In Brightest Day: George Lucas Sucks at Emotions

In April, I wrote a piece on Luke Skywalker’s emotional problems, specifically relating them to his father Anakin’s anger management issues.

However, I missed a key part of Skywalker’s mental and physical health that, let’s be honest, I shouldn’t have missed.


I guess the reason I missed talking about Luke’s missing right hand is that, barring some focus on it when it’s injured during the raid on Jabba the Hutt’s compound and some focus on Darth Vader’s missing hand at the end of Return of the Jedi, it seems that Star Wars‘ creator, George Lucas, didn’t really care about the injury.

In fact, after doing some lengthy research on the subject, I haven’t found any works– movies, television show, extended universe, or otherwise–that discuss Luke’s hand, outside of it being used in an EU novel to clone an evil Luke.

And it’s this lack of emotion that bugs me to death. Star Wars was built around the idea of what happens if a Jedi loses control of their emotions. Specifically, it also shows that, in the case of Obi-Wan Kenobi, it’s okay to be upset sometimes.

But Luke, who first showed the inability to keep his emotions in check when he went off to Bespin to be a freaking cowboy and save his friends from the Empire instead of noticing the obvious trap Vader had set for him, seemed to take both losing his hand and Vader’s “I am your father” revelation really well.

In fact, outside of the “why didn’t you tell me” conversation he had with Kenobi’s ghost in Return of the Jedi, where Luke seems annoyed, Luke doesn’t show any emotion about the revelation.

Are you kidding me? You find out that the most evil man in the galaxy, who just chopped your hand off, is your father, and you’re going to give me an “aw shucks” and shake it off?

Seriously, no one is that much of a rock. Soldiers who have trained for years to take and then put aside the worst things imaginable can crack the instant they lose something in war. It’s inevitable. Luke may not be Earth-human, but he’s still freaking human.

In fact, no one shows emotion well in this story. Leia loses her home planet? Shakes it off. Han is frozen in carbonite? Ho-hum. Luke watches Yoda pass away before his eyes? YOLO LOL.

It’s stupid. And Star Wars, for all the good it did, loses points for not being able to show the human struggle at all. George Lucas, instead of creating Episode VII through IX, should take a writing 101 class somewhere.

The point is, unless Lucas learns how to humanize characters emotionally, his characters will always be one-dimensional, unrealistic facsimiles of characters. It’s why I like Star Trek more. There is emotion behind every death. The characters suffer from its ramifications instead of forgetting about it.

How pissed off would we as a geek society have been if Kirk had just shaken off Spock’s death? We would’ve rioted. Yet we forgive Lucas for this?

Nope. I don’t. Emotions hit people, and to have his characters take tragedy lying down is a spit in the face of anyone who uses geek culture as a respite from the tragedies we face every day.

1 thought on “In Brightest Day: George Lucas Sucks at Emotions

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I watched the first Star Wars movie a few years ago, and found myself getting more upset during parts of the movie than I would normally during a movie simply because Luke showed no emotion towards his Aunt and Uncles death, which really, really bothered me.

    Star Trek is so much better at that. The series and movies are filled with emotion, something that makes love it. For me, characters have to have emotions or show it (Luke never showed any, whereas Spock who is half-Vulcan, could show it, albeit subtly, and in his own manner, however it was clear he had emotions, he just wasn’t emotional. Luke though…he didn’t seem to have any. I mean, his Aunt/Uncle DIED and he just shrugs it of) , or have a realistic explanation for why they don’t.

Comments are closed.