Star Wars Collectibles & Toys Review: Hasbro Star Wars The Black Series – Luke Skywalker (Endor) Action Figure

Luke Skywalker (Endor) has a removable Rebel-issue special-ops helmet and wields the lightsaber he built to replace his father’s, which he lost (along with his flesh-and-blood hand) in a duel with Darth Vader in Cloud City. Photo Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

“I’m endangering the mission. I shouldn’t have come.”

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Luke Skywalker (Endor) comes in a re-designed Star Wars The Black Series package. Photo Credit: Hasbro. (C) 2020 Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd.

Utilizing stolen schematics, the Rebel Alliance formulated a plan to destroy the new Death Star. Luke Skywalker joined his friends for this mission to Endor. – Hasbro character blurb on the package, Luke Skywalker (Endor)

On April 20, 2020, Hasbro released Star Wars The Black Series: Luke Skywalker (Endor), a six-inch scale action figure based on the protagonist of the Original Star Wars Trilogy as he appears in the early stages of the Battle of Endor.

Clad in his all-black Jedi outfit – tunic, trousers, boots, and utility belt – under a Rebel-issue camo poncho that can be cinched with a belt and wearing a removable Rebel-issue helmet, Luke Skywalker (Endor) also wields the green-bladed lightsaber he built to replace the – temporarily – lost “Skywalker Lightsaber” using parts and tools he found in Ben Kenobi’s abandoned hut on Tatooine.

STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI: Fans and collectors can imagine scenes from the Star Wars Galaxy with this premium Luke Skywalker (Endor) toy, inspired by the Star Wars: Return of the Jedi movie. – Hasbro promotional blurb

Based closely on Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Act Two of director Richard Marquand’s Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, in which the young Jedi joins a commando team led by Rebel Generals Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa – Luke’s twin sister – tasked to land on the Forest Moon of Endor aboard a stolen Imperial shuttle and destroy the shield generator that protects the Empire’s incomplete Death Star II.

What’s in the Box?

For its 2020 production line, Rhode Island-based Hasbro redesigned the standard Star Wars The Black Series packaging, shedding the red-black color scheme used for most of that collection’s six-inch scale action figures since the mid-2010s. Thus, Luke Skywalker (Endor) comes in a black/forest green box that measures 5 x 2 x 9 inches and weighs 4.6 ounces.

The packaging keeps some of the features from the older versions, including a large transparent front panel (or window) through which we can see most of the figure’s front and Luke’s green-bladed lightsaber, which is ensconced in its own “pocket” to the right of Luke Skywalker (Endor). On the sides of the box, we see an artist’s renderings of a lightsaber-wielding Luke, wearing his Rebel-issue helmet and camo poncho, with the huge trees of the Forest Moon in the background and, overhead, the menacing – if incomplete- Death Star II fills the night sky like a malignant mechanical moon.

On the reverse side, we see the usual Star Wars The Black Series “info panel” stuff, with the character description blurb (Utilizing stolen schematics, the Rebel Alliance formulated a plan to destroy the new Death Star. Luke Skywalker joined his friends for this mission to Endor.) printed in English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese along the left side, with a detail from the side panel illustration on the right. Below that, we see that this is figure 04 of this new line from Hasbro, plus copyright and product info in many languages, including Greek, Arabic, Polish, Italian, Greek, Romanian, Swedish, and Finnish.

Photo Credit: Hasbro.

Inside the box we find:

  • 1 Luke Skywalker (Endor) six-inch scale figure from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi with removable helmet[1]
  • 1 green-bladed lightsaber, styled to look like Luke’s replacement lightsaber

MOVIE-BASED CHARACTER-INSPIRED ACCESSORIES: This Star Wars The Black Series action figure comes with 2 Luke Skywalker (Endor)-inspired accessories that makes great additions to any Star Wars collection. . – Hasbro promotional blurb

My Take

As I have said in previous Star Wars The Black Series action figure reviews, I collected the original Kenner 3.75-inch mini-action figures from 1978 to 1985. Of the 115 figures from Kenner’s different collections, starting with 1978’s Star Wars line all the way to 1985’s original Power of the Force wave, I estimate that I had 100 by the time Kenner phased them out and they were no longer available in Toys R Us or K.B Toys. I have most of those in boxes here in New Hometown, Florida, but I lost some along the way.[2]

I think I own (or owned) this Luke variant from 1985. Photo Credit: Brian’s Toys.

I don’t remember owning the Kenner Power of the Force action figure known as Luke Skywalker (in Battle Poncho) that Kenner released in 1985. I might have; I made a few “figure and vehicle” hunts whenever I could that year; I distinctly remember finding the Rebel Transport at the Toys R Us adjacent to the Miami International Mall during the short break between the Winter and Spring terms in the 1984-1985 academic year in college, and I did own a couple of the Power of the Force figures, including the Imperial Gunner. If I bought one, it might be in one of my stored-away bins or boxes. If I don’t…it might be – literally – gone with the wind.

In any case, I’m a Luke Skywalker fan from as far back as 1977, so even though I’m not one of those fans who dislike either the Prequels or the Sequels, I do tend to favor action figures from the Original Trilogy. So when I saw this Luke Skywalker (Endor) figure available on Amazon at a reasonable price, I could not resist.[3]  

PREMIUM ARTICULATION AND DETAILING: Star Wars fans and collectors can display this highly poseable (4 fully articulated limbs) figure, featuring premium deco, in their action figure and vehicle collection. – Hasbro promotional blurb

Ever since Hasbro acquired Kenner in the early 1990s and revived the Star Wars action figure line before the release of The Star Wars Trilogy – Special Edition (1997) and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), fans and collectors alike have seen figures evolve from the primitive (by 21st Century standards) Kenner “mini-action figures” of the late Seventies and early Eighties that only bore a superficial resemblance to the characters they represented to the more movie-accurate figures (in different size scales) of the 2000s and on to the present day.

Toy manufacturing has changed with the times, and so have the Star Wars action figures. New computer-aided design & manufacturing tools and methods make it possible for Hasbro to make little Luke Skywalker figures that resemble the young Mark Hamill in his 1980s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi outfit for some of the Endor-set sequences.

Hasbro states that these action figures are intended for the “ages 4 and up” set, but I bet you 1000 Republic Credits that the company knows that most of the Star Wars The Black Series figures are purchased by – and usually for – adult collectors who were kids either when the first two Star Wars trilogies were in theaters or when the Original Trilogy was only available on VHS (and in that awful “pan-and-scan” format!).

(This is quite a huge demographic group, spanning the decades from folks who were born in the Sixties and early Seventies, to the “next generation” of Star Wars fans born in the Eighties and early Nineties and were introduced to Star Wars either through the Expanded Universe/Legends books or Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.)

Hasbro knows that collectors and Star Wars fans look for movie-accurate levels of detail, especially since many of them like to create elaborate dioramas based on scenes from their favorite films. As a result, the sculpts and paint jobs on figures such as Luke Skywalker (Endor) are light-years ahead of their Kenner forerunners’.

Modern Star Wars The Black Series action figures have at least 24 points of articulation (POAs) that allow owners to pose them in life-like action stances. All four of the six-inch scale Luke Skywalker (Endor)’s limbs have POAs where a human being’s major joints are located, especially the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles.

In stark contrast, his 3.75-inch Luke Skywalker (in Battle Poncho) counterpart from 1985 only had 5 points of articulation: the neck/head swivel point, and the shoulders/hips on either side of the figure.

And, as I mentioned earlier, Star Wars The Black Series figures look more like the characters in the Star Wars films and TV shows than the first-generation Kenner figures ever could. This is not denigrating the folks who designed the 1970-1980s toys, whose imagination was far ahead of the available tech in the toy manufacturing industry back then. It’s a statement of fact.

I like the fact that Luke Skywalker (Endor) looks like Mark Hamill when he played the character in Return of the Jedi almost 40 years ago. The sculpt/paint job is good enough that you recognize the cleft in Luke’s chin and the shape and even the color of his eyes. His expression is neutral, but the sculpt is so good that it can convey various emotions that range from quiet courage to gentle compassion, depending how you pose the figure and with what other character you pose with Luke.

I also appreciate that Hasbro made the helmet removable. With Kenner’s older Luke Skywalker (in Combat Poncho) figure, that option was not there. You could if you so wished, remove the combat poncho, revealing Luke’s all-black Jedi outfit beneath. However, the helmet was permanently molded on to Luke’s head, so the effect was – to put it kindly – ridiculous.

Not so with Luke Skywalker (Endor). Here, you can take the young Jedi’s helmet off or leave it on, depending on how you want the character to look, and it won’t look silly.

And because this variant of Luke is from the second half of the film, the figure’s right hand is depicted with its black glove to conceal the damage from a blaster to Luke’s bionic hand. He can hold his green-bladed lightsaber in that hand and his Special Ops helmet in the other, or just pose Luke Skywalker (Endor) in a more active stance with the lightsaber in one hand and no helmet (or poncho) anywhere in sight.

In any event, this is one nice figure, and I’m glad I bought it for my modest Star Wars The Black Series collection.

Well, that about wraps it up for this review of a new Star Wars The Black Series collectible figure. I had fun writing it, and I hope you will find it both enjoyable and informative.

Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and find joy in even the small things in life. And remember, the Force will be with you…always. 

[1] I am going to go on a limb here and state that the helmet is one of the two accessories mentioned in the package’s info blurb and Hasbro’s official online description. I don’t see, for instance, any mention of a Rebel-issue blaster; according to the movie, Luke was only armed with his new lightsaber.

[2] I know that my FX-7 and 2-1B Medical Droids were stolen by the son of one of my mother’s friends, though I could never quite prove it. I also lost a few figures that I had stored inside my Imperial Shuttle, which disappeared when Hurricane Wilma blew part of the roof off and apparently whisked away one of the boxes in which I had stored some of my collectibles from the attic.

[3] It also didn’t help matters any that I had the Han Solo (Endor) figure already. And, of course, once I had Han and Luke, I had to order the matching Princess Leia Organa (Endor) figure to complete the trio.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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