Growing up under an anti-democratic, pan-galactic empire doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be politically aware. Luke Skywalker’s irregular life path is similarly matched by an irregular political evolution which reflects the tempestuousness of the world around him and his own singular personal narrative.
Like many sons of the agrarian lower-middle classes, Skywalker saw the armed forces as his ticket out of the family business and a life on the farm. He was staunchly pro-military, initially as an admirer of order and increasingly as an advocate of aggressive interplanetary foreign policy. With aspirations to transcend his social standing and exceed the wealth and success of his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen, Ronald Reagan spoke to him, as he did to so many aspiring sons of the lower middle classes, keen to make their mark on the galaxy and make their dreams come true.
Skywalker’s dealings with alien races also bred in him a healthy cynicism of other ethnicities and cultures, making him a mild racist in early life. You might be too, if you were sold an R2 unit with a bad motivator on more than one occasion. As such, Skywalker’s early politics were very much centred on the right wing, championing a para-military protectionist approach that was, at best, white nationalist and, at worst, humanoid supremacist.
However, like many who ventured away from their rural roots toward the larger metropolis, his eyes were opened to cultural diversity in early adulthood. He learned to embrace this, particularly enjoying the vibrant cantinas of Mos Eisley and learning to trust and enjoy the cultural nuances of the citizens of Kashik and Endor. This – as well as his discovery that humankind, and not sandpeople, had been responsible for the death of his surrogate parents – left the young Skywalker disillusioned and questioning the right-wing rhetoric he had previously championed. Skywalker voted Dukakis in 1988 as a flagrant rebellion against the politics of his youth.
Skywalker’s focus on religion changed his political outlook in general. The more he engaged with his spirituality, the more he rejected traditional political thought. After his second spell on Dagobah, Skywalker began looking closely at minor party candidates, but was disappointed by the atheist viewpoints of the left and the bombastic, oversimplification of the right. He voted Clinton in 1992 and then stayed away from the ballot box until 2004.
Having lived through several galactic wars, Skywalker was deeply concerned by the Bush Administration. He was awoken from his political slumber to vote for Kerry, a man who he empathised with as a veteran and as a man of leadership. He has since become an ardent student of the libertarian movement, and his cynicism for big government is only outweighed by his religious beliefs and insistence on judging political candidates based on their midi-chlorian count.