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View Full Version : The trouble with Luke using "Skywalker" (merged)



El Chuxter
01-19-2006, 04:22 PM
What did your average Joe Schmoe think about Luke Skywalker?

Lucas brought up an interesting conundrum with the prequels that's been bugging me, and that no one seems to have really addressed, namely the fact that one of the greatest heroes of the Rebellion shared a last name with a famous Clone Wars Jedi.

In the OT, we're led to believe that Luke had no knowledge of his father, and it seems like no one else knows a whole lot about him, either. Owen, Beru, Yoda, Obi-Wan, and (later) Vader and Palpatine are the only ones in the know. From ROTS, we know that R2-D2 and Bail (and likely his wife) know. And in Labyrinth of Evil, we learn that Panaka knows Anakin married Padme but not that she delivered her children, and that Mon Mothma likely knew she was pregnant and may even have suspected the identity of the father. (Neither of them, however, know that Anakin is Vader.)

But ROTS establishes Anakin as the hero who saved Palpatine, and then got his moment in the limelight. Going by EU (primarily Labyrinth of Evil and the ROTS novelization), both Anakin and Obi-Wan were so popular that they were household names throughout the galaxy and a favorite game of younglings was to pretend to be the two Jedi.

So what do people who are affiliated with neither the Empire nor the Alliance, but just average people watching the news, think about this guy who comes out of nowhere to save the day?

Those old enough to remember (which would still be a pretty large number) "know" that Jedi could not have children. But this guy shows up from the same planet as Anakin, with the same last name, and with the same powers. They probably figure he's a relative, maybe a nephew or something. Maybe even a fraud concocted by the Alliance to inspire those who remember Anakin Skywalker, that poor young hero who was killed as a result of Order 66 (as they would've heard the story).

But when you look at Tatooine in particular, it becomes a bit more problematic.

First, there's Shmi Skywalker. We're told that Owen and Beru explained Luke's last name as a tribute to Owen's late stepmother. Sure, everyone on the planet wouldn't know Anakin was her son. But it's possible that she'd told some of her neighbors enough for them to figure it out. And, in any case, Kitster, Wald, and (likely) Watto know that, and would know from news reports that Anakin had become a Jedi hero. Sure, Shmi says the Republic didn't exist on Tatooine at the time of TPM, but within a few weeks of ROTS, the planet is under firm Imperial control and receiving regular HoloNet feed. Plus, it's a regular stop for traders. They would've received some info on the Clone Wars. They were isolated, not in a vacuum.

So it's likely that the parents of many of Luke's friends would've known of Anakin and his exploits, and likely that he was from Tatooine (even if not the full truth of his parentage). Wouldn't it be likely that someone's parents would've said, "Skywalker, eh? Any relation to Anakin? You know, the Jedi Knight from the Clone Wars?" It seems almost inevitable that, somehow, Luke would've learned that he shared a name with a war hero.

But Luke seems absolutely clueless about Jedi Knights and anyone named Anakin when he meets Obi-Wan in ANH. Oddly, though, he isn't clueless about the Clone Wars, so he's learned something about the conflict during his life. If he learned it in history class, he probably got the official Imperial version of events. This couldn't completely eliminate Jedi from the record, though. Many kids would probably hear something about Jedi during their lives, so the Empire would want to present an orthodox set of "facts" to ensure that no kids decided that Jedi were cool from stories about their abilities.

Or did he learn about the Clone Wars from hearsay? If so, it's unlikely he learned merely that there was a war and clones were involved. He's a kid. He'd want to hear more about battles and such. The guy did get excited at 19 from merely the possibility of a battle going on over his head.

After he meets Obi-Wan and Rebels who served with his father, things make a bit more sense. By this point, he knows his father was a Jedi named Anakin, so it wouldn't confuse matters for Dodonna to tell him some stories or whatever. And it wouldn't matter that his neighbors realized who Luke's father was after the crazy hermit with the same last name as Obi-Wan Kenobi disappears at the same time Luke becomes a lightsaber-wielding Rebel hero.

But for Luke to have lived all that time on Tatooine and getting enough second-hand info to wonder about this Anakin character, and with no one ever figuring out that the hermit who shared a name with Kenobi and looked vaguely like him appeared at the same time that Owen had a nephew appear out of nowhere, despite having no other relatives on Tatooine? It just doesn't quite fit.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-19-2006, 07:30 PM
What did your average Joe Schmoe think about Luke Skywalker?
It just doesn't quite fit.I'd say it makes perfect sense. Who knew about Luke on Tatooine? The Lars family, who was in no hurry to lose a valuable worker or to bring unwanted attention to themselves. Some hot-shot punks. A crazy old hermit. Luke might have found out information about the Clone Wars and the Core Worlds, but I'm sure Luke didn't have a lot of high level "insider contacts," all he learned of those things might have easily been "adjusted" by Obi-Wan and Owen.

Think of it, a spice freighter navigator? His son told to forget bringing up certain info when it's brought up? And who cared about a backwater world, especially a desert one, enough to do research on the surnames of its moisture farmers? Luke was far from all the action, and his guardians were trying to keep it that way. Sucked for Luke, but all that kept him alive.

JediTricks
01-20-2006, 11:02 PM
It's not like prequel-Ani was Patton or Eisenhower or something, he made a big save but wasn't in the limelight for long, can you even think of a household name hero from any of the wars from the last 50 years that was there from only a single famous action? I can't. Names like that fade all the time, they become footnotes in history to the majority of people. Shmi was a mega-nobody, Anakin was slightly less of a nobody twice over if you count the podracing incident in TPM, they're not all that memorable in that universe IMO.

El Chuxter
01-21-2006, 12:45 PM
It's not like prequel-Ani was Patton or Eisenhower or something, he made a big save but wasn't in the limelight for long, can you even think of a household name hero from any of the wars from the last 50 years that was there from only a single famous action? I can't. Names like that fade all the time, they become footnotes in history to the majority of people. Shmi was a mega-nobody, Anakin was slightly less of a nobody twice over if you count the podracing incident in TPM, they're not all that memorable in that universe IMO.

Not exactly, but if you look at the novelization, which George Lucas personally read and approved, according to interviews with Matthew Stover, Kenobi and Skywalker were household names the galaxy over, and kids loved to pretend to be them. ANH is only 19 years later. If they were that popular, folks would remember them. Imagine if B A Barracus and Murdock vanished at the same time that the A-Team were killed (work with me here and pretend they were real and yet as popular as they were on TV; I can't think of a truly appropriate analogy here) in 1984, and a week later Barracus' stepbrother has this mysterious nephew appear out of nowhere with the last name Barracus, and there's a crazy hermit named Enrique Murdock that shows up at the same time. It's all just a bit too coincidental for me.

If the Larses had just changed the kid's name and had him call them Mommy and Daddy, it would be much easier to buy it.

JediTricks
01-22-2006, 03:37 AM
Not exactly, but if you look at the novelization, which George Lucas personally read and approved, according to interviews with Matthew Stover, Kenobi and Skywalker were household names the galaxy over, and kids loved to pretend to be them.Then it's a damn good thing that the novels are *still* not canon. :p



If they were that popular, folks would remember them. Imagine if B A Barracus and Murdock vanished at the same time that the A-Team were killed (work with me here and pretend they were real and yet as popular as they were on TV; I can't think of a truly appropriate analogy here) in 1984, and a week later Barracus' stepbrother has this mysterious nephew appear out of nowhere with the last name Barracus, and there's a crazy hermit named Enrique Murdock that shows up at the same time. It's all just a bit too coincidental for me.Wow, way to keep the analogy grounded. :p Your inability to remember a single famous war veteran from the past 100 years kinda proves my point, these names DON'T stick with you that way. For example, Audie Murphy, the guy was the most-decorated combat soldier of WW2, killed over 200 enemy soldiers, won the congressional medal of honor, was a success story for young Americans everywhere after being originally turned down for enlistment and then finally getting in and going from private to lieutenant over 3 years in action in 9 major campaigns, and even went on to become an actor in nearly 50 movies, yet did the name "Audie Murphy" mean anything to you when you were a kid?

El Chuxter
01-22-2006, 10:34 AM
But we're talking about the past 19 years here, not the past 100. We've not been in too many wars, and Lynndie England and Jessica Lynch weren't exactly the sort of war celebrities I'm looking for. :)

dr_evazan22
01-22-2006, 03:02 PM
I don't think it's far fetched that Luke didn't know anything about Ani.

Its easily presumed that when Obi brought Luke to the Lars' that Obi told them that Luke's parents had died, and that Obi thought it best that family raise Luke. At this point Obi believed Ani WAS dead.

As time goes by Obi learns that Vader lived. Also, Obi was shadowing the Lars' to protect Luke.

I could infer that Owen at some point becomes aware of Obi watching them and confronts Obi, wherein Obi tells Owen the truth. A lie is concocted about Ani being a spice freighter navigator. (what I'm wondering now is if Owen told Beru?) Owen, in ANH, seemed like he was trying to distract Luke from even thinking about his father (while Beru seemed to not be as harsh on Luke), keeping him busy with chores and such.

I could also infer that Luke only learned basic info about the Clone Wars... Important battles and such. Since the Sith were victorious, then the Jedi might not have even been mentioned. And as for the Jedi, it seems like they didn't stray too far from the Republic's boundaries ( a failure on their part), so why would anyone on Tatooine be interested in them?

JediTricks
01-22-2006, 11:23 PM
But we're talking about the past 19 years here, not the past 100. We've not been in too many wars, and Lynndie England and Jessica Lynch weren't exactly the sort of war celebrities I'm looking for. :)100 years ago?!? When do you think WW2 was? :p My parents and people their age don't know who Audie Murphy was, they'd be the right age.

If it had been an issue, surely they would have changed the kid's name.

DarkArtist
01-02-2007, 09:13 AM
i think this has already been answered before, i know they sort of answered it in the Star Wars Insider but when my wife asked me this last night I had no answer to give her.

Why didn't they change Luke's last name to hide him better ? Why keep the Skywalker name ?

i mean they changed Leia's name to Organa, why not change Luke's to Lars. after all, all of the Skywalker's were dead by the time Luke was born, I mean Shmi is long gone, Padme is dead, and Anakin drops his name to become Darth Vader. it just seems that if you wanted to keep the twins safe you would not leave such a big clue for the Sith.

any thoughts ?

Bel-Cam Jos
01-02-2007, 11:59 AM
i think this has already been answered before, i know they sort of answered it in the Star Wars Insider but when my wife asked me this last night I had no answer to give her.

Why didn't they change Luke's last name to hide him better ? Why keep the Skywalker name ?

any thoughts ?First, I do believe we've discussed this, but I'll have to search to be sure.

Next, the easy answer is the script. Luke Lars would be a crappy name for the hero, and knowing the backstory (even with the limitations of only Star Wars, before the sequels and prequels), it gives it some flair.

As to other details, Vader was so emotionally scarred (pun intended) by the events on Tatooine, that the "obvious" hiding place would be pretty good since he'd probably stay away. An uncle and aunt who adopt a child from their family, especially if he was just a navigator on a spice freighter (BTW, does anyone else realize that his dad was a drug smuggler, using that story? :confused: ), isn't that unusual. Also, if Vader turned out to be damaged goods, Palpatine could seek out potential others, and if Palpy's as powerful as he believes himself to be, he probably already knew about Luke and Leia and could keep tabs on them. Maybe.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-02-2007, 12:05 PM
Since I don't have "The Power" to merge here, here's the/an original thread on this topic:

http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=30887

Feel free to delete this post, oh powerful mod after the merging. :rolleyes:

Jargo
01-02-2007, 08:35 PM
and of course the word spice used asa euphamism for an addictive narcotic was stolen wholesale from Frank herbert's Dune. along with the desert planet location and moisture farming. even the whole prophecy and balance of the force nonsense can find roots in Herbert's work. and the whole use of the voice to fool simpletons, The Jedi use is also based on wizardry but has some base in the use of the weirding module in Dune. But if you're going to steal ideas then Dune is a good book to steal from.
And lets be honest when Dune was published it was a bestseller. everyone read it and georgeypoos certainly would have. a family saga set in space an evil emperor, warring factions, princesses, prophecies, it seems obvious that a new hope was as much inspired by Dune as it was by the hidden fortress and folk stories.

Bel-Cam Jos
01-02-2007, 11:05 PM
George is a bit of a borrower, sure. He'd have made a good barber: a little here, a bit there, a tad off the top. And he'd cut your hair faster, more intense.

JediTricks
01-02-2007, 11:05 PM
Part of the reason is that in the original story for Star Wars, Luke Starkiller's dad WASN'T a villain so there was no reason to change his last name. My guess is that when Lucas made changes in small unrelated bits over time, that aspect wasn't covered.