Luke Skywalker

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Template:SW Character

Luke Skywalker (born 19 BBY) is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He was a Jedi Knight, who played a major role in the Star Wars story.

Born in the midst of chaos, Luke was raised by his aunt and uncle on the desert world of Tatooine. After going off to join the Rebellion, he became a major player in the events of the Galactic Civil War, and ultimately, the fate of the galaxy.

History

Template:Spoiler

Early years

File:Babyluke.jpg
Baby Luke being put in the care of the Owen Lars and Beru Whitesun on Tatooine after his father turned to the Dark Side of the Force.

He is the son of Senator Padmé Amidala and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, the slightly elder (by just a few seconds) twin brother of Leia Organa, and Obi-Wan Kenobi's and Yoda's final Padawan.

In Revenge of the Sith, Padmé Amidala gives birth to the twins at the Polis Massa asteroid before she dies in childbirth. Bail Organa, the viceroy of Alderaan, adopts Leia, and Obi-Wan provides sanctuary for Luke on Tatooine, so as to protect both them from their corrupted biological father and the newly-formed Galactic Empire he serves. Despite being in "hiding" from his father and the Emperor, Luke is brought up as the son of Anakin Skywalker, by his father's nearest surviving kin (his mother's stepson and his wife) Owen and Beru Lars.

As an orphan, he is raised on Tatooine for the first nineteen years of his life, where his uncle and aunt try, unsuccessfully, to discourage all tendencies towards the Jedi Order from him. He is told by his uncle that his father was "a navigator on a space freighter." Despite this lie, he is still an adventure-seeking youth. Luke possesses talents in droid repair, piloting, and, unbeknownst to him, the Force— he is very much his father's son. Obi-Wan Kenobi, until then known to Luke as "Ben Kenobi," an eccentric old hermit, tells Luke that his father was killed by Darth Vader, a rogue Jedi Knight.

Involvement in the Alliance to Restore the Republic

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Luke and his friend Biggs Darklighter preparing to fly in the Battle of Yavin.

When Vader intercepts Leia's spaceship carrying plans for the Death Star, a planet-sized battle station/superweapon, she sends droids R2-D2 and C-3PO to meet Obi-Wan. However, on their journey they end up in the service of Luke himself, who follows the droids to meet Obi-Wan. After the deaths of his aunt and uncle at the hands of Imperial stormtroopers, Luke decides to follow Obi-Wan to help Princess Leia. They depart from Tatooine on Han Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon. They travel towards Alderaan, and Obi-Wan takes the time to allow Luke to begin the first stages of training as a Jedi, even giving him Anakin's old lightsaber. They arrive at Alderaan, only to find that the planet has been obliterated into mere rock and debris by the Death Star. After being captured in which their ship was taken in by tractor beams, they barely escape the Imperials after saving Princess Leia from execution. Obi-Wan is (apparently) killed in a duel with Vader, but in fact ascends to a higher plane of existence and becomes one with the Force. (His cloak, as it falls to the floor, is unsinged by Vader's lightsaber.) They travel back to the Rebel Alliance's base on Yavin 4, but are tracked by an Imperial tracking beacon. The Death Star follows, and the Empire prepares to destroy the moon with its superweapon. The Alliance uses the stolen plans of the station to lead a final attack on the Death Star. Luke pilots an X-wing starfighter, and under the guidance of Obi-Wan's spiritual voice, uses the Force to send a proton torpedo into the narrow reactor shaft, destroying the Death Star.

Following the Rebel victory at Yavin, Luke is promoted to the rank of Commander and founds the elite Rogue Squadron starfighter unit with Wedge Antilles, another young Rebel pilot.

Desperate to find Luke, whom he recently learned is his son, Vader sends probe droids to thousands of planets across the galaxy in search of the Jedi hopeful. When a droid discovers the Rebels' new base on Hoth, Vader brings the hammer of the Empire down on the ice planet. Luke demonstrates his burgeoning power as a potential Jedi when he plays a key role in the defense, leading Rogue Squadron in battle using Snowspeeders, and especially when he singlehandedly downs an AT-AT using his father's lightsaber, before escaping in his X-wing.

Learning the ways of the Jedi

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Luke trains with Yoda on Dagobah.

Following advice from the spirit of Obi-Wan (now a Force ghost), he travels to Dagobah to learn the Jedi arts under Jedi Master Yoda. The old Jedi Master has little confidence in the young man's potential, but is persuaded to train him. However, Luke eventually has a vision of his friends being captured by Vader, and, against Obi-Wan and Yoda's advice, travels to Bespin to save them, only to be trapped by Vader. In the intense lightsaber duel that follows, Luke learns that Vader is his father, and loses his right hand in combat with the Dark Lord of the Sith. (Ironically, Vader had lost his right arm in combat with Count Dooku more than twenty years before, when he was still Anakin Skywalker.) Faced with this horrifying claim and the even more fearsome temptation to join Vader, Luke finds the moral courage to choose death instead of evil, throwing himself down a long shaft. However, fate allows him to survive, and he escapes aboard the Millennium Falcon. Thus, Luke himself ends up being rescued by the friends he had intended to save, while R2-D2 proves his usefullness by repairing the Falcon's hyperdrive just in time to escape. After rejoining the Rebels, Luke's missing hand was replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic.

After Luke was defeated at Bespin, losing his father's lightsaber in the process, his affinity with the Jedi traditions grows more serious. One of the significant events between the end of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi is that Luke returns to Obi-Wan's hut on Tatooine and constructs his very own lightsaber, exactly in the tradition of Jedi training. His new lightsaber was of a design that, while unique, closely resembled that of the final lightsaber owned by the old Jedi. However, Yoda makes it clear that Luke still will not be a Jedi until he successfully confronts Vader.

Luke once again goes to Tatooine, with Leia in tow, to save Han from the gangster Jabba the Hutt, whom Vader had sold Han to on Bespin after freezing him in carbonite. Luke is made Jabba's prisoner and sentenced to die along with his friend, while Leia is made Jabba's slave. Luke overpowers their guards, however, and escapes with Han. Jabba, meanwhile, is killed when Leia garrotes him with the chain binding her to his throne.

During his return trip to Dagobah, Luke learns from the dying Yoda and Obi-Wan that Vader is indeed his father. Furthermore, Luke realizes that Leia is his twin sister and would be in terrible peril from their father should he find out as well.

Luke and Vader

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Luke confronts Darth Vader in the Emperor's Throne Room as the Battle of Endor rages below.

Arriving on Endor as part of a Rebel commando squad, Luke surrenders to Vader in an attempt to bring the Dark Lord back to the light side of the Force. He ultimately becomes a prisoner of the Emperor on the half-completed second Death Star, in orbit around Endor.

Once there, the Emperor and Vader attempt to corrupt Luke with promises to save his friends from certain death if he joins the dark side. When that fails, the Emperor goads Luke to strike him down to save the Rebels, who were losing the Battle of Endor. Luke, in a moment of weakness, momentarily lashes out, but Vader stops his strike, and father and son duel each other one final time. Despite the clash, Luke manages to keep emotional control — until Vader telepathically senses the existence of Luke's sister and threatens to concentrate on corrupting her instead. Enraged at this threat, Luke attacks Vader with full fury, and severs his father's mechanical right hand. Just as he is about to commit patricide, however, Luke glances at his own cybernetic hand, and realizes with horror that he is right on the verge of suffering his father's fate. Luke regains control and throws his lightsaber to the ground, proudly declaring his allegiance to the Jedi.

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The spirits of Yoda, Obi-Wan, and the redeemed Anakin Skywalker watch as Luke and company celebrate the Galactic Empire's defeat.
Luke: "You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
Emperor (Realizing his failure): "So be it, Jedi..."

In retaliation, the Emperor unleashes Force lightning against Luke, nearly killing him. Seeing his son in pain, and perhaps remembering the mercy shown him, compassion finally breaks Vader's stony heart. In an act of self-sacrifice, Anakin Skywalker re-emerges, seizes the Emperor and throws him to his death down a reactor shaft. In the process, he is mortally wounded. On the deteriorating Death Star, at the foot of Vader's shuttle, Luke removes the breath mask that had caged Anakin Skywalker's face for more than two decades, and looks upon his father's eyes for the first and only time, before Anakin becomes one with the Force. The prophecy of the Chosen One is finally fulfilled, as Anakin has brought balance to the Force and destroyed the Sith.Luke escapes the Death Star's destruction with the remnants of his father. Back on Endor, in the manner of a Jedi's funeral, Luke burns the last vestiges of the father that had been Darth Vader, and joins in the celebration of the defeat of the Empire; thus, Luke comes full circle both as a Jedi and as a person.

After the Battle of Endor

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Luke Skywalker, with Mara Jade and his trusty self-made Green Lightsaber

In the Expanded Universe, Luke had met his father Anakin/Vader before the Battle of Hoth (according to the novel/comic Splinter of the Mind's Eye). Years later, after Anakin/Vader's death, Luke meets Mara Jade. They fought against his clone, Luuke Skywalker, the apprentice of Joruus C'Baoth, and killed him. He falls in love with her, and eventually they marry. They have a son, whom they name Ben (after Obi-Wan Kenobi, who used Ben as a pseudonym.)

He 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.

A more Force-conscious and wiser Luke Skywalker also appeared in the Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy video games, at the rank of Jedi Master.

He later 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.

Talents

Luke Skywalker, even through the little training he received, became a powerful Jedi Master. His skill with both the Force and lightsaber are remarkable. In the New Jedi Order novel series, Luke uses a powerful ability of the Force known as "Emerald Lightning" by fans of the series in the final battle against the Yuuzhan Vong. This technique has been described to look like "green sparks," which can instantly kill its victim. No other character can generate such powerful lightning. Throughout the Expanded Universe, he displays an amazing mastery of the Force, by manipulating black holes, gravity, and planets.

Even in Luke's Jedi Knights years, he is a powerful element. On his own, he destroyed the cloned Emperor's Force Storm, which had the ability to destroy massive ships. Also, in the Return of the Jedi script, Luke blocked the Emperor's Force Lightning with only the Force at the stage of a Jedi Knight, a feat only performed previously by Yoda, Count Dooku, and the Emperor throughout the Star Wars saga.

His niece, Jaina Solo, describes him in the final Yuuzhan Vong battle as a maelstrom of Force energy so calm and focused that he was unstoppable. She also says his lightsaber looks to be like ten or twenty blades all moving at once. Luke's abilities with a lightsaber and the Force allow him to prevail over thousands and thousands of Yuuzhan Vong warriors and other enemies as well. Luke defeats the Supreme Overlord (The Yuuzhan Vong's leader), who on his own could destroy many Jedi.

Family

Quotations

(referring to Tatooine) "Well, if there's a bright center in the universe, you're on the planet it's farthest from." (A New Hope)

(seeing Leia for the first time) "Who is she? She's beautiful!" (A New Hope)

"My father didn't fight in the Clone Wars. He was a navigator on a space freighter." (A New Hope)

"I want to come with you to Alderaan. There's nothing here for me now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father!" (A New Hope)

"You bet I could! I'm not such a bad pilot myself!" (A New Hope)

"10,000?!? We could almost buy our own ship for that! (A New Hope)

(seeing the Millennium Falcon for the first time) "What a piece of junk!" (A New Hope)

(about the Force) "You mean it controls your actions?" (A New Hope)

"You know, I could almost see something for a moment. I could almost see the remote!" (A New Hope)

(to Han Solo and Chewbacca) "You know, between his howling and your blasting, it's a wonder the whole station doesn't know we're here!" (A New Hope)

(meeting Leia) "I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you!" (A New Hope)

"What good will it do if he gets himself killed?" (A New Hope)

(about firing a missile into the Death Star's one weakness) "It's not impossible. I used to bulls-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they're not much bigger than two meters!" (A New Hope)

"I only wish... Ben were here." (A New Hope)

"I got a little cooked but I'm OK." (A New Hope)

"You worry about those fighters, I'll worry about the tower!" (A New Hope)

"I've lost R2!" (A New Hope)

"Whoah, whoah! Steady! Hey! Steady, girl! Hey, whatsa matter? You smell something?" (before being attacked by a wampa) (The Empire Strikes Back)

"R2, that way!" (Empire Strikes Back)

(about Dagobah) "This place gives me the creeps! Still... there's something familiar about this place." (Empire Strikes Back)

(To Yoda, during Jedi training) "You want the impossible!" (Empire Strikes Back)

(promising Obi-Wan and Yoda he'll complete his training as he leaves to confront Vader) "I will, and I'll return! I promise!" (Empire Strikes Back)

(Duelling with Vader) "I think you'll find I'm full of surprises!" (Empire Strikes Back)

(Upon learning that Vader is his father) "Nooo!" (Empire Strikes Back)

"Ben, why didn't you tell me?" (Empire Strikes Back)

(employing a Jedi mind trick on Jabba's guards) "You will take me to Jabba now." (Return of the Jedi)

"I must be allowed to speak." (Return of the Jedi)

"Nevertheless, I am taking Captain Solo, and his friends. You can either profit from this, or be destroyed. It's your choice, but I warn you not to underestimate my powers." (Return of the Jedi)

"You should've bargained with me, Jabba. This'll be the last mistake you'll ever make!" (Return of the Jedi)

"There's a promise I have to keep... to an old friend." (Return of the Jedi)

"Leia! Leia is my sister!" (Return of the Jedi)

(the Ewoks think C-3PO is a god) "Threepio, tell them that if they don't do as you wish, you will become angry and use your magic. Just tell them!" (Return of the Jedi)

(After Leia tells him her memory of Padmè) "I have no memory of my mother; I never knew her..." (Return of the Jedi)

"I've accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father." (Return of the Jedi)

(when Vader refuses to renounce the dark side) "Then my father is truly dead." (Return of the Jedi)

(to the Emperor) "You're wrong. Soon, I'll be dead, and you with me." (Return of the Jedi)

"You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me." (Return of the Jedi)

Casting

Luke Skywalker has been portrayed by four different actors:

Aiden Barton

Films

Mark Hamill

Films

Radio

Commercials

  • He reprised his role as Luke Skywalker for a speaking role in a commercial for a Star Wars novel in 2000. The novel was the first in New Jedi Order series of books, Vector Prime, by famous science fiction author R.A. Salvatore. In the commercial, he briefly recalled his past experiences as a Jedi and with the Rebel Alliance, and told of some new threat that he was unsure he could defeat. This threat would be revealed in the book as an alien species from another galaxy known as the Yuuzhan Vong. To view the commercial, click here or here.

Comedy

Joshua Fardon

Radio

Bob Bergen

Video games

Trivia

  • Luke's last name was originally Starkiller. His last name was changed to Skywalker on the first day of shooting Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. His father would have been known as Anakin Starkiller.
  • According to an interview with Lucas, Luke was originally scripted to be female. Luke was changed from a young woman to a dwarf and then to a 60-year-old general before being finally scripted to be a young man becoming a Jedi.
  • William Katt auditioned for Luke's role.
  • Just as George Lucas took the name "Anakin" from his friend and fellow film director, Ken Annakin, the name "Luke" is derived from Lucas' own name.
  • Some fans have speculated that while his father may have been destined to bring balance to The Force, Luke's own destiny is to recreate a more humble and humane Jedi Order that makes allowances for its members' emotional needs.

External Links

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