|Star Wars character|
|First appearance||Star Wars (1977)|
|Last appearance||The Rise of Skywalker (2019)|
|Created by||George Lucas|
|Spouse||Mara Jade (Legends)|
|Children||Ben Skywalker (Legends)|
Polis Massa (birthplace)
Luke Skywalker is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the original film trilogy of the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. Portrayed by Mark Hamill, Luke first appeared in Star Wars (1977),[a] and he returned in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). Three decades later, he portrayed the character in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, appearing in all three films: The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Originally a farmer on Tatooine living with his adoptive parents, his uncle and aunt, who are later killed by stormtroopers. Luke becomes a pivotal figure in the Rebel Alliance's struggle against the Galactic Empire, a friend and eventual brother-in-law of smuggler Han Solo, and unknown to him until Return of the Jedi, the twin brother of Rebellion leader Princess Leia. He trains to be a Jedi under Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, and is the son of fallen Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (turned Sith Lord Darth Vader) and Padmé Amidala. He mentors the sequel trilogy's protagonist, Rey, and is the maternal uncle and the former Jedi trainer of its antagonist, Kylo Ren.
The character also briefly appears in the prequel film Episode III – Revenge of the Sith as an infant. The Expanded Universe, which has been declared non-canonical, depicts him as a powerful Jedi Master, the husband of Mara Jade, father of Ben Skywalker and maternal uncle of Jaina, Jacen and Anakin Solo.
- 1 Appearances
- 1.1 Skywalker saga
- 1.2 Animated series
- 1.3 Video games
- 1.4 Novels
- 1.5 Comics
- 1.6 Legends
- 2 Characterization
- 3 Concept and creation
- 4 Reception
- 5 Cultural impact
- 6 Family tree
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
In the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke Skywalker 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".
A New Hope (1977)
In a deleted scene preceding the character's first appearance in the film (preserved in the film's radio dramatization), Luke says goodbye to his best friend Biggs Darklighter, who has just joined the Imperial Academy. His childhood friends disparagingly call him "Wormie".
In the original 1977 film (later having the extended title, A New Hope), Luke lives at a moisture farm on the desert planet of Tatooine with his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. Luke takes his first steps toward his destiny when he purchases the droids C-3PO and R2-D2. While examining R2-D2, he sees a message from Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan. When R2-D2 goes missing, Luke goes out to search for the droid, and is saved from a band of Tusken Raiders by Obi-Wan Kenobi, an old hermit. Luke and Obi-Wan seek shelter, and R2-D2 plays the full message for Obi-Wan from Leia, beseeching him to help her defeat the Galactic Empire. Obi-Wan says that he and Luke's father were once Jedi Knights, and that his father was murdered by a traitorous Jedi named Darth Vader. Obi-Wan presents Luke with his father's lightsaber and offers to take him to Alderaan and train him in the ways of the Force, but Luke declines his offer.
Luke changes his mind when he returns home to find out that Imperial stormtroopers have raided the moisture farm, killing his aunt and uncle while away. He and Obi-Wan then travel to Mos Eisley, where they meet smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca at a cantina. They team up and travel on the Millennium Falcon to Alderaan, only to find out that it has been destroyed by the Death Star. The Falcon is brought into the Star's hangar bay via tractor beam, allowing Luke and Han to explore the place, and rescue Princess Leia. Obi-Wan deactivates the tractor beam, and he later sacrifices his life in a duel with Vader, so that Luke and his friends can board the Falcon and escape.
During the Battle of Yavin, Luke joins the Rebel Alliance in attacking the Death Star. In the trench leading to the Death Star's exhaust port, Luke hears Obi-Wan's voice, telling him to "trust his feelings"; he takes Obi-Wan's advice and switches off his X-wing's missile guidance system, instead using the Force to guide the missiles and destroy the Death Star. In the film's final scene, he joins Han and Chewbacca in receiving a medal of honor for his heroism.
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Three years after the destruction of the Death Star, Luke is now the commander of the Rebel Alliance's Rogue Squadron. While on a mission on the ice planet Hoth, he is captured by a wampa, but manages to escape. In the frozen wasteland, he sees Obi-Wan's Force ghost, who tells him to travel to the planet Dagobah and complete his training with the Jedi Master Yoda. Luke collapses due to sheer-cold temperatures but is later rescued by Han. When the Empire discovers the Rebel base on Hoth, Luke leads his squadron to battle a swarm of AT-ATs, but he is forced to retreat when his wingmen are overwhelmed. Escaping in his X-wing, he travels to Dagobah and meets Yoda. He undergoes rigorous Jedi training, quickly increasing his power in the Force.
During his training, Luke sees a vision of his friends in danger. Against both Obi-Wan and Yoda's advice to complete his training, he travels to Bespin to save them, only to be lured into a trap. He engages in a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader. As his mentors warned, Luke proves to be no match for Vader; the Sith Lord overpowers Luke and severs his right hand. Vader then reveals that he is Luke's father, and offers him the chance to turn to the dark side of the Force and rule the galaxy at his side. Horrified, Luke throws himself into a deep reactor chasm. He survives, but is pulled into a garbage chute to the underside of Cloud City, and left hanging perilously onto a vane rod. Leia, flying away from Cloud City in the Millennium Falcon, senses Luke's peril, and turns the ship around to save him. Aboard the ship, he hears Vader telepathically telling him that it is his destiny to join the dark side. Luke's severed hand is replaced with a bio-mechanical one.
Return of the Jedi (1983)
One year after the invasion on Bespin, Luke is now a Jedi Knight, and has constructed his own lightsaber.[b] He returns to Tatooine to help Leia, the droids, and Lando Calrissian save Han from the crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Luke offers to negotiate with Jabba, who rejects his offer and casts him into a pit to battle a rancor. When Luke kills the rancor, he is sentenced to death in the Sarlacc Pit. Luke escapes with R2-D2's help, saving his friends and destroying Jabba's sail barge.
Luke returns to Dagobah, and learns from a dying Yoda that Vader is indeed his father. Luke then learns from Obi-Wan's spirit that he has a twin sister, whom he immediately realizes is Leia. The Jedi Masters tell Luke that he must face Vader again to finish his training and save the galaxy.
Arriving on Endor as part of a Rebel commando squad, Luke surrenders to Vader in an attempt to bring his father back from the dark side of the Force. Vader brings Luke to the second Death Star orbiting around Endor, where his master, Emperor Palpatine, tries to tempt Luke to the dark side. Luke momentarily lashes out at the Emperor with his lightsaber, but Vader blocks his strike, and father and son once again duel against each other. Luke keeps his emotions under control until Vader senses that Luke has a sister, and threatens to turn her to the dark side if Luke will not submit. Luke snaps and brutally overpowers Vader, severing his father's mechanical right hand. The Emperor orders Luke to kill Vader and take his place. Luke glances at his own bionic hand and realizes that he is on the verge of suffering his father's fate. He casts his lightsaber aside, declaring himself a Jedi.
Furious, the Emperor tortures Luke with Force lightning. In agony, Luke calls out to his father for help; unwilling to let his son die, Vader throws the Emperor down a reactor shaft, but is mortally electrocuted by the Emperor's force lightning in the process. As Rebel fighters head toward the Death Star's main reactor, Luke removes Vader's mask and looks upon his father's real face for the first and last time. The redeemed Anakin Skywalker reassures Luke that there was good in him after all before dying. On Endor, Luke cremates his father's body on a funeral pyre. During the Rebels' victory celebrations on Endor, Luke sees his father's spirit alongside those of Obi-Wan and Yoda.
Revenge of the Sith (2005)
In the prequel film Revenge of the Sith (2005), Luke and his twin sister Leia are born to Senator Padmé Amidala. Following Padmé's death on Polis Massa and his father's turn to the dark side of the Force, Luke is taken by Obi-Wan Kenobi to the desert planet Tatooine, where Luke is adopted by his father's stepbrother, Owen Lars, and his wife, Beru. The infant Luke is portrayed by Aidan Barton, the son of Roger Barton, an editor of the film.
The Force Awakens (2015)
In the first installment of the sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens (2015), the opening crawl reveals that Luke Skywalker had mysteriously vanished some time in the thirty years after the destruction of the second Death Star. Luke went into hiding after his nephew and apprentice, Ben Solo, turned to the dark side and was later dubbed Kylo Ren. When Ren killed all of his fellow apprentices and ushered in the despotic reign of the First Order, Luke felt responsible, and disappeared. At the end of the film, the Resistance manage to reconstruct a map, which traces the location of the temple from the Empire's archives to his location, and he is subsequently found on the planet Ahch-To by the young scavenger, Rey, who presents him with the lightsaber previously wielded by both Luke and his father.
The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi notes that Luke's exile is a reversal from his decision to help his friends in The Empire Strikes Back.
The Last Jedi (2017)
In The Last Jedi (2017), Luke throws the lightsaber away after being given it by Rey. He then seals himself in his home, refusing to talk with Rey. However, when he sees Chewbacca without Han Solo and that Rey came on the Millennium Falcon, he inquires about what has gone on with his family. Rey informs Luke about Solo's death at the hands of Kylo Ren and that the First Order has risen to rule the galaxy. Rey asks Luke to train her in the ways of the Force. Luke is initially reluctant to train Rey, telling her that it is time for the Jedi Order to end.
After some persuasion from R2-D2, Luke starts training Rey, originally for the purpose of showing her why the Jedi Order needs to end, but grows increasingly afraid of her power. Luke then tells Rey the history of the Jedi Order, how Palpatine rose to power and how the Jedi were partly responsible for Darth Vader's rise. Luke also initially tells Rey that Kylo was corrupted by Supreme Leader Snoke and that when he confronted his nephew, he retaliated by destroying his Jedi temple. This is proven false, however, and, after a furious moment with his new apprentice, Luke tells Rey that he had briefly considered killing the sleeping Ben after seeing a vision of the destruction he could cause, but immediately relented; Ben woke to see Luke with his lightsaber drawn and turned to the dark side because he felt betrayed. Upon learning this, Rey urges Luke to help her redeem Ben, but he refuses to participate in this nor help the Resistance, saying, "This is NOT going to go the way you think." When Rey leaves, an embittered Luke tries to burn the Jedi temple next to his home on Ahch-To, but fails and is visited by the spirit of Yoda, who assures Luke that he still has a purpose.
Luke appears on the planet Crait, as the Resistance are staging a standoff against the First Order, and he apologizes to Leia for allowing Ben to fall to the dark side. Luke steps in front of the First Order's artillery, and unexpectedly survives an onslaught of blaster fire ordered by Ren. Ren charges at Luke in hand-to-hand combat, seemingly bisecting him with his lightsaber, but Luke remains unscathed; still on Ahch-To, Luke has sent a projection of himself to Crait, using the Force. This distraction allows the Resistance to escape the planet. Luke tells Kylo that he will not be the last Jedi before his projection vanishes. On Ahch-To, Luke collapses then looks off in the horizon to see the planet's two suns setting before he dies, having become one with the Force.
The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Luke appears briefly in The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final chapter of the series. When Rey discovers her lineage as the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, she exiles herself on Ahch-To as Luke did. Meaning to isolate herself, she throws Luke's lightsaber towards the burning wreckage of the TIE Fighter she had traveled there with. Luke appears as a Force ghost, and reprimands Rey for treating the lightsaber with disrespect, and admitting, for the first time, that he was wrong to not participate in the Resistance. Luke and Rey converse, and Luke convinces Rey not to give up on her battle against Palpatine. As Rey leaves, Luke bestows Leia's lightsaber to Rey.
After Rey vanquishes Palpatine once and for all, she visits the moisture farm on Tatooine where Luke was raised. She buries Luke and Leia's lightsabers, revealing that she has constructed her own. A local asks Rey who she is. As Leia, who passed away earlier, and Luke appear as Force ghosts, Rey names herself Rey Skywalker.
Luke appears in the animated Disney micro-series Star Wars Forces of Destiny (with Mark Hamill once again reprising his role). The episode "The Path Ahead" details him training with Yoda on Dagobah. He also appears in the episode "Traps and Tribulations", which takes place shortly after the Battle of Endor and shows him and Leia assisting the Ewoks in stopping a rampaging monster known as a Gorax.
Heir to the Jedi
Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi was announced as one of the first four canon novels to be released in 2014 and 2015. Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, Heir to the Jedi chronicles the adventures of Luke as he continues to battle the Empire with his Rebel friends and begins to develop his Force abilities. The novel is written from the first-person perspective of Luke, and is only the second Star Wars novel to attempt this type of narrative voice.[c]
Luke is a main character of the 2015 comic Star Wars, which takes place between the films of the original trilogy. He will also be the subject of an upcoming manga anthology, to be released in early 2020.
In April 2014, most of the licensed Star Wars novels and comics produced since the originating 1977 film Star Wars were rebranded by Lucasfilm as Star Wars Legends and declared non-canon to the franchise. The Legends branded novels, comic books and video games detail Luke's exploits following Return of the Jedi.
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, C'baoth's apprentice. 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.
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 New Jedi Order's leader. His students in the ways of the Force include; Gantoris, Kam Solusar, Tionne, Streen, Cilghal, Kirana Ti and others. He is forced to contend with the spirit of ancient Sith Lord Exar Kun, who lures one of his most powerful students, Kyp Durron, to the dark side.
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.
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 R2-D2. 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 New Jedi Council that will give aid to the Galactic Alliance when needed. He also becomes the Grand Master of the New 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 New Jedi Order.
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 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).
In Fate of the Jedi 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.
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor is a standalone novel that chronicles the Battle of Mindor, a fictional event in the Star Wars expanded universe. The novel was written by Matthew Stover and released in December 2008.
The novel is set shortly after Return of the Jedi and the novel Prophets of the Dark Side, with Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance attempting to stop Lord Shadowspawn and his "shadow stormtroopers", culminating in the Battle of Mindor. Matthew Stover has said on his personal weblog,
|“||Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor is my attempt to get the EU back to its pre-Zahn roots -- specifically, to evoke memories of my all-time favorite Star Wars books, Brian Daley's Han Solo novels.||”|
|— Matthew Stover|
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. In Star Wars: Legacy, set 125 years after the events of the original films, Luke appears as a spirit in the Force to his descendant Cade Skywalker and persuades him to once again become a Jedi in order to defeat the evil Darth Krayt and his burgeoning Sith empire.
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 them away from the Valley of the Jedi. Luke appears in the game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed in a downloadable alternate storyline where Starkiller duels Luke. He also appears in the Disney Lucasfilm video game Star Wars Commander. Luke is also a playable character in Disney Infinity 3.0.
Each of the Star Wars characters instantiates one of the archetypes in Joseph Campbell's Hero's journey, with Luke Skywalker symbolizing the Hero archetype. As such, he is a formulaic, relatable protagonist who encounters the basic struggle between good and evil in the same way as other heroic figures such as Harry Potter, Bilbo Baggins, and Jesus Christ. Luke's central dilemma is the ongoing war between good and evil, both externally and internally.
Some argue that Luke mirrors fundamental values of Christianity and Abrahamic religion; Luke's journey is often compared to that of Jesus Christ. Scholars argue that Luke is a Christ-like figure, while Yoda represents a god and Darth Vader represents the temptations of evil. Luke's struggle between good and evil is contrasted with that of his father, Anakin Skywalker, in a way that represents the story of the Prodigal Son.
Concept and creation
Luke was variously conceived of as a 60-year-old grizzled war hero, later as a Jedi Master, and as a woman. In an interview about his early drafts, Lucas said:
The first [version] talked about a princess and an old general. The second version involved a father, his son, and his daughter; the daughter was the heroine of the film. Now the daughter has become Luke, Mark Hamill's character. There was also the story of two brothers where I transformed one of them into a sister. The older brother was imprisoned, and the young sister had to rescue him and bring him back to their dad.
Though Luke's surname was "Skywalker" in Lucas's 1973 treatment of The Star Wars, it was changed to "Starkiller" in subsequent drafts, at one point featuring in the title (The Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller). The "Starkiller" surname remained for the first few months of production; Hamill used the name "Luke Starkiller" the sole time he referred to himself during filming (dubbed "Skywalker" in the film). "Starkiller" was dropped due to what Lucas called "unpleasant connotations" with Charles Manson.
An alternative ending pitched by George Lucas for Return of the Jedi was Luke assuming his father's role as Darth Vader after the latter's death and intending to rule in his place. Though Lawrence Kasdan favored the idea, Lucas ultimately declined, since the films were made for children. Another conclusion to the film featured the character disappearing into the wilderness akin to "Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns."
According to Mark Hamill, during the filming of the original Star Wars film, George Lucas asked him if he would reprise the role for a cameo when he was in his 60s to pass the torch to the next generation. In 1983, Hamill stated that his return to the franchise would be "either be another plane of existence or not the same character". Hamill learned of the sequel trilogy over the summer of 2012 at a Star Wars Celebration during lunch when Lucas told him one was in development. Hamill recalled shaving his beard to portray the Trickster in The Flash, then letting it grow back for the filming of Star Wars.
Luke's lack of screen time in The Force Awakens was due to concerns by screenwriter Michael Arndt that his presence would mean the audience would have less interest in protagonist Rey, leading to an agreement that he be removed from the screen and instead become a plot device. Hamill attended meetings for script readings, and helped conceal Luke's role in the film; instead of dialogue, he read stage directions. Abrams said it allowed him to remain involved and that his reading helped make a "better experience for everyone". According to concept designer Christian Alzmann, Luke's appearance in The Last Jedi was partly inspired by that of Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979).
In 2015, Luke Skywalker was selected by Empire magazine as the 50th-greatest movie character of all time. Empire also ranked him as the third greatest Star Wars character. Luke was also on the ballot for the American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains. On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, Fandomania.com ranked Luke at number 14. IGN listed Luke as their 4th top Star Wars character, and he was chosen twice by IGN's readers as one of their favorite Star Wars characters. IGN's Jesse Schedeen also picked Luke Skywalker as one of the characters they most wanted to appear on the Wii, as well as listing Skywalker as one of their favorite Star Wars heroes. Schedeen also listed the character as one of the Star Wars characters they wanted to see in Soulcalibur. IGN also called the fight between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi one of the ultimate movie "boss battles". 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". UGO Networks listed Luke as one of their best heroes of all time, and he was voted as one of the coolest Star Wars characters by UGO's readers. Inventor Dean Kamen has also code-named his new prosthetic arm system "Luke" in honor of the character. WatchMojo ranked Luke Skywalker as #3 on their "Top 10 Star Wars Characters" list.
Mark Hamill was nominated a Saturn Award for Best Actor in for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, and won the award for his portrayal in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Last Jedi.
In 1976, Mark Hamill had a serious car accident after filming Star Wars, which involved an operation on his face. It was speculated that the Wampa attack at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back was written in to explain his facial injuries, but George Lucas specifically disputed this in the DVD commentary of The Empire Strikes Back.
In regards to Luke's portrayal in The Last Jedi, many fans expressed disappointment in how he was depicted "as a grumpy old man whose failures had driven him into hiding", a stark departure in how Luke was characterized in the original trilogy. Hamill originally stated that he "pretty much fundamentally [disagreed] with every choice [The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson] made for this character," but that he had the utmost respect for Johnson and was willing to do his part to realize Johnson's vision. While regarding the possibility of a younger actor playing the role, Hamill expressed support towards Sebastian Stan, whose physical resemblance to a young Hamill went viral. However he noted that child actor Jacob Tremblay would be his top choice if the story were to be focused on a very young Luke.
In 2016, when asked about the character's sexual orientation and if Luke could be gay, Hamill said Luke's sexual orientation "is meant to be interpreted by the viewer." He added, "if you think Luke is gay, of course he is. You should not be ashamed of it. Judge Luke by his character, not by who he loves." Hamill later said that he considered the possibility that Luke could have found love between Episode VI and Episode VII.
Polygon praised The Last Jedi for its portrayal of Luke Skywalker as a pacifist Jedi master, highlighting the character's lifelong inner conflict towards using the light-saber Jedi weapon (with Luke seeing it as a weapon of destruction, while the prequel trilogy Jedi seeing it as symbol of morality). Nothing how Luke first refused the weapon, by throwing it away to spare his father in the conclusion of original trilogy's Return of the Jedi and how this went against the teachings of his Jedi masters Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda, and their instructions to use it to kill Vader and the Emperor. Prequel trilogy's Attack of the Clones, Obi-wan Kenobi told "this weapon is your life" to his apprentice Anakin Skywalker (Luke's father), due to the decline of the prequel-Jedi morals, unknowingly corrupted into abandoning their pacifism roots to turn into soldiers (and retroactively setting Luke's refusal of the weapon as the conclusion of the conflict). In his first scene in The Last Jedi, Luke refuses the saber from Rey, throwing it away, and later again in a flashback, to prevent himself from killing his nephew. This for returning the fictional Jedi towards their pacifist roots inspired by the Buddhism real-life religion. However it negatively criticized J. J. Abrams writing of both Luke and the Jedi fictional-religion, calling it an anti-Star Wars due to perceiving it as out of character for Luke. Feeling that Luke's character preventing Rey from burning-away her light-saber weapon, while also giving her another saber, meant the Jedi going "back to the prequel-era" and becoming soldiers again, instead of advocating peace. As well as Kylo Ren throwing his red-saber only to grab a blue one an scene later, without guilt. While the conclusion of Rey burying Luke and Leia's saber in Luke's childhood Tatooine-home, for meaning a glorification of the weapon Luke fought so hard to disassociate from, as well as the Jedi learning nothing, and Abrams contradicting the movie he tried so hard to remake.
Forty years after his first onscreen appearance, Skywalker remains to be an American icon. In fact, Luke Skywalker is often still used by child psychotherapists to help children to project their thoughts and state of being in a way that is understandable to both the child and their therapist. Another way that therapists utilize Star Wars in sessions is to teach their patients that the Force represents the self-understanding that they achieve in therapy. Children are taught that they are Luke and their therapist is Obi-Wan as eventually, as Luke no longer needed his mentor, patients will one day no longer need their therapist.
Star Wars has been related back to cultural events of its time, such as The Cold War and Nixon-era politics. The severing of Luke's hand and Darth Vader's bionic presence supposedly, according to space.com, symbolize the unity of the military and amputees.
Skywalker family tree
- Libbey, Dirk (July 27, 2018). "Mark Hamill Confirmed For Star Wars Episode 9". Cinemablend.com. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- Smith, Christopher Corey (June 17, 2014). "Power converters..." Twitter. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- Campbell, Joseph; Moyers, Bill. The Power of Myth. New York City: Anchor Books. p. 179. ISBN 978-0385418867.
- Villarreal, Mike (March 10, 2014). "Review: Jump to lightspeed with Topps' Star Wars radio drama". Nerd Reactor. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Davis, Lauren (November 26, 2014). "Star Wars Deleted Scenes Reveal The Utter Disaster That Could Have Been". Gizmodo. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Slavicsek, Bill (1994). A Guide to the Star Wars Universe (2nd ed.). Del Rey. p. 482. ISBN 0-345-38625-6.
- Slavicsek, Bill (1994). A Guide to the Star Wars Universe (2nd ed.). Del Rey. p. 285. ISBN 0-345-38625-6.
- Return of the Jedi (laserdisc). Back cover: CBS/FOX. 1986.
- Szostak, Phil. The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Abrams Books. p. 15. ISBN 9781419727054.
- De Lange, Sander (December 16, 2014). "Star Wars, A Family Affair". StarWars.com. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
- Szostak, Phil. The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Abrams Books. p. 28. ISBN 9781419727054.
- Perry, Spencer (July 27, 2018). "BREAKING: Star Wars: Episode IX Cast Officially Announced!". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- Goldman, Eric (March 18, 2017). "Star Wars Rebels: "Twin Suns" Review". IGN. San Francisco, California: j2 Global. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Shepherd, Jack (March 20, 2018). "Star Wars: Mark Hamill returns as Luke Skywalker for Forces of Destiny short". The Independent. London, England: Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Luke Skywalker". EA (in Spanish). Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- "Disney and Random House announce relaunch of Star Wars Adult Fiction line". StarWars.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- Schedeen, Jesse (March 6, 2015). "Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi Review". IGN. San Francisco, California: j2 Global. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
- McMillan, Graeme (October 4, 2019). "Marvel to Relaunch 'Star Wars' Comic With Time Jump". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
- "TheForce.net: Star Wars: The Legends Of Luke Skywalker - The Manga Coming Early 2020". TheForce.net. October 7, 2019. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
- McMilian, Graeme (April 25, 2014). "Lucasfilm Unveils New Plans for Star Wars Expanded Universe". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- "The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page". StarWars.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- Rosenberg, Adam (December 6, 2008). "The Worst Star Wars Expanded Universe Characters". UGO.com. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012.
- "Stover To Pen Luke Skywalker Novel". Lucas Online (Starwars.com). February 21, 2007. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- Stover, Matthew (February 25, 2007). "studioMWS - Sunday, February 25". Retrieved March 12, 2007.
- Candil, Dani (October 1, 2008). "Luke Skywalker llega como contenido descargable a 'Star Wars: The Force Unleashed'. Pero hay más cosas..." Vida extra (in Spanish). Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- "¡Llega el comandante Luke Skywalker!". EA (in Spanish). August 10, 2017. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- Maiberg, Emanuel (December 8, 2014). "Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader Join Star Wars: Commander". GameSpot. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
- Miller, Martin (Summer 1981). "The Appeal of Star Wars: A psychoanalytic view". American Imago. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. 38 (2): 203–220.
- Scheller, Rachel (May 4, 2017). "Exploring Star Wars and the Hero's Journey". Writer's Digest. Cincinnati, Ohio: F+W Media. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Cohen, Michael Howard (2002). "Fraud, Ego, and Abuse of Spiritual Power". Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. pp. 213–248. ISBN 978-0472088898.
- "Skywalker, Luke". Star Wars Databank. StarWars.com. Archived from the original on September 7, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- Clouzot, Claire (1999). "The Morning of the Magician: George Lucas and Star Wars". In Kline, Sally (ed.). The George Lucas Interviews. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 57–58. ISBN 1-57806-125-3.
- Jones, Brian Jay (2016). George Lucas: A Life. New York City: Little, Brown and Company. p. 171. ISBN 978-0316257442.
- Satran, Joe (October 28, 2015). "The Hero Of 'Star Wars' Almost Wasn't Named Luke Skywalker". Huffington Post. San Francisco, California: Huffington Post Media Group. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Nastasi, Alison (July 13, 2012). "Luke Starkiller? Indiana Smith? Famous Film Characters' Nixed Names". The Atlantic. Boston, Massachusetts: Emerson Collective. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Robinson, Melia (December 29, 2015). "An Easter egg in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' pays homage to the original movie". Tech Insider.
- Eisenberg, Eric (October 26, 2015). "Why George Lucas Had To Change Luke Skywalker's Name In Star Wars". Cinema Blend. Portland, Oregon: Cinema Blend LLC. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Anders, Charlie Jane (September 25, 2013). "10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Star Wars: Return of the Jedi". Gizmodo.
- Dennis, Catrina (November 19, 2014). "Luke Skywalker's Original Fate in Return of the Jedi Was VERY Different!". Moviepilot. Archived from the original on January 16, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- Britt, Ryan (October 25, 2019). "How a wavy-gravy George Lucas concept could shape the 'Rise of Skywalker'". Inverse. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
- Hiatt, Brian (December 18, 2015). "Skywalker Speaks: Mark Hamill on Returning to 'Star Wars'". Rolling Stone. New York City: Wenner Medias LLC. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Breznican, Anthony (December 20, 2015). "J.J. Abrams explains R2-D2's closing scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens". Entertainment Weekly. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Keyes, Rob (December 20, 2015). "Luke Skywalker's Role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens Explained". Screen Rant. Ogden, Utah: Valnet, Inc. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- Breznican, Anthony (April 4, 2016). "Star Wars The Force Awakens: Mark Hamill's secret role in the table read revealed". Entertainment Weekly. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- "Empire's The 100 Greatest Movie Characters". Empire Magazine. June 29, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
- "The Greatest Star Wars Characters". Empire. February 26, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains Official Ballot" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- "The 100 Greatest Fictional Characters". Fandomania.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Top Star Wars Characters". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Phil Pirrello (August 18, 2010). "Who Is Your Favorite Star Wars Character?". IGN. Archived from the original on August 22, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Jesse Schedeen (February 6, 2009). "Star Wars: Your Favorite Characters". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Jesse Schedeen (February 2, 2009). "Players Wanted: Characters We Want on the Wii". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Jesse Schedeen (August 15, 2008). "Top 25 Star Wars Heroes: Day 5". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Jesse Schedeen (August 5, 2008). "Players Wanted: Soulcalibur's Star Wars Fighters". IGN. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Phil Pirello; Scott Collura; Jesse Schedeen; Eric Goldman; Matt Fowler (December 6, 2010). "Ultimate Movie Boss Battles". IGN. Archived from the original on December 12, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- Todd Gilchrist (July 7, 2006). "Star Wars Speeches: Luke Skywalker". IGN. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- UGO Team (January 21, 2010). "Best Heroes of All Time". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on August 25, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- Adam Rosenburg (August 25, 2008). "Star Wars Characters". UGO Networks. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- Lawler, Richard. "FDA approves a life-like prosthetic arm from the man who invented the Segway". Engadget. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
- "Top 10 Star Wars Characters". WatchMojo. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
- "The 5th American Film and Television Saturn Award The 5th Saturn Awards 1978". Mtime.com (in Chinese). Retrieved January 24, 2016.
- Hill, Sam (January 21, 2014). "8 Miscast Movie Roles That Received A Bizarre Amount Of Praise". WhatCulture.com. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
- Ryan, Jackson (June 27, 2018). "The Last Jedi, Black Panther win big at the 44th Saturn Awards". CNET. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
- Cronin, Brian. "Was the Wampa Attack in Empire Strikes Back Created to Explain Mark Hamill's Facial Injuries?". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
- Hugh Armitage (April 4, 2018). "Mark Hamill says Luke Skywalker was used as a "plot device" in Star Wars: The Last Jedi". Digital Spy.
- David Kamp (May 25, 2017). "Star Wars Nerds, Mark Hamill Is One of You". Vanity Fair.
- Williams, Joe (March 4, 2016). "'Of course Luke Skywalker is gay', says Mark Hamill". PinkNews. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- Plante, Corey (August 15, 2018). "Mark Hamill Hopes Luke Skywalker Didn't Die a Virgin in 'The Last Jedi'". Inverse. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Choi, Charles Q. (August 10, 2010). "How 'Star Wars' Changed the World". Space.com. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
- Dunk, Steve (December 28, 2017). "A Hero's Journey - Luke Skywalker". TheForce.net. Retrieved October 6, 2019.