Luke Skywalker Was Not Out Of Character In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, And Here’s Why

The Luke Skywalker Of Old

Luke Skywalker is beloved by Star Wars fans the world over. He may not be the most powerful of characters when we first meet him, but his courage and loyalty more than make up for that. Indeed, in the Original Trilogy, Luke rushes to save others with little concern for his own safety on two occasions.

For some 35 years, Luke’s heroism continued in the highly popular Expanded Universe, which picked up where Return of the Jedi left off, with new compelling characters and memorable stories. Even if it was a labyrinthine and highly contradictory continuity, these beloved comics and novels allowed fans to get to know the characters more intimately outside the runtime of the adored movies.

Moreover, whilst he was still plagued by the shadows of his past, the EU saw Luke triumph against many new problems and conflicts. Among his many accomplishments, he attained a great mastery of the Force, founded a flourishing New Jedi Order, married the vivacious Mara Jade and fathered Ben Skywalker.

Luke in The Last Jedi

Thanks to the Yuuzhan Vong – and remnants of the Empire – it wasn’t exactly a fairytale ending for Luke. However, these idealized tales did provide him with some degree of happiness. Plus, they contained a whole lot of Force-badassery. As such, the EU – and particularly Luke Skywalker – became a potent form of wish fulfillment for fans. This contentment continued until 2014, when Disney erased the Expanded Universe from the Star Wars canon in lieu of a new one centered on the Sequel Trilogy.

Star Wars fans weren’t happy that their emotional investment had “gone to waste.” Their mood did not improve when The Force Awakens was released, either. After all, many saw the re-purposing of some EU ideas – such as Darth Caedus/Kylo Ren – to be a pale imitation of something they deemed to be sacred.

Nevertheless, the allure of the absent Luke Skywalker still drew their attention. But trouble brewed in April 2017, when Mark Hamill revealed that he’d “fundamentally disagreed” with director Rian Johnson’s vision of Luke in The Last Jedi. You see, Hamill’s words carry a lot more weight than many other people involved in Star Wars. He had championed the saga more than anyone else from the Original Trilogy, and since played popular roles in various prominent pop culture properties.

Mark may have swiftly backtracked and clarified his comments, but the damage was already done for some fans, who already felt aggrieved with the Sequel Trilogy. Therefore, the stage was set for enthusiasts to balk against the new Luke.