From farmer to flyboy to world-weary Jedi, the adventures of Luke Skywalker have left an indelible mark on movie history. He’s saved the galaxy a time or two, and his refusal to give in to destructive human tendencies like hatred and needless violence offer an inspiring vision of what a modern mythic hero can be. These are 10 of the character’s most iconic quotes.
1. “But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!”
When we meet Luke for the first time, he’s shopping for a pair of droids with his Uncle Owen. For Owen Lars, there’s always another chore to be done, and one more harvest to get through. But young Luke Skywalker yearns for something more. This line also encapsulates the genius of Star Wars. We don’t see Tosche Station on camera, and we never learn what a power converter does, but we can imagine them both quite clearly.
2. “If there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from.”
When we’re young it can feel like the world is passing us by. Luke’s frustration with his home, which feels claustrophobically small and so far from the action he craves, is entirely relatable to anyone who’ve ever wanted something more than the life they know.
3. “I want to come with you to Alderaan. There’s nothing for me here now. I want to learn the ways of the Force, and become a Jedi like my father.”
Perhaps the most devastating scene in the film is when Luke returns to the Lars homestead to find his family dead at the hands of the Empire. It’s the final push he needs to begin his hero’s journey.
4. “That armor’s too strong for blasters. Rogue Group, use your harpoons and tow cables. Go for the legs. It might be our only chance of stopping them.”
It’s easy to forget that even without his father’s lightsaber or connection to the Force, Luke’s still a phenomenal leader and legendary pilot. This is one of those underrated character beats where he reveals his ingenuity in the face of overwhelming odds.
5. “You want the impossible.”
Luke may be the X-wing pilot who switched off his targeting computer and fired the shot that destroyed the Death Star, but on Dagobah, stripped of technology and everything he thought he understood about the Force, he feels the weight of defeat.
6. “You’ll find I’m full of surprises.”
With only incomplete training, Luke Skywalker is no match for Darth Vader. But he cares about saving his friends enough to face the Sith Lord anyway.
7. “I’m taking Captain Solo and his friends. You can either profit by this…or be destroyed.”
It’s clear that this Luke, as he unflinchingly faces the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt, is a different man than the one who left Tatooine on the Millennium Falcon. And by the end of the film, he gains an even more mature appreciation for the depths of his power — and the responsibility that comes along with it.
8. “You’ve failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”
Here, Luke embraces the lessons of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, who taught him that there are “alternatives to fighting.”
9. “Impressive — every word in that sentence was wrong.”
Luke’s always had a sense of humor, and confronted by an eager would-be Padawan and a galaxy in peril, he employs some measured wit even as he tries to make certain Rey understands the Jedi’s proper relationship to the Force.
10. “No one’s ever really gone.”
A touching moment between the Skywalker twins is a prescient reminder about the importance of the legacy we leave behind.
Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Fangoria, Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.
Site tags: #StarWarsBlog