Hello everyone on the internet! Are you having a great whatever day it is that you're reading this on?! If you aren't, I might have something to make you feel better! A nice, wholesome, good old fashioned DEATH MATCH!
Ok maybe not a death match, more like an extreme analysis to see who the better contender is. In an all new article series I call VERSUS MODE (name might change but right now I am too tired for originality). Who are the lucky contenders? None other than the two biggest names in space action/drama history! Luke Skywalker and Captain Kirk!
And yes, I will be matching Luke against the recent version of James T. Kirk, portrayed by actor Chris Pine. Only because he is the most recent version of the character. If there was a new version of Luke today, I would have used that version for this battle.
For this match-up, I will be looking at each of the contenders' skills and intelligence, among other things that make them who they are: space heroes! I'll be looking at these attributes in rounds. The score will be tallied up at the end and whoever has the bigger score wins. The other one gets cast out into the unforgiving vacuum of space! So let's begin shall we?
First, some background information on the contenders:
Luke Skywalker is the son of Princess Padme Amidala and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. After his father's transformation into the fallen Jedi Darth Vader and his mother's untimely death, Luke was taken to the planet Tatooine and raised by Owen and Beru Lars. Luke lived the life of a simple farmer, that is until he met Ben Kenobi, a Jedi Knight who had been keeping a watchful eye on him for many years.
After his aunt and uncle were murdered by Imperial Stormtroopers who were searching for R2-D2 and C-3PO (two droids Uncle Owen had purchased), Luke agreed to join Ben on a trip to Aldeeran. With the help of Ben, Han Solo, Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon, Luke joined the rebellion and not only met his long-lost sister, Princess Leia, but also met his biological father. Albeit he lost a hand; but hey, that's worth it for a great family reunion right?
Captain James Tiberius Kirk is the son of George Kirk, first officer of the USS Kelvin and his wife Winona. He was born on the Kelvin amidst an attack by the Narada, a vessel captained by a Romulan named Nero (If you haven't seen anything Star Trek related, I apologize for using these extremely nerdy terms). Winona and James were evacuated during the attack amongst others, while his father George stayed back, dying aboard the ship.
Jim and his mother lived in Iowa. James began to develop a rebellious attitude, stealing his father's '65 Chevy Corvette as a young boy. Yes, you read that right—a 1965 Corvette; because that's totally something that is both still usable and is still owned by people hundreds of years in the future.
After Captain Chris Pike (wow that's close to Chris Pine! Like one letter!) convinced Kirk to join the Starfleet, Kirk, after a series of events killed Nero and became captain of the USS Enterprise; serving alongside his best friend and First Officer Spock.
Alright, so now that we know the contenders well enough that we could meet their parents for dinner, let's move on to the first round!
Round 1: Combat
As a hero in a space adventure, you're going to need to be pretty skilled in the art of combat; how else would you deal with stormtroopers, the aliens, and just about everything else in the galaxy that wants to kill you? And trust me, pretty much everything wants to kill you.
Luke Skywalker, being raised to believe he was a normal farmer until he was 19 obviously has a bit of a setback when it comes to fighting skills. However, despite having 19 years of inexperience, he's still a rather well-trained fighter in the films.
This is because of his mentor, Jedi Master Ben Kenobi. Ben, or Obi-Wan if you prefer, trains Luke in the art of lightsaber combat and how to master the force. Luke, though noticeably a little rusty, picks up on it pretty well. So well that he's able to go toe to toe with his extremely skillful father, losing only a hand and actually managing to killing him. Though some would argue that it was the removal of his mask that did that.
Though I'm not sure when Kirk started practicing combat skills, I can safely say that it was before Luke. Because of his rebellious, break the rules attitude, I'm sure that Kirk had gotten into some rather sketchy fights before he was 19; most of them likely being bar fights. Kirk is also older when we see him fighting in Star Trek (2009), so he's had more years of experience compared to Luke. Despite this, his combat skills don't go farther than being "bar fight" moves. but he is also skilled in using phasers and other forms of weaponry.
So who has better combat prowess? Well, even though Kirk's skills in combat have excelled since he joined Starfleet, they're still pretty basic. Sure he can throw a couple punches and fire a pistol, but Luke is specialized in the art of Jedi movement, lightsaber swordsmanship and has a pretty great grasp on the force, even as a beginner.
R1 Winner: Luke
Round 2: Leadership
Leadership is a very important attribute in both Luke and Kirk. Kirk starts off as a new recruit in the Starfleet academy, but after a series of events that prove he is more than capable, he is given the title of Captain of the USS Enterprise. Though Kirk is a bit of a hot-head, and his rebellious attitude has gotten him and his crew into trouble a couple of times, Kirk is overall a good leader. He cares for his crew as if they were a family, risking his life on many occasions to save theirs. He and his crew don't always see eye-to-eye, especially he and his rival/best friend Spock. But at the end of the day, he's able to concoct an amazing battle plan that gets him and his crew out safely!
Luke, though technically not the leader of the rebellion, has a huge role in it. So huge that he is considered the leader and hero of the rebellion (much like Katniss in Mockingjay). Luke however, doesn't ever really take leadership command at any point in the films. Sure, the rebellion's army follows him into battle, but at most he's just a glorified soldier. Admiral Aackbar does a better job instructing the troops then Luke does.
R2 Winner: James Kirk
Round 3: Achievements
A good space hero must have a great track record, and Luke and Kirk are no exception. What have they achieved during their long careers? Well, let's see. First up Kirk. Now remember, I said I was doing the most recent Kirk, so anything the old Kirk has done, I'm not looking at that, unfortunately. Regardless, new Kirk still has an impressive track record. He joined the Starfleet, despite previously being a rebellious drunk who started bar fights weekly. Not only that, but he took down the most ruthless space pirate in history and was quickly awarded the title of Captain!
After that, he managed to take down a ruthless natural born-killer who was frozen for years (played by Billiardball Tennismatch). Like, this guy was literally frozen because he was deemed to dangerous for society! Kirk took him down!
Luke hasn't been just lying around either. Luke, despite not knowing anything about the rebellion or that his daddy was the leader of the evil Sith-influenced empire, managed to not only become the hero of the rebellion—but also take down his incredibly powerful father who even Ben Kenobi couldn't kill! Not only that, he took down Jaba the Hutt, outsmarted a tribe of savage Ewoks, escaped the clutches of Boba Fett, rescued his sister, tracked down Yoda, and even managed to take down the Emperor; the dude who trained his father!! Ok so technically Vader did that but come on! Luke totally inadvertently caused the death of the most powerful person in the universe!
R3 Winner: Luke Skywalker
Alright, this is it. The final round! The deciding factor! And just what is it that will be decided in this epic final bout?! Why, their MORALS of course. Every hero has morals, a code of honor that they live by that gives them the strength and courage needed to continue being a hero. Without a code of honor or morals, you're not a hero, you're an anti-hero.
Luke has some pretty great morals. He was raised as a simple farmer's boy, living a farmer's life without a care in the world. But when his adoptive uncle and aunt are murdered, rather than reporting it to the local space police and hiding out, he bucks up and decides to take the fight straight to the Empire and the Emperor himself! Risking his life for people he doesn't even know and joining an army he's not even entirely sure he can trust! All because he doesn't want anyone else to suffer the way he did when he saw what had become of his parental guardians.
Kirk's heroic morals are also in the right place. Looking to clean up his life, Kirk joins Starfleet and boards the USS Enterprise. Though he doesn't know much about his father's death, having been an infant when it happened, you can still see the emotional turmoil built up deep within him. Because of this, he makes it a self-vow to take down Nero after he creates an artificial black hole on Spock's home planet, killing hundreds. Kirk takes charge quickly and diminishes his drunken and rebellious attitude, replacing it with an attitude of courage, valor and leadership; treating every member of his crew like a family.
So who's morals are more put together? Well, both Kirk and Luke have some pretty solid heroic morals. But I feel that Luke's are a bit more precious. Kirk's story is that of redemption, redeeming his past sins and sketchy life by joining Starfleet and rising up the ranks. That's not to say that his heart wasn't in the right place. Kirk cared for his crew and stopped at nothing to protect them.
But Luke's story was that of justice. Not only did he avenge the deaths of his uncle and aunt, but he avenged the deaths of anyone who met an unhappy ending at the hands of the empire and the dreaded Emperor himself! He risked his life to save countless lives, and became the one thing that the entire galaxy needed: a hero. A hero strong enough and brave enough to face Vader and the Empire and live. Someone who they can look up to and maybe even fight alongside. He showed the empire and any Sith out there that the Jedi were still around, and that they weren't going to sit idly by as they continued their onslaught!
And for that reason, the winner is...
Kirk put up a good fight, this match-up was incredibly close! But Luke's skills in combat, swordsmanship, his many achievements, and his groundbreaking moral code won him this battle. Sorry Kirk, Scotty won't be beaming you out of this one!
So that was VERSUS MODE! If you agree or don't agree with the winner of this battle, make sure to vote in the poll below who you thought won and then tell me why in the comments! And stay tuned for the next exciting installment of VERSUS MODE!