Star Wars Transformers Toy Reviews: Luke Skywalker (X-Wing)

in 2006, Action Figure Review, Star Wars Transformers

Star Wars Transformers

General Information:
Release Year: January 2006
Retailer: General US (Toys R Us, Target etc.)
Price: $15.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Accessories: Blue Lightsaber, Missiles x 4, Missile launchers x 4


Tech Specs:
In order to bring balance back to the Force, Luke Skywalker must confront and defeat Darth Vader. Using his attunement with the Force, Luke changes into X-wing fighter mode and travels across the galaxy to face his foe. Using proton torpedoes and a barrage of missiles, Luke battles Imperial fighters and ruthless bounty hunters as he embarks on his quest to confront his destiny.

Strength: 9  Intelligence: 10  Speed: 10  Endurance: 10
Rank: 10  Courage: 10  Force Knowledge: 9

Every series needs its hero. In Star Wars, one of the principle heroes was a young farm boy whose destiny was to become a Jedi Knight. One of the most pivotal moments in Star Wars was Luke piloting an X-wing fighter into the Death Star trench and firing the key shot that destroyed the space station.

The Luke Skywalker pilot figure included with the X-Wing fighter represents Luke in his flight outfit. It is really amazing how detailed such a tiny figure is. The control box on his chest has small buttons that you can see if you look close enough. The pants have wrinkle lines and a small pouch on the right leg. The face sculpt is also pretty nicely done, there is a touch of the movie likeness of the character complete with blonde hair. The mini figure is primarily orange, with black, white, grey and red details. The face is painted a light flesh color. The figure can bend at the waist (so he can sit in the X-Wing) and the arms can move up and down.

Vehicle Mode:
The X-Wing fighter has been produced as a toy since the original Star Wars trilogy toys dominated shelves in the 80's. As time has gone along, toy representations of this vehicle have grown more and more accurate, and much of that experience went into the design of this vehicle mode.

Perhaps the only part of this toy that can be dubbed truly "inaccurate" is the main cockpit column, which seems a bit thicker and shorter than it seems like it should be (I do not claim to be a Star Wars expert who can give you exact X-Wing fighter tech specs). However, given that this column forms the legs of the robot mode, this is quite understandable, and in an odd charming way, makes this figure more reminiscent of the original 1980's Kenner X-Wing. That aside, the X-Wing has wonderful attention to detail. The main column has layers and cut lines indicating panels of armor. The wings have similar features and the four engines each have cool line detailing. The most sculpted detail-rich section would be the rear center portion where the R2D2 head is (it is not a separate figure but rather pretty much glued in place). There we see smell wires, tubes and other mechanical devices that were clearly shown in key X-Wing scenes in the original Star Wars movie.

The deco on the vehicle is done very well. X-Wings were portrayed as very rugged fighters. As such they often looked worn rather than brand spanking new. The paint deco on this figure reflects that nicely. On the nose of the main column there is a nice brown spray op that looks like wear on the armor. Near the negines, a grey spray op give the impression of metal that has been exposed to a lot of heat. Even the brighter yellow and red details painted on the wings and the main column have worn edges and indentations that indicate they are old paint applications worn over the course of many battles. This look stays true to the intention of Star Wars creator George Lucas, who always intended the Rebellion vehicles in Star Wars to look worn down.

A gunmetal silver is used for the section R2 sits in, and R2 himself is painted silver with metallic blue on his dome. The missiles/blaster ends have a blue spiral pattern on the top two, keeping accurate to the movies.

The mini-Luke figure can sit inside the cockpit, which has a chair sculpted into it. The chair itself has lines sculpted into it to indicate sections of cushioning. There really isn't any other detail as this is the section between the two robot legs.

The X-Wing's vehicle mode features three landing gear pieces. One on the central column, two on the underside of the two lower engines. While it really is not an intended feature, you can position the S foils in their "attack position", the upper ones slightly raised the lower ones down a bit. The thing is, the robot arms can be seen tucked in between the two, and the bottom ones really don't move down all that much. Still the overall effect looks very much like the classic attack form of the X-Wing fighter. On top of that the undersides of the wings have some line detailing as well, clearly indicating the designers knew those parts would be exposed. While it could be this was done for the benefit of the robot mode, it also benefits the vehicle mode.

The blasters mounted on each wing are actually missile launchers. These are not spring loaded however, they are pressure missiles. Push them on the back and they shoot out given sufficient pressure. The ends of the blasters have been sculpted with rounded ends most likely to keep them from breaking if they are used to hit other figures.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Flip the vehicle over and detach the Lightsaber weapon.
  2. Remove the mini-figure.
  3. Swing both top wings together.
  4. Rotate the lower wings down and pull them up.
  5. Flip the vehicle over and swing the robot arms down.
  6. Swing down the clear square piece (the robot chest).
  7. Swing the head out and lock it into place.
  8. Place the mini-figure inside the chest compartment, then close the chest panel.
  9. Swing the cockpit cover up/back.
  10. Swing the panels of the central column up.
  11. Split the central column to form the robot legs.
  12. Swing the robot legs up.
  13. Turn each end of the main column around then swing up the ends to form the foot and heel pieces.
  14. Place the Lightsaber in either hand.

Robot Mode:
One of the things a Transformers reviewer will see over and over again in his/her time are vehicle modes that have great potential robot modes. Being one of the cooler vehicles in sci fi history, one would think it would have an equally cool robot mode. Sadly, one would be wrong to say so.

What the Luke mech does right is provide a good chunk of detail representing a mechanized version of an X-Wing pilot in his flight suit. The head sculpt is dead on, rounded like a helmet with the symbol of the Rebellion on it and designs on the sides of the helmet. Yellow visors cover the face which is a fully sculpted robotic version of Luke's face. Even the chinstrap is sculpted on. The main body hardly wants for detail. The central chest component is a large scale (relatively speaking) version of the square control panel the Rebel pilots wear as part of their flight suits.

Extra mechanical detail is included as well. This can be found on the mid-section and the waist where there are a lot of small rectangular and circular details. The legs also have the "straps" that the Rebel pilots had on their legs.

Flip the chest panel open and you will find a small control center. It was a nice touch to have a separate cockpit for the mech mode. In the center is a chair and on the back wall are details like tubes and cut lines that give it the appearance of a complicated machine. The Luke Skywalker mini-figure sits right in the chair (but does knock around a bit if you move the figure around).

The mech's main accessory is a Lightsaber designed after Luke Skywalker's with a silver and black handle and translucent blue blade. The weapons on the wings can be detached and held in the hands, though they do not hold very securely.

The color scheme is largely based on the colors of the Rebel pilot costume. The primary color is orange with grey. The hands and lower legs are colored black, emulating the color of the gloves and boots the Rebel pilots wore. The central panel is clear plastic with a grey blue edge around it. The helmet section of the head is white with black and red detail work. The face of the robot is silver, adding to its robotic look.

The Luke mech has eighteen points of articulation in this form. This is distributed fairly evenly throughout the mech. The arms have a lot of articulation, as do the legs.

The problem with this figure is that its overall design is awkward. Two of the wings wind up on the back, two on the shoulders. While the figure can stand fine, the ones on the arms wind up looking very much like they are in the way. The arm design mystifies me. The arms move up on a notch and lock into place. The arms are held to the central body by two tabs on each. The result is, when you move them up they tend to fall off very easily. I really don't even see a safety concern here, they just fall off for no apparent reason and it really diminishes the figure's quality.

Final Thoughts:
The shame about the Luke figure is that it represents one of the most memorable vehicles in the entire Star Wars saga. Some simple readjustment (such as on the arms) would have done the trick, but the end result is a lackluster figure. Not recommended unless you are a completist.