When a whiny farm boy (Luke) shows up at the secret base of the Rebel Alliance, a group of high profile exiles and crack veteran warriors, he is instantly included in their fighting force, even taking a senior role. In movies 4-6, no one (apart from Obi-Wan) on the Rebel side ever comments about Luke's last name or makes any connection to Anakin Skywalker, who presumably was a famous heroic figure among the former Republic Illuminati running the Alliance (remembering that it wasn't well known that Anakin became Vader, he was presumed killed along with the rest of the Jedi).

Did they realise Luke was Anakin's kid? Maybe that helped in getting Luke involved in the fight and promoted so quickly. Or did they not know, or simply not think to connect the names? Maybe 'Skywalker' is like 'Smith' on Tatooine (although it seems pretty grandiose, Anakin's slave mother bore the name)? Maybe there's lots of teenage 'Skywalkers' running around having been named in honour of the famous celebrity from the Clone Wars, so the Alliance honchos just assume Luke's parents were just another couple of hillbillies giving their kid a stupid fashionable name?

  • It's a big galaxy with trillions of sapients and millions of unchartered settlements, so unless there is some way to do a Google-ish search on all of those people ...
    – RichS
    Nov 25, 2020 at 7:17

4 Answers 4


During the Battle of Yavin, Garven Dreis served as Red Leader in the Alliance to Restore the Republic, leading his pilots into battle against the Death Star. Dreis was killed by Darth Vader during the battle.

Garven told Luke he knew his father.

Red Leader is a generic name and it was used by a lot prominent Rebel pilots. Wedge, Anakin, Obi-wan to name a few.

Luke, on left in rebel pilot uniform carrying his helmet under his right arm, greets Red Leader, Garven Dreis in the centre of the frame while Biggs Darklighter looks on from the right.  In the background R2-D2 is being lifted into Luke's X-Wing fighter

  • 15
    "I met your father once when I was just a boy. He was a great pilot. You'll do all right. If you've got half of your father's skill, you'll do better than all right." ―Garven Dreis, in a scene cut from A New Hope
    – Cherubel
    Aug 12, 2013 at 13:35
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    Not to mention Luke had just helped save a very important leader figure for the Alliance(Leia), so she probably saw him as an asset and also rewarded him with some seniority into the Alliance’s ranks. Nov 25, 2020 at 13:16


From the Ep4 script:

RED LEADER: Are you...Luke Skywalker? Have you been checked out on the Incom T-sixty-five?

BIGGS: Sir, Luke is the best bushpilot in the outer rim territories.

Red Leader pats Luke on the back as they stop in front of his fighter.

RED LEADER: I met your father once when I was just a boy, he was a great pilot. You'll do all right. If you've got half of your father's skill, you'll do better than all right.

I guess Red Leader counts as "anyone", and if he knows it's a safe bet that it's known in the upper ranks too.

  • What level canon are scenes that were in the script but didn't appear in the final cut of the film?
    – Plutor
    Aug 12, 2013 at 12:11
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    If they made it into the novelization, as many did, they are G-Canon, same level as the films
    – The Fallen
    Aug 12, 2013 at 13:07
  • (And apparently, from another question I saw the other day on here, deleted scenes are G-Canon as well, provided they do not contradict the actual film
    – The Fallen
    Oct 2, 2013 at 18:14
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    @Darth Satan Red Leader is used for the leader of Red Squadron who is the X-wing attack squadron of the Rebel Alliance. Many aces of Red Squadron make their way over to Rogue Squadron after some time, and Rogues are known in the upper levels of command.
    – Cherubel
    Nov 17, 2014 at 7:33

I always assumed that they didn't. Anakin would have been known in Jedi circles, but outside of that he wasn't around long enough to become known galaxy wide under his birth name. Even when he did get some official and public recognition, the events of the coming years would have put that far into the background. Especially since the Emperor demonized the Jedi and eliminated everything about them he could find.

Leia asks for Obi wan to help, he comes along with Han and Luke in tow. Their success in escaping the Death Star, recovering the plans and destroying the Death Star, coupled from what could be described as patronage from Leia, an Alderaanian princess, member of the Imperial Senate and Rebellion High Command member, I believe is what propelled Luke and Han into senior positions quickly.

Or Skywalker is a bastard name like Snow or Storm in Game of Thrones? :)

  • 2
    I like the parallel to bastard names from GOT, but 'skywalker' seems pretty grandiose for this purpose! Aug 12, 2013 at 2:00
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    One correction - Anakin was known pretty well, as a great hero of the Clone Wars. Suffice to say he was pretty recognizable by the public, on Coruscant for sure, and probably among most Core Worlds
    – The Fallen
    Aug 12, 2013 at 13:09
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    Someone should ask this question "Why did Leia continued being a princess after the planet where she was princess was destroyed?"....
    – jsedano
    Aug 12, 2013 at 14:29
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    @anakata actually I can answer that for you! Just because your country (or planet) is destroyed, doesn't mean you lose the heritage. There have been many incidences in history of nobility-in-exile still holding real power. The only way you really lose the title is if they strip it from you, and that isn't always necessarily the case. Leia could have been married off to another noble family for her pedigree, even if it doesn't come with real estate (check out the Merlvingians and the Hapsburgs).
    – Jersey
    Aug 12, 2013 at 14:49
  • @Jersey: Sort of. But when royalty are exiled in our world, it is usually because someone else (either a rival branch of the royal family, or a republic) has taken over the country. So in that sense, they have already been "stripped" of their positions. Some of them hang on with a few followers and hope to make a comeback, others give up and renounce their titles. Leia's case is a bit different -- her title was not in dispute and would be recognised by any surviving citizens of Alderaan. (Unless word got out that she was adopted, but that's a whole different question.) Jan 23, 2014 at 10:54

The Essential Guide to Warfare establishes that Garven Dreis (Red Leader) flew with Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. Dreis was part of a local air cavalry group on his home planet of Virujansi, and Skywalker was part of a Republic task force that came to help them fight the Separatists. Dreis was amazed by Anakin's flying ability.

According to TEGW, Dreis recognized that Luke's last name was the same as Anakin's, but didn't know if there was any relation between them. However, he decided that the last name of Skywalker was a good omen.

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