Throughout the generations, Star Wars has captured the imaginations of fans and creators alike. Forty years have passed, and yet, Star Wars’ themes still ring true today. Hope, family, love, heroism, and redemption are as relatable now as they were in 1977 and one of the many reasons why Star Wars has remained timeless, becoming a cultural phenomenon.
A recurring theme is the Hero’s Journey and Luke Skywalker is one of the most iconic examples of this monomyth. Even if you have never watched a Star Wars film, most likely, you know the name Luke Skywalker. Luke Skywalker, the farm boy who became a Jedi like his father before him.
So, in honor of the fortieth year of Star Wars and to gear-up for the upcoming film ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ I thought it would be fitting to go back and recap some of Luke’s most memorable moments from Star Wars.
A New Hope is on the horizon.
One of the most iconic cinematic moments in movie history is the scene of Luke Skywalker looking out at the binary sunset on Tatooine. It’s a moment of hopes and dreams coming to ahead. Luke, is every one of us at some point in our lives in this particular scene. Who hasn’t dreamt of doing something so much that they wished they could just pick and go? To leave all their troubles behind and do what they felt they were meant to do, to be. To me, this is one of Luke’s most memorable moments. It’s a moment of transition and knowing that a New Hope is on the horizon.
Use the Force and stay the course.
One of Luke’s first steps into a larger world is the trench run scene. To put it bluntly, it takes a lot more skill to take out the Death Star than shooting womp rats in a T-16 Skyhopper. Not saying that isn’t thrilling, but let’s face it, that trench on the Death Star is a tight squeeze for any pilot. That said, the minute Luke shuts off his navigation computer is the moment he becomes something bigger than himself. The Force.
The trench run scene is one of heart-pounding suspense and shrill of hope that somehow, some way, it will all be ok. In an instant, you are Luke, and you feel yourself drift away in this thing called the Force. You don’t know what it is, but you trust it anyway. Like Luke, you see the target, no, you are the target. Luke becomes one with the Force. He uses the Force, stays the course, and he fires. Proton torpedoes a way!
Only what you take with you.
The moment in the cave, the test of self, is probably one of the most memorable moments in Star Wars altogether. From the moment our young hero enters the cave, the domain of evil, on Dagobah, you feel it. Fear.
This is the beginning of what would be known as Luke’s Jedi Trails. He is tested and forced to face himself. It is a moment of self-exploration and self-reflection, in other words, Luke has to face the mirror.
“Only what you take with you,” is Yoda’s response to Luke when he asks what is inside the cave. Instead of following Yoda’s instructions, Luke takes his weapons inside. Better to be safe than sorry? Unfortunately, that idea backfires on Luke as he comes face-to-face with his worst nightmare. Darth Vader.
No. I am your Father.
Iconic, epic, and unforgettable. In fact, this scene needs no introduction at all, but I’m going to give it to you anyways. Probably one of, if not the biggest, cinematic twist of all-time. And that is that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father.
The moment of truth, Darth Vader’s revelation is devastating for Luke, but at the same time, it’s also cataclysmic for what lies ahead. In other words, what does this mean for the future of the Skywalkers and their generations to come?
But getting back to the moment at hand. Pun unintentional. Luke has been beaten and bested, both mentally and physically by his father, and not to add insult to injury, but he’s also lost his hand in the act. It’s a constant and permanent reminder of who he is and what he could potentially become.
The Force is strong in my family.
The young farm boy who lost everyone he cared about in the beginning finds out he has more solid roots than he could’ve imagined possible. He not only has a father. Estranged as he may be, he’s still his father. Luke has a sister. Leia.
For me, this is one of the most heartfelt moments I have of Luke. It’s another revelation, but it has the direct opposite effect than the one he had when discovering who his father is. While the news does come with some shock value, especially for Leia putting two-and-two together and what that means for her on a personal level, the outcome is still bittersweet.
It’s a touching moment as Leia runs out to Luke on the Ewok bridge. Naturally, she wants to comfort him, but all that ends quickly as Luke musters up the words to tell Leia the truth. “The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And, my sister has it.”
I am a Jedi, like my father before me.
The Duel of Fates is one of the fandoms favorite and most memorable moments of Luke Skywalker. He faces the truth head on and never looks back. He’s prepared to face his greatest fears and realizes he may not make it back to help his friends or the Alliance. And in doing so, hands himself over to his father, Darth Vader.
Once again, Luke is made to fight his father. The Emperor pits father and son against each. It is a battle to the death. The winner gets to serve at the side of the Emperor. Luke Skywalker wants none of this of course. So, Luke strikes back.
The boy becomes a man and tosses his weapon aside. “You’ve failed, your Highness,” he exclaims. No longer the farm boy so far away from home. Luke Skywalker is now a Jedi, like his father before him!
Luke Skywalker? I thought he was a myth?
Silence is golden. Well, it is when you’re Luke Skywalker. The ending scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens has rattled the brains of fans for almost two years now. We sat on the edge of our seats as we watched Rey climb the stone stairway to meet the myth, the legendary Luke Skywalker. Our anxiety builds as the music swells in the background. He turns around to meet her face-to-face. Everything seems to come to a complete stop as if you can hear a pin drop. And in an instant, you feel what Rey feels.
Luke Skywalker is real.
This IS the Podcast you’re looking for!
Becca Benjamin ‘does’ Star Wars; it’s a verb! Becca is the Former EIC
@thecantinacast, Owner and Host of @CastleKanata @TarkinsTopShelf Podcasts. She also contributes to: @CoffeeWthKenobi, @MakingStarWars, @JediNewsUK , and @SteveDAnderson.