Luke Skywalker takes after his father Anakin in many different ways – but Star Wars comics confirm he’s not as good a podracer!
Luke Skywalker may take after his father Anakin in many respects – but according to Star Wars comics, he’s nowhere near as good of a podracer. “I am a Jedi, like my father before me,” Luke Skywalker famously vows in the Star Wars original trilogy. At first, he meant it to indicate he was following in his father’s footsteps because he hero-worshipped Anakin Skywalker; but when he learned the truth of Anakin’s downfall, those words took on a different meaning. They demonstrated Luke’s faith that his father would return to the light side of the Force.
The similarities between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader have only increased over time. Luke’s recent surprise appearance in The Mandalorian season 2, for example, saw Luke take on a group of Dark Trooper droids in a fan-pleasing moment reminiscent of Darth Vader’s attack on the Rebels in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s quite clear Luke takes after his father in raw Force potential, inheriting all the power of the Chosen One. That neatly explains why Luke Skywalker was the one man Emperor Palpatine learned to fear.
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But, according to 2018’s Star Wars annual, Luke doesn’t take after his father in everything. The issue is set sometime after the destruction of the First Death Star, and it sees Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader compete for possession of an ancient lightsaber. Luke winds up on the run from the Empire – and his desperate flight leads him straight to a podrace. Luke figures the podracer can’t be too different from a landspeeder, and participates in the race – quickly learning it’s nothing like flying a landspeeder.
Humans don’t typically participate in podracing, simply because their reflexes aren’t good enough. Fortunately, Luke is a skilled pilot, a swift learner, and strong in the Force; he is able to last a remarkably long time. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” the commentator observes. “This pilot — despite a rough start — seems to be hanging in there!” In an amusing moment, Darth Vader actually stops chasing Luke and simply stops. He looks on in what seems like genuine pride. “Impressive,” the Dark Lord of the Sith concludes.
Sadly, Luke’s engine blows, and it takes all his skill to crash-land safely and escape in his X-Wing. He has no idea he impressed his father so much – indeed, at this point in time Luke didn’t know Darth Vader was his father at all – and frankly, he seems to have no desire to podrace ever again. Luke Skywalker may be just as good a pilot as his father, but he lacks the experience and intuition to podrace, and unlike Anakin he had absolutely no reason to try again.
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