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Who is Luke Skywalker?

By J. Beam
Updated May 23, 2024
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Luke Skywalker is a major fictional character who appears in the well-known science fiction saga Star Wars, written by George Lucas. In the story, Luke Skywalker is one of two children produced by a forbidden marriage between characters Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. Fulfilling an ancient Jedi prophecy, Luke Skywalker struggles with his heritage and finds a way to restore balance to a war-torn galaxy.

In Lucas’s story, Luke Skywalker learns his father was Anakin, who was a Jedi Knight that became consumed by dark forces and now sits at the right hand of an evil emperor as the villainous Darth Vader. His mother, Padme died in childbirth. Though Luke Skywalker’s life began as a farm boy tucked away on the small planet of Tatooine, he learns he possesses the necessary skills to become a Jedi Knight, the protective forces of good.

Though the earlier parts of the story begin years before Luke Skywalker is even born, the conclusion of the story is largely based on his existence. His early childhood is spent unknowingly in hiding and separated from his sister, Leia Organa, whom he never knew existed. He becomes a fighter pilot and later develops and hones his Jedi skills under the guidance of Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. Armed with his father's light saber, his plight is to overthrow the evil galactic empire that threatens universal democracy, which he does with the help of the story’s other major characters.

Star Wars became a major motion picture in 1977, with the release of the fourth in a series of a six-part motion picture saga that concluded with the third episode in 2005. Episodes IV, V, and VI all feature Luke Skywalker, played by actor Mark Hamill. Other major characters included in the saga during Luke Skywalker’s existence include Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C3-PO, and Lando Calrissian.

Luke Skywalker, along with several other characters from the story have become the center of a cult following. The story has appeared in graphic novel and cartoon form as well as motion picture. Luke’s father, Darth Vader, is one of the best-known movie villains of all time.

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Discussion Comments

By umbra21 — On Jan 05, 2015

@KoiwiGal - I've always kind of thought it was a shame that they didn't do the obvious thing and echo the originals with the latest movies in terms of character development. The story they told might have been better with Padma utilized as the lead, but they could have told a completely different story with Anakin as the lead and done it properly.

We might not have learned all the ins and outs of politics, but I think it could have been much more interesting to get to know this extraordinary kid and really follow his journey.

By KoiwiGal — On Jan 05, 2015

@Mor - I always thought that was one of the things that was wrong with the latest series. They didn't have a character like Luke that could tie everything together, especially in the first movie. It should have been either Obi-Wan or Padma, but they were both far too established and neither of them really learned anything new over the course of the movie, at least, not about themselves.

Luke on the other hand, was at the forefront of almost every single scene in his movies and went from knowing almost nothing about the universe to being an ultimate savior of it.

The original movies aren't perfect by any means, but they definitely knew how to tell a story properly. And a large part of that was in the way they draped the entire thing over Luke as the main character.

By Mor — On Jan 04, 2015

The Star Wars series is actually a really good place to learn about archetypes and tropes in storytelling and Luke Skywalker is a classic. He's a typical example of a main character set up so that they have no idea what is going on and the audience can learn with them in a bizarre and unfamiliar world. He's also positioned so that he can have obvious growth through conflict throughout the series.

A lot of people find him to be annoying, or at least not as compelling as other characters like Han who are already fairly set in their ways and won't experience nearly as much of a learning curve, but that's kind of the point. The audience is supposed to feel like they are Luke, rather than simply liking him.

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