As a Star Wars fan, I wince whenever I see an article about Star Wars characters because I know that Luke Skywalker is likely to be lambasted within (as discussed in the TheGloss’s recent Fuck, Marry, Kill where almost %50 of you wanted Luke off’d). The liberal use of “Sun-In,” the tunic- and poncho- based wardrobe, the limpid blue eyes . . . he’s an easy mark for those who like style and sass.
But how can you like Star Wars if you have only disdain for Luke? That’s like loving Citizen Kane, except for the Orson Welles parts (Joseph Cotten’s character was so much cooler, right?). I can’t make you find shaggy 70’s hair and tunics sexy, but on the subject of Luke, I implore you to look again.
He is a classic swashbuckler, swinging across chasms with a girl in his arms, rushing headlong into danger, wearing an ominous black glove to hide the scars of his past. If someone who didn’t look wet-behind-the-ears tried these moves (Zorro? Burt Lancaster?), we would notice the style. If that bionic black-leather clad hand were on anyone else, all the ladies would be swooning over it. But –”I’m going to the Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!” You can’t un-hear it, can you?
So Luke has been charged with being “feeble” and “boring” because you met him when he was a teenager. When you know what a person is like as a goober teenager, it is difficult to see them as anything else, ever. That’s why your older siblings keep treating you like a kid even when you are an adult and have your shit together better than they do. That’s why Sabrina (you may take your pick of Audrey Hepburn or Julia Ormond) goes to Paris for five minutes so she will be seen as more than the chauffer’s daughter when she returns. Is teenage Luke of A New Hope sexy and cool? No. He is perfect for a teenage girl crush because he’s good and in no way sexually suggestive (See also: Legolas). Look at Luke across the whole trilogy, however, and give him credit for these attributes: power, influence, and style evolution.