Yeah, I know – I have Star Wars fever right now. Heck, EVERYONE has Star Wars fever right now, so it would be easy to chalk this selection for the Best of 2015 up as “in the moment,” but really, I had to fight off several other staffers to make the S.H. Figuarts Jedi Luke Skywalker my pick of the year, and it is not at all hard to see why.
To say that Star Wars has had a massive year is a bit of an understatement: the latest movie installment has made more than half a BILLION dollars domestically in 10 days and has recharged the franchise to a powerhouse status that only the galaxy far, far away can know. With that, advertising and merchandising is going at a frenetic pace and you can even buy oranges with Star Wars branding right on the bag. Some of it (like said oranges) gets a little out of hand for my tastes, but the action figure inundation is right up my alley, so my closest bazillion Star Wars fan friends and I have been able to get figures from all over the place.
So, even within that narrowed group, it was still tough to pick a favorite, but Luke gets the crown for appealing to me on so many levels. He and Maul were my gateway figures into the world of S.H. Figuarts Star Wars (that blasted Robokillah!), and they remain my favorites of the roster up to this point. To be honest, I would call these two a dead-heat tie in terms of what they are, but Luke edges out the Sith Lord (in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice) because he is such a vast improvement over the previously released Star Wars Black Series version. It is not even close, either: this figure improves on everything a Luke Skywalker figure should be in every way possible.
Bandai is setting the standard with dead-on sculpts and useful, fluid articulation, so I am ready to buy everything they put in front of us. Luke comes with two heads, multiple hands, his trusty lightsaber that he built all by himself, and even an unmasked head of his father that works perfectly with the previously released Darth Vader. I mean, he pretty much has everything, save for his cloak, but I had that all taken care of before the figure even arrived at my door.
Jedi Luke wins. This is the badass Luke that was the culmination of the entire Original Trilogy, and a character that should get a lot more growth in the movies to come. Bandai set the standard with the release, and not only did it edge out other great figures this year (Marvel Legends Daredevil, Marvel Legends Ghost Rider, MOTUC Saurod, etc.), but it was my first step into the large world of S.H. Figuarts Star Wars. I cannot wait to see where it all goes!