For many film lovers, Luke Skywalker is the quintessential movie hero. He had a formative influence on the lives of many young fans, just as the original Star Wars did. Luke is a likable, relatable kid who wants to abandon his boring life in search of something greater. He gets swept up in an adventure that fans wish they could journey on themselves.
Luke may even be the most iconic hero in movie history, but is he really that great? Well, let's be clear on this — yes, Luke Skywalker really is that great — but the character has plenty of flaws and faults that, as fans, we tend to ignore.
For this list, we'll be discussing his most overlooked quirks. We'll be looking at every Star Wars movie to date in which Luke appears, so spoilers are ahead for the most famous movie franchise of all time — you know, just in case you're reading this list without having seen them, for some reason.
There are few characters as beloved, but also few as goofy and downright villainous as Luke Skywalker. Why does the world love this whiny teen-turned-curmudgeon exactly? He's played by the lovable Mark Hamill, so that's a big plus, but even he can't really make up for all of the weird (or horrible) things Luke has done in his life.
It hurts to have to tear down our childhood hero, but it's time we face the Cantina music.
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Luke Skywalker That We All Choose To Ignore.
20 Death Star Destroyer
The Empire is full of bad people with ill intentions for the rest of the galaxy. After all, their pet project during the original Star Wars was to use a moon-sized gun to blow up a planet and destroy millions of lives in an instant. But isn't that basically what Luke did?
Luke Skywalker saved countless lives by destroying the first Death Star, but he also took at least a million lives in the process.
Yeah, it was for the greater good, but at what cost?
Look at Finn — he's a stormtrooper, sure, but he's also just a janitor trying to do his job. Not every Imperial is a mustache-twisting villain who deserves to be blown to smithereens. Some of them just work there. Luke might be the galaxy's savior, but fans tend to forget that he's kind of cold-blooded.
19 He'll Force Choke You Out
Jedi believe that using the Force for violence and personal gain are paths to the dark side. Sure, Jedi might bend those rules for the sake of greater good, but Luke's first outing as a Jedi Knight shows some Sith-like tendencies that would get him thrown straight out of the Academy.
In Return of the Jedi, Luke uses the force to choke two of Jabba the Hutt's guards — something a loyal Jedi wouldn't dare attempt.
Force Choke is typically considered a Sith ability, even in the Expanded Universe.
Maybe Yoda forgot to mention that in Luke's training, because he does not hesitate to choke these dudes out.
It's almost as bad as that time he tried to end his nephew in his sleep, but at least he has an excuse for that night.
18 No Tears For Uncle Owen And Aunt Beru
The Skywalker homestead isn't the most exciting place. Luke makes that clear as he bickers with his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru about leaving his farming duties behind to join the Academy. The family gets along well enough — it's not like Owen and Beru mistreat Luke or anything — but he never seems that sad when their lives are ended by stormtroopers.
Luke arrives at home to find the bodies of his aunt and uncle along with a burnt-out house, and only takes a moment of silence before moving on with his life.
You could argue that his mourning comes in the form of determination, but it's weird that Luke is way more upset about the loss of Obi-Wan than his own family.
17 Ambushed By A Giant
Luke falls victim to a yeti-like creature at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back: the Wampa. The lumbering monster ambushes him in the snow, knocks him out, and drags him back to an icy cave. The question is, how? Luke might not be a Jedi yet, but did no Force senses kick in at all?
Okay, the Force might not be comparable to a Spidey-sense, but still! Force powers aside, shouldn't Luke have heard it coming? Surely an animal that size would have been crunching snow beneath its feet or something. The "silent monster" trope works better in zombie movies.
It was a stressful moment, but the ambush still seems unlikely. We'll just have to spend our disbelief for this one, but come on — that Wampa should never have gotten the drop on him.
16 Why Isn't He More Skeptical of Vader?
It's a believable revelation on some level — Luke knows his dad was a Jedi and heard similar stories from Obi-Wan — but why does Luke immediately start screaming and crying when Vader tells him that he's his father?
Vader would have said anything to capture him alive and Luke should have known that. He denies it for a split-second before "searching his feelings" and deciding those were proof enough. The audience didn't know what to think at the time, but Luke knew because he felt some nebulous vibes, apparently.
Why believe Vader so easily?
The answer here is that the Force clued him in, but that's a flimsy excuse. If the Force gave away his parentage, then he probably should have known Leia was his sister. Inconsistent, the force is... or maybe Luke is just that impressionable.
15 It's Time For Jedi Fashion To End
In his later years, Luke Skywalker becomes a disillusioned hermit who wants the Jedi religion to end forever. Of course, this is all because of a massive personal failure, but he's mostly adamant in his belief that Jedi are not good for the galaxy. So why does he wear their robes?
In reality, Luke can't bring himself to abandon his Jedi ways, but it seems like the robes would be the first thing (aside from his lightsaber) he would have gotten rid of — a visual reminder of the Jedi.
Instead, Master Luke has no lightsaber and disparages the Jedi Order while still sporting their signature robes. It's a little hypocritical before his change of heart. Maybe he just doesn't have a lot of clothes on the island.
14 Going Easy On The Rancor
Return of the Jedi features Luke in his prime — at least according to fans — but his fight with the Rancor isn't as cool as it should be. Even when equipped with powerful abilities, Luke spends more time dodging and throwing rocks at the giant monster than actually attacking it.
Not only does Luke forget to use the force in this vital situation, but he coincidentally gave his lightsaber to R2 and left himself extremely vulnerable. Luke survives his encounter with the Rancor by using a bone as a toothpick and shutting the door on its head — which is way better than getting eaten, but not very cool.
Shouldn't Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker be a more formidable opponent?
Luke shouldn't be resorting to environmental traps. He's a Jedi, after all.
13 Lucky Shot
Look, we realize that most of these entries can be explained away by suspending disbelief, but how could Luke have possibly made that shot on the Death Star?
He's a mostly untrained pilot with aim that's barely better than a stormtrooper's. He's also in the middle of a military battle — not something you'll find on his resume — and he's constantly followed by enemy ships.
For someone so inexperienced, under so much stress, it's total nonsense that Luke manages to land a shot on a target so small and hard to see. The whole "the guns locked on" excuse doesn't hold up as he turns off his targeting computer. Besides, the missiles curved-- they literally make a 90-degree turn into the exhaust port!
Of course the Force is the go-to excuse here.
12 His Plan Against Jabba
The plan to break Han out of Jabba's Palace is odd, to say the least. At a glance, it seems fine — Luke sneaks his friends into the Palace one-by-one in the hopes that Jabba will give Han up without violence. This lets him uphold his Jedi morals while stocking the building full of his closest allies.
However, the breakout only comes together when the gang are on Jabba's barge awaiting execution. Luke fights everybody onboard, saves his friends, and blows everything up.
How did he know that the gang would end up on the barge?
His plan was either brilliant and prepared for every contingency, or Luke and the gang just winged it in style. Either way, the whole endeavor is inefficient and extremely dangerous.
11 Captured By Ewoks
They might be beloved heroes, but this is proof that Luke and the gang can be just as incompetent as a bunch of stormtroopers.
To be fair, this one isn't entirely Luke's fault, but he's guilty by association. His Jedi senses didn't kick in when Chewbacca stepped on the Ewoks' hunting trap, and so the gang gets captured.
Luke probably could have scared them all off with the flick of his wrist, too, but for whatever reason he decides to go along with it all.
Shouldn't it have been easier to escape capture and befriend them? Leia didn't seem to have any trouble doing so.
Luke has a bad habit of being a liability-- until the time comes to look like a cool, capable hero.
10 Right Into Vader's Trap
The lightsaber fight in The Empire Strikes Back might be iconic, but it only occurs because Luke falls into a pretty obvious trap. After Han is frozen in carbonite, Leia and Chewie are captured by the Empire with the help of Boba Fett.
Luke stalks the crew as they take the heroes away, but not before getting into a small firefight.
During the shootout, Leia is dragged into a room as she warns Luke that he's heading into a trap. Instead of heeding her words or trying another way around though, he follows directly behind them and springs said trap. Nice job, farmboy.
Leia probably should have screamed something more descriptive than "it's a trap," but the message still should have been pretty clear.
9 The Dice Illusion
Luke Skywalker's final moments were perhaps his greatest. He used Force Projection to create an illusion of himself from across the galaxy to confront his nephew, Kylo Ren. With that projection came another illusion: Han Solo's prized dice.
When Luke arrives at the Resistance outpost on Crait, he says goodbye to Leia and hands her Han's dice. The Force Projection was too much for Luke to sustain, though, and he loses his life because of it.
Strangely enough, the dice remain tangible even after Luke passes away.
Minutes later, Kylo Ren finds the dice, just before they disappear as Luke did. How is this possible? This could be due to some residual Force energy-- or perhaps the movie is just bending the rules of time for dramatic effect.
Frankly, the moment is so poignant that this mystery might be better off unexplained.
8 Joining The Endor Crew
The secret mission on Endor fails almost immediately, mainly because Luke decides to tag along. Even before the gang lands from space, Vader is completely aware of Luke's presence on the stolen Imperial shuttle. So why did Luke come in the first place?
Luke is well aware that Jedi can sense each other using the force, and sometimes they can even communicate with one-another over great distances. Because of these Jedi senses, he's basically a giant flashing target and a liability when it comes to stealth.
This isn't his first time experiencing that, either, so he probably should have known to stay behind just in case. Unfortunately, Luke seems to forget those moments of Jedi telepathy and decides to come anyway.
7 Oblivious To Rey
Much like the Endor mission, Luke's Jedi senses seem a little inconsistent in The Force Awakens. He's sensed people from across great distances before. Actually, The Last Jedi even has him sense Leia from across the galaxy.
Weirdly, Luke doesn't seem to sense Rey arriving on his island and is surprised to see her.
It's possible that Luke loves being a drama queen and chooses to act surprised, but he doesn't show any signs of knowing who Rey is or what's going on. He can't even sense Chewie on the island.
Come to think of it, shouldn't he have heard the Millennium Falcon landing on the surface? It's not exactly a quiet ship. Unless Luke is acting, he's totally oblivious to his surroundings, even with his unparalleled Jedi senses.
6 Surviving The Battle Of Yavin
Luke is lucky to have made the shot that destroyed the Death Star, but it's a wonder that he even came back from the mission alive. He's an untrained pilot in a ship he's never flown before, surrounded by people he's never met, in an army that operates in a way he isn't familiar with. Every aspect of his involvement in the mission sounds dangerous on paper.
This is before you even consider that he's fighting trained soldiers on their home turf. Shockingly enough, even after flying in a straight line for most of the mission, Luke somehow doesn't get shot down.
Does he really survive because he's strong with the Force, or is it simply because everybody around him is super unlucky?
In this case, it sounds like they're the same thing.
5 Abandoning R2-D2
This might not be the fairest point because fans don't actually know how this happened, but it's safe to assume that Luke abandoned R2-D2 after the fall of his Jedi Academy.
Recent Star Wars films have been vague about this time period, but here's what's clear: Luke Skywalker had R2 with him during his days as a Jedi Master. R2 was also present when Kylo Ren burnt down the Academy. Sometime after, Luke went into exile and R2 fell into robotic coma. When we see Luke again, he lives alone and R2 is back in the hands of the Resistance.
The specifics are unclear, but Luke abandoning R2 is like a dog-owner abandoning their best friend.
It's not cool, and it requires some serious explanation.
4 Questionable Combat Skills
For a Jedi, Luke's fighting prowess is a little underwhelming — or at least inconsistent. He can hold his own against Darth Vader, which is no small feat, but he also manages to look pretty goofy fighting on Jabba's barge.
The first action sequence in Return of the Jedi is definitely a blast to watch, but looking closer reveals some embarrassing moves. Luke doesn't do a whole lot of lightsaber-slicing, and his martial arts attacks don't ever seem to connect.
Obviously, this is due to the family-friendly fight choreography, but it still makes Luke look a bit silly when his kicks don't land and his enemies fall down anyway.
3 The Feather
Rey begs Luke to teach her about the Force, and he doesn't want to. After a change of heart though, Luke brings a feather with him to Rey's first lesson, presumably as some kind of teaching tool. However, he does no teaching with it.
The only reason he brings a feather is to tickle Rey for the sake of comedy — after the movie's joke, Luke slaps her with the it and throws it into the wind. It goes without saying that this is really, really strange.
What was the feather's actual purpose? Was he going to make her handwrite the old fashioned way? Did he only bring a feather with him in case he wanted to tickle Rey? Luke, why are you so weird?
2 He Kisses Leia
Fans either forget that Luke did this, or actively try to ignore it because it's just plain creepy. If you fall into either of those camps, let this be a reminder that Luke totally kissed his sister.
Luke was also really into it, mainly because he had a crush on her and it made Han mad.
Yes, this is before either of them knew that they were siblings, but it does not change the fact that Luke and Leia kissed. This moment is seriously cringe-inducing, especially if you know how it all ends — and let's face it, everybody knows how this movie ends. Fans have rightfully suppressed this horrible moment in an otherwise masterpiece of a film.
Luke — and everyone else in this scene — probably suppressed it too.
1 Confronting The Emperor
Perhaps the riskiest thing Luke has ever done next to training Kylo Ren, Luke's master plan in Return of the Jedi is to face down Darth Vader and the Emperor without backup.
Luke does this to appeal to his father in person, hoping to convert Vader to the light side. It's a noble and idealistic plan appropriate for our hero, but it just doesn't seem very smart. After all, Luke has no backup plan.
He puts himself at the mercy of the two most dangerous men in the galaxy in the hopes that his dad will fundamentally change as a person.
Luckily, Luke manages to turn Darth Vader to the light after a lightsaber duel, and right before the Emperor would have ended it all. Y es, it worked, but it wasn't a great plan.
What other questionable things has Luke done in Star Wars? Share your thoughts in the comments!