CT Luke Skywalker - Fighter Pilot

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by DRush76, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    I just recently watched "A NEW HOPE" and found myself curious about something. Why on earth would the Rebel Alliance command accept Luke Skywalker as a fighter pilot and allow him to participate in the Battle of Yavin? He was not a trained military pilot. And I don't see how killing desert rodents, while flying through Tatooine's canyons would qualify him as a military pilot to be thrown immediately into battle.
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  2. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    In the comics - the X-Wing Luke flies is vacant because somebody was ill - so the brass lent it to Luke for the mission - they need all the pilots they can get.

    It's the same logic that applies in Independence Day - if they lose this one - they lose the war.

    Also, as Biggs put it "Luke is the best bush pilot in the Outer Rim Territories".
  3. Sith-I-5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 5
    Plus, the Alliance accepted Biggs as a fighter pilot. Sure, he had been to the Academy, but presumably he didn't have fighter training, otherwise he'd be a TIE pilot, not first mate on the Rand Ecliptic.
  4. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
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    One can have fighter training, and yet be earmarked for a different job because of one's other skills.

    The Other Sons of Tatooine does a pretty good job of showing Biggs's time at the Academy, and what happened to the Rand Ecliptic.
  5. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Incom Corporation manufactured the T-16 Skyhopper as well as the T-65 X-wing. Both models have very similar controls, so one who has extensive experience in a Skyhopper (like Luke) can master an X-wing with relative ease.
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  6. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    In "Independence Day", they mainly asked for military pilots. But they were desperate enough to ask for other pilots. The Rebel Alliance did not really need Luke that badly. Not enough to thrust a nineteen year-old with no training or experience as a military pilot. I'm sorry, but I don't really buy it.




    This is not really a good excuse to me. But if you want to accept it . . . knock yourself out.
  7. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    They have a Death Star heading for their primary base. A case could be made that they do need pilots that badly - and that a brilliant civilian pilot can stand-in for a military one in this case.

    And Luke is also an excellent shot when it comes to the ability to "bullseye womp-rats" - shooting dangerous animals from his skyhopper.
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  8. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
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    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    I always just figured that the Alliance was desperate for anyone who knew how to pilot pretty much anything.

    The radio drama has a very corny 'test' situation in which Luke pilots a simulator and only dies about five time, so he's qualified. I'm also pretty sure that the similarity between Luke's skyhopper and an X-Wing is something GL himself was across, so it's not just EU rationalisation.
    The brief scene with Biggs & Red Leader on Yavin is basically there to establish that yes, Luke was capable of flying an X-Wing into battle. Not strong on detail, but Red Leader's confidence - "You'll do all right" - is all that's needed.
    (Of course, he probably figures that Luke's just experienced enough not to kill their own pilots, and any Imperials that Red Five kills will be a bonus before he's blasted into oblivion)
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Feb 21, 2014
  9. windu4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    While this could be easily justified by the EU you can just as easily justify it by what was said in the movie itself. Luke pointed out during the mission debriefing that the targeting computers and control system on the T-16 Skyhopper were similar to that of the X-Wing. There was also the fact that the Rebellion was seriously desperate for pilots and that Luke had just risked his life to save Princess Leia for no reason other than to do it. I'm pretty sure that Leia would have a hard time turning down Luke's offer to fly after he had proved his bravery and quick thinking on the Death Star. Lastly, Luke's father was so famous for his skills as a pilot that people whom he hadn't even met were aware of his skills. All of these things really weighed in Luke's favor.

    Of course there has to be some suspension of belief when it comes to these movies but it's not like there are any gaping holes in logic when it comes to this kind of thing.
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  10. MatthewZ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2003
    star 4
    It's their most desperate hour.
  11. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    It certainly got mentioned in the novelization- which utilises a slightly earlier script in which Red Leader is Blue Leader:

    'Aren't you Luke Skywalker? Have you been checked out on the Incom T-65?'
    'Sir,' Biggs put in before his friend could reply, 'Luke's the best bush pilot in the outer-rim territories.'
    The older man patted Luke reassuringly on the back as they studied his waiting ship. 'Something to be proud of. I've got over a thousand hours in an Incom sky hopper myself.'
    He paused a moment before going on. 'I met your father once when I was just a boy, Luke. He was a great pilot. You'll do all right out there. If you've got half your father's skill, you'll do a damn sight better than all right.'
    'Thank you, sir. I'll try.'
    'There's not much difference control-wise between an X-wing T-65,' Blue Leader went on, 'and a skyhopper.' His smile turned ferocious. 'Except the payload's of a somewhat different nature.'
    He left them and hurried toward his own ship. Luke had a hundred questions to ask him, and no time for even one.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Feb 21, 2014
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  12. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2

    I know! Like, who the hell is this guy? [face_laugh] Oh, George…
  13. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    How do you know how desperate they were? Luke even says to Han that he's needed. Not to mention having your best friend lie to a superior officer about your qualifications and having your sister put in a good word for you probably helps.
  14. ObiAlKenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2012
    star 2
    "It is our most desperate hour.." Plus I'm sure he earned a lot of brownie points by rescuing the Princess ;)
  15. Oberst Hans Landa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 12, 2014
    star 2
    Of course, Luke is the main character in A New Hope and I guess it makes a lot of sense to make him be the guy that destroys the Death Star and stuff. But I still think putting a guy who's never had any sort of military training basically in charge of your whole attack was risky and st****

    Maybe he wasn't directly in charge. But how much money do your X wings cost? Are you really gonna give one to a guy who's never piloted one before? Oh George… [face_laugh]
    Last edited by Oberst Hans Landa, Feb 21, 2014
  16. DarthBarrister Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2014
    star 1
    Wait, what? Basically in charge?

    I think it's also suggested somewhere, either in the film, the novel, or radio broadcasts, that the chance to take part in the attack was his reward for rescuing Leia. Han got money to pay off Jabba. Luke got an X-Wing.
    Last edited by DarthBarrister, Feb 21, 2014
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  17. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Luke wasn't in charge. He was Red 5. He took charge after everyone else was killed and Wedge had no objections.
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  18. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Red Leader instructed Luke to take charge if his own run failed. It makes sense in this case for the more-experienced Wedge and Biggs to yield to Luke; the wingmen in the trenches were supposed to be nothing more than an extra set of shields for the lead fighter. Wedge's and Biggs' experience would theoretically help them survive longer and give Luke a better shot at the exhaust port.
  19. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    Another point in Luke's favor is that Leia saw him nail two TIEs from the Falcon's turret. Any experienced bush pilot with two kills clearly has the makings of a fighter pilot.
  20. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9

    Right, by that point. Before then, Luke was just another pilot like everyone else. Biggs went with Luke because he trusted him to make the shot and Wedge put his faith in both men.
  21. Beezer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2013
    star 4
    It is really one of those things that just doesn't make sense logically but has to be accepted for the sake of story. It is not even remotely realistic that a military organization would run out of pilots before running out of aircraft, but I certainly don't worry about realism in Star Wars.

    As for ID4, I certainly don't want to discuss Star Wars in the same breath as that piece of trash, but I find it interesting to note that the originally ending to ID4 had that drunk pilot flying his own little bi-plane thing into the alien ship, not an actual jet. It was only when that absurd ending tested poorly with test audiences that the re-wrote the script to having him in a military jet.
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  22. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    The drunken pilot in ID4 was an experienced combat pilot and former Vietnam War veteran. Also, Adam Baldwin's character told the volunteers that they would receive a quick training on the planes they would be flying and on re-acquainting them with military aviation tactics. Mind you, I found the space of time they had for their training rather illogical.


    I found that slightly illogical, as well, considering his lack of training.
    Last edited by DRush76, Feb 23, 2014
  23. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Why? This isn't a conscripted service, but a collection of volunteers working together. We don't know all that happened prior to the Falcon arriving on Yavin 4. We don't know if they lost a few pilots in the mission to steal the Death Star plans and thus were short handed. Again, the film indicates that they need every body that they can throw at it, which is why Luke pleads to Han to stay and join them. When you've got a planet sized superweapon for you, now's not the time to be picky.

    It isn't rocket science. Sooner or later you're going to hit something. Not to mention that Luke could bullseye womp rats thanks to the Force, I'd say that's pretty good.
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  24. Mr. K Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    So here's a question... they got Luke, but did they really want Han? Even if Han changed his mind and decided to fight from the get-go, would he have been issued a fighter or would he have taken the Falcon into battle? What about Chewie? He seemed willing to do it.
  25. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    They would have almost definitely taken the Falcon. There's no way Han just leaves it parked on Yavin 4, even if there were spare X-wings available.