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Why Luke Skywalker Should Remain a Hero

Why Luke Skywalker Should Remain a Hero

Scott Murray's Star Wars Blog

When I was growing up, Luke Skywalker was my hero.  Due to the fact that I don’t let go of many things from my childhood – he still is.  You can imagine my excitement when I not only found out there were going to be more Star Wars movies, but that Luke was going to be in The Force Awakens.

Luke EP4

If Luke were to turn or become a villain, I think it makes the hero’s journey in the OT worthless.  Why go through the growth, the challenges and the redemption just so that we can see him burn it all down in the next movie?  It would be as if the story was meant to fool us all along and say, “Ha!  He wasn’t who you thought he was!”

I understand that people “not being what they seem” are good, prominent elements in storytelling.  However, it’s usually not revealed after three movies (or 6 hours).  I know stories that involve heroes or characters who do all the right things, make all the right choices and are good all the time are boring (and somewhat unrealistic).  Yet Luke made some mistakes (like rushing off Dagobah to go to Cloud City or going into the cave with weapons), but he had a support system and a path that helped him be someone who made more good decisions than bad ones.  That is what differentiates him from Anakin:

LUKE
Raised by two good guardians.
Mentored by a wise old Jedi.
Had close friends who believed in him.
Got opportunities to prove himself (even when some thought he wasn’t ready).
Pulled off a major victory with the destruction of the Death Star which won him instant respect
Didn’t have to be secretive about his affection for a woman (even though she turned out to be related to him).

ANAKIN
Raised a slave.
Had to leave his mother behind & feel responsible for her death.
After leaving her to become a Jedi, he was told he wouldn’t be trained.
His master (and the only one who believed in him) dies.
Is told to let go of his feelings about loss by Yoda.
The Jedi Council goes out of their way to make it clear they don’t trust him.
Feels like no matter how hard he tries, he cannot get the trust & recognition he feels he deserves.
Is in a relationship that he knows people disapprove of.
Helps to kill Mace Windu.

It’s not hard to see how Luke was the ideal and necessary person to bring him back to the light side.  For him to suddenly turn to the dark side after all of this would make that achievement less meaningful.

Luke & Darth Vader ROTJ

Luke is the one in this story who managed to make mistakes, take advantage of opportunities, balance temptations and not lose sight of what’s at stake.  I find it hard to believe as he grows older (as he is in Episode VII) that those traits crumble.  He can become like the Episode IV Obi-Wan (another character who also made mistakes when he was young, but stayed light) in the new movie.

Look, I know there are stories out there like Dark Empire that a lot of people love.  I didn’t read those, but I’m familiar with the storyline.  A lot of crazy stuff had to happen to twist Luke around and I don’t see that being a viable storyline in the movies.

Luke Dark Empire

A recent interview with Mark Hamill about Episode VII seem to indicate that a dark Luke Skywalker isn’t the path the film is going to take.  For me, it’s good to know.  I want to continue to look forward to seeing my hero again…AS A HERO.

That’s not to say I have any problems with Luke facing darker or new struggles in the new movie.  I by no means am suggesting he’s turned into some flawless goody two-shoes that no longer has to make tough decisions.  That’s fine.

However, all signs point to the idea that the OT cast is here to bridge a connection from Episode VI to Episode VII, and then hand it off to a new generation.  That tells me that Luke’s story has been all but told.  That’s another reason why I think Luke should never turn dark; this would ruin what we know of him from the OT.

Luke can warn the new force sensitive heroes of the dangers of the dark side per his own experience and knowing the fate of his father.  He can be the one that attempts to steer new Jedi heroes on the right path.  They then have to make decisions that lead them down the path of Luke or Anakin.

Qui-Gon started Anakin’s path before his death.  Obi-Wan started Luke’s before his death.  Luke needs to be the one to start a new Jedi’s path…not re-route his own.

Contact Scott at Scott@AssemblyofGeeks.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Melinda
    February 26, 2015 at 14:03 Reply

    Scott, have you been listening to some far-fetched rumors out there? As I read your blog, that is what I surmised … although you never made mention of that. Are you assuming we all have heard the same rumors? I, for one, turn a deaf ear to anything that does not come from the official site or Coffee With Kenobi. Then again, I don’t go hunting for Star Wars news outside of these two websites. 🙂

    I am going to go out on a limb here to throw my two cents into your mix. I can’t see Luke being anything but the Jedi hero he always has been. Even the best of us are sometimes faced with choices that can lead us down a dark path. That is one of the themes of Star Wars, and let’s face it — Luke never would go through the growth he experiences without facing those decisions — and making the choices he makes! Whether you call it jeopardizing one’s ethics/morals or choosing between right and wrong, some individuals — including Luke Skywalker — will choose the Light Side. It’s just not in their makeup to do otherwise. 🙂

    One of the main differences between Luke and Anakin is that Luke was able to see beyond the tip of his own nose. Anakin was not.

    Like you, I always have been — and always will be — a Luke Skywalker fan. Luke became my favorite character the first time I saw “Star Wars” back in 1977, and he remains so to this very day. 🙂 I never have waivered on that point. 🙂 While it may not be considered canon, I thoroughly have enjoyed “watching” Luke’s growth through the EU. One of the facets of Luke’s character that always has appealed to me is that he never has been presented as “perfect”, he has been faced with the Dark Side — including the dark side in himself (we all have one!) — and has remained steadfast. He may be a fictional character, but I find this inspirational. 🙂

    Long live Luke Skywalker — the hero, committed to the Light Side of the Force. 🙂

    MTFBWY 🙂

  2. The Star Wars Party is Just Beginning | Coffee With Kenobi
    August 24, 2015 at 11:25 Reply

    […] However, I’m such a fan…I HAVE to get Aftermath…because I HAVE to know what happens after my favorite Star Wars movie of all time. Which brings up another point – early reactions to The Force Awakens imply it could be my new favorite (depending on what they do with Luke Skywalker). […]

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