Luke Skywalker doesn’t get the respect he deserves. No, come on — he really doesn’t. Despite the fact that he blew up the Death Star, helped the rebels evacuate Hoth, and had a hand in killing the Emperor — he’s still remembered as that whiny kid from Tatooine who would rather waste time with his friends at Tosche Station than do his chores. Well, in Luke’s own words, “it’s not fair!”
There have been plenty of times in the original trilogy where Luke has proven himself to be a true, selfless hero. In fact, there have been times where he’s been a badass, and we have the examples to prove it.
Luke Sees Obi-Wan Die And Starts Blasting
When Vader swung his lightsaber and took out Luke’s friend and mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, it seems Luke snapped a bit. He didn’t care that there was a group of stormtroopers making their way towards him, blasters blasting. Or that the Dark Lord of the Sith was making a beeline right for them. Luke stared death in the face and just started firing. Not flinching. Not looking for cover. Just blasting. Kinda stupid? Probably. But still pretty badass.
Luke Uses The Force And Blows Up The Death Star
Now, normally, hearing voices in your head isn’t considered a good thing — but when it’s the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, you should probably listen. And Obi-Wan tells Luke to quit being a wuss, put the damn computer away and trust his instincts. He does — and, like Beggar’s Canyon back home, Luke tosses a torpedo into a vent the size of a womp rat, blows up the ultimate force in the universe and saves the day.
Congrats, Luke. Go get yourself a power converter. You earned it.
Luke Takes Out An AT-AT, On Foot
The AT-AT is an iconic Star Wars vehicle for a number of reasons, but one main one is that it’s just so damn powerful. Basically the size of a metal brontosaurus, it took some serious ingenuity from the rebels just to bring any down at all. Luke had the clever idea of using a tow cable to knock one off its legs, but, even then, he had a snowspeeder. It’s not like he was on foot. Oh… wait….
After getting shot down and nearly getting trampled to death, Luke took off running. Not for shelter, but after the damn walker that nearly turned him into a Jedi pancake (which is really something IHOP should be serving this winter, to be honest). Using another tow cable to pull him up to the walker’s underbelly, he cut an access hole with his lightsaber and tossed in a thermal detonator.
Luke Kills A Rancor, Unarmed
Admittedly, it wasn’t until Return of the Jedi that we saw Luke really show off what a badass he could be. And nowhere was this more on display than when he fought, and killed, Jabba the Hut’s rancor. With a large bone. And a rock. And that’s it.
Now, Luke wasn’t all “Whatever. I got this.” He knew what the rancor could do, but he doesn’t panic, takes note of his surroundings and — interestingly enough — doesn’t use The Force (unless he used it to make sure his throw hit the gate control panel, which I suppose is possible).
The fact that Luke went into this fight with nothing but the clothes on his back is a testament to his badassness.
Vader Talks Smack About Luke’s Sister And Luke Goes Off
Luke’s epic battle with Darth Vader kicks into high gear when Vader threatens to turn Luke’s sister, Leia, toward the dark side. Lightsabers clash and the least likely candidate for “Father of the Year” loses a hand at the close of Luke’s last great bid for us all to understand his badassery. But in that Pops came back from that severed hand to save the day and then have a moment with his son, it seems like Darth Vader is still more badass than his son.