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From A New Hope:

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 such a long way from here.

At this point, Luke lived on Tatooine, a planet far away from most of the Empire, that had only very recently began being militarized.

Were there any specific events that made him out-right hate the Empire? If not, how did he find out enough about them to form this strong opinion?

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    He lives with uncle and aunt. They likely gave him an impression about the death of his mother or parents. He also had a friend who joined the rebellion - and who your friends are often determines something about you. There are good arguments that overlords who build death stars are bad for the general prosperity and peace of the galaxy. – EngrStudent Mar 18 '16 at 1:40
  • Well, Biggs joined the Rebels so maybe it was Biggs who was filling Luke's head with pro-Rebellion anti-Empire thoughts. :) – RedCaio Mar 18 '16 at 1:40
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    @Moo - He wants to fly professionally and the Imperial Academy is the only game in town. – Valorum Mar 18 '16 at 15:15
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    @Moo - He flies his T-16, basically a short-range sub-orbital flier with small cannons which he famously uses to "bulls-eye" womp rats – Valorum Mar 18 '16 at 15:24
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    @Moo - In the novelisation and earlier versions of the script, Luke spends some time in a simulator familiarising himself with the X-Wing. The T-16 is described as being an almost ideal 'trainer' for the X-wing since they're both designed by the same company, a bit like graduating from a Hawk to a Typhoon. – Valorum Mar 18 '16 at 15:50
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Luke has grown up watching the rise of the Empire. He witnesses first hand as the Empire comes in and occupies Tatooine. One can assume that he has been hearing the stories of the Clone wars and the overthrow of the Jedi as the peacekeepers of the galaxy all of his life. Any military occupation of one's homeland is certainly enough to cause hatred toward them.

It is obvious that his best friend Biggs has no love for the Empire either. There is a deleted scene where Biggs explains to Luke how he is defecting from the Empire to join the rebellion. You can tell by the conversation that both of them have previously thought about joining the rebellion.

Luke at the Tosche Station

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Although the implication is that he's hated the Empire for a long time (almost to the point that it goes without saying), it's perhaps worth noting that he just found out that an agent of the Empire killed his father.

If that's not a good enough reason for disliking them, I don't know what is.

LUKE: How did my father die?

BEN: A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct...

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A behind-the-scenes answer: One thing to keep in mind is that absolutely everything George Lucas ever writes is about the Vietnam War. Scout Walkers tripping over trees? American vehicles in Vietnam. Primitive Ewoks defeating a technologically superior military? The Vietcong.

In this case, Lucas was likely making a jab about all of the Americans who opposed the war but didn't really do anything about it.

http://nypost.com/2014/09/21/how-star-wars-was-secretly-george-lucas-protest-of-vietnam/

As for an in-character sort of answer... lots of people have strong feelings about North Korea, Isreal/Palestine, Russia, Serbia, etc etc etc, even when the affairs of those nations don't directly involve them.

  • Sigh... why the downvote? – user45623 Mar 19 '16 at 19:51

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