Study Guide

Star Wars: A New Hope Coming of Age

Coming of Age

OWEN: Luke! Take these two over to the garage, will you? I want them cleaned up before dinner.
LUKE: But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters.
OWEN: You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done. Now come on. Get to it.

Ugh, listen to that whine. Luke is still growing up when we first meet him. Unwilling to shoulder his responsibilities, he'd much rather go pick up some power converters—and who knows what that's slang for.

OWEN: Harvest is when I need you the most. It's only one season more. This year we'll make enough on the harvest that I'll be able to hire more hands, and then you can go to the academy next year. You must understand I need you here, Luke.
LUKE: But it's a whole 'nother year!
OWEN: Look, it's only one more season.
LUKE: Yeah, that's what you said when Biggs and Tank left.
BERU: Where are you going?
LUKE: Looks like I'm going nowhere. I have to go finish cleaning those droids.

Luke's home planet is the galactic equivalent of a village far from the problems of the world. Think the Shire—only an entire planet. Like the many fantasy heroes and small-town youths before him, Luke is itching to get out there and explore the universe but feels trapped.

LUKE: Alderaan? I'm not going to Alderaan. I've got to get home. It's late. I'm in for it as it is.
BEN: I need your help, Luke. She needs your help. I'm getting too old for this sort of thing.
LUKE: I can't get involved. I've got work to do. It's not that I like the Empire. I hate it, but there's nothing I can do about it right now. It's all such a long way from here.
BEN: That's your uncle talking.

At first, Luke is unwilling to accept the call to adventure. He feels the universe's problems are too big for him to make a difference. As Obi-Wan rightly points out, Luke hasn't grown up enough to become his own man, so he falls back on his uncle's decisions.

LUKE: 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.

Luke decides to take the plunge and sets himself a goal: become a Jedi knight. Side Note: You would think evil empires and dark lords would learn to stop burning down homes and villages to stop creating the heroes that will rise up against them. Happens all the time.

LUKE: Are you kidding? At the rate they're gaining?
HAN: Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dustin' crops, boy! Without precise calculations, we'd fly through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that would end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?
LUKE: What's that flashing?
HAN: We're losing a deflector shield. Go strap yourselves in. I'm gonna make the jump to light speed.

We see just how green Luke is when compared to the much worldlier Han Solo. Han knows what he's doing in this tense situation. It's what he does. Luke is too scared, confused, and excited to be of much use.

LUKE: You know, I did feel something. I could almost see the remote.
BEN: That's good. You've taken your first step into a larger world.

Luke begins to learn from Obi-Wan. Although there won't be many of these private tutor sessions, these lessons will form the basis of Luke's later growth.

LUKE: So… you got your reward and you're just leaving, then?
HAN: That's right. Yeah. I got some old debts I got to pay off with this stuff. And even if I didn't, you don't think I'd be fool enough to stick around here, do ya? Why don't you come with us? You're pretty good in a fight. We could use you.

After the ordeal on the Death Star, Luke has grown and proven himself. This has earned him Han Solo's respect, something he did not have earlier in the film.

OBI-WAN: Use the Force, Luke. Let go, Luke.
DARTH VADER: The Force is strong with this one.
OBI-WAN: Luke, trust me.
REBEL: His computer's off. Luke, you switched off your targeting computer! What's wrong?
LUKE: Nothing. I'm all right.

Luke took Obi-Wan's lessons to heart. Now putting theory into practice, Luke takes what he has learned and uses it to destroy the Death Star. The act earns him a place among the Rebel forces and shows his growth since his days on Tatooine doing Force knows what with power converters.