With May the Fourth in our collective rear-view mirror and Solo: A Star Wars Story right around the corner, it’s time to dig into one of my favorite fan theories in the entirety of Star Wars fandom. It’s called the Bigger Luke theory and it makes things like the Jar Jar Binks is a Secret Sith Lord or Snoke is Anakin Skywalker’s Secret Twin theories seem canonical by comparison. It first made the rounds in late 2015, but I only discovered it recently and it has ruined my life. I can't stop thinking about it. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I have to know the truth. Is there...a bigger Luke? The crux of the Bigger Luke theory is as follows: Luke Skywalker’s height throughout the original trilogy is inconsistent, and the only explanation is that there is another, bigger Luke Skywalker out there somewhere. Strap on your tinfoil hats, my friends, because it only gets weirder from here--and that’s exactly what we’re going to get into on today’s episode of The Dan Cave.
When you first head to the Bigger Luke Theory’s website, it instructs you that you’ve just taken "your first step into a slightly larger world." This theory allegedly began in 1985 after a group of Star Wars fans watching A New Hope on VHS began noticing inconsistencies in Luke Skywalker’s height. In some scenes, he appeared to be slightly larger than he did in others.
The Bigger Luke theory employs very specific criteria in how it assesses whether Luke is truly bigger in a given scene. Usually, Bigger Luke Theorists judge Luke’s height relative to Han Solo, and frames without Han in them are frowned upon, given the designation of NHPs, or “No Han Pics.”
Image: Bigger Luke Wiki
There are two main branches of this theory: The Canon Luke Hypothesis and the Hamill Hypothesis.
According to the Canon Luke Hypothesis, there are at least two Luke Skywalkers in the Star Wars universe, regular-sized Luke, a.k.a. Luke Prime, and a slightly larger version known as Bigger Luke. That is only slightly dumber than the fact that Luke Skywalker’s clones in the expanded universe were known as Luuke and Luuuke.
The Hamill Hypothesis breaks the fourth wall down by reasoning that there was an uncredited stand-in for Mark Hamill used for certain scenes in the original trilogy. Why does nobody know his identity? Well, it’s not a story the Jedi would tell you…
There’s also a third theory that combines the two, which mostly bears mentioning because its abbreviation is HAMCAN, and that makes me laugh.
But here’s the kicker: how much “bigger” is the Luke in question? Well, it’s generally agreed that Bigger Luke is roughly two to three centimeters--or one inch--taller than Regular Luke. Some people allege that Bigger Luke is only one centimeter bigger, others claim he is four to five centimeters bigger.
Before we write off these Luke Truthers as complete dinguses, let’s take a look at their evidence. Most of the evidence, as I mentioned before, are shots of Luke standing next to Han, where he appears to be slightly taller. Could this just be a trick of the eyes played by camera angles? No, no it could not.
Let’s look at the facts: Mark Hamill is 5’7” according to the presumably trustworthy CelebHeights.com, which uses a widely cited 1977 fact file quoting Hamill himself. However, if you Google Mark Hamill’s height, the search engine claims that the actor is 5’9”. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s a bigger Luke if I’ve ever seen one.
Adding further fuel to the fire? How about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s cleverly veiled line to like after he blocks the training remote’s shots?
Notice the emphasis on "larger?"
And what about the inclusion of a character named Biggs Darklighter, hmmm? If George Lucas didn’t want us to know the truth, why not call him Normalsizeathan Darklighter?
And who could forget Princess Leia’s immortal question to Luke?
You know who wouldn’t be too short? A larger Luke, to whose existence Leia could be alluding!
And, of course, my favorite piece of evidence: Lando Calrissian’s confused look when he sees Luke for the first time in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. And I quote:
“During the scene, Lando Calrissian lays his eyes on our hero for the very first time and quickly loses interest. However, towards the end of this scene Lando appears to stare at Luke with a very perplexed expression. Being the proficient card player and gambler that he is, one would assume that Lando Calrissian had a very keen eye -- perhaps the best eyes in the galaxy. It is therefore distinctly possible that Lando did in fact perceive a height change in Luke between two different viewings.”
So is there actually a Bigger Luke out there? To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi, “What I told you was true from a certain point of view.” Of course, that point of view is probably just a wacky camera angle, but hey, it’s fun to overthink things, right?
But tell me -- what do you think of the Bigger Luke theory? What’s your favorite ridiculous Star Wars fan theory? Let me know in the comments below.
Images: Disney/Lucasfilm/Bigger Luke Wiki
- Want to watch The Dan Cave before anyone else? Join Alpha and get it 48 hours early!
- Don’t miss a single episode of The Dan Cave! Subscribe to this playlist.
- Tired of getting kicked out of restaurants for being topless? Buy a The Dan Cave t-shirt!