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This Video Proves Once and for All That Luke Skywalker Is Star Wars’ Straight Man

Luke’s pensive when he’s not inquisitive.
Luke’s pensive when he’s not inquisitive.
Image: Lucasfilm

What makes a good straight man? Keep calm and don’t know what’s going on.

As this new video from Star Wars Kids shows, Luke Skywalker is, at least in the first couple of movies he appears in, fantastic in at least one of those categories. Mark Hamill has often described Luke as the “straight man” of the Original Trilogy, and this video, which shows Luke asking just dozens of questions, confused about everything from space to trash compactors to the Dagobah system.

A good straight man allows the rest of the world to express itself around him, expressing confusion and disbelief for comedic or, in the case of Star Wars, expositionary purposes. He allows people to explain things to the audience and provides a perspective of “normalcy” that the audience can relate to and use to position themselves in relationship to the fictional world. Luke is an exceptionally good one.

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And while his role changes in The Last Jedi, he still manages to ask a lot of questions. Though, uh, they’re a little bit grouchier. And unfortunately, none of them are about blue milk.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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DISCUSSION

The Last Jedi is trash. I just watched it again last night, reluctantly with my 9 year old daughter and I can’t see how anyone involved with the production could have signed-off on that madness. It was a few drinks short of a literal clusterf*ck.

The only positive element of the film was the “force connection” and the visual convention they used to communicate it to the audience—intercutting their dialogue from different scenes was fun and clever and probably fun to shoot, too. Slicing through the super-duper star destroyer, or whatever the hell that inexplicably large ship was, was visually cool, but lead-up made no sense, just like the rest of the movie.

All of Skywalkers buildup as a straight man was wasted. They jumped the shark. All they had to do was play closer to Obi-Wan's character in his reluctance and fear of repeating mistakes, and then let Rey make the choice to chart a new path with Ren. Luke could have still died heroically, but he should have resisted Rey joining Ren not his reluctance to train her.