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  1. #1

    Does Uncle Owen really care for Luke?

    In ANH, Lucas is often able to create character depth with minimal exposition, just having them say a few quick sentences or a glance or whatever often explains who they are and how they feel about things in the film. But this can sometimes lead to alternate interpretations of a character's motivations or feelings, such as with Ep I where the script suggests Watto's character is routinely physically abusive to Anakin by having Anakin flinch when Watto first says something to him -- this element made it to the screen in a very small way, but it didn't really show through that hard, I missed it entirely on my first few viewings and thought that Watto was somewhat friendly with Anakin considering the relationship (I still do even after I read the script because of how I first interpretted it in the film).

    I bring that up because in ANH, Owen Lars isn't given a lot of screentime, and most of what he is given doesn't seem to be all that nice to Luke, yet he still comes off as a father figure who is grumpy but genuinely cares about his nephew and imbues similar feelings in the boy. But it could be interpretted that Owen is a selfish, crotchety old man who is holding Luke back simply for the cheap labor - it's highly unlikely to be sure, but not impossible. So, my question is, does Owen love and care about his nephew or not, and is there enough on-screen evidence to support either conclusion?
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

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    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  2. #2
    I think he does care for him, thats why he treats him that way. He knows what happened to Anakin and doesnt want that to happen to Luke. Luke always seemed to be "daydreaming" and Owen just kept on top of him to get his work done. He knew what would happen to him. He wanted to shield him from all of it. He raised Luke from a boy and was his dad basically. All he was doing was protecting him IMO.
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  3. #3
    I think he's taking some of his personal aggression towards how he was treated by the Empire out against Luke. Lars most likely attributes the loss of Shmi and his fathers downward spiral to the Empires involvment and Anakin's turn to the darkside. He probably feels if you stick your neck out that people will find you and come down hard on you. Better to stay a hidden moisture farmer than do much of anything to draw attention to yourself. Heck, he won't even let Luke go out very much.

    Tough love? Perhaps. I think Lars is just scared to make himself an object of attention. He knows Luke has some suitors out there in the Galaxy. They come looking for him and they'll cause he and his wife trouble. Boy was he right.
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

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  4. #4
    No, Owen really cares about Luke's well-being. The gruff portion of his personality is just part of who he is. For anyone who has lived on or near a farm community, you'll recognize that guy immediately. They are no-nonsense, down to earth people. You'll never catch them eating froo froo dishes at the Ivy if they ever had the chance. A good pot luck buffet and two heaping dishes of stick-to-your-ribs food is good by them.

    So, yeah, being that Owen isn't really Luke's uncle (by the old continuity), he still genuinely cares about Luke's well-being and is genuinely concerned about his future, given what his brother Obi Wan told him about Luke's father and all. It's only natural. Owen may be gruff, but he's a good salt of the earth guy.

    (This also is a big reason why Luke, originally, was designed as a character we could empathize with. Like Owen, we could see ourselves in him as youths stuck at home with big dreams, but fear of leaving the nest. That is, until Lucas turned him SuperHuman with a heavy dose of parasitical Midichlorians.)



    You'll notice that I answered that question with the original backstory in mind, as it should be. I think that the rewrite of the background for the Prequels puts some odd facets into the entire concept. We'll have to wait to see how Lucas writes himself out of the corner he's placed himself into before this question can be accurately discussed with the super-nifty continuity in place.

  5. #5
    Owen has Lukes best interests in mind,and I believe he does care for the boy.Although he was tough on Luke,making sure he stayed atop his work and kept him from entering the piloting academy,Owen probably didnt want him to turn out like Vader.Or perhaps he thought Luke as still too young to leave Tatooine and do such things.I agree with Stillakid on the point he is a 'down to earth' guy,not one for mincing words.
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  6. #6
    EP, I'm afraid I don't buy your theory about Owen taking his hatred of the Empire out on Luke, I not only don't see that in his actions, but the evidence you site didn't exist at the time of the movie.


    I also think Owen loves his nephew, but I can't think of much strong on-screen evidence to support this conclusion. That's where I think the issue of this thread is, we might all feel that way towards Owen, but like with Watto, are we seeing something that is more about insufficient or inaccurate assumption than what we actually see?
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "We named the dog 'Chewbacca'!"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks
    EP, I'm afraid I don't buy your theory about Owen taking his hatred of the Empire out on Luke, I not only don't see that in his actions, but the evidence you site didn't exist at the time of the movie.
    The fact that Owen has repeatedly kept Luke from going to the academy for several seasons with some lame excuses shows he's against Luke getting involved. He also lies if you will to keep Luke from getting involved with Obi Wan who he knows is a big hater of the Empire. With R2D2 being a possible connection to both Obi Wan and his involvement with the Empire, Owen makes a rash decision to have the droids memory erased. It's an astromech for crying out loud, yet he's so paranoid that he wants it's memory erased.

    Why else would either be so interested in keeping Luke away from the Academy, Old Ben and the possible memories of an astromech? Sure at the time of the OT we were unaware of Owen's motivation for his actions/inactions but now that the PT has hit the screens we are aware of his involvement prior to the first time we met him in the OT. Even without the PT backstory I always thought there was some reason that Owen kept Luke grounded on Tatoonine. Luke has some obvious frustration issues with his Uncle repeatedly crushing his dreams. It's selfish on Owens part and driven by his own insecurities.

    Sure Owen cares for Luke but it seems to me that his actions are driven by his own paranoia not for his concern for Luke.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Exhaust Port
    but now that the PT has hit the screens we are aware of his involvement prior to the first time we met him in the OT.
    What "involvement"? Owen is just another young farmhand just like any you might find here on Earth. Does his work, and before he had his nads tied by getting a girlfriend, probably took the pickup down to the Anchorhead bar on Friday's like everyone else. The matters of the Republic didn't effect Tatooine then and later on, only a scant few Stormtroopers ever bothered to make any visits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Exhaust Port
    Even without the PT backstory I always thought there was some reason that Owen kept Luke grounded on Tatoonine. Luke has some obvious frustration issues with his Uncle repeatedly crushing his dreams. It's selfish on Owens part and driven by his own insecurities.

    Sure Owen cares for Luke but it seems to me that his actions are driven by his own paranoia not for his concern for Luke.
    Especially without the PT backstory (which still makes little sense), Owen is just a regular guy who is concerned about this kid he has raised since he was just a tiny little pup. There's no "paranonoia." Plain and simple: Owen's brother drops off some baby with this horror story attached. The kid must remain hidden, at least until he is old enough and able enough to defend himself if the Empire comes a'knockin'. Owen, being a very practical and rational fella', comes to realize that Obi Wan was really responsible for dragging the Skywalker family into this mess in the first place (because Obi Wan was supposed to have been the one to find Anakin, recognize his potential, and then decide to train him as a Jedi...). "He's just a crazy old man..." Owen tells Luke. On one hand, Owen is trying to dissuade Luke from placing any credibility in R2's story. On the other, Owen has lost respect for his brother and blames him and his crazy "religion" for causing so much trouble in the galaxy. Owen recognizes Luke's ambitions to get out of town, just like a regular teenager, but uses whatever he can to keep Luke from getting involved.

    This is really really simple and doesn't require over-thinking if we are to understand the situation as the movie was originally created.


    Now, toss in the Prequel version of Obi and Owen's relationship (which is ZIP, ZERO, NADA, NON-EXISTENT, NILCH) and we first have to wonder:

    1. Why Obi Wan would choose Anakin's step family to hide the baby with
    2. How Obi Wan would even know about Anakin's step family, seeing that while Qui Gon stole his thunder in TPM, Obi was left to do absolutely nothing at all in the middle of the desert, so he has literally no knowledge of the planet or of any of the people on it.

    So given that, we can only assume that in Episode III, Obi Wan makes an idiotic decision that the baby (only one) should be raised with "family." (The girl apparently doesn't matter). So now, the baby is raised in a place that Anakin knows about and can easily find if ever pressed to do so. So Owen, who has no reason to even like Anakin, being that he left without saying goodbye (and he took the protocal droid without asking if it would be alright....pretty rude all around), is asked by another Jedi, whom he has never met, if he would take care of that lout's baby.

    Yeah, makes perfect sense to me.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    What "involvement"?
    We see that Owen is part of the Anakin/Vader story, he's Anakin's stepbrother. He also has to understand the importance of hiding Luke from his father and the Empire.

    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    Owen's brother drops off some baby with this horror story attached.
    We don't know who drops off Luke and I would assume that it wouldn't be his brother Anakin. You can't hide from the Empire when the Sith Lord knows where you are. It would make more sense that Obi Wan or some other 3rd party brought the kid. The kids dropped off with the warning that his father, " you know, your stepbrother Anakin" has turned to the dark side and is a ruthless mass-murderer. Owen has to hide this kid and if he's found you'll bring the attention of the Empire to the little planet.

    So does he act out of a sense of protection of the kid or out of fear of the Empire/Vader? I pick fear of the Empire and Vader.

    Quote Originally Posted by stillakid
    Now, toss in the Prequel version of Obi and Owen's relationship (which is ZIP, ZERO, NADA, NON-EXISTENT, NILCH)
    It's a relationship by association. Obi is Anakin's teacher and Anakin is Owen's stepbrother. Are you saying that they aren't aware of the other? Obviously they know of each other as Obi Wan choices Owen to get one of the kids and Owen must know that Obi Wan is the teacher of his stepbrother that has now gone insane and is the tyrant of the galaxy. Prior to the PT we didn't even know that Owen knew Anakin or what the relationship was to Luke.
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

  10. #10
    stillakid, I don't see how the Obi/Owen brother relationship applies here at all.
    It's not even hinted at in ANH, let alone the other 2 films of the OT. It shows up in the ROTJ novelization but I assume the majority of people who saw the film never even read that.
    Remember, you're a big proponent of evaluating only "what's on the screen."

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