Who is Luke Skywalker, and what else do we know about the Jedi? Luke Skywalker is the single biggest name in Star Wars, with the entire franchise hinging on his presence.
The Star Wars character is the lead of the original Star Wars movies, with his legacy continuing to be explored further in the sequel trilogy. He’s the most iconic Jedi, and through the original trilogy we learn about the Force, the Sith, and the story of the Jedi through his eyes.
But even after all this time, with a story that spans multiple science fiction movies and several decades, there’s still a lot to unpack with Luke Skywalker. So we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the galaxy’s greatest hero, with our definitive guide to Luke Skywalker.
Luke Skywalker’s story in the Star Wars movies
Luke Skywalker’s story in Star Wars really begins in Revenge of the Sith, where we watch his birth, and the decision taken by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Bail Organa to send him to Tatooine to stay with Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, away from the eyes of the Galactic Empire and his deadly father while Princess Leia is sent to Alderaan.
As we see in the Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi, the young Skywalker lives a relatively peaceful – if mundane – life of moisture farming with his relatives. He comes into danger when Reva tries to track him down, but he is ultimately spared.
His adventure truly begins when he is attacked by Tusken Raiders while hunting for his Star Wars droid R2-D2 who has gone missing. He is saved by Obi-Wan Kenobi, who tells him about the Jedi and gives him a path to join the Rebellion which Luke chooses to follow when Owen and Beru are killed by Stormtroopers.
From there, Luke meets with Han Solo and Chewie and is heavily involved in the plan to rescue Princess Leia from the Death Star. After this is successful (though resulting in the death of Kenobi) Luke then pilots an X-Wing which attacks the Death Star, and he manages to destroy the space station through listening to The Force.
Luke becomes more involved in the plans of the Rebellion, going on to play a key role in the battle on Hoth. He is told by the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi to go to Dagobah and seek out Yoda, so that he can improve his Jedi abilities. He travels to Dagobah on his X-Wing with R2, finding Yoda and beginning his formal Jedi training.
Luke finds this difficult, and faces distractions which include visions of Darth Vader and the threat of his friends Han and Leia facing danger. After improving his skill, he leaves Dagobah against the advice of Yoda so that he may travel to Cloud City and save his friends from the Sith Lord.
He arrives too late, however, and is forced into a duel with Vader who reveals his identity as Luke’s father. After Han is frozen in Carbonite, Leia, Lando, and Chewie save Luke who is badly injured and they flee in order to come up with their plan to save Han.
With his friends, Luke saves Han from Jabba on Tatooine with his newly created green lightsaber. He then returns to Dagobah to finish his Jedi training, but finds that Yoda is too old, and the green Star Wars alien dies. This leaves Luke in a position where his training is still unfinished, and he is open to exploitation from Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader who want to convert him to the dark side.
While Han and Leia attempt to bring down the shields on the second Death Star from the forest moon of Endor, Luke is captured by Vader who takes him to Palpatine. Luke is attacked by Palpatine upon refusing to join him, but Vader steps in to rescue his son. The second Death Star explodes, leaving Luke and Vader to reconnect as father and son before Vader’s demise.
After Vader’s death and the defeat of the Galactic Empire, Luke informs Leia that they’re siblings, and plans to rebuild the Jedi Order. In canon, we next see Luke in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, where he is rebuilding his Jedi temple with Ahsoka, having taken in Baby Yoda to train.
While Baby Yoda does eventually choose to leave Luke and reunite with Din Djarin, Luke continues with his plans and re-establishes a Jedi temple and the beginnings of a Jedi Order. This is thrown into jeopardy as he tutors his nephew, Ben Solo, and when he senses darkness in young Solo he considers killing the young Padawan.
This moment of doubt causes Luke to disband his attempts at rebuilding the Jedi, and he isolates himself on the planet of Ahch-To where he lives a life of solitude after his failure. There, he is discovered by Rey who is seeking mentorship in order to defeat Kylo Ren.
Luke initially refuses to help due to his past failings, but later gives Rey some basic training and teaches her like Yoda taught him. Rey leaves to confront Kylo Ren, and sensing a chance to redeem himself, Luke uses the force to project his being across the galaxy to confront the young Sith on Crait. His distraction helps Rey, Poe, and Finn to escape, though it saps the last of his strength and the energy required to maintain the projection ultimately kills Luke.
Does Luke Skywalker turn to the dark side?
Like his father, Luke always had the capacity for darkness within him, but never turned to the dark side. This is first seen on Dagobah, where he kills Darth Vader in a vision only to realise that he was fighting himself. We also see the growing darkness in Luke in Return of the Jedi, where he’s dressed all in black and uses The Force to choke his enemies.
Both Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader attempted to exploit this capacity for darkness, when they tried to enlist Luke to join their cause. Luke managed to refuse though, and it was his refusal that ultimately led to the downfall of the Galactic Empire.
However, the darkness in Luke resurfaced when he almost killed the innocent Kylo Ren, although once again Luke was able to control his anger. However his momentary slip still had unintended consequences and nearly resulted in the return of Emperor Palpatine. Like before, Luke redeemed himself though and proved that he was able to overcome his internal struggles.
How does Luke Skywalker die?
Luke Skywalker dies in The Last Jedi when using The Force to create a projection of himself on Crait, across the galaxy.
The effort required to maintain this uses the last of Luke’s strength, and we watch him die in front of the sunsets on Ahch-To having realised that he has done all he can do to help the galaxy. Luke then becomes a Force Ghost along with Obi-Wan Kenobi and master Yoda, and he appears to Rey in The Rise of Skywalker, and helps to convince her to re-join the fight rather than hide away as he did for fear of himself.
And that’s it on Luke Skywalker. For more Star Wars fun, take a look at our guides to the best Star Wars villains and the best Star Wars bounty hunters. Or, find out more about the story of Cassian Andor with our guide to the Andor season 2 release date as well as our guide to the Andor cast. You can also check out our explainers on the Obi-Wan Kenobi season 2 release date and the Ahsoka release date.