Saturday, July 30, 2016

Characters We Love: Luke Skywalker


With the newest installment in the Star Wars Universe coming to theaters later this year, we thought it'd be appropriate to cover a character that everyone knows and loves. Many call him annoying, whiny and downright obnoxious, while others call him a hero. His name is Luke Skywalker. Despite his criticisms, Luke actually has a lot going for him. Raised on the remote desert planet of Tatooine by his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru on a moisture farm, Luke never really knew anything about his parents other than what his uncle told him. Luke grows tired of working on a farm while his friends join the Rebellion to fight the evil and ominous Empire looming over the galaxy and threatening their way of life, but his uncle refuses to let him leave. 

During a droid sale on the farm, Luke's Uncle buys two new droids, R2-D2 and C3PO, who just
recently crash landed on the planet after escaping the clutches of the Empire. After spending some time with them, Luke discovers that R2-D2 is holding important information for the Rebellion regarding a princess named Leia and one General Obi-Wan Kenobi, piquing Luke's interest. When R2-D2 goes missing, Luke searches for him in the wilds of Tatooine, only to run into old Ben Kenobi, a hermit living away from any and everyone. Ben reveals to Luke that he is Obi-Wan Kenobi, the one that this Princess Leia seeks. Obi-Wan teaches Luke that there is a powerful element known as the force and that his father was once a Jedi, who was slain by the evil Darth Vader.

 When Luke returns home, he finds that the Empire has destroyed it and killed his aunt and uncle in search of the droids. Luke now has one choice: train with Obi-Wan to become a Jedi and fight the Empire. Over the course of three films and many conflicts, Luke slowly becomes more mature and aware of himself and the power behind the force. As he progresses, he comes face to face with the very Darth Vader that killed his father, as Obi-Wan told him. In a lightsaber duel against the Sith, Luke learns that Vader did not kill his father, but is his father.

This leads to the conclusion of Luke's arc in the next film, Return of the Jedi. Luke's goal is not to destroy Vader, but return him to the light side of the force. When facing against his own father, Luke becomes tempted with the dark side when promised the galaxy by the emperor. Here, Luke makes an incredibly bold decision. A decision that completes his arc and makes him one of the strongest and most pronounced characters in the Star Wars Universe. When Luke has a chance to kill his father, he goes against the urge, not wanting to become the very thing he's been determined to fight against. At this point, Luke knows who he is and what side he's on. He successfully turns his father to the light side just before he dies. Luke becomes the only Jedi Knight in the galaxy, for now.

Years later, Luke attempts to start a Jedi academy to train those that are force sensitive in the ways of
the light, but falls prey to a massacre led by Kylo Ren, one of his own trainees who has fallen to the dark side. Luke goes into hiding as a new evil, the First Order, grows and attempts to overthrow the new galactic senate. Not long after, Luke meets Rey, a strong force user who seeks his help in taking down the First Order. Will he train her in the ways of the force and bring back the Jedi order? Unfortunately, we will have to wait to find out next year when Episode 8 makes it's debut in theaters.

 Why We Love Him: 

1. He has a pronounced character arc: Over the course of several films, Luke's attitude, physicality, and maturity all change for the better. He comes a force to be reckoned with by the beginning of Return of the Jedi and only gets stronger from that point. Once he discovers that he really is a Jedi and that he would never join the Dark Side, he then becomes one of the strongest character in the universe.

2. He's personal: Unlike the original Jedi order, where getting too close to others was seen as a distraction, Luke grows close to those around him. He makes a lot of friends along the way and refuses to ditch them for his newly found beliefs. Yhough this gets him into trouble in some cases, it does not stop him from caring for others.

3. He's compassionate: In Return of the Jedi, Luke cares only to reconcile his father back to the Light Side. He cares deeply and believes in others when they cannot, especially Darth Vader, who believes it's too late to leave the Dark Side.

4. He's conflicted: this makes Luke easy to relate to for anyone watching the SW series. He's constantly at war within himself about his emotions and the opposing sides of the Dark Side. He's tempted to join his father in taking over the galaxy, but after much internal warfare, Luke is able to make a clear decision about who he is and where he stands.

If you weren't convinced that Luke was a respectable character in the SW universe, hopefully this article curbed that. If you go back and watch the original trilogy, keep an eye out for some of these character details and let us know what you think.

By David White

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