The Canon Luke Hypothesis

The Canon Luke Hypothesis posits that Bigger Luke exists within the Star Wars universe in some way, shape, or form, and is therefore part of the Star Wars canon. His reason for existing and place in the Star Wars mythos is a hotly debated topic amongst Canon Luke Theorists.

The Force

Bigger Luke's alleged relationship with The Force has been a popular subject since day one, and various theories have been posited.

"Force Clone"

Perhaps Obi-Wan created an illusionary slightly larger Luke in A New Hope in order to potentially frighten imperial stormtroopers? Perhaps he has always been doing this? Perhaps Obi-Wan has been remotely replacing Luke with a slightly larger doppelgänger periodically throughout his life in order to deter would-be Imperial entanglements. Supporters argue this would explain Obi-Wan's decision to give Luke to Owen and Beru Lars on Tatooine, as it has been criticized in recent years due to the revelation that Tatooine is in fact Darth Vader's home planet. Keeping Luke on Tatooine would allow Obi-Wan to periodically resize Luke, as it can be assumed that The Force has a limited range, even for a well-trained Jedi like Obi-Wan.

Detractors argue that Imperial Stormtroopers would not be phased - let alone notice - a slightly larger Luke, and if that was the case why not keep Luke slightly larger at all times? It has also been argued that Obi-Wan is not limited to Tatooine, and could have gone to any planet he had decided to hide Luke.

Supporters argue that the sophisticated targeting computers likely present in Stormtrooper helmets would in fact be able to distinguish slight height fluctuations in Luke.

Resizing Luke

A somewhat controversial theory states that there is not a Bigger Luke or a Regular Luke, but in fact Luke is resizing between different shots. The most commonly cited reason for this phenomena is Luke's high force sensitivity. In some circles it is believed that high force sensitivity causes a person's size to fluctuate due to the immense energy contained within. It can therefore be assumed that all force sensitives fluctuate slightly in height.

Perhaps it is a force illusion?

It is possible that Luke's resizing is merely the aforementioned force illusion brought about by Obi-Wan, and likely also manifests in Leia, and is not a natural result of high force sensitivity. Perhaps slightly resizing Luke keeps Imperial scanners from establishing a lock? Perhaps this is the reason Stormtroopers allegedly have "poor aim" - it is not plot armor at all, but because they are unable to establish a lock on Luke with the built-in targeting computers of standard issue Stormtrooper helmets.

This would imply that Bigger Luke and Regular Luke switch places quite frequently, probably far more often than we can directly ascertain using a consistent frame of reference.

Luke was behind the force illusion

It may be possible that Luke was angered by Leia's comment of "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?". This statement could have made Luke feel quite "small", as as such he may have made himself appear bigger using The Force, probably subconsciously. This feeling of anger would fluctuate randomly, making Luke appear bigger only in certain scenes. This hypothesis is not very popular, as it does not explain the instances of Bigger Luke prior to Leia's comment.

Some have suggested that Luke's constant feeling of helplessness due to being stuck on a moisture farm all his life is the real explanation, not specifically Leia's comment. This would explain earlier instances of Bigger Luke. Luke would not have to be consciously aware of the existence of The Force

Biological Cloning

"You fought in the Clone Wars?"

Luke Skywalker's offhand line to Obi-Wan Kenobi early in A New Hope had established cloning as part of the backstory to Star Wars well before the release of Attack of the Clones in 2002. For obvious reasons, this has been a very common, if not one of the most common, go-to explanations for the Bigger Luke phenomenon.

Luke was Cloned

The most common theory is that Luke, quite simply, was cloned for some unknown reason, and his clone is, indeed, slightly larger than him. The size discrepancy can perhaps be explained as the result of minor imperfections in the cloning process. Why and how this clone apparently replaces Luke in certain scenes remains a mystery, but much speculation exists.

Owen Lars Cloned Luke

One of the earliest theories regarding the existence of a cloned Luke Skywalker, this theory posits that Uncle Owen had cloned Luke, likely to help with work around his moisture farm. It is hypothesized that this clone of Luke is slightly larger due to the simple fact that he is somewhat more robust, a purposeful and practical gene modification made during the cloning process, as it would make for a more effective farmhand. It can be deduced that a more elaborate - and theoretically more effectual - modification to Luke was deemed too risky. In addition, an overtly muscled Luke - a "Luke Hulk" if you will - would be quite unsightly, in addition to undermining plausible deniability that there is in fact a second Luke. The slightly larger Luke must therefore have been deemed the most logical compromise between an identical Luke and a theoretical "Hulk Luke".

However, if this were the case, how would a simple moisture farmer such as Owen Lars acquire such advanced technology? Was it given to him by Obi-Wan? Furthermore, how is this Bigger Luke randomly shuffling with Regular Luke at various points during the timespan of the original trilogy? These discrepancies and lack of motivation on the part of Uncle Owen to use a cloned Bigger Luke for anything other than farm duty, let alone running around on an Imperial space station and saving the galaxy, alongside his untimely death early on in the film, has led to the eventual unpopularity of this theory.

Obi-Wan Cloned Luke

Another popular theory posits that it was in fact Obi-Wan who had cloned Luke Skywalker. Even before the prequels it had been implied that Obi-Wan had kept a watchful eye over Luke Skywalker his entire life, and the offhand mention of the Clone Wars implied Obi-Wan must have been familiar with clones. For over two decades it had been assumed by many Star Wars fans that the clones were the enemies the old republic fought against - come Attack of the Clones, it was discovered that Obi-Wan had fought on the side of the clones, which to many supporters of the the Obi-Wan cloning theory practically cemented their hypothesis as fact.

It was generally agreed that Obi-Wan would have used the same cloning technology that was used to create the Grand Army of the Republic - perhaps he managed to get Kaminoans to clone Luke? Perhaps they gave him the technology as his request? Many theories have been posited.

Revenge of the Sith would prove the gravedigger for this hypothesis, as it would prove for many detractors that Obi-Wan would likely not wish to partake in any form of cloning, as Order 66 would have, for obvious reasons, left a lasting negative impression of clones in his mind. Very few supporters of this theory remain to this day.

In the original draft of Star Wars, Obi-Wan was in fact going to be a clone himself.

R2-D2 Cloned Luke

With the release of the prequels, it was discovered that R2-D2 is heavily woven into the backstory of Star Wars, and therefore must possess a foresight that most other characters lack. It can also be assumed that R2-D2 must have assimilated some knowledge of cloning throughout his adventures, having been smack dab in the middle of the Clone Wars for quite some time after all. It should also be noted that R2-D2 did not have his memory wiped, unlike C3P0, and unlike Obi-Wan, being a machine, R2 would see things in a strictly pragmatic fashion, not shying away from cloning if it suited a purpose.

R2-D2 must therefore be aware of how potentially integral Luke Skywalker is to saving the galaxy from the Empire. It is possible that, whilst Luke was away - perhaps shortly before running away to find Obi-Wan Kenobi - R2 managed to clone Luke in some fashion, perhaps as a backup in case Regular Luke died, and randomly shuffles them around through a complex system of teleporters and cryosleep pods. Perhaps Luke's consciousness is transferred back and forth between bodies? Perhaps he notices no difference in between transferences, not even aware he is being shuffled between different bodies.

In 1991 the comic Dark Empire was released, and portrayed a reborn Emperor Palpatine; his consciousness was transferred into a clone body. This gives precedent to the possibility that R2 is indeed switching Luke's consciousness between two cloned bodies, one slightly larger than the other, as it proves this is indeed possible within the Star Wars universe.

Critics of this hypothesis argue that, if Luke's consciousness is transferred between both bodies, one at a time, then this would present no advantage to simply having one Luke Skywalker, as his consciousness would still, presumably, die if something were to happen to him, leaving the original Luke's body - or Bigger Luke - merely a lifeless husk.

However, if R2-D2 were to keep constant tabs on Luke, he could pull Luke out at the first sign of danger, and move his consciousness to the readily available slightly larger backup body. As R2-D2 is a droid, it should be fairly easy for him to keep a constant watch on Luke 24/7 and be able to instantly initiate the command to teleport him out in time.

Is R2-D2 really teleporting a Bigger, Cloned Luke into various scenes?

Luke hints at the existence of teleportation early on in A New Hope ("Not unless you can alter time, speed up the harvest or teleport me off this rock."), therefore it is quite possible Bigger Luke is indeed being teleported into certain shots of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Why does R2 keep shuffling Lukes?

It is possible that this is a tactic to help mitigate fatigue. However, if that was the case, why didn't R2 shuffle Luke's wounded body in The Empire Strikes Back post-wampa attack for a healthier, and likely bigger, Luke? This has remained one of the most pressing questions for supporters of this hypothesis.

Furthermore if R2 is able to keep constant tabs on Luke to the effect that he can teleport Luke out of danger at any second, why even bother with transferring consciousness to another Luke? It has been suggested that this is done so Luke remains a constant throughout his endeavors, as Luke suddenly disappearing would cause much confusion. The process with which Regular Luke is teleported away, has his consciousness transferred to the body of Bigger Luke, and then teleported to where Regular Luke formally was must be so incredibly fast as to be nearly instantaneous - as well as extremely precise.

A theory posits that the two Luke bodies are tela-neurologically linked in some way, and are thus "in sync" with one another - if Regular Luke, for example, were to lift his arm, the otherwise unconscious body of Bigger Luke held somewhere in a remote facility would lift its arm as well. This is believed to be the only way in which the shuffling can be done at such speed, as otherwise it would take too long to get one body into the same position as the other body.

If an onlooker were to witness this shuffle, they would most likely notice Luke flickering for a millisecond - and of course growing slightly larger.

It is also easily possible that R2 is shuffling Lukes to mess with the targeting computers of Imperial Stormtroopers and keep Imperials from finding him in general, much like the "Force Clone/Resizing Luke" Hypothesis elaborated on earlier in this page. Indeed, the vast majority of sub-theories within the Canon Luke Hypothesis are compatible with this assumed purpose.

How is R2 doing this?

If R2 is indeed teleport-shuffling Luke Prime with a cloned Bigger Luke, this would imply that R2 has access to technology far beyond that of the rest of the galaxy. How does R2 have access to a technology that even the Empire lacks? The Empire is never seen utilizing any form of teleportation, and it is also possible that Luke's acknowledgement of teleportation was merely intended to be sarcastic, at least as far as the Star Wars canon is concerned. However, his otherwise tongue-in-cheek statement may be intended to hint to the viewer that Luke is, in fact, being teleported at regular intervals by some unknown force, probably R2.

The Jundland Wastes have always been the most popular hypothesized location for R2's presumed cloning and teleportation facility.

If R2 is indeed doing this, the astromech droid would require some means of doing so, and therefore it is valid to theorize that R2 has somehow managed to establish an advanced and elaborate cloning and teleportation facility somewhere in the Star Wars galaxy, possibly and probably during the 19 year timespan between episodes III and IV.

There have been many hypothesized locations for this alleged facility throughout the years since the discovery of the Bigger Luke phenomenon, not the least of which are:

  • The Jundland Wastes. If one recalls, upon crash landing on Tatooine at the start of A New Hope, R2-D2 decides to make his way in the direction of the Jundland Wastes, much to the dismay of C3P0 (Well I'm not going that way. It's much too rocky. This way is much easier.). R2-D2's determination to get there may be an indication of there being a massive cloning facility buried underneath the various crags and canyons.
Could there really be a cloning facility hidden beneath the Jundland Wastes?

It can be determined for obvious reasons that R2-D2 does not need to directly be at any of these cloning facilities in order to use them, as he manages to teleport the two Lukes around when he's at different locations in the Star Wars galaxy. Therefore it can safely be assumed that R2-D2 is able to maintain subspace communication with various advanced and probably automated systems at this facility.

How does R2 manage to maintain communication with the facility at such long ranges?

R2 probably makes use of the Imperial HoloNet. R2 has shown on numerous occasions that he possessed the ability to hack into various Imperial systems with little difficulty. R2 can therefore be assumed to be resourceful enough to manage this complex endeavor.

Is Obi-Wan in on it?

It is believed likely that Obi-Wan must be fully aware of the existence of a cloned Bigger Luke.

Did Luke Prime kill Bigger Luke at the Dark Side Cave on Dagobah?

All manifestations of Luke are clones

An early theory posited that all manifestations of Luke were clones - one, of course, being slightly larger than the other, and the original Luke was actually a soldier during the Clone Wars.

With the release of Attack of the Clones in 2002 and Revenge of the Sith in 2005, this theory has since been discredited, as the true nature of the Clone Wars - as well as the circumstances of Luke's birth - are now known.

Direct evidence of a second Luke in the Special Edition?

In the Special Edition of A New Hope, there is a frame shown at approximately 26 minutes into the film, right before Uncle Owen is seen calling for Luke. One can clearly see to the right of the frame another Luke Skywalker.

Could this be direct evidence towards there being another Luke Skywalker? Unfortunately, due to being an NHP, it is impossible to decipher if this is Bigger Luke or Regular Luke.

Why a second Luke, perhaps Luke's slightly larger clone, is hanging around the homestead at this point in the film is up to speculation. Perhaps R2 keeps Bigger Luke around the homestead when he's not in use? Perhaps it's Luke Prime? Was this before Luke's consciousness was transferred, and a zoned out, lifeless Luke husk was wandering around the homestead? Was it even conscious at that point? Was Owen Lars in on it?

Star Wars and Thunderbirds share the same universe?

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