‘Gilmore Girls’: The Character of Luke Almost Didn’t Happen

Gilmore Girls may have originally started out as a series about the relationship between parent and child. Lorelai and Rory Gilmore were obviously the stars of the series, and Richard and Emily Gilmore offered the stark contrast in parenting that fans needed to understand the way Lorelai operated. Over time, though, the show became a lot about the supporting characters and how they were weaved into the very fabric of Lorelai and Rory’s lives. Could you imagine the series without Luke Danes? Well, it almost happened.  

The character of Luke wasn’t initially planned for the series

Scott Patterson took on the role of Luke Danes from the very first episode of Gilmore Girls. His importance is not immediately revealed, but it was almost immediately felt by fans. His character would go on to quietly pine for Lorelai before eventually getting a chance to woo her. Their relationship was so complicated and complex that, for many fans, it is the core relationship of interest in the series. It almost didn’t exist though, because Luke’s character was supposed to be a woman.

Scott Patterson participates in a "Gilmore Girls" themed pop-up of Luke's Diner on
Scott Patterson | Sarah Morris/Getty Images

According to Entertainment Weekly, the role of Luke was added during negotiations because executives felt like the show was a bit too female-heavy. The diner, however, always existed. According to Amy Sherman-Palladino, it was just going to be run by a woman named Daisy. Reportedly, Sherman-Palladino simply swapped out Daisy in favor or Luke when told to. The dialogue in the earliest episodes wasn’t even changed.

The romance between Luke and Lorelai wasn’t planned either

Since Luke was initially supposed to be a woman, it’s safe to assume that no romance had been planned in advance. Sherman-Palladino basically confirmed so in an interview. Luke’s role was pretty unisex, and you can tell early on that romance probably wasn’t on the minds of the writers. So, how did Luke come to pine for the Stars Hollow unwed mother? Their chemistry was undeniable.

Patterson and Lauren Graham, who took on the role of Lorelai, simply had undeniable chemistry, and the writers had to utilize it. Graham noted that sparks just flew when the two characters were in the same room, and a lot of it may have to do with the polar opposite personalities that drew them together. Lorelai, who adored all town activities, was the opposite of Luke, the curmudgeon who found most town activities ridiculous. Luke was grounded, while Lorelai was prone to moments of flightiness. Luke’s access to the coffee that Lorelai so desperately craved probably helped a bit, too.

Will Luke and Lorelai live happily ever after if a second revival season happens?

A Year in the Life was supposed to be the icing on the cake for Gilmore Girls fans. It was also Sherman-Palladino’s chance to come back and finish the show the way she always intended, but fans were left with more questions than answers. Who is the father of Rory’s baby is the most pertinent one, but there are some questions about Luke and Lorelai, too.

Sure, the revival ended with the two happily together, but would that still hold true if a second revival season happens? No one has breathed a word of the plan for the second season if it were to happen, so fans will need to wait. While season 2 of A Year in the Life isn’t yet planned, it’s still a possibility. When it will happen, however, remains unknown.