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Luke Skywalker

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This article is about the Star Wars character Luke Skywalker. For rapper Luke Skyywalker, see Luther Campbell.
Luke Skywalker
Star Wars character
Luke Skywalker.png
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi
First appearance Star Wars (1977)
Last appearance The Force Awakens (2015)
Created by George Lucas
Portrayed by Mark Hamill (Episodes IV, V, VI and VII, The Bob Hope All Star Christmas Comedy Special, The Star Wars Holiday Special, The Muppet Show)
Aidan Barton (Episode III)
Voiced by Mark Hamill (The Star Wars Holiday Special animated inserts, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back audio dramas, Vector Prime TV advertisement, Family Guy, The Simpsons and one episode of Robot Chicken)
Joshua Fardon (Return of the Jedi audio drama)
C. Andrew Nelson (Star Wars: X-Wing)
Bob Bergen (video games)
Lloyd Floyd (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Star Wars: Empire at War, Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption, Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out and Disney Infinity 3.0)
Matt Lanter (Star Wars: Smuggler's Gambit)
Eric Bauza (Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles and Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales)
Christopher Corey Smith (Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars)[1]
Species Human
Gender Male
  • Lieutenant Commander (later General in the Expanded Universe) in the Rebel Alliance
  • Co-founder (with Wedge Antilles) & leader of Rogue Squadron
  • Founder & (former) leader of Twin Suns Squadron
  • Founder & leader of Hardpoint Squadron
  • Jedi Knight, Jedi Master, Grand Master of the New Jedi Order
Affiliation Rebel Alliance / New Republic
New Jedi Order
Galactic Alliance
Spouse(s) Mara Jade
Children Ben Skywalker
Homeworld Tatooine (homeworld)
Polis Massa (birthplace)

Luke Skywalker is a fictional character appearing as the central protagonist of the original film trilogy and as a minor character in the prequel trilogy of the Star Wars universe created by George Lucas. The character, portrayed by Mark Hamill, is an important figure in the Rebel Alliance's struggle against the Galactic Empire. He is the twin brother of Rebellion leader Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, a friend of smuggler Han Solo, an apprentice to Jedi Master Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi, and the son of fallen Jedi Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) and Queen of Naboo/Republic Senator Padmé Amidala. The Star Wars Legends canon depicts him as a powerful Jedi Master and eventually the Grand Master of the New Jedi Order, the father of Ben Skywalker, the maternal uncle of Jacen Solo, and the ancestor of Cade Skywalker.

In 2008, the character was selected by Empire magazine as the 54th greatest movie character of all time.[2] On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, ranked Luke at number 14.[3] He will appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is planned to be released on December 18, 2015.

Concept and creation[edit]

Luke Skywalker was initially called "Anakin Starkiller", and went through multiple design changes. The character was at one point designed as a 60-year-old grizzled war hero, later as a Jedi Master, and as a female.[4]


Prequel trilogy[edit]

In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Padmé Amidala is pregnant with Anakin Skywalker's children near the end of the Clone Wars. During the epilogue, Padmé gives birth to twins Luke and Leia. His mother dies shortly after childbirth, and Luke is taken to the desert planet Tatooine to be raised by Owen Lars and Beru Lars to be hidden from Emperor Palpatine. Obi-Wan Kenobi keeps an eye on Luke during his formative years.[5]

Original trilogy[edit]

Introduced in the 1977 film Star Wars, the character represents the hero archetype of "the young man, called to adventure, the hero going out facing the trials and ordeals, and coming back after his victory with a boon for the community".[6][7][8]

Luke Skywalker lives a humdrum existence as a moisture farmer on Tatooine with his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. They have kept his father's true identity a secret from Luke to protect him from knowing the painful truth about his father. Young Luke dreams of flying among the stars and travelling to alien worlds in the farthest reaches of the galaxy and wants to join the Imperial Academy and become a pilot with his childhood friend Biggs Darklighter, but Owen objects; he needs his nephew's help on the moisture farm. Luke takes his first steps toward his destiny when he buys two droids C-3PO and R2-D2. After delivering R2-D2's message to an Obi-Wan, revealed to be hermit Ben Kenobi, Obi-Wan tells Luke that his father had been a Jedi. Obi-Wan presents him with his father's lightsaber, telling him that his father was murdered by a traitorous Jedi. Obi-Wan offers to take Luke to the planet Alderaan and train him in the ways of the Force, but Luke rejects his offer.

Luke changes his mind when he returns home to find that Imperial stormtroopers have killed his aunt and uncle. He and Obi-Wan then obtain passage with smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon, only to find that Alderaan has since been destroyed by the Death Star, the Empire's new super weapon. Luke, Han, Obi-Wan, Chewie and the droids sneak onto the Death Star and rescue Princess Leia Organa and as they are trying to escape, Obi-Wan sacrifices his life so that Luke and his friends might escape with their lives and that Luke goes on to fulfill his destiny.

During the Rebel Alliance's attack on the Death Star, Luke uses his X-wing along with many of the Rebel pilots attacking the TIE fighters. In the trench leading to the Death Star's exhaust port, Luke takes his teacher's advice by trusting his feelings of the Force rather than use his X-wing's targeting system to guide his proton torpedoes, destroying the station.[9]

In The Empire Strikes Back, set three years later, Luke is now a lieutenant commander in the Rebel Alliance and in command of a fighter squadron. While on a mission on the ice planet Hoth, he is nearly killed by a flesh-eating Wampa, but manages to escape. In the frozen wasteland, he sees Obi-Wan's spirit telling him to travel to the planet Dagobah and complete his training under the exiled Yoda, before he is rescued by Han. When the Empire discovers the Rebel base on Hoth, Luke leads his squadron to cover the evacuation. In the battle, Luke, after being shot down, is able to bring down one of the Empire's massive AT-ATs singlehandedly. Escaping Hoth in his X-wing, he travels to Dagobah instead of regrouping with the Alliance. There, he meets Yoda and undergoes rigorous Jedi training, quickly increasing his power in the Force. However, he is warned that the Force is a double edged sword; its dark side is seductive and could corrupt him into an agent of evil if he gives into his anger and hatred.

A vision of his friends in pain interrupts his training. Against Obi-Wan and Yoda's advice, he travels to Cloud City to save them, only to be lured into a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader. As his mentors warned, Luke proves to be no match for Vader and the latter severs his right hand, causing Luke to lose his father's weapon. Vader then reveals his true identity as Luke's father and offers him the chance to turn to the dark side of the Force, and rule the galaxy at his father's side. Horrified by this unexpected claim and the powerful temptation before him, Luke chooses to die rather than be corrupted and throws himself into a deep reactor chasm. However, he survives, but is sucked into a garbage chute to the underside of Cloud City and left hanging onto a weather vane. Leia Organa, flying away from Cloud City in the Millennium Falcon, senses Luke's peril and turns the ship around to save him. Aboard the medical ship after rejoining the rebel fleet, Luke's missing hand is replaced with a prosthetic one.[10]

One year later in Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker is now a Jedi Knight and has constructed his own lightsaber. He helps Leia, the droids and Lando Calrissian save Han from gangster Jabba the Hutt. Luke offers to negotiate with Jabba, but instead is forced to fight a fearsome monster known as the Rancor. When Luke kills it, he is sentenced to death by being eaten by the Sarlacc. Luke escapes with R2-D2's help, saving his friends and destroying Jabba's barge, with the aid of his new lightsaber.

During his return trip to Dagobah, Luke learns from a dying Yoda that Vader is indeed his father, and from Obi-Wan's spirit that he has a twin sister, which Luke immediately realizes is Leia. Yoda tells Luke that although he requires no further training, he won't truly be a Jedi until he confronts his father. Obi-Wan believes that Vader has completely consumed Luke's father, and must be destroyed in order to defeat the Empire, but Luke insists that there is still good left in Vader, and pledges to bring him back from the dark side.

Arriving on Endor as part of a Rebel commando squad, Luke decides to leave his friends this time, unlike the last film, and surrenders to Vader in an attempt to bring his father back from the dark side of the Force. Vader rebuffs his entreaties and brings Luke to the second Death Star in orbit around Endor. Emperor Palpatine attempts to turn Luke to the dark side with promises to save his friends from certain death. When that fails, the Emperor goads Luke to strike him down to save the Rebels' losing battle with the Empire and over the forest moon of Endor. Luke momentarily lashes out with his lightsaber but Vader blocks his strike, and father and son face each other again in a final duel. Luke keeps his emotions under control until Vader senses Luke's feelings for his sister and threatens to turn her instead. Enraged at this threat, Luke viciously attacks Vader at full force, eventually overpowering him and severing his mechanical right hand, in a reversal of the battle from the previous film. With the Emperor goading Luke to strike Vader down and take his place, Luke glances at his own bionic hand and realizes he is on the verge of suffering his father's fate. Luke regains composure and throws his lightsaber aside, proudly declaring his allegiance to the Jedi.

Furious, the Emperor savagely attacks Luke with Force lightning, intending to slowly torture him to death. When Luke calls out to his father for help, Vader becomes Anakin Skywalker once again; he grabs his former master and throws him to his death down a vast reactor shaft, but is mortally wounded by the Emperor's lightning in the process. As Rebel fighters race toward the Death Star's main reactor, Luke removes Anakin's mask and looks upon his father's face for the first time. Anakin assures Luke that there was good in him after all before his redeemed father dies. On Endor, Luke burns his father's armor on a funeral pyre (a Jedi tradition). During the Rebel's victory celebrations on Endor, Luke sees the smiling spirits of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin.[11]

Sequel trilogy[edit]

Hamill will reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first installment of the sequel trilogy which is due for release on December 18, 2015. The Force Awakens will take place almost 30 years following the events of Return of the Jedi, with Hamill portraying an older version of Skywalker. But, for unknown reasons, Luke has not appeared in any of the trailers or the posters which have been used to promote the movie. However, Harrison Ford has stated that there is a good reason why Skywalker is not seen, and that fans will not be disappointed.


Expanded universe[edit]

The Star Wars expanded universe details Luke Skywalker's exploits following the Rebel victory at Endor.

After the battle of Endor[edit]

In the novel The Truce at Bakura, set one day after the battle of Endor, Luke and his friend Wedge Antilles recover a message droid from the titular planet, which was being invaded by the Ssi-Ruuk. Luke commands a task force, turning back the enemy army. He also meets Dev Sibwarra, a Force-sensitive human who had been captured by the Ssi-Ruuk, who is killed in the battle after turning against his captors.

In the novel The Courtship of Princess Leia, set four years after the Battle of Endor, Luke travels to the planet Dathomir. There, he discovers a group of Force-sensitive witches called the Witches of Dathomir, banded into two separate groups: a collective of benign, matriarchal clans; the one he is in contact with being the Singing Mountain Clan, and the witches who have turned to the dark side, called the Nightsisters. Discovering a prophecy in which it was told a Jedi would change the way of life on the land, Luke eventually realizes truly what the Force is for the first time in his life. While there, he destroys most of the Nightsisters (including their powerful leader, Gethzirion, and the galaxy's most powerful remaining warlord, Warlord Zsinj). Thanks to the help of the prophecy and witches, Luke recovers old Jedi records left by Yoda about 400 years prior. He decides to start a new Jedi Academy, something he has been trying to do for six months before the start of the novel by finding old Jedi records and archives.

In The Thrawn Trilogy, Luke meets former Emperor's Hand Mara Jade, who is bound by Palpatine's disembodied voice that repeatedly commands "You will kill Luke Skywalker." Mara Jade is working with her boss, a fringe-of-the-galaxy smuggler named Talon Karrde, who also plays a crucial role in this era. Although she was ready to fulfill that order to stop the voice, circumstances force her to keep him alive long enough to have him help escape a mutual danger. Despite her threats, Luke learns of Mara's curse and vows to free her from it. Meanwhile, the rest of the New Republic is fighting against Grand Admiral Thrawn, and thanks to Leia's help, he is eventually defeated, although Luke tried several times to get near him and his ally, Joruus C'baoth. Eventually, the desperate pair fights against Luke's clone, Luuke Skywalker, the apprentice of Joruus C'Baoth.

During the fight, Mara Jade destroys the clone and, with Leia's help, destroys C'baoth. This entire time, C'baoth has been obsessed with 'molding' Luke and Mara to serve him, perhaps due to the fact that the Spaarti cloning cylinders he was made from have a reputation of turning people insane later in life. Nonetheless, C'baoth is defeated along with Luuke, and Mara's sacrifice silences her curse and completes her reconciliation with the Jedi, whom she later joins.[1]

Jedi Academy Trilogy[edit]

In the Jedi Academy Trilogy, Luke resigns his commission in the New Republic's starfighter corps to pursue his Jedi studies and rebuild the Jedi Order in the Massassi Temple on Yavin 4, a decision some anti-Jedi politicians use against him. Luke becomes the Order's de facto leader. His students in the ways of the Force include: Gantoris, Kam Solusar, Tionne, Streen, Cilghal, Kirana Ti and others.

An older and wiser Luke Skywalker also appears in the Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy video games at the rank of Jedi Master. In Jedi Outcast, Luke helps Kyle Katarn in his fight against Desann and Empire Reborn by driving off Desann and his Reborn forces from Valley of the Jedi.


In the Hand of Thrawn Duology, Luke, now a Jedi Master, works again with Mara Jade, who has learned to better her Force knowledge since her training at Luke's Jedi Academy. He falls in love with her and they eventually marry. Later, in Edge of Victory: Rebirth, they have a son whom they name Ben after Obi-Wan Kenobi's pseudonym Ben.

New Jedi Order and The Yuuzhan Vong Invasion[edit]

In the New Jedi Order series, Luke creates a new Jedi Council. He idealises a new conclave, made up of Jedi, politicians and military officers. Included in this new Jedi Order are Tresina Lobi, Kenth Hammer, Kyle Katarn, Kyp Durron, Cilghal, Saba Sebatynee and himself. From the politicians and military came new Chief of State Cal Omas, Admiral Sienn Sovv (Sullustan male) and four others.

In Force Heretic: Remnant, he spearheads the mission into the Unknown Regions during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion to find the mysterious planet of Zonama Sekot, a planet that creates living starships. After the invasion is defeated with the help of the new Mandalorian Warriors, a Sekotian fleet and a Galactic Alliance-Imperial Remnant fleet, Luke leads the New Jedi Order on Denon, the temporary capital of the Galactic Alliance and the site of the newly rebuilt Jedi Temple on Coruscant.

In The Swarm War, the New Jedi Order moves to Ossus, the site of former famous Jedi temples and libraries that were mostly destroyed 4,000 years prior. Upon the Killik's invasion of Chiss space and the transformation of most of the Myrkr mission survivors into Killik Joiners, Luke determines that the Killik's collective mind is being unconsciously controlled by a hive called the Dark Nest. The Dark Nest is controlled by a former Nightsister named Lomi Plo, who became their Unseen Queen with her ability to become invisible by exploiting the doubts of inferiors. One of the Myrkr mission survivors, Alema Rar, attempted to plant seeds of doubt in Luke's mind by suggesting that his wife, Mara, may be somehow responsible for the death of his mother, Padmé Amidala, which he almost believes because of Mara's previous involvement as the Emperor's Hand.

This allows Lomi to escape from Luke. Luke discovers recordings of his father Force-choking his mother on Mustafar, his own birth, and his mother's death hidden inside the protective memory archives of R2D2. Because of this, he is able to overcome his doubts about Mara and defeat Lomi Plo in the final battle of the Swarm War, cutting her into four pieces. Luke also withdraws the Jedi from Cal Omas' Advisory Council, as he plans to create a Jedi Council that will give aid to the Galactic Alliance when needed. He also becomes the Grand Master of the Jedi Order to give the Jedi a clear sense of direction. He has told the Jedi to either follow his leadership or make the order their priority, or leave. Jedi Danni Quee and Tenel Ka have resigned because of their duties to Zonoma Sekot and Hapes, respectively, while Corran Horn tries to resign, but Luke talks him out of it. Luke is also forced to exile Tahiri, Lowbacca, and Tesar Sebatayne to Dagobah for divulging secret information to people outside the Jedi Order.

Legacy of the Force[edit]

In the Legacy of the Force series, Luke begins having visions of a figure cloaked in darkness destroying the galaxy and the Jedi Decree. In his dreams, this figure's presence is much like that of his father (as he appeared as Darth Vader). Luke has been troubled by the fact that he has been unable to discern the identity of this figure. Complicating matters even more is the recent schism that has developed between Luke and his nephew, Jacen Solo. Already a tremendously powerful Jedi Knight, Jacen has begun adopting radical and extreme interpretations of the Force, causing a dramatic change in his personality. Luke fears that Jacen is pursuing the same path that ultimately led to Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side.

In Bloodlines, the situation worsens when Luke's son, Ben, becomes Jacen's apprentice. Luke must also battle his wife, who refuses to confront Jacen for fear of alienating Ben. In Tempest, Luke determines that the dark figure from his dreams is Lumiya, a former Emperor's Hand now known as the "Dark Lady of the Sith". Luke and Lumiya had fought several times over the years, but when Mara is murdered in Sacrifice, Lumiya deceives Luke into believing that she killed her. They battle again, and Luke saves a weaponless Lumiya from falling to her death simply so that he can kill her himself.

Luke returns to Coruscant where he is found by Ben, standing guard over Mara's body; upon speaking with his son, he realizes that Lumiya could not have killed her. Later in his private cabin, Luke breaks down over the death of his wife, knowing that her murderer is still at large. He does not realize that the killer is his own nephew, Jacen, who has now taken the Sith name Darth Caedus. In Revelation, Ben proves that Jacen killed Mara, but Luke is now reluctant to kill Jacen out of fear that he or his son will fall to the dark side in the process. (The decision is taken out of his hands in Invincible, when Jaina kills Jacen in a final lightsaber duel).

Fate of the Jedi[edit]

In this series of original novels, set about 40 years after the first film, Luke Skywalker, now in his early sixties, is deposed by the government from his position as Grand Master, and exiled from Coruscant. However, if he finds the reason of why Jacen Solo fell to the dark side, he can be allowed to return. Ben insists on coming with him. Together, father and son explore dangerous and little-known portions of the galaxy. Luke and Ben learn much about each other, about the Force, and about the great dangers threatening the Jedi. The great love the two surviving Skywalkers have for each other grows even greater as they repeatedly save each other's lives and explore the limits and powers and mysteries of the Force.


In the comic book series Star Wars: Legacy, set 133 years after Return of the Jedi, Luke appears as a Force ghost to his descendant Cade Skywalker, who has renounced his connection to the Force. Luke appeals to Cade to accept his Jedi lineage and fulfill his destiny to defeat the Sith, who by now have once again decimated the Jedi and taken over the galaxy.

Comics appearances[edit]

Luke Skywalker appears in the Marvel-published Star Wars comics adaptations of the original trilogy as well as an ongoing series that ran from 1977–86. When Dark Horse acquired the license two years later, he appeared in numerous projects based on the franchise as well.

Video game appearances[edit]

Luke Skywalker appears in the Disney LucasFilm video game Star Wars Commander.


Four actors have portrayed Luke Skywalker.

Mark Hamill[edit]

Aiden Barton[edit]

Bob Bergen[edit]

Joshua Fardon[edit]


In 2008, Luke Skywalker was selected by Empire magazine as the 54th-greatest movie character of all time.[2] Luke was also on the ballot for the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains.[12] On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, ranked Luke at number 14.[3] IGN listed Luke as their 4th top Star Wars character,[13] and he was chosen twice by IGN's readers as one of their favorite Star Wars characters.[14][15] IGN's Jesse Schedeen also picked Luke Skywalker as one of the characters they most wanted to appear on the Wii,[16] as well as listing Skywalker as one of their favorite Star Wars heroes.[17] Schedeen also listed the character as one of the Star Wars characters they wanted to see in Soulcalibur.[18] IGN also called the fight between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi one of the ultimate movie "boss battles".[19] In a feature on speeches made by Luke Skywalker, IGN's Todd Gilchrist said that his favorite speech made by Luke was "I am a Jedi, like my father before me".[20]

UGO Networks listed Luke as one of their best heroes of all time,[21] and he was voted as one of the coolest Star Wars characters by UGO's readers.[22] Inventor Dean Kamen has also code-named his new prosthetic arm system "Luke" in honor of the character.[23]

Family tree[edit]

Main article: Skywalker family


  1. ^ Smith, Christopher Corey (June 17, 2014). "Power converters...". Twitter. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Empire's The 100 Greatest Movie Characters". Empire Magazine. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "The 100 Greatest Fictional Characters". Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Skywalker, Luke". Star Wars Databank. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  6. ^ The Power of Myth, paperback, 1989. Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers, 978-0385247740
  7. ^ The Fourth Turning, 1997. William Strauss, Neil Howe. New York: Broadway Books
  8. ^ pg 179 The Power of Myth, paperback, 1989. Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers, 978-0385247740
  9. ^ Star Wars
  10. ^ The Empire Strikes Back
  11. ^ Return of the Jedi
  12. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains Official Ballot" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Top Star Wars Characters". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  14. ^ Phil Pirrello (August 18, 2010). "Who Is Your Favorite Star Wars Character?". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  15. ^ Jesse Schedeen (February 6, 2009). "Star Wars: Your Favorite Characters". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  16. ^ Jesse Schedeen (February 2, 2009). "Players Wanted: Characters We Want on the Wii". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  17. ^ Jesse Schedeen (August 15, 2008). "Top 25 Star Wars Heroes: Day 5". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  18. ^ Jesse Schedeen (August 5, 2008). "Players Wanted: Soulcalibur's Star Wars Fighters". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  19. ^ Phil Pirello, Scott Collura, Jesse Schedeen, Eric Goldman and Matt Fowler (December 6, 2010). "Ultimate Movie Boss Battles". IGN. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  20. ^ Todd Gilchrist (July 7, 2006). "Star Wars Speeches: Luke Skywalker". IGN. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  21. ^ UGO Team (January 21, 2010). "Best Heroes of All Time". UGO Networks. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  22. ^ Adam Rosenburg (August 25, 2008). "Star Wars Characters". UGO Networks. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  23. ^ Lawler, Richard. "FDA approves a life-like prosthetic arm from the man who invented the Segway". Engadget. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Adopted father of Leia Organa
  25. ^ Adopted mother of Leia Organa
  26. ^ Anakin Skywalker created C-3PO

External links[edit]