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Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory: Bigger Luke

The "Bigger Luke Hypothesis" is a well-known theory in the Star Wars fandom that suggests that Luke Skywalker, the Jedi hero of the original Star Wars trilogy, was portrayed by two different actors: Mark Hamill and a slightly larger Luke Skywalker that appeared in select scenes of the movies. Though it may sound like a bizarre and unlikely theory at first, the Bigger Luke Hypothesis has gained a surprising level of traction among dedicated Star Wars fans and has sparked numerous debates and discussions online.

The origin of the Bigger Luke Hypothesis can be traced back to a fan-created web comic that was posted on a popular Star Wars forum in 2005. The comic, titled "The Luke Skywalker Inflation," depicted Luke Skywalker becoming increasingly larger and more imposing in each of the original trilogy films. The comic was inspired by a scene in the second film, The Empire Strikes Back, in which Luke appears slightly taller than Han Solo, despite being established as shorter in the first film.

The theory has since evolved to include the idea that there were two different actors portraying Luke Skywalker. The smaller Luke (played by Mark Hamill) would appear in most of the scenes, while the larger Luke would appear in select shots, often when Luke was meant to be in a moment of triumph or heroism. This theory has even spawned its own name: the Bigger Luke Hypothesis.

Supporters of the Bigger Luke Hypothesis have pointed to numerous examples of Luke appearing taller and more imposing in certain scenes. For instance, in the final scene of the original Star Wars film, Luke is noticeably taller than Princess Leia and Han Solo, despite being shorter than both of them in earlier scenes. Additionally, in the final battle of the second movie, The Empire Strikes Back, Luke appears to be much larger than Darth Vader at certain moments, despite Darth Vader having been established as taller and more physically imposing throughout the rest of the film.

Critics of the theory argue that changes in camera angles and lighting could account for the differences in Luke's appearance. They also point out that Mark Hamill's height is a matter of public record and that there is no evidence that a second actor was ever used to portray Luke Skywalker.

Despite the criticism, the Bigger Luke Hypothesis continues to be a popular talking point among Star Wars fans. Many believe that it is simply a fun and harmless theory that adds to the overall enjoyment of the movies. Whether or not the theory has any actual merit, it has succeeded in sparking lively debate and discussion among fans and is likely to continue to do so for years.

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