't an exact representation of a moment from the movie but feels like it could be one. Luke stands in the footprint of an AT-AT with his lightsaber out, and of course he never had his lightsaber activated while standing on his feet in any of the Star Wars films. Still, that isn't to say this isn't a cool piece in its own right.
The level of detail on the helmet is top notch, with the only thing Hasbro could've possibly done better was to make his visor retractible. Everything's where it should be, and the paint is clean with the colors properly dulled. Luke's face could be a little better, and if you look at the close-up of his face on the packaging, you can see how. The final figure has no black paint in his mouth to act as the space where his teeth aren't, and the mouth is sculpted in such a way where it's a little difficult to know exactly which line from a John Wayne movie he must be quoting, although it probably includes him referring to someone as "pilgrim."
For better or worse, the face is hidden behind his helmet and for all practical purposes invisible. You can see there's a face under the helmet, but since the helmet really draws your attention, the face's quality really doesn't matter. Overall, this is head and shoulders* above other heads in this series.
(*- Yes, I know this is awful. Keep reading.)
The detail on his uniform is incredible. His pose, not so much.
When examining this figure it's obvious that the sculptor took a lot of time working in so many folds, wrinkles, and textures as to make this look almost like you could reach out and expect to feel some sort of flight suit material. There are so many little things worked into the outfit that the figure really just needs to be examined up close to be appreciated. With folds in the gloves, buttons on the chest panel, and more, there's just so much to love. Sure, the soles of the boots are weak, but you weren't meant to look at those.
The lightsaber is standard fare. There's no flare, and it's blue. You've seen one just like it on Obi-Wan Kenobi last year. Going back to the pose, though, he seems to be holding it a little awkwardly. Not that it's awful, but it is notable that from the wrong angle it does look a wee bit wonky.
The paint wash over the outfit really brings out a lot of detail that probably would have gone unseen, or would have been ignored because of the pose. What is Luke doing? This doesn't seem to be a natural pose, nor one that's very dynamic. The way he's moving seems a little odd, but this would be OK if his head wasn't looking down. Unless he's on a shelf on eye level, he'll probably look a little weird to you as the other figures are usually looking up. Of course, pose aside, it's a gorgeous sculpt with fantastic deco, the likes of which you may have never seen before. Here's hoping Bossk's flight suit will rock just as much when his Unleashed figure is released.
Lastly, Luke has no meaningful articulation that I could see.
In addition to the lightsaber, you get this base.
While Chewie's stand was totally dull, the sculptors of Hasbro spiced this one up a bit. There's some broken cables, some natural ice formations, and of course, a cross-section of an AT-AT footprint. As such, it's hard to fault this. The base is made of a clear plastic that has been painted over with "snow," so if properly lit it glows nicely. "A" for effort.
Keeping in line with the new packaging mandate, we're seeing some fairly decent graphics here.
The snow of the art makes a good background for the figure, and it hides the base and keeps it from being an eyesore. While I'm still not sold on the name appearing on the bubble in this manner, or the font used for the name, it looks like nothing else on the market today and deserves to be applauded. The art also shows Luke in a different pose which, I'm sorry to say, I think would have been better than the one used for the toy. One final note on the packaging, you can see some of Luke's Snowspeeder as well. Nice touch!
This series is just starting to hit some stores.
Pricing is usually $15-$20 in the USA. Also, keep in mind that Unleashed is primarily a direct market line these days, so ordering online or via mail order may be required to get this toy.
What's not to like? If you're sick of Luke or find the scenario unpleasant, this one is easy to pass on. For what it is, though, it's great. It's also the only Hoth figure in this series of toys, and one of two from The Empire Strikes Back. With relatively few classic figures in this line, it's hard to pass on this one. Snag it if you see it and dig it, you won't be sorry.
Our sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in January 2004.