May The Fourth Be With You!: In Defense Of Luke Skywalker

Earlier this year, before the theatrical release of “The Phantom Menace” in 3-D, we asked various famous folks who their favorite Star Wars characters are. The list included Darth Maul, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Jabba, Lando, Bossk, Dengar, Dr. Evazan and, of course, Boba Fett.

Not one person mentioned Luke Skywalker.

So, for this May the Fourth, otherwise known as Luke Skywalker Day, I set out to discover why. Luke Skywalker, the man who rescued Princess Leia, destroyed the Death Star, freed Han from his dismal existence as wall art, and stood up to the Emperor himself, is undervalued, disrespected, and—though it pains me to write it—unloved. How is this possible?

Bryan Young from helped me out with some possible explanations.

“I think there are two contributing factors here,” Young said. “The first is the whininess.” When we’re first introduced to Luke in “A New Hope,” he is, without a doubt, a bit annoying with his complaints about being stuck doing chores for his aunt and uncle while all his friends run off to seek adventure. Even though Luke eventually “turns into a badass,” said Young, first impressions are often the ones that last.

The other factor is the contrast between Luke and another key Star Wars figure, Han Solo. “No matter how much Luke grows to become a fantastic character through ’Empire’ and through ’Jedi,'” Young said, “Han still gets to do the cooler, more dramatic stuff. So Han and Luke are sort of this team, and Han’s always just a little bit cooler.”

I guess being frozen in carbonite does make one inherently “cool,” but I still think Luke deserves better from us. Got any strong opinions on the matter? Let us know in the comments section below or give us a shout on Twitter. And may the Force be with you!

In The Comlink, “Star Wars” fan and MTV News producer Tami Katzoff explores the glory days of a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Whether you’re Team Jedi or Team Sith, friend of Wookiees or wanted by bounty hunters, any and all “Star Wars” fans are welcome along for the ride.