The Street Fighter Gospel of Luke

I had no idea what I was going to write for my 100th article, but I knew I needed something big to commemorate the moment. What theory could I possibly write that was worthy of being the 100th? It would need to have an impact. It would need to be eye-opening. It needed to wait until after the Summer Update.
The Summer Update answered nearly everything fans have been asking about Street Fighter V. We not only got two amazing looks at Oro and Akira, but we also got to find out who the final character was. To a lot of people’s disappointment, it wasn’t who they thought it would be. To my disappointment, it wasn’t anyone who I had guessed. It wasn’t Dorai, or Crimson Viper, or März. It was a completely new character, one who Capcom promises to be a “key player” and a “glimpse into Street Fighter’s future”. Say hello to Luke.

A lot of people feel let down by this character’s inclusion. They think he’s too stereotypical, too generic. There’s a lot of blondes in Street Fighter V, and Luke is just another face in the crowd. However, speculation to who he is began the moment he was released. Everyone at first thought him to be Luke/Rook from Capcom Fighting All Stars.

This was quickly shot down by director Takayuki Nakayama on Twitter, who ended up having to tweet out twice that they were not the same.

I moved on to another feature, Luke’s dog tags, thinking he may have been Nash’s son or potentially even trained by Guile. However, even though some of Luke’s attacks do look like he’s throwing Sonic Booms, it’s not enough to say that he was definitively trained by Nash or Guile. What it does show, however, is that he likely served in the military, probably attaining the rank of Captain. This leads us to the big clues that Capcom has given us in Luke’s trailer, and it’s Maximillian Dood of all people who appears to have figured out who Luke is. Max discovered that the star and fire motifs also belonged to a very familiar character.

Luke, according to Max, is a modern day version of Captain Commando, and he would be right. Everything about Luke’s design points to him being the Captain, from his stars to his dog tags to his powerful punches that look like Captain Commando’s Captain’s Fire.

There are three problems with this theory, however. First, we already know that there’s a reference to Captain Commando in the Street Fighter series: Crimson Viper. Her own attacks emulate the Captain in many ways, and I go over these details in my article The End of Street Fighter.

“So?”, you say. “This is obviously a separate homage.” The issue is that Viper’s technology looks to be the prototype of the Captain’s suit in general. This leads me to the second problem: Captain Commando’s story isn’t set during the time of Street Fighter – it’s much, much later.

“Easy,” you say. “Viper just gives him her suit.” Certainly, this could be done with a few tweaks. But this leads us to our third problem: Captain Commando’s real name isn’t Luke – it’s Mars Carlisle.

Moreso, it seems that Captain Commando exists in Street Fighter as a video game, if Yuta Homura, one of Ibuki’s friends, is any indication, since he plays it regularly.

This means Captain Commando exists in Street Fighter as a media property! So, there’s a bizarre loop going on. Captain Commando is only supposed to exist in a video game at this point, but he shows up later in “real life” with the actual successor of Bushin-ryu, Ginzu/Sho, and they fight aliens in the future in Metro City with the other members of the Commando Team, Mack the Knife/Jennety and Baby Head/Hoover.

Quite simply, in order to keep Street Fighter’s lore from falling apart, Luke can’t be Captain Commando! He can borrow his motifs, he can emulate him to being a complete clone, and he can even say he wants to be as good as the Captain someday, if this is who he’s talking about in his trailer (although this really leans on the fourth wall).

However, Luke is not the Captain, and he won’t become the Captain: he’s essentially a Captain Commando fanboy. So, what makes Luke so special then? Why was he hidden for so long if he’s just emulating Captain Commando? Why keep him hidden and reveal Akira? Because he is playing an important part in the current story… but not as the hero he wants to be.

While Luke isn’t the Luke/Rook from Capcom Fighting All-Stars, he takes more from his predecessor than just his given name: he takes his hair and tattoos as well. More importantly, it’s more than likely that he has also taken on the literal persona of Luke/Rook’s code name, Fallen Angel.

Yes, Luke himself will become a Fallen Angel, or to be more accurate, a Fallen Man. If you have read my blog from the beginning, you’ll understand why this term is so profound: it was the topic of the theory that started it all.

In my very first post on this blog, I go into detail on why I thought that G was not the Fallen Man and instead was the controller of the Fallen Men (and Women) who were unfortunate enough to meet him. It seems I was proven right in that regard.

However, Luke seems to be that special case I have been looking for since G’s reveal. He is more than just a Fallen Man, more than just a Q – he is THAT Q, the one with the gray helmet and tan fedora, the one I have been researching for three years.

What evidence do I have that Luke is Q and, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is the Q we see in Third Strike? What we have is incredibly subtle, but Capcom themselves seem to have clued us in to Luke’s true story. Let’s start first with Luke’s name. In G’s space station, the Ring of Galaxy, there are several ornate designs that are influenced by the Christian Bible, and in particular the story of Noah’s Ark. The biblical convention continues with Luke, whose name is taken from the Gospel of Luke, the volume that “tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.” With G as a messianic figure, Luke’s story looks to be the one that will tell of G’s ascension as the primary villain of Street Fighter.

There’s more though. The Gospel of Luke is actually taken from three different sources: The Gospel of Mark; a collection of material dubbed the L (or Luke) source; and more importantly, the Q source, “a hypothetical written collection of primarily Jesus’ sayings.” It’s possible that Capcom saw the Gospel of Luke and the name as a way to recall Q without revealing any of their plans.

Of course, it’s going to take more than a name to prove that Luke is Q, so what else do we have in lieu of a story that could show that Luke is that Q? We have a ton of interesting cosmetic and gameplay design choices that seem to be a little too deliberate. One of the first things we notice is Luke’s incredible punching power.

Another character with strong punches? Q. He is almost exclusively a punching and grappling character.

We also see a few more potential ties to Q in some of his poses. The first is when Luke executes one of his V-Triggers. Luke shares a certain stance that both G and Q use in their attacks.

Second, when Luke charges his arms up to make them bigger, his arms glow red, similar to how Q’s body glows when he charges Total Destruction.

While Luke doesn’t do it, the “scratching across the chest” move Q does is represented on Luke’s body: his chest tattoo.

To add even more to the craziness of Luke’s character, both Q and Luke make meta references to technology Capcom used in the arcades, Q with the QSound algorithm and Luke for their CPS circuit boards.

Visually, Luke also has one more incredible similarity to Q: his face. He has the same nose, chin, and facial structure as Q’s mask does. It’s a bit hard to see since Luke looks very similar to Ken by default, so I went into Paint 3D and colored his face grey and his eyes yellow. Somehow, I was able to give Luke an overall unsettling look, much like the character he may have been based off of. Luke’s lightning-shaped eyebrows are really what make the image (by comparison, Captain Commando doesn’t have eyebrows at all).

There’s also concept art of Q using a long range attack similar to Luke’s long range, Captain’s Fire-style punches, which the developers dubbed “Kamaitachi”.

Last but not least, Capcom themselves alluded to Luke being a “key player”. This has a triple meaning. Q’s name in Japanese is キュー , but if you remove the middle character, the “Yu”, Q’s name becomes キー, or Ki/Key. Also, one of the biggest things that the developers pointed out with Q is the idea that he is locked in the mask, and requires a key to get out.

With the evidence I’ve presented, there’s a pretty good case that Luke is based off three different characters: Luke/Rook, Captain Commando, and Q, with the last being the final identity of the character. His military background that’s revealed with his dog tags also leads to him potentially knowing Byron Taylor, who I’ve stated I’ve been very suspicious of and could be a plant by either G or Gill. Luke is also on the course to run into Crimson Viper as well with both characters paying homage to the Captain.

It’s clear that Luke serves a bigger purpose to the overall story, and what better way to close out the story of Street Fighter V than revealing him to be not just a Captain Commando knock-off, but G’s biggest follower? And what better way to celebrate the 100th article of my blog than with a Q theory?

I await Capcom denying this entire article and saying he’s the future Captain.

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