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Why Luke Skywalker Wasn’t As Good A Jedi Master As You Think

A Legend In His Own Mind

By Culture SlatePublished 2 years ago 6 min read

Luke Skywalker is definitely one of, if not the most powerful Jedi the galaxy has ever seen. However, strength and power alone are not the only characteristics required for a great Jedi Master. Luke Skywalker, as a Jedi Master, was a failure.

Luke Skywalker has been the hero of Star Wars from day one. Since 1977, when he arrived in A New Hope to save the Rebel Alliance from the Death Star, audiences watched the young farm boy grow into a powerful Jedi Master, one powerful enough to end the reign of a Sith Emperor and redeem his fallen Jedi father, Anakin.

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A Jedi Master is meant to counsel and teach the future of the Jedi Order, ensuring that future Jedi bring peace and prosperity to the galaxy whilst avoiding the pull of the dark side. They provide protection of the Jedi code and the padawans in their care and fulfill the will of the Force. Luke Skywalker is often seen as one of the greatest Jedi Masters of all time, yet he fails in every aspect of his duty.

Luke Skywalker was always meant to be a different Jedi from those that came before him. This much was clear from the way he was introduced to the Force. He was older than other traditional padawans, as revealed in the prequel trilogy’s Jedi doctrine. He lacked the basic training afforded to trainee Jedi because the Jedi were missing from the galaxy following the Great Jedi Purge. He lacked a Jedi master who could guide him, not only in the ways of the Force but also in the way of the Jedi; the lack of attachment and trust in the Force. Obi-Wan met his physical death confronting Darth Vader on the Death Star, leaving Luke without a master right at the start of Luke’s training. This may excuse Luke’s poor execution of his role as a Jedi Master, as he never saw what a true master was like.

However, after the Battle of Hoth, Luke eventually found a new master following his instruction from a disembodied Obi-Wan to find Yoda on Dagobah. There, Luke began his training before it was cut short once again when he sensed his friends were in danger. Without completing his training, Luke traveled to Bespin to face his father and dark lord, Vader. This ended catastrophically, with the loss of his hand, his best-friend Han, frozen in carbonite, and a galaxy looking more shrouded in darkness than ever before. When Luke eventually returns to Dagobah, he finds an aged and weary Yoda preparing to join the living Force. Because of this, Luke once again finds himself without a master. However, this time, his lack of a master and role model is down to Luke’s own doing, through abandoning his training.

Luke does redeem his father from the dark side, yet this is not down to his Jedi training. It is down to his belief and love for his father. Luke does not slay Emperor Palpatine. Instead, it is Anakin who saves Luke from the Emperor’s lightning. This shows that even when many regard Luke as being in his prime, it is not his skills as a Jedi Master that save him. It is, in fact, Anakin Skywalker that brings peace and prosperity to the galaxy.

Now that his journey to Jedi Master is covered, we can really start to look at Luke as a Master Jedi. He was aware of the failings of the Jedi, having had conversations with both Obi-Wan and Yoda as force ghosts. By the time of The Last Jedi, Luke had acquired many of the sacred Jedi texts and had realised the failings of the Galactic Republic’s Jedi. Surely then, he should have avoided making the same mistakes that the previous Jedi made? Well, the answer is no, and this is where we start to see the reality of Luke Skywalker as a Jedi Master, a complete failure.

Luke Skywalker was responsible for the training of a new generation of Jedi following the fall of the Empire. When Luke set up a new Jedi temple on a currently un-named planet, ready to train the Jedi, many fans expected Luke Skywalker to forgo the old Jedi way and modernise the teachings and codes of the Jedi, factoring in attachment and every emotion, whilst maintaining the role as guardians of peace. When we see the temple’s construction in The Book of Boba Fett, we see Ahsoka watching on with hope. Yet, by the time of The Force Awakens, the temple had been destroyed along with the new order. This is Luke’s biggest failure; repeating the past because he has forgotten it himself.

When Luke accepts Grogu as his padawan, we see him begin his training again at the new Jedi temple. Grogu clearly has talent, ability, and raw Force power. Yet, Luke is willing to disregard all of this when Grogu shows a willingness and longing to return to Din Djarin. This, Luke says, is an attachment that could lead to the dark side. How can Luke say this after it was his attachment to his friends and to his father that saved the galaxy above Endor? At best, this is Luke being overly cautious, but this makes Luke the ultimate hypocrite at worst. He is willing to allow a youngling with genuine potential to go untrained, yet still powerful, without the guidance of someone who could lead him on the correct path of the Jedi and the light side of the Force.

Instead, Grogu has been returned to Din Djarin, who must now take responsibility for the choices and morality that Grogu develops. Surely, having some influence over Grogu would be better than none? Making Grogu choose between the path of the Jedi and seeing Mando is alienating Grogu against the Jedi, thus making it more likely that Grogu could walk towards the dark side without an expert in the Force’s guidance. This is a direct reflection of the past. Just like the choice of Anakin Skywalker, his mother, or the path of the Jedi?

Luke Skywalker was responsible for the fall of Ben Solo to the dark side, but not in the way that Luke views it. He believes that he failed Ben through his teaching, separation from his family, and inability to save him from Snoke. But instead, the reality is that Luke’s hubris and fear led to him standing over his apprentice, lightsaber ignited, ready to strike down the boy where he slept. This action pushed Ben to Snoke, with Luke no longer seeming a reliable and trustworthy mentor.

Here Luke fails to both protect his apprentice from danger whilst directly pushing Ben into the arms of Snoke, destroying the peace and prosperity of the galaxy that the Jedi swore to protect. In the case of Ben Solo, he failed as a Jedi Master in every aspect. Luke was the reason that Ben reached out to Snoke. Ben helped bring about the First Order’s reign bringing hardship to the galaxy. Ben destroyed the new Jedi order and left the galaxy without its protectors. Luke Skywalker made Ben what he was because he failed as his Jedi Master. Another reflection of the past; Anakin Skywalker was pushed into the arms of Palpatine by the Jedi’s beliefs.

Finally, having already failed to fulfill his duty as a Jedi Master, in The Last Jedi, we see him refuse to teach Rey, isolate himself, and wallow in self-pity. He continues to fail as he chooses to stay on Ahch-To instead of assisting Rey in joining the resistance and bringing peace back to the galaxy. Even when he is redeemed, in saving the resistance, he fails to act as a Jedi Master should, taking responsibility for his pupil Ben. Instead of simply saying, ‘see you around, Kid.’ Not the kind of thing a wise and responsible Jedi Master would do.

Luke Skywalker is no doubt powerful. He is no doubt a hero. But Luke Skywalker is not a good Jedi Master. He failed his students, potential, friends, and galaxy when he failed to fulfill his potential as a Master. He wanted to avoid past mistakes, but instead, he allowed history to repeat itself.

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Written by Jamie Wade

Source(s): Wookieepedia

Syndicated from Culture Slate

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