Luke Sky Walker grew up in Lewiston. No really, he did. That was the first, middle and last name given to the son of Kathy Workman, now of Grangeville, and Bob Walker of Mason City, Iowa. (So yes, to answer the inevitable question, he does know the identity of his father.)The 1999 graduate of Lewiston High School now lives in Seattle where he is a photographer and actor, currently working on opening a sci-fi entertainment venue called The 10 Forward Cantina. We caught up with him to find out about life as a famous Jedi:
360: How did you end up with your name?
Walker: My mom liked the name Luke from “Young and the Restless” and my dad loves Star Wars and thought it made for a good joke.
360: Was there an age when you realized your name was more than just a name?
Walker: I’ve always known the significance of the name mostly due to other people’s reactions, but I’ve also always been a Star Wars fan as well. I’m not an endless well of trivia but it’s always been a factor in my life. It’s quite a responsibility being strong in the force, so I always try to help when I can — after all “I’m Luke Sky Walker, I’m here to rescue you.”
360: How often do people find out your full name?
Walker: When people see my ID or when they look at my credit card, they’re like “Ha ha, does the S. stand for Sky?” I usually let them figure it out. They feel good, I feel good, everyone feels good.
360: Any perks of having a “celebrity character” name? Has it ever gotten you anything special?
Walker: I think the most memorable moment with my unique name was the special attention I got when I went to space camp as a kid. I went three times, twice in Alabama and once in Florida. I was introduced to pretty much the entire staff and everyone got a kick out of it.
And I definitely got a job because of my name. The hiring manager asked his roommate between me and another candidate which one he should hire. He said, “Luke Sky Walker. Obviously, the work force is with him!”
360: You’ve got interests in both sci-fi and theater. Do you feel like your name has influenced that in any way?
Walker: Obviously my dad’s a bit of a sci-fi fan. I’ve always been passionate about the future and science and technology and space. I don’t know if it’s one of those nature versus nurture things. Same thing with theater, I’ve always been outgoing because everyone gets excited about my name. You’ve got a lot to live up to.
360: Has your name ever come into play as an actor?
Walker: Once I was in “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged).” It’s written in the script that you use your real names and it’s an evolving show so you adjust jokes based on actors and current events. So we played off my name the entire show and the sword fight at end with Hamlet was with a lightsaber.
360: Do you have plans to watch the show this weekend?
Walker: I have tickets to a private pre-release showing and to the Boeing IMAX, so I’ll be seeing it at least twice opening weekend with my mom.
360: What are the most common Star Wars lines people use on you?
Walker: I’ve probably heard every Star Wars joke you can imagine, but yeah the fan favorites are “use the force” and “Luke, I am your father” — which I’m usually quick to point out that the real line is “No, I am your father.” It’s definitely funny how often people think they’re original — but once in awhile someone comes up with one I haven’t heard and I’m impressed.
360: Are you considering a move to the dark side?
Walker: Ha! I’ll never join them!