Star Wars Wiki | What is Luke Skywalkers’ Legacy?
Luke Skywalker is the young hero of the classic Star Wars trilogy. He started as a character who discovered the mysteries of the Force being today a mystery on his own.
Episode VIII – The Last Jedi look at Luke Skywalker like we never imagined possible. The legendary hero of the original trilogy shows again why he is an essential figure in this intergalactic story.
And so, let’s talk about his role in the saga and how he can unleash an unexpected future for the trilogy.
Luke Skywalker was raised on a farm on the planet Tatooine and left his humble origins to become one of the greatest jedis in the galaxy. Together with his friends, Princess Leia (also twin sister) and Han Solo, he fought against the evil Empire, discovered the truth about his parents and ended the Sith’ tyranny.
Luke and Leia only found they were brothers when they fought for the Rebel Alliance against the Empire. They were sons of Anakin Skywalker, a great Jedi, and the Queen of Naboo, Senator of the Republic, Padmé Amidala.
Being a Jedi, Anakin could not have a wife, but he broke this rule by secretly marrying Padmé. He later joined the Dark Side of the Force, becoming Darth Vader. His wife died in the twins’ birth, but Vader did not know that the children had survived.
By security, the brothers were separated. Leia was raised by Bail Organa, member of the Alderaan Royal Family. Luke was raised by Beru and Owen Lars, uncles of Obi-Owan Kenobi, his father’s former Jedi Master.
Luke’s fate changed unexpectedly at age 19, when he bought two robots, R2-D2 and C-3PO. They carried a message from Princess Leia to Obi-Wan. Until then, the boy didn’t even know what the Force meant. He found Obi-Wan, who told Luke that his father was killed by Darth Vader and gave the boy the lightsaber that belonged to Anakin. At first, Luke was not interested in the cause of the rebels, but he changed his mind as soon as the imperial troops killed his adoptive parents.
What Made Luke Skywalker a Hero?
In Episode IV – A New Hope, we meet a young, inexperienced and dreamy Luke Skywalker.
The boy loses his uncles, and so his family, but accepts the challenge of rescuing Princess Leia and fighting the fearsome Darth Sidious Empire. In addition, during this very risky process, Skywalker begins to have his first contacts with the Force, and makes a new friendship with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke approaches the old Jedi master and once again suffers an irreparable loss as he sees with his own eyes the murder of his guide.
However, Luke Skywalker didn’t give up. He stood his ground. He joins the highest ranks of the rebellion and destroys the Death Star.
In the Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, we are introduced to Luke’s journey to learn the ways of a Jedi Knight.
After receiving Obi-Wan’s call on the planet Hoth, Skywalker goes to Dagobah to find Master Yoda. Yes, Luke leaves his rebellious friends behind, but he does so with their good in mind. During that time, he finds himself hard tested, needing to convince Yoda to train him and also facing difficult moments, like the sight in the Dagobah cave. As much as Lucas also showed impatience and disbelief in his training, he insisted on proceeding with his training and improving his Jedi skills by thinking that he could save Leia and Han Solo.
He showed courage and companionship, and fought against Darth Vader even knowing his disadvantage.
Finally, at the Episode VI – Return of the Jedi events, we see a mature Luke Skywalker committed to rescue his partner Han Solo, as well as interested in completing his training and end once and for all with the Empire.
All this after finding out that Vader, the cruelest man in the galaxy next to Sidious, was his father. However, nothing was able to shake Skywalker. Having saved Han and eliminated Jabba, the young man returned to Dagobah and witnessed Yoda’s death. He also decided that he would not kill Darth Vader, but would bring him back to the light. An unexpected and selfless choice by the Jedi, which came true at the end of the story.
Luke kept his values, his faith, and risked his life to recover Anakin Skywalker.
The Luke Skywalker of Episode VIII – The Last Jedi was a shock to many of the original trilogy fans who saw him as a perfect hero. In Rian Johnson’s movie, Lucas is seen as a broken man, tormented by guilt and the burden of his own legacy. But how did Luke get to this point?
In Episode VII – The Force Awakens, we found out that Luke Skywalker imposed himself into exile when Ben, his nephew and Padawan, turned to the Dark Side. Feeling Ben’s enormous power, Supreme Leader Snoke managed to poison him against his own family. With Kylo Ren’s new name, Ben corrupted some apprentices at Luke’s temple and murdered who refused to join his cause.
With his dream in a new Jedi Order destroyed, Luke felt an immeasurable guilt that led him to seek refuge in Ahch-To.
In Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, more pieces of this tragic story were revealed and we understood why Luke felt so guilty. When he was still a Jedi Master in his academy, Luke discovered Ben’s frightening dimension of darkness. Afraid that Ben was about to smash all those he loved, Lucas used his lightsaber and thought about killing his nephew while he slept. This moment was very brief and Luke regretted it immediately, becoming deeply ashamed of what he felt.
But it was useless because Ben had seen his uncle wielding his lightsaber and attacked him at the same moment. With his sister’s son lost to the Dark Side of the Force, and with the new generation of future Jedi compromised, Luke closed himself off to everything and everyone. In Ahch-To, Luke kept himself away from the Force, simply waiting to die and taking with him the Jedi’s legacy.
The Sacrifice That Echoed Across The Galaxy
Rey’s arrival and training in Ahch-To were not enough for Luke to leave the planet of his exile. But when Yoda appeared as a Force ghost, Luke found his purpose again and understood that he could teach important lessons of failure to his apprentices. As Yoda said to his eternal student:
“Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery, hmm… but weakness, folly, failure also. Yes: failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”
Some time later, we saw Luke arrive on the planet Crait and engage in a duel with Kylo Ren. When Kylo hits Luke with his lightsaber, he discovers that it’s all just a his old master’s illusion. Luke used the Force’s astral projection – something never seen before in Star Wars – to deceive Kylo and give the Resistance time to escape.
This is Luke’s last surprising act in the earthly world. Gathering all his energies to channel the power of the Force in this way led Luke to the limit of his physical abilities. We see Luke’s real body in Ahch-To collapse and then return to its meditation position, looking at the horizon as it did during his growth in Tatooine.
Luke Skywalker dies looking at both suns, with a serene expression on his face. For one last time, Luke brought hope back to the galaxy and his transition to death was peaceful.
Luke’s glorious death perfectly closes his difficult journey. As a final lesson, the Jedi understood how important he could still be to the Resistance and uses what he learned to inspire Rey and a whole new generation.
His sacrifice renewed hope in the universe, not only symbolically, but also seems to truly rekindle the Force in sensitive people.
The Surprising Boy From Canto Bight
In the last scene, we review the boys enslaved in Canto Bight in a playful scene. Hidden from their alien owner, a boy and a girl hear Luke Skywalker’s story against the First Order, told by another boy. Luke’s last act turns him back into a hero and inspires the children who dream of leaving the Canto Bight slavery.
In one of the most beautiful scenes in the film, we watch the boy who helped Rose and Finn showing surprising abilities. The boy uses the Force to grab a broom and then, looking at the starry sky, holds the broom as if it were a lightsaber.
The boy is Temiri Blagg and is the symbol of the Galaxy’s renewed hope. Luke’s legacy is visible in these last moments and Rian Johnson reveals this to Entertainment Weekly:
“The purpose of it is about Luke’s journey,” explains Johnson. “It’s showing that his grand act was about more than saving 20 people in the cave. It was about the spark of hope he’s now lit in the galaxy and the underclass who will take that and be inspired to retell his story, the way I did when I was a kid with my action figures, and be inspired to grow up and fight the good fight themselves, you know?”
Blagg’s importance in this last scene is deeply linked to the Rey’s parents’ identity revelation.
Rey and the Force's Democratization
With the unexpected revelation that Rey’s parents were not important figures in the Star Wars story, a new path was opened in this universe. Leaving the Skywalker lineage aside, Rey emerges as a new kind of hero who shows that heroes can be raised in the most unexpected places, without needing to have special blood to distinguish them.
Rey proves to be a powerful connection to the Force and can inspire a new generation just like her, carrying Luke’s example and legacy. Tamiri Blagg may be one of many Force sensitive scattered throughout the universe, whose deeds will dictate the future of the Force.
A New Jedi Order?
With the renewed hope in the galaxy, Rey can try to rebuild a new Jedi Order. In addition to the Force sensitive people and the Resistance, the young Jakku girl has something valuable to inspire the new generation.
Did you know that Yoda made one last catch for Luke in Ahch-To? When he makes the lightning strike the tree and Luke tries to save the books, Yoda tells his apprentice:
“Yes, yes, yes. Wisdom they held, but that library contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess.”
Much later, aboard the Millennium Falcon, we see Finn open a drawer containing the Ahch-To’s Jedi books. Yoda managed to calm Luke’s conscience, ensuring that Rey stole the ancient texts. The history of the Order and its teachings will certainly be valuable to her and her possible future apprentices.
Throughout Episode VIII – The Last Jedi we see how the powerful connection between Rey and Kylo dangerously brings them together.
At the end, she literally closes the door to this connection – but is it a final decision? For much of the film, Rey believes he can save Kylo from darkness, even calling him Ben and seeing him as the hope of the galaxy.
It’s too early to close the door on a Kylo Ren redemption. Especially when they both share an anger and a feeling of being lost in the universe. Although fighting for different causes, they are much more alike than one might initially think. Is it possible that together they bring a true balance to the Force?
A new generation of Grey Jedi could well represent this balance. The idea of the Grey Jedi would be something new in the movies, but it has already a long tradition in some material that is no longer considered official canon. Away from the Jedi’s strict rules and the Sith’s dangerous code, these users of the Force walk on an intermediate line.
Throughout Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, we see Luke referring to the Force balance and in Ahch-To there is an important symbol. Near the place where Luke would make his last sacrifice, there is a cave with a mosaic full of water; this mosaic has a figure in the center, with a dark side on one side and a white side on the other. Knowing that Ahch-To was the planet of the first Jedi Temple, the answer to the Force balance seems to have become clear in this representation.
Now, the question seems to be: will J.J. Abrams take up the possibilities opened up by Rian Johnson for the final chapter? The director of Episode VII – The Force Awakens will return to Episode IX (along with Chris Terrio) and can make changes to the vision of Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.
Rey parents’ identity, Luke’s legacy, and many other stories are not yet closed without the last chapter.
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