I’m a big Star Wars fan, but I don’t have quite as strong a connection to it as I do other properties like G.I. Joe or Marvel super heroes. I loved the Star Wars movies growing up and still do; I’ve watched them repeatedly. I had a large collection of the original figures (nearly all of them between Doug and I) and we had Star Wars characters plastered all over everything in our bedroom. In part we had so much more Star Wars stuff than anything else simply because there was so much more Star Wars merchandise available. Doug and I played with our figures all the time, using a white blanket as Hoth or our sandbox as Tatooine and had a blast doing so. But I think the reason that I remember playing with my Joes or He-Man’s more fondly in retrospect is that the storylines felt like they were more in my hands with those other properties.
The problem with the Star Wars movies having such a defining arc ending with the redemption of Vader was that it locked that play pattern into my mind. It seemed that most of the times that we played with our Star Wars figures we played out the plot of the movies only tweaked here and there. The other properties I mentioned like Joe and He-Man had cartoons to influence my play patterns but they were episodic and each episode ended with the status quo that it started with. The bad guys plot was foiled and everyone was okay. I didn’t feel the need to replay each episode but each playtime was like an episode. Cobra Commander or Skeletor wanted something and the good guys stopped them but all the stuff in between was completely up to me. With Star Wars I felt an obligation of sorts to follow the plot of the films. It’s not like I could kill off Luke in act 1. Maybe he got kidnapped or frozen in carbonite or something leaving only Admiral Ackbar and R5-D4 to save the day, but once he was rescued Luke had to vanquish Darth Vader. It’s not Star Wars’s fault that I found it tough to create new storylines, that’s my own bizarre OCD like issue, but it did mean that I wasn’t as attached to my Star Wars figures as I was my Joes. I guess that is why I sold of my entire collection, with the exception of a few favorites (Walrus Man, Ree-Yees, a Gomorrean Guard and a Snow Trooper) for dirt cheap at a yard sale. Of course I came to regret that decision soon after. Doug has since bought back nearly all of the vintage collection. I haven’t re-bought my old toys but when I was on another huge Star Wars kick in the late 90s, stoked on the re-release of the original trilogy and hyped about the upcoming prequels, I started buying Star Wars figures again in force. (pardon the pun)
Kenner put out new figures in the 90s to coincide with the theatrical releases and to cash in on nostalgic nerds like me as well as on a whole new generation of Star Wars fans. I started buying up everything. New Hans, new Chewie, new Storm Troopers, new everything. All the characters I owned as a kid but let slip away. The sculpting and likenesses were vastly superior to the figures of the 80s and I was on a mission to own every character. That drive is what lead me to buy some stupid board game called “Escape from the Deathstar” which I don’t think I ever played. I only bought it to get the two exclusive figures packaged with it, Luke and Darth Vader. It’s not like I didn’t already have multiple versions of these characters but these were different and I had to have them. Different how you may ask. Well for starters Vader’s helmet came off. Well, not entirely. Only the top of the helmet came off, not the whole mask. A figure with a fully removable helmet was made available later. So that figure ended up being kind of a dud. But the Luke figure, this was Luke in his Storm Trooper disguise. How cool is that? I already had Luke in his farm boy suit, his brown jump suit from Empire, his pilot suit, his snow suit, and his black Jedi suit but I had to have Luke in his Storm Trooper suit. The truth is though I already had a figure of Luke in Storm Trooper suit. That one even came with a removable helmet so you could put the helmet on and use it as an extra Storm Trooper figure if you wanted. The big selling point of this board game exclusive figure was that this version had wet hair. Yep. That’s it. Wet hair. And this one didn’t even have a helmet included so he was useless as a Storm Trooper. Just a soggy Luke is all this figure was good for so I could re-enact the scene from the trash compactor over and over again.
I had Star Wars fever in the late 90s and early 2000s and bought up everything Lucas was feeding me. Never before or since have I bought so many figures of old men in robes. I have more versions of Jar Jar Binks than I care to admit. I actually bought so many figures in so short a period that I got completely burnt out on them. I didn’t buy any more figures after the release of Attack of the Clones. I completely ignored the barrage of figures that came with the release of Revenge of the Sith. Many times since the release of Episode II I considered selling off my Star Wars toys. I was just “over it”. Luckily I didn’t make that mistake again and I have retained my entire 90s era Star Wars collection.
This figure isn’t a bad figure but he wasn’t worth the price of the board game I bought to get him. The likeness is decent but the articulation is weak and there are more easily attainable Storm Trooper Lukes available. 6 out of 10.