The George Lucas Joke That Actually Became Star Wars Canon

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

star wars george lucas

In 2010, George Lucas attended the fifth Star Wars Celebration, a kind of Comic-Con event focused entirely on a galaxy far, far away. At the event, Daily Show host Jon Stewart spoke with Lucas about how easy it would have been for Darth Vader to realize that Rebel hero Luke Skywalker was his own son thanks to the unique family name. To this, Lucas joked that the name is so common that “there’s even the Skywalker wine,” and it took almost no time for this joke to become part of the Star Wars canon.

How It Came To Be

How, exactly, did the conversation between Jon Stewart and George Lucas turn to Skywalker wine? It began with a question from a fan about whether the Star Wars creator had “any thoughts” on making the protagonist of the first movie “Luke Ginsberg or Stewart”…basically, someone who didn’t have the exact last name of the biggest Imperial villain.

It should have been easy for the man who was Anakin Skywalker to identify that Luke Skywalker was his son after the pilot became famous, and as countless fans have pointed out, it was pretty lazy for Obi-Wan Kenobi to “hide” Anakin’s son on his home planet and not even bother changing the last name.

Lots Of Skywalkers

George Lucas answered the question by saying  “there’s a lot of Skywalkers” and that anyone there was only “Skywalker in the universe…should see the phone book.”

It’s a pretty solid answer, really, essentially confirming that while “Skywalker” may sound like an exotic name, but in the Star Wars universe, the name could be as common as “Smith” is to us. When Jon Stewart mentioned he always thought the name was unique, Lucas quipped that “there’s even the Skywalker wine.”

Skywalker Wine

It was very obvious at the time that Lucas was simply joking about Skywalker wine, but one person who wasn’t laughing was Leland Chee. He was responsible for adding “Skywalker wine” to the Holocron continuity database, officially making it a part of the Star Wars canon.

The standing policy was to treat anything Lucas said as canon, which is why the planet “Stewjon” was also added to the database after Lucas jokingly combined Jon Stewart’s last and first name to come up with the name of the planet where Obi-Wan Kenobi is from.

Birthday Presents

the mandalorian movie

These days, of course, George Lucas is no longer involved with Star Wars, but Skywalker wine lives on in the Disney era of the franchise.

During production of The Mandalorian season 1, Lucas decided to drop by the set as a birthday surprise for Jon Favreau. Look closely at the bottle and you’ll see that it says “Skywalker” on it, implying that Skywalker wine has become a reality.

Jokes Are Never Just Jokes

yoda spinoff

Speaking of reality, chances are extremely high that when George Lucas mentioned “Skywalker wine” at Celebration, he was making a joke about Francis Ford Coppola’s wine made from Skywalker Ranch grapes.

However, everyone from fans to employees immediately took what was meant to be a throwaway joke and transformed it into the official canon of the world’s largest sci-fi franchise. 

We’re not really surprised, though. Not even C-3PO could calculate the odds of the Star Wars fandom managing to actually take a joke at face value without making it part of the tangled web of Star Wars mythology.