Sideshow Star Wars
Episode IV Luke Skywalker

Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure

With the recently released 'Tatooine Smuggler' Han Solo, I went into a long discussion on the difficulties that sculptors have had capturing the likeness. As difficult as Han has been, double that for poor Luke.

It's certainly not for a lack of trying though. Sideshow has already done three versions of the character, and have just released their fourth, called "Episode IV Luke Skywalker". This is a Tatooine version, perfect to go with the just released Han.

As usual, there's a regular version and an exclusive. This time, the exclusive is limited to 1977 (yea, that's cute) and comes with his Gilligan hat and goggles. The regular lacks these extra accessories, and is limited to 2500. Both retail for $70 through Sideshow, but you can find the regular a little cheaper from some of my sponsors.

Packaging - ****
Is there any doubt which company and which line holds the title for best current packaging? With a ton of background text on various flaps, magnetic closures, no tape or twisties, and a figure and accessories that come out of the box in perfect shape, there's absolutely nothing I'd change about this packaging.

Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure

Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure
Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure
Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure
Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure
Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure
Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure
Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure
Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure

Sculpting - ***
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker has been an awfully hard likeness to capture. Sideshow tries for the fourth time in sixth scale (twice in Premium Format), and this is probably their best overall version.

It's not perfect, and it's not as good as the recent Han Solo. To me, there's something off about the shape of the head. Luke (even young Luke) had a more rounded face, whereas this figure has a very tall, lean face. It's partly due to the hair, and we're talking mere fractions of an inch here, but it does need to be a bit shorter from chin to top.

Of course, some of the issues aren't with the sculpt at all, but rather the paint. More on that in a minute.

But as I looked at movie stills and compared, I was more impressed with the underlying sculpt than right out of the box. The sculpt also has a realistic look to it, regardless of likeness, that can be key to the overall appearance. This sculpt is better than either PF, and it's only other rival really is the Jedi Luke. That's still my favorite Sideshow Luke sculpt, open mouth expression and all.

The hand sculpts are designed to work with a number of accessories and poses. There's the attached gun grip right hand and 'force' gesturing left hand, and there is an extra set that are both designed to grip the lightsaber hilt.

Paint - ***
The paint is not bad...just not exceptional or eye popping. There's nothing related to poor quality, and there's no slop, inconsistencies, wonky eyes, or overly glossy skin. In fact, much of the work is fairly realistic, particularly the skin tone.

But there are some things that just don't do a lot to improve on the sculpt or allow it to fully come through. The eyes are a bit narrow, particularly for Luke, and this is more of a paint issue than sculpt. The hair color seems off to me (does it look a little greenish to anyone else?), and the skin is *slightly* glossy, but not at a level where I'd be loudly complaining. It's decent enough work for a production figure, but when I pulled this figure out there wasn't any 'wow' factor.

And while some folks hate the 'dots' (the catch lights) that Sideshow paints in the eys, I hate the 'nostrils'.  They are painted very dark, mimicking the shadowy recesses of hair and boogers.  That doesn't look too bad in photos, but in person, the light makes them quite obvious.  Luke's nostrils aren't particularly deep either, and his nose is even turned up a bit, so the painted nostrils are even more obvious on this figure than say, the recent Han.

Articulation - **1/2
We still haven't gotten the new body, and I doubt we will until Indy hits. Unfortunately, the Buck body is woefully out of date at this point, having been surpassed for a very long time now by both the Hot Toys and Medicom bodies, as well as some of the work being done by companies like Takara and Triad.

While most of the articulation you expect is here, none of it works as well as it should. They body simply doesn't have that natural flow and hang that's necessary to make a figure look realistic on the shelf. You can get some decent mannequin poses out of them, but they'll never capture the realism you see with other high end figures currently on the market.

Thankfully, this is changing soon. There's some tremendously high hopes out there for their new body, and being just as good as a TrueType (for example) might not be enough. To really cement their position against the competition, they need to be even better at this point - how they pull that off I'm not sure, but I have confidence it can be done.

Accessories - Exclusive ****; Regular ***1/2
With the higher price points, Sideshow has really upped the ante on the included accessories, both in quantity and quality.

The regular version comes with the rifle, binoculars, droid caller, saber hilt, full saber, an extra set of gripping hands, and the usual display base. While we've certainly seen some of these things before, it's nice to get such quantity.

In fact, those are the accessories they come with that are listed on the Sideshow site. Also added in, and not listed, is a Stormtrooper blaster. This is the rifle with folding stock, the same one we received with Han and Leia as well. While it's not 'new', you can never go wrong with extra blasters, and the sculpt and paint (not to mention that working stock) are outstanding.

Luke's rifle is also extremely well done. While the overall stock and barrel are pretty basic, they put a lot of work into the firing/trigger mechanism, including small metal parts. Since this weapon was so unique, it's nice to have it added into the display.

The binoculars are very screen accurate, and even come with two versions of the 'cap'. One version is closed, so that you can hang the binoculars on his belt (there's a plastic hanger on the back that can fit over the belt), and one version is open, so it looks right when it's placed up to his eyes. These pop on and off the end of the binoculars with two pegs. That's another very nice touch that isn't even mentioned on the Sideshow site!

The Droid Caller looks weathered and used, the hands swap easily enough, and if you use the display bases, you'll appreciate it's inclusion.

The exclusive I'm showing in this review includes two more accessories: the floppy "Gilligan" hat, and the goggles. There was no way they were going to make either of these look perfect in this scale, but they did an admirable job.

The floppy hat is made from cloth, and actually fits his head pretty well. It looks silly because, well, this kind of hat always looks silly. The goggles look best up on top of the hat, as we saw them in the film. He can wear them (and I even took a photo because I found it so amusing), but I doubt that's going to be anyone's display choice.

Outfit - ***1/2
The unfortunate aspect of this costume is that it's fitted over the less than appealing Buck body. I've already ripped on this figure for the lanky look and difficult articulation, so the score in this category will be purely on the outfit itself, not the unfortunate look due to the skinny legs and weird shoulders.

Taken in that context, the outfit is quite well done. The shirt has snaps to hold it properly in place in front, and a thin material was used to keep it in scale. It hangs pretty well even on the Buck, and the stitching is high quality.

The pants are tailored well to this body, and the tight fitting leggings are very well done. These sit on top of a good boot sculpt, and match the movie quite well. While they look a little skinny on those skinny legs, it's not as bad as I had feared.

The belt rests a little high on the hips of course - it's that Buck again - but is one of the nicest they've done. It has a number of permanently attached bags, as well as a hook for the saber hilt hoop to hang on, and a nifty little silver plastic 'peg' that the droid caller fits on. There's also a small metal hoop near this peg on the left side that's clearly there to hang something on...I just couldn't figure out what to do with it.

The belt attaches with a buckle, and is very sturdy and much less prone to breakage than some of the recent Sideshow belts. This was the single most impressive item in his overall costume.

Both versions also come with a 'moisture farmer' poncho. I'm not sure why poncho's were the choice of outer garb for Moisture Farmers, but they are. And while we're on the subject, doesn't 'moisture farmer' sound like something a self proclaimed ladies man would call himself, sort of like 'bikini inspector'?

I'm not lovin' the poncho, as it sits at weird angles on the torso and just doesn't quite look right no matter what you do with it. Mess with it awhile and you'll get something out of it you like, but it just doesn't flow as well as I'd hoped. It's well made though, with high quality stitching and materials.

The overall costume is more complex than many, particularly with the leggings/boots and cool belt. These two areas elevate the outfit that extra half star.

Fun Factor - **1/2
While this figure isn't designed for true play, it would actually hold up pretty well. The only area that might not take to too much handling is the wrapped leggings, but the rest of the figure is quite sturdy. Still, if you're looking for something for little Billy, I'd suggest sticking with the cheaper Hasbro alternatives which can be had on ebay for pretty good prices.

Value - **1/2
This is one of the figures at the new price point of $70, but not with a new body. What makes it stay up at an average value is the abundance of accessories and the more complex outfit.

Things To Watch Out For
I'd be a bit careful working the gun into his right hand. The intricate metal and plastic pieces seem pretty sturdy, but you'd hate to damage something that looks so good. Otherwise, you should be good to go!

Overall - ***
I'm glad I have this figure, since it's a key look for Luke. Because Sideshow used this costume for their first Luke PF, they held off producing it in the 12" line for quite some time, giving us some less critical versions of Luke instead. I'm also glad that the quality of the costuming and accessories is high, and Luke looks good on the shelf, if not outstanding.

But this figure didn't wow me, with the exception of the belt and rifle. Most collectors will want to add it to the shelf because it is such a key look, but it's not a likely candidate to be in anyone's top 5 favorites.

And now I have to go get some business cards made up that say 'Moisture Farmer'...

Score Recap:
Packaging - ****
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessores - Exclusive ****; regular ***1/2
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Sideshow has both the regular and exclusive, but both are currently on Wait List. Other sponsors include:

- Dark Shadow's price is $63 for the regular edition.

- Alter Ego Comics also has him at $63.

- And CornerStoreComics matches the $63.

- for the UK folks, Forbidden Planet has him at 33 GBP.

- or you can search ebay using

Related Links -
I just recently reviewed the Han Solo you see in the comparison photos. Prior to that:

- Sideshow has had a strong year with Commander Praji, the exceptional Palpatine/Sidous and ANH Obi-Wan, and the not quite so exceptional Ilum Padme.

- in the sixth scale line, I've also reviewed Leia and Bespin Luke, the Holo-chess set, Sideshow's Asajj, a terrific figure, Yavin Luke, the Endor Troops, Jabba the Hutt and his throne, Bib Fortuna, Jedi Luke, Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, Bespin Han Solo, regular Anakin Skywalker and Kit Fisto.

- I also have guest reviews of the SDCC Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, and Qui-Gon Jinn.

- in the premium format line, I've reviewed Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han Solo.

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!


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Sideshow Star Wars Episode IV Luke Skywalker action figure

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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