Gentle Giant Star Wars mini-bust
Jedi Luke Skywalker

Gentle Giant's Star Wars bust line is like crack for some of us.  And they know it...oh, yes they do.  If they didn't, they wouldn't use the most seductive busts of the whole series - troopers - as exclusives to drive us addicts to a frenzy.  This is going to be a very, very tough year for completists in these busts.

But the most recent release is easy enough to get.  It's Jedi Luke Skywalker, from Return of the Jedi. This guy is a limited edition of course, with a run size of 6500. Yes, I know.  That doesn't sound particularly limited, and it isn't, even for a line of busts this popular. I wouldn't lose any sleep if you haven't ordered this guy yet, and I suspect he might even be one of those that you can get on ebay cheaper than original retail.

Packaging - ***
Yea, it's that damn boring look that Lucas is pushing for a lot of the high end 30th anniversary collectibles.  But at least it's got a window so you can check him out before the actual purchase, and he does come with the nifty baseball card style COA.  It could be a whole lot worse.

Sculpting - ***1/2
When I first saw photos of this buy, I was expecting to be disappointed.  First, it's always tough for people to capture Luke's likeness, whether it's pre or post accident.  Second, the photos made him seem much older looking than he was even post accident, and I wasn't expecting him to be a particularly good likeness.

Even when I checked him out through the window, I was wary.  You can imagine my surprise once I had him out of the package and in hand, and realized he really is an excellent Luke likeness.  They got this character down, with the slightly puffy jawline, cleft chin, and tricky lips.  Even the eyes, although a little generic, end up working quite well in combination with the rest of the head sculpt.

The hair is also well done, with a nice amount of texture detail, and the perfect length and style.  It's very life-like, something that's been tricky for most companies doing this version.

The face is cut a little sharper than other versions, and that sharpness makes him seem a little older.  For example, compare this to the Sideshow version, and he looks about 10 years that figure's senior.  I actually prefer this sculpt to that one, but the paint tends to over accentuate the age difference as well.

My one complaint about the general sculpt is the right hand that's being gloved.  Something looks off about how the material is folding over the hand and the length of the fingers.  It just doesn't quite look right, and it throws off the overall excellent appearance of the bust.

Paint - ***
And now it's time to further discuss said paint.  There's a fair amount of wash on the face - not a ton, but enough that the already sharp cuts of the face (cleft, lips, eyes, nose) are made all that much sharper and darker.  I think a lot of the age effect is actually coming from the paint work, not the sculpt itself, and that's why this category takes a bit more of a hit.

My only other issue is once again that gloved hand.  The color of the glove is a bit off as well, not quite matching up with the rest of the outfit.

However, there aren't any quality issues.  The eyes are dead on and almost perfect, the lips are a good color, and the hair line is cleanly cut.  Colors are consistent and even, and the overall paint job is quality stuff.

Design - ***
Luke is in his Jedi clothes and robe, with the hood flowing down his back.  Good stuff.  His light saber is on his hip, fully visible on the bust.  Also good stuff.  And he's getting dressed.  Huh?

Okay, he's just putting on his glove, finishing up with the replaced right hand.  It's a rather unusual pose for him, and is somewhat reminiscent of a dueling pose.  It's as if he's preparing for the duel, staring at his opponent with an icy stare.  The overall design has some high points, but it's not the most charismatic version of Jedi Luke I've ever seen.

Value - **1/2
You can usually expect to pay around $45 for a GG bust, which is a pretty average value.  With a run of 6500 though, it's likely that the price of this figure will be lower on ebay, a good indication that something is over priced.  You can find these at some retailers (see below) for as little as $40 right now.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not a thing.  The design relatively risk free when handling him, and there's nothing in particular you need to worry about.

Overall - ***
Yes, it's an excellent head sculpt.  Of course, I would have liked to have seen it on a better design, something a little more dynamic and interesting, but it's not bad.  He does make a nice addition to the shelf, and I'm quite happy to finally have this rather critical version of such an important character.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt -  * **1/2
Paint - ***
Design - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
There are plenty of online options:

- Hero Hunt has him at just $39.99.

- Fireside Collectibles has him at just $40.

- Dark Shadow Collectibles has him at $41.

- Alter Ego Comics has him in for $42.50.

- for the U.K. readers, Forbidden Planet has him at 33 pounds.

- Amazing Toyz also has him at $44.

- CornerStoreComics has him listed at $44. 

Related Links -
I've covered a fair share of GG Star Wars busts and statues:

- the most recent was Darth Maul and Chewie, the poor Qui-Gon, Palpatine, and Lando in Skiff Disguise.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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