In this question, I ask after a story that involved a young boy failing a government test by giving the answers faster than was possible, and I reference how it seemed similar to what I'd heard about Luke applying to the Imperial Academy and failing the test due to the Force inspiring him to also answer faster than was possible (as I recall it, he was giving the answers so fast that the testing machine kept locking up). The thing is, I can find no such reference to this failed test on the Star Wars wikia either current canon or Legends. Am I imagining this scenario? Is there a fanfic (written at least two years ago to prevent someone from saying "Sure is... I just wrote it") that came up with that scenario?

  • I doubt he could have failed the test in Canon or Legends. Force-sensitives are supposed to be very good at the sort of stuff the Imperial Academy looks for. Consider e.g. when Ezra was infiltrating an Imperial training facility in Rebels.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jun 5, 2016 at 23:49
  • Let's not forget here that the entire extended universe was wiped out when Disney bought the franchise, just in case the books, games, etc. contradict the new films.
    – AJFaraday
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 10:34
  • 1
    There is a book in the Jedi Apprentice series where Obi-Wan is suspected of failing a test/cheating because he excels in every aspect far beyond any student in history (because he's a trained Force-user). I believe it's while he is on mission to a planet which hasn't yet joined the Republic or unveiled intergalactic space travel to its general populace yet. Not what you're thinking of, certainly, but it does show there is precedence for this sort of thing.
    – TylerH
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 15:44
  • Has anyone read the original novel (which I believe was actually written by Lucas.) I read it about 20 years ago and I seem to recall there being some mention of this. In fact, I think Luke had a friend who did join the empire and he was jealous that his friend was getting off the planet and he felt stuck there as a "poor farm boy." Can anyone verify this?
    – RLH
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 17:02
  • 1
    I recall something similar in the 1970s/80s Star Wars comics by Marvel. It was post-RotJ, and the Rebel Alliance wanted to test all of their pilots. This included Luke and Han. They both failed because their flight paths were too non-standard for the testing computer to process!
    – CTMacUser
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 19:56

3 Answers 3


It looks like I may have been thinking of the fanfic titled "The Sith Who Brought Life Day".

Skywalker was off the scale on tasks that did not involve things like verbal expression or background knowledge. He could visualize impossibly complex objects rotated in space-correctly matching shapes that humans generally didn't have the sensory apparatus to even identify. He actually managed to cause a race-condition fault in the program that measured students' eye-hand reflexes. At least according to the record, he'd been hitting the correct response buttons in the milliseconds after the trigger stimuli algorithm had been run, but before the actual images appeared onscreen, and the computer had not been able to handle near-simultaneous input and output. He'd crashed the thing three times before he'd evidently decided to slow down a little and let the program catch up. Skywalker's test had actually been flagged for audit and possible invalidation, but nothing seemed to have been done with it.

  • 15
    To me, as a programmer, this idea is so frickin' funny :D
    – Davor
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 10:58
  • 4
    Yeah, as a programmer, this sounds like it was written by a programmer. Such an awesome explanation in Star Wars technology.
    – ewanm89
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 13:11

The implication from non-canon sources is that Luke passed his aptitude tests (piloting, navigating, etc) with flying colours. Unfortunately for Luke he was forced by his Uncle into withdrawing his application to go to the Imperial Academy

Luke snapped, "So what do you want that's so much better, Fixer?"

"Hey, you watch it, boy!" Fixer said. "Just because you got lucky on a couple of crummy tests, that doesn't make you some kind of junior space explorer."

A New Hope: The Life of Luke Skywalker by Ryder Windham


Probably not

In Legends, Luke qualified for Imperial Academy, based on his test results.

Everyone but Luke seemed to find Fixer's claim impressive as well as amusing. Windy waved dismissively at Luke and said, "Just because he can answer fancy trick questions and do schoolbook flight maneuvers, he thinks it makes him better than us."

"I do not," Luke protested.

Facing Luke, Fixer said, "So you happened to qualify? So what? What do ya think you are, Biggs or something?"

A New Hope: The Life of Luke Skywalker

In Canon, it's unclear, but it seems unlikely that he could have failed (at least unintentionally).

As a powerful Force-Sensitive, he should have an extraordinary aptitude for fighting and piloting, which would make him stand out among other applicants. I suppose it's possible he could fail recall-based tests or other academic subjects very badly, but even then his other skills would stand out.

Indeed, we see in Star Wars: Rebels just how well someone strong in the Force would do at an Imperial academy:

EZRA: Sorry, Jai. Who's under pressure? Not the guy who's won every assessment.

JAI: Yeah, but today I can taste victory.

Star Wars: Rebels, "Breaking Ranks" (1x04)

And how the Imperials would perceive their skill:

JAI: Whoa! Morgan, how do you do it? It's like you know the platforms are coming before they're there.

EZRA: What can I say? It's a gift!

ARESKO: Morgan is impressive. Perhaps too impressive. Make a note of that.

Star Wars: Rebels, "Breaking Ranks" (1x04)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.