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On the death of Luke Skywalker

August 23rd, 2010 · 6 Comments · Personal

Out of respect for other Star Wars EU readers, I’ve rendered some portions of this entry’s text invisible. Highlight to read, but be warned they contain major spoilers.

Okay, first things first – Luke Skywalker is not dead. Yet. However, he should die in this latest Star Wars book series Fate of the Jedi, and here are my thoughts on why.

It’s been common, for one thing, to kill off some major Star Wars characters in these multi-book series – in The New Jedi Order, we saw the deaths of Chewbacca and Anakin Solo. In the Legacy of the Force, we saw the demise of Jacen Solo and Mara Jade Skywalker. All four of these characters were major players in the Star Wars EU (Expanded Universe) with the exception of one, but everyone had great hopes and expectations for him, so his death struck a different chord in readers. Ever since NJO the EU has turned pretty dark, and the galaxy has become a much, much more dangerous place for our heroes. This is something I’ve long since enjoyed – I can finally turn pages again and actually feel suspense building as a character works through a tough situation, wondering if he or she (or it) will actually make it out alive.

So okay, important people die. But why Luke? Why now? I think this is the best time for him to go. With the galaxy the way that it is, with the impression so many people have of the Jedi the way it is, Luke’s own generation has passed its time already. He’s already practically gone into hermitage (albeit forced) on his quest to discover what turned Jacen Solo into the evil and twisted Darth Caedus. He’s pretty much in the end-stage of the Jedi life cycle.

Galactic politics aside, there’s also the spiritual journey that Luke is on, or has been on ever since he started piecing together the Unifying Force during the NJO. This is a journey he cannot continue without death. FotJ has already started to explore this netherworld of the Force, taking Luke and Ben and others “Beyond Shadows”. There, they spoke to a number of dead spirits trapped in a lake. You could consider them simple facsimiles of the beings they represented, filled with their last thoughts and emotions enough to talk to Luke and Ben in the manner that they did, or you could consider them the actual Force presences of those beings, walking through the afterlife. This, currently, has been left open to interpretation. I choose the latter.

This brings us to the still-as-yet unexplained phenomenon of the Force Ghost. Obi-Wan Kenobi was the first to appear as an apparition and talk to Luke, but we later learned that Obi-Wan’s former master, Qui-Gon Jin, was the first to actually learn of the technique  to communicate with living Force sensitives… from Beyond Shadows? That could certainly be a logical conclusion. Qui-Gon passed this knowledge on to Yoda, who then passed it on to Obi-Wan. We know the ancient Sith made much use of Force Ghosts to talk to people, perhaps they had an easier time of it considering the massive sink of Dark Side power that was present in the rift of the universe caused by Sinkhole Station in the Maw. During the struggle at Bakura, Obi-Wan contacted Luke one last time, saying he would no longer be able to speak to him from Beyond. This suggests a continuous journey for Force spirits after they pass on – they don’t just go to some place and stay there.

But let’s jump ahead a bit – almost a hundred years to be exact. Here we find Cade Skywalker, descendant of Kol Skywalker (descendant of Ben Skywalker? There is still a break in the lineage here) – and Cade is routinely seen talking to the Force Ghost of Luke Skywalker. Obviously, you say, Luke would have course been dead anyways by now due to old age, despite the fact that “60 is the new 40” as far as human life span in the Star Wars galaxy is concerned.

However Luke is a major hero of the Star Wars galaxy, and if history has anything to say about it, major heroes don’t just die of old age. Sure, that would be a great way for Luke to go, comfortable, surrounded by friends and loved ones – but that’s just not his destiny. He is and always has been a warrior, and as such he’s going to die for some greater cause. Spectacularly. Currently, FotJ is winding up for one hell of a punch – there have been 5 of 9 books published so far, and things are still building up. When it all finally lets loose, it’s going to be a Big Deal. Furthermore, the people in charge of EU publishing have said they’re not doing any more mega-series for the foreseeable future after this one.

Finally, the 8th novel in this series is titled “Ascension”. Now, that may refer to a number of things both within the FotJ storyline and the individual story (such as the rise of a new Jedi leader and/or the new Sith) but I’m hoping that it will primarily be a climax to the spiritual journey of Luke Skywalker.

I’ve been waiting and waiting for the EU to dabble more in this mystical realm of the Force, and I think I’m finally getting my wish fulfilled. And what better character to use in exploring this realm than Luke Skywalker? But of course, to do that he has to die. Fortunately, he won’t be gone forever.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • iDisagree

    No offense, but you are out of your mind. This was a waste of the three minutes that it took for me to read it. All of your opinions and conjectures are stupid and baseless. First off, the last book is entitled Apocalypse, and they would not kill of Luke if the world is in an apocalyptic state. Also, they have also said that they DO have more series planned for EU.

  • Gaiiden

    Actually they won’t kill off Luke because I read a few months after posting this that George Lucas gave the Star Wars authors license to kill off all but a few characters, and one of them he doesn’t want dead yet is Luke Skywalker. Which I still think is a shame especially based on your statement that the galaxy needs Luke Skywalker because of an apocalyptic scenario. It’s time for someone else to take up the mantle of Galactic Savior for cripes sakes. Let Luke go off and explore beyond the veil already. And unless you can give me proof, I stand by my “no more mega-series” statement. They specifically said they don’t want to do large-arc series. Trilogies and duologies don’t count, and things specific to one group or event like Rougue Squadron also don’t count as a “mega series” like FoTJ or NJO, which spanned multiple groups, factions and plots

  • Mandalorianarmor

    Guess not huh?

  • Josh62li

    I think Luke will die of old age, it will show how he completed his quest as well as accomplishing what few Jedi since the first Empire have.

  • Gaiiden

    I’d still rather he go out as the warrior and hero that he is in some epic battle in defense of the galaxy. A peaceful death just doesn’t seem right for him. Mara’s death, for example, was excellent. She went out fighting for what was right but did so in the fashion of her character who was always a shadow player and stalking Cadeus like that, on her own, was so her. I’m hoping Luke goes the same way tho with less of the assassin vibe since that’s not him and more of the grandiose defense of a highly-visible and known threat to the galaxy

  • Jayc2127

    Sorry but tge star wars universe itself is in a state of
    Termoil simply because lucas doesnt much care for the eu. Hes very chilish with star wars that way. He doesnt take critism well in a profession where, well its a big part of. He also doesnt care much for the fans, as we have opinions and thats not ok. So the death of skywalker may well nvr be published. At least none time soon. Though star wars will far outlast lucas, and eventually someone will continue it more openly

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