Characters / Star Wars – Luke Skywalker

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Luke Skywalker

Species: Human

Homeworld: Polis Massa (born), Tatooine (adopted)

Portrayed by: Mark Hamill, Aidan Barton (baby)
Voiced in Latin-American Spanish by: Salvador Nájar and Roberto Alexander (1977-1996), Jesús Barrero (1997-2015)
Voiced in European Spanish by: Salvador Vidal (main films), David Robles (The Force Awakens)
Voiced in Japanese by: Bin Shimada (current), Akira Ishida, Kaneto Shiozawa, Yuu Mizushima, Toru Watanabe, Eiji Okuda
Voiced in French by: Dominique Collignon-Maurin

    Tropes from the Original Trilogy Era 

Commander Luke Skywalker
"I am a Jedi, like my father before me."

"I'm Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you!"

A farm boy from the backwater world of Tatooine who famously destroys the Death Star and becomes the Rebel Alliance's greatest hero. Under the guidance of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, Luke learns the ways of the Force and becomes the last of the Jedi.
  • '70s Hair: Luke has a long seventies hairstyle typical of the era in which the original trilogy were made.
  • Ace Pilot: Luke has a Death Star to his credit.
  • Adorkable: He's endearingly naïve in the first film, and his awful 1970s hairstyle really helps.
  • Ambadassador: At the beginning of Return of the Jedi.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Vader takes Luke's right hand and much of the forearm in the lightsaber duel on Cloud City. He gets a cybernetic prosthesis replacement from the Rebels' medical corps, which later becomes a plot point when he faces Vader again.
  • Ancestral Weapon: His father's lightsaber. After losing it in his duel with Vader on Bespin, he builds his own and makes a point of telling this to Vader to show that he won't let his heritage define who he is.
  • Archetype: Luke is a textbook hero, designed right out of the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. So much so that his picture is featured in actual textbooks.
  • Artificial Limbs: Replaces the hand he lost fighting Vader with an artificial one in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Audience Surrogate: Mostly in A New Hope.
  • Author Avatar: Many of Luke's character traits were directly based on Star Wars creator George Lucas (Luke S. = Lucas). Both had to deal with a Fantasy-Forbidding Father (or father-figure, in Luke's case), had an admiration for racing and fast-moving vehicles, and quickly took interest in the concept of spirituality after crucial life-changing events happened to them.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Luke's original surname was "Starkiller", but after a reworking of the character it was changed to Skywalker, which is still pretty cool and more fitting. The name "Starkiller" would eventually be reused as the weaponized planet known as "Starkiller Base" in The Force Awakens.
  • Badass Adorable: A sweet tempered and kind-hearted boy who sincerely cares about everyone in a dark and uncaring universe, and is an unstoppable sentinel of justice against the forces of cruelty and darkness.
  • Badass in Distress: He is rescued by someone at least once in all three movies.
  • Badass Longcoat: Luke's "Jedi cloak" in his entrance to Jabba's palace may count.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Luke has one of the highest kill counts in the series when you factor in his single-handed destruction of the Death Star.
    • In Return of the Jedi, Luke tries to fight Vader calmly and peacefully. Until Vader threatens to corrupt Leia. Luke promptly bellows, charges, beats Vader down and lops off his hand.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He's only the big brother by about six or seven minutes, tops, but Luke definitely qualifies. He's all redeeming and peaceful and unflappable in the face of evil despite a million reasons not to be, but all bets are off when the Big Bad makes an impotent, hinted threat towards his sister. Suffice to say, he doesn't react well. Luke is slightly unusual among literal examples because the circumstances of his birth left him unaware that he is the older sibling.
  • Big "NO!":
    • When Obi-Wan is killed in A New Hope.
    • A classic one occurs in The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke discovers that Darth Vader is his father.
    • This is used in the style of a Big "NEVER!" in Return of the Jedi, in the final duel, when Vader suggests he'll turn Leia to the Dark Side.
  • Break the Badass: When Vader reveals that he is his father.
  • Broken Pedestal: Averted in regards to learning that his father became Darth Vader. While he's still not happy with the path his dad took and undergoes a Heroic B.S.O.D., he comes to terms with it over time. In the end, Luke admires the person who Anakin used to be, and steadfastly believes that there is still good in his father in spite of everything he's done. He's proven right.
  • Bromantic Foil: With Han. Luke is an idealistic farm boy and Han is a cynical mercenary.
  • Brother–Sister Team: With Leia, his twin sister.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Luke is obliged to become a Jedi when his home is burned down with his aunt and uncle left as charred remains outside. However, he wanted to help fight the Empire in the first place, but his uncle and aunt wouldn't allow it. So it was more their refusal than his.
  • The Cameo: He can be seen running home in the distance at the end of the Rebels episode "Twin Suns".
  • Celibate Hero: As of Return of the Jedi, thanks to the reveal that Leia was his sister.
  • Character Development: Goes from naïve farmboy to experienced Jedi Knight throughout the original trilogy.
  • Character Title: Depending on one's interpretation of the movie titles, Return of the Jedi and The Last Jedi may both refer to Luke (the latter of which was explicitly stated by Rian Johnson).
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Luke was orphaned twice. Luke probably wouldn't have joined Obi-Wan Kenobi in rescuing the princess if the Imperial Stormtroopers hadn't killed his uncle and aunt.
  • Cool Space Ship: The Incom T-65 X-wing starfighter.
  • Cool Sword: Luke's green lightsaber is unique within the original trilogy, signifying his development as a Jedi Knight.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Defied in his case. After resisting its pull for the entire movie, Luke comes dangerously close to falling to the Dark Side in Return of the Jedi when he flies into a rage and nearly kills Vader. He stops when he sees Vader's severed hand is prosthetic like his own and realizes he is becoming just like his nemesis.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: At Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back, Vader wipes the floor with him, physically and emotionally, resulting in losing his right hand. He does A LOT better than Han did, though. But after he Took a Level in Badass, he delivers one to Vader in Return of the Jedi after he threatens his sister, chopping off Vader's (robotic) hand.
  • Darker and Edgier: Luke's Character Development in Return of the Jedi. Luke's entrance sees him Force-choking two guards to get them out of his way, just to emphasize how much he has changed since his first appearance in the saga.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Luke wears black throughout Return of the Jedi (as opposed to brighter colors) to represent his turmoil and struggle over a possible Face–Heel Turn. When he overcomes the Emperor's temptations and causes the destruction of the Sith, his black coat falls open to reveal it had a white lining, meaning that he was always wearing white the whole time. It's mentioned in some making-of specials that the outfit is very similar to what Luke wore in A New Hope, but the all-black color scheme makes it more "Jedi-like".
  • David vs. Goliath: Luke vs. Vader. Not only is Vader taller and bigger, he's also much more skilled and experienced with the Force. It's almost a Foregone Conclusion that Luke will lose the first duel.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Luke has his witty and sarcastic moments.
  • Death Faked for You: Alongside Leia, their births were kept secret after Padmé died in childbirth, also making Padmé's corpse appear as if she died before she gave birth.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Luke could actually be seen as this trope of the saga as a whole: he's clearly set up as the hero of the Original Trilogy, but when viewed alongside the Prequel Trilogy, it becomes clear that the series is actually about his father Anakin's rise, fall, and eventual redemption. Then it comes full circle in the Sequel Trilogy, where he's the central character to the story even if Rey is (perhaps superficially) the protagonist herself.
  • Defiant Captive: Luke to Palpatine. Unfortunately for Luke, Palpatine is much better at manipulating people and shoots Luke's positions down effortlessly.
    Luke: Your overconfidence is your weakness.
    Palpatine: Your faith in your friends is yours.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: In A New Hope, Luke wants to be off Tatooine, at first by going to the Imperial Academy, especially since all of his other friends have left Tatooine.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Considering the girl (Leia) is later revealed to be his sister, this is a good thing.
  • Don't Think, Feel: A major part of his Jedi training.
  • Dork Knight: Starts off like this. Over time — maybe because of The Reveal in The Empire Strikes Back — he becomes more composed and sober.
  • The Dreaded: Though Luke is not fully trained as a Jedi and is most of the time outclassed by Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine fears that he will become this to the Sith and for good reason. Word of God states that Luke Skywalker's Force potential is the same as his father if he had not been horribly injured on Mustafar. Such fear is quickly replaced by opportunity when both Sith Lords realize the implication.
    Darth Sidious: He could destroy us.
    Darth Vader: He's just a boy. Obi-Wan could no longer help him.
    Darth Sidious: The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.
    Darth Vader: If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally.
    Darth Sidious: ...Yes. He would be a great... asset. Can it be done?
    Darth Vader: He will join us or die, Master.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: For Leia, especially in A New Hope. Though the fact that he's Force-sensitive may mean that he subconsciously sensed his relationship with her.
  • Easy Evangelism: Luke accepts everything that Obi-Wan tells him about his father, the Jedi and the Force without question, even though he barely knows the guy, who had a reputation as a crazy hermit. This does help speed the story along. Downplayed in that Luke learns about the most esoteric subject, the Force, last, and only after he's already seen that a Jedi Mind Trick is real. Luke's belief only starts stretching during Yoda's lessons.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: As revealed in the novelization of A New Hope, Luke's childhood nickname was "Wormie", acquired because he was the smallest in his group of friends.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: His reaction when he learns that Darth Vader is his father and had fallen to The Dark Side.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Throughout the last stage of the Battle of Endor, Luke goes out of the way to say that he'll die along with everyone else on the Death Star II, and has calmly accepted the fact. He ends up dropping the "dignity" part of this when he refuses to kill his father and is subsequently tortured by the Emperor, as he begs for Darth Vader to save his life. It works, and it allows Anakin to Face Death with Dignity. In the end, Luke lives after all.
  • Failure Hero: In The Empire Strikes Back. Absolutely nothing goes his way throughout the film. He gets mauled by a wampa and narrowly escapes, gets shot down during the Battle of Hoth (though he does at least take down a Humongous Mecha afterward), disappoints Yoda during his Jedi training with his negative attitude and defeatism, gets pummeled in a duel with Darth Vader and loses his hand, and his attempt to save his friends at Cloud City ironically ends with them having to save him.
  • Fantastic Recruitment Drive: Luke presumably spends the time between the Original Trilogy and the Sequel Trilogy looking for new Jedi to train.
  • Farm Boy: Luke was raised as a "moisture farmer" by his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru before answering the Call to Adventure.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • To Anakin, his father. A young boy is whisked away from his home on Tatooine by a Jedi Master. He then saves the day by flying a starfighter into battle and improbably blowing up the enemy space station, befriending R2-D2 in the process. He then receives training in the Force against Yoda's protests, leading him to overconfidently attack Palpatine's Dragon, losing an appendage for his troubles. Now, are we talking about Luke or Anakin?
    • However, while in looks and career choice Leia and Luke resemble the same sex parent, in personality and temperament, Leia is much more like Anakin and Luke like Padmé. Indeed, Luke and Padmé have almost identical lines at times (usually about Anakin/Vader).
  • Genius Bruiser: Luke is very intelligent and quick on his feet. A great example is the rescue of Princess Leia from the Death Star in A New Hope, Luke CARRIES the group through that scene. While not stated to be very physically strong the Force gives all the strength one needs.
  • Good Counterpart: To Darth Vader.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Especially in Return of the Jedi. For a film that showed the heroes as more Incorruptible Pure Pureness, some viewers were surprised to see Luke using powers generally associated with the Sith like the Force-choke. In this instance, it was used to demonstrate he was sliding towards The Dark Side.
  • Grew a Spine: When he leaves Yoda's training to rescue Han and Leia on Bespin.
  • Guile Hero: Shown in his multi-layered plan to rescue Han during the beginning of Return of the Jedi.
  • Handicapped Badass: Played with in A New Hope, when he trains with a blindfold and then refuses to use his targeting computer when shooting the Death Star. Played straight in Return of the Jedi, after he's lost his hand and gained a cybernetic one in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • The Heart: Luke is the centerpiece that holds everyone together in the Original Trilogy.
  • The Hero:
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Luke receives a sword when he is about to leave his life on Tatooine to become a hero.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • After Luke escapes from Vader and is rescued by Lando and the others in the Falcon, Luke has a major one. In the Falcon's cockpit as the heroes try to escape from Bespin, he's clearly filled with despair, whispering, "Ben, why didn't you tell me?" It doesn't help that he's just lost his hand, and Vader was using the Force to more or less "torture" Luke with the previous reveal of Vader being Luke's father.
    • In the canonical comic book, he goes into one after just barely surviving his first duel against Vader. He comes to think of himself as a liability to the Rebellion, and temporarily abandons his friends in order to find a way to continue his Jedi training so that he'll be more useful in the future.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: He's blond, and a very Nice Guy.
  • Heroic Lineage: Luke's father, Anakin, was a Jedi before him. Luke later followed in his father's footsteps and became a Jedi himself.
  • Heroic Willpower: Fighting the Empire, Sith, and more and emerging alive should require more willpower than any single person could have.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: Alongside Leia. Unlike Leia, he was not raised by royalty.
  • Honor Before Reason: Luke's unconditional love and faith in the humanity of Darth Vader, his father, is seen as at best stupid and at worst suicidal by the rest of the galaxy (such as joining the Rebel attack on the Death Star despite its low chance of success), was what saved his father and the Star Wars Galaxy.
  • Humble Hero: In The Weapon of a Jedi, he dislikes the special treatment he receives due to destroying the first Death Star. Within the films, he also never brags about his accomplishments.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: A New Hope begins with Luke saying that he wants to leave home so that he can apply to the Imperial Academy and become a pilot. He never becomes an Imperial cadet, but he does become both a Jedi and an Ace Pilot.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: His last fight with Vader in Return Of The Jedi. Vader actually told him that it was too late for him and did take him to the Emperor, but in the end it worked.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Most prominently in Return of the Jedi when he is dealing with Jabba the Hutt, giving a piercing, unflinching stare as he bargains for Han's life and warns him not to underestimate his power.
  • The Idealist: Has an idealistic view of the galaxy, and of his father.
  • Ideal Hero: Especially in contrast to Han Solo and his father. Consider that upon discovering his father is a Sith Lord and one of the galaxy's most ruthless dictators, he decides —- against the advice of everyone —- that his dad can be saved from the Dark Side. He turns out to be right.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: In Return of the Jedi, Luke refuses to kill Vader, because he realizes that doing so would make him no better than Vader is.
  • In a Single Bound: In The Empire Strikes Back, as Luke's Jedi training progresses, he learns to use new powers like the Force jump, which comes in handy during his fight with Vader.
  • In the Blood:
  • In the Hood: This is how he makes his entrance to Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi. Also in The Force Awakens, when Rey meets him at his hiding place.
  • Incest Subtext: With Leia in A New Hope. At the time that the movie released, their status as siblings was not established.
  • Incompletely Trained: His Jedi training is by necessity rushed and kind of spotty, since his first mentor dies, and he doesn't meet his second until three years later. To a great extent, he's self-taught.
  • Instant Expert: His Jedi skills improve dramatically after only a short time under Yoda's instruction. (Granted, Yoda is an excellent teacher and he has a lot of raw potential to begin with.) Notably, his lightsaber skills improve to the point where he can duel Vader and hold his own for a while.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: All his issues are focused on Vader. Palpatine is practically an afterthought for him.
  • Jumped at the Call: He wanted to get off Tatooine as soon as he could, even if it wasn't it the way he expected.
  • Kung-Fu Jesus: Since he's a Messianic Archetype who's also a Jedi.
  • Last of His Kind: He is the said to be the last Jedi Knight to be alive from Yoda's death to the foundation of a new Jedi Order.
    Yoda: Luke, when gone am I... the last of the Jedi will you be. Pass on what you have learned.
  • The Leader: Luke is a combo of Type II and Type IV.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: In The Empire Strikes Back, and to a lesser extent in A New Hope.
  • Light Is Good: Often wears white or lighter colored clothing.
  • Limb-Sensation Fascination: Luke gets a new hand at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. After being pricked with a needle to check pain sensation, he flexes his fingers a bit and clenches a fist while examining his bionic hand.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Played straight, with the ever-present concern that Luke would end up like his father before him. But looking at the Prequel Trilogy, it becomes clear that in terms of personality, he's more like his mother, Padmé. He has that same apparently unfounded belief in the goodness of Vader, and though he can certainly get dangerous when there's call for that, he tries diplomacy first. He handles things his own way, and that's almost never Anakin's way. By Return of the Jedi, he's become passive and reactionary instead of proactive. How much of this can be attributed to genetics versus his upbringing is debatable, but he's more like his mother than he initially seems.
  • Little "No": Luke says this before it turns into a Big "NO!" after Vader reveals that he is his father.
  • Living Legend: The guy blew up the Death Star on his first official day of joining the Rebellion. Top that.
  • The Load: In The Empire Strikes Back, although it actually makes him more likable. Over the course of the film, Luke is actually the cause of the invasion of Hoth (Vader sensed him and immediately determined it was a Rebel stronghold); the ambush on Cloud City and subsequent torture of Han; and the crew of the Millennium Falcon had to go back to rescue Luke. As well, Han Solo had to risk his own life to rescue Luke from a blizzard on Hoth after Luke went to investigate the Imperial Probe Droid (and was nearly eaten by a wampa for his trouble).
  • Long Lost Sibling: To Leia. Luke is her twin brother.
  • Luke Nounverber: The Trope Codifier and trope name inspiration. His surname is apparently a reference to piloting skill, which he appropriately displays, along with his father Anakin Skywalker. Luke's last name was originally going to be Starkiller.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: In Return of the Jedi, Leia on some level had always known that she and Luke were siblings. Luke telling her validated that lingering notion.
  • Mad Dictators Handsome Son: Luke never turns to the Dark Side like his father.
  • Man in White: Shown wearing a white outfit in A New Hope, and many of his other garments have white on them.
  • A Master Makes Their Own Tools: Vader deems him a fully trained Jedi when he sees that Luke has built his own lightsaber to replace the one he lost, which is indeed a rite of passage for Jedi (each is expected to make their own weapon as part of their training).
  • Master Swordsman: He is definitely one in Return of the Jedi and afterwards.
  • The McCoy: Luke is more the naïve farm boy (The McCoy) and Han the more sensible, pragmatic one (The Kirk, since he says Kirk-like things such as "Never Tell Me the Odds!") but there isn't really a The Spock-equivalent. Obi-Wan is less cynical than Han, and Leia abandons the Rebel Alliance just to save Han in Return of the Jedi.
    • Luke does eventually become The Kirk, but only in Return of the Jedi, because he's controlled his emotions. For example, Obi-Wan told him that he has to kill his father in order to bring peace, but Luke a logical suggestion that maybe he can be saved because Vader didn't kill, and if was truly evil he would have killed him. His leadership skills have also improved over the last two movies.
  • Meaningful Name: Lampshaded in the novelization of A New Hope: With a name like Skywalker, it was inevitable that he would be a skilled pilot.
  • Mentor's New Hope: In A New Hope, Luke is being taught by Obi-Wan, who also taught Darth Vader before Vader went to The Dark Side.
  • Messianic Archetype: Although his father is The Chosen One, Luke is the character with the closest resemblance to Christ. Luke is the one whom Obi-Wan and Yoda train to become a Jedi. He gains a group of devoted followers (the Rebel Alliance, though mostly Han, Leia, Chewie, C-3P0 and R2-D2), and gallivants about spreading good and performing miracles like blowing up the Death Star. At the end of the sixth movie, he refuses to fight or resist his fate, then is zapped by the Emperor's lightning (his "death" scene). He manages to redeem evil while he's at it. Ironically, other Jedi expected both of them to bring balance to the Force. Perhaps they did, but it took a Prophecy Twist (Anakin having children and turning evil) or two to get them there.
  • Military Mage: Commander Skywalker's nascent Force reflexes make him a natural Ace Pilot and are directly responsible for the destruction of the first Death Star in the Battle of Yavin. The power of having a Force-user on the field is demonstrated again in the Battle of Hoth, where he is able to take down a powerful AT-AT walker on foot using only a lightsaber and a thermal detonator.
  • Missing Mom: Luke's mother, Padmé, died during childbirth.
  • Morality Pet: Invoked. After the revelation that Darth Vader is his father, he becomes this for him in an effort to turn him back from The Dark Side, and ultimately, Darth Vader's redemption (and death as a result) comes from choosing him over continuing to follow Palpatine.
  • The Musketeer: It's not as obvious as other examples of this trope but Luke carries his blaster and lightsaber into battle together (mostly evident in the climax of The Empire Strikes Back where he goes from shooting Stormtroopers to dueling with Vader). It's the only movie in which he does this as well as the only time in the original trilogy we see a Jedi or Sith doing it. Obi-Wan would briefly wield a blaster to kill General Grievous, while both Finn and Rey use both blasters and lightsabers in The Force Awakens.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Luke just happens to wound Vader in the same way Vader wounded him, thus making Luke realize what he had almost become. The Emperor really wasn't helping his own cause, either.
  • Nephewism: Luke was raised by his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru Lars before they were killed by the Empire. When Darth Vader is your father, maybe it's for the better.
    • This would come back to bite him in the ass too, as Leia and Han left their son with Luke to be trained as a Jedi, only for him to fall to the Dark Side.
  • Nice Guy: The nicest in the Star Wars saga. It allows him to have faith in Anakin Skywalker, even when Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi have long since given up hope on "Darth Vader".
  • Nice Mean And In Between: The "nice" to Han's "mean" and Leia's "in-between".
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: The Noble to Han's Roguish.
  • Not So Different: Him and Vader. Luke gets his Not So Different moment when he cuts off his father's artificial hand. Luke sees that he has just repaid Vader's violence in kind, but also sees his own prosthetic hand as symbolizing the possibility that he's becoming like his father. This was foreshadowed earlier in The Empire Strikes Back, when Yoda sends Luke into a cave where he is attacked by an apparition of Darth Vader. Luke quickly defeats the apparition, decapitating it. The illusory Vader's mask comes off, and its face is exactly like Luke's. Yoda pointed out before Luke went in that the cave only contains what you take into it (i.e. it shows you yourself, and your weaknesses) in fact telling Luke he wouldn't need his weapons. Luke completely ignored him, leading to that sequence.
  • One-Man Army: An incredibly dangerous soldier and an even more powerful Jedi. If one Imperial account is to be trusted, Luke once brought down an airborne Star Destroyer by jumping from the surface of Jakku and slashing it with the Force.
  • The Only One:
    • Luke is the Last Starfighter at the end of A New Hope, with all his fellow pilots killed or too damaged to keep fighting, in a race against time to destroy the Death Star before Vader kills him — until Han shows up.
    • Before Luke came along, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda were among the few remaining Jedi in the galaxy. Luke spends the films training to be a Jedi Knight, and will spend much of the next thirty years of his life as the only one able to reforge the Jedi Order and expand it to serve the New Republic.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: In both A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. This is a dual orphan plot in that Luke is raised by "relatives", and tries to avenge the man who "killed his father" as well as seek his own identity. He wishes he wasn't an orphan but after he finds out that Big Bad is his father in the Luke, I Am Your Father scene then he wishes he WERE an orphan.
  • Parental Abandonment: Luke persistently loses parental figures throughout A New Hope: his actual parents are already dead (to his knowledge), his aunt and uncle are killed by Stormtroopers, Obi-Wan dies on the Death Star, and Han packs up and leaves before the final battle. Han does return, though.
  • People Jars: His healing in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Pinball Protagonist: In Return of the Jedi. While the movie did have a great deal of Character Development for him, he contributes little to the Rebellion's last ditch-effort to destroy the second Death Star and the Emperor onboard. Had he not been there, the Battle of Endor would still have gone the same way. However, Luke's participation did affect a crucial outcome that would ultimately lead to the Empire's inevitable downfall, the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader. Without his presence, the Emperor would have likely escaped amidst the chaos while Darth Vader would still remain on the Dark Side, allowing the Sith to survive to wreak havoc upon the galaxy in the near future.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Luke is only 5'8", yet is the most powerful person in the galaxy and a walking weapon of mass destruction.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: With Leia. Luke is a blond, blue-eyed, calm, mild-mannered, naïve, mystical, religious Jedi Knight. Leia is a brunette, brown-eyed, quick-tempered, sharp-tongued, world-wise, shrewd, and a practical politician.
  • Pretty Boy: Much like his father, Anakin.
  • Psychic Powers: Luke has mastered them by the start of Return of the Jedi.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: In Return of the Jedi, Luke calls Obi-Wan out for lying that Vader killed his father, but Obi-Wan calmly rationalizes that what he told Luke was Metaphorically True.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Luke had already been through enough by the time the climactic battle in Return of the Jedi rolls around. But he knew that getting furious now would lead to The Dark Side. Vader and the Emperor taunt him, but he stays calm. But then Vader is about to threaten to do something terrible to the last family he has, Luke lets out a Big "NEVER!", cutting off Vader's sentence, and wails on him, coming very close to killing him.
  • Rank Up: He's one of two surviving members of Red Squadron at the Battle of Yavin. Between films, he's promoted to Commander and becomes the leader of Rogue Squadron.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Watch very closely as Luke Skywalker first ignites his lightsaber in A New Hope —- he doesn't know how long the beam is and yet is pointing it at Obi-Wan.
  • Refusal of the Call: In A New Hope, Luke expresses a wish to get off Tatooine but refuses the call due to his current situation ("Alderaan? I'm not going to Alderaan. I've got to go home. It's late, I'm in for it as it is!"). He's later forced into it when his uncle and aunt are killed, because "There's nothing here for me now."
  • Reluctant Warrior: By Return of the Jedi, Luke becomes this, resorting to diplomacy and reasoning with both Jabba the Hutt and Darth Vader before resorting to violence, and while fighting Vader, he takes steps to try and end the fight without violence.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Luke doesn't join the Rebellion until the final battle in A New Hope.
  • Separated at Birth: Luke was separated from his twin sister Leia at birth in order to be protected from their father.
  • Sibling Team: With Leia, his twin sister. Also see Brother–Sister Team.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Leia. While Luke is more calm, cool and collected, Leia is more passionate, stubborn and hot headed. See Polar Opposite Twins.
  • Sneaky Departure: After the Battle Of Hoth, Luke forsakes going to the rendezvous point in order to look for Yoda on Dagobah.
  • The Stoic: In Return of the Jedi, he acts this way in front of his enemies. A major Not So Stoic moment happens when Darth Vader announces that he plans on turning Leia into his student.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Although he is The Hero of the Original Trilogy, Anakin remains The Chosen One. Luke's role was to lead his father down the path of redemption in order to complete his destiny.
  • Sword and Gun: He uses both his blaster and lightsaber in The Empire Strikes Back before only using his lightsaber in Return Of The Jedi.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Towards Vader in Return of the Jedi.
  • Take a Third Option: In Return of the Jedi, Luke has the option of joining either the Emperor or Vader and killing the third wheel — either of which will mean a fall to the Dark Side and the extinction of the Rebellion. What does he do? He chooses to Face Death with Dignity, and in the process inspires his father into Redemption Equals Death — which also saves his own life.
  • Tell Me About My Father:
    • He asks Obi Wan about his father, Anakin. Obi Wan tells him... some of the truth, but famously leaves out some key details.
    • Later, Luke asks Leia about their mother, but Leia only remembers a few very vague warm feelings from her Force-sensitivity. The Prequel Trilogy reveals she actually gets a brief look at her mother before she dies while Luke does not.
  • Token Super: Luke becomes this for Millennium Falcon crew and the Rebel Alliance in general, as after Obi-Wan was killed, Luke was the only active Force user working for the Rebel Alliance.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Return of the Jedi. When we see him for the first time in his Dark Is Not Evil getup, having mastered Force-choking and the Jedi Mind Trick, then coolly demanding "You will bring Captain Solo and the Wookiee to me", we know right away this is not the same green and reckless Luke from Empire. Also, in his first duel with Vader in Empire, Luke was clearly outmatched, even if Vader was not having things entirely his own way. In their second duel in the Emperor's throne room, he holds his own a lot better. Both Luke's reluctance and Vader's inner conflict were dragging each of them down, however.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Over the course of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke is mauled and captured by a savage Wampa to be eaten, only to almost die in the cold after escaping. When he finally finds peace training with Yoda, he senses his friends' pain, only to be ambushed by Darth Vader when he goes to rescue them. Vader proceeds to cut his hand off, and reveals to Luke that he, a mass murdering Sith Lord, is his father. When he escapes from that situation, he is left clinging for life on a metal structure above the toxic atmosphere of a gas giant, only to be telepathically tortured by Vader after being rescued by Leia, together with the news that his friend has been tortured, frozen and shipped to a crime lord on Tatooine.
  • Training from Hell: With Yoda.
  • True Companions: With Han and Leia throughout the Original Trilogy.
  • Turn Out Like His Father:
    • The efforts to keep Luke from being like his father (who, as we all know, went evil) occupy three separate characters: Owennote , Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Yoda.
    • In Return of the Jedi, Luke realizes that he's dangerously close to invoking this trope after he cuts off Vader's cybernetic right hand and looks down at his own cybernetic right hand. This prompts him to deactivate and discard his lightsaber so that he won't be tempted any further.
  • Two Roads Before You: Luke has to choose between staying on Dagobah and completing his training with Yoda, or going to rescue his friends on Cloud City.
  • The Unchosen One: He had to work hard to get what he had. There is also the fact that he went up against his father Anakin Skywalker, also known as Darth Vader and The Chosen One. Anakin was lauded as The Chosen One ever since he was a child, and experienced firsthand both the positives and negatives of the Jedi Order. Darth Sidious (Palpatine) targeted Anakin for exactly this reason, amplifying the negatives and downplaying the positives until the Jedi's own Chosen One became the Sith's greatest weapon. Luke, on the other hand, experienced the exact opposite and became a hero because of it. Seeing Luke tortured led Vader to Heel–Face Turn and kill the Emperor, helping bring peace to the galaxy. Thus, fulfilling the prophecy of the "one who will bring balance to the Force", all thanks to Luke.
  • Unstoppable Rage: During his final duel in Return of the Jedi.
  • Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: With Leia in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: Luke goes from cleaning up droids to destroying the Death Star. While it helps that the Force was strong with him, his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen gave him the kind of stable family life that helped him resist The Dark Side.
  • Vocal Evolution: In Return of the Jedi, his manner of speaking is far more formal and refined in comparison to the previous two films, tying nicely into his Character Development and taking a level in badass.
  • Weapon of Choice: His father's blue lightsaber, until he loses it against Vader. He makes himself a green one afterwards, which is based on his mentor Obi-Wan's.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After the first of Han's Leeroy Jenkins moments on the Death Star, Luke calls him out on his recklessness.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: In contrast to Han's cynicism.
  • You Are in Command Now: During the Battle of Yavin, Red Leader Garven Dreis prepares to start a run and orders Luke to wait up for his own chance, placing him in command of Biggs and Wedge. After failing to hit the exhaust vent, and with Vader hot on his tail, Dreis orders Luke to ignore him and set up his attack run. After seeing him go down, there's a huge musical cue indicating that Luke now commands the mission (or rather, what's left of it).
  • You Killed My Father: Believed that Vader killed his father. Subverted in that Vader is his father.

    Tropes from the Sequel Trilogy Era 

Master Luke Skywalker
"Breathe... Just breathe. Now, reach out... what do you see?"

"I've seen this raw strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now."

Thirty years after the destruction of the second Death Star, Luke shied away from his life as a soldier to lead a new generation of Jedi. However, when the student who would become Kylo Ren destroyed what Luke had built, he went into exile, searching for from the first Jedi temple in order to find answers. In order to combat the growing power of the First Order, Leia has made locating Luke the primary goal of the Resistance.
  • Achilles in His Tent: After Kylo Ren killed all his students, he traveled off to parts unknown, leaving Snoke and the First Order to their own devices.
  • All for Nothing: Presumably a big factor in why he's lost his resolve to restore the Jedi Order by the time of The Last Jedi. Luke spent over two decades after the Battle of Endor to try and train a new generation of Jedi, only for it to all go to Hell when Kylo Ren betrayed him and killed the others.
  • The Aloner: Subverted. While he became a hermit on Ahch-To — the location of the first Jedi temple in the galaxy's history — in apparent isolation, it turns out that the island that he lives on is actually fairly populated by a handful of species.
  • Artificial Limbs: His cybernetic hand has lost all of its synthetic flesh, leaving the metal exposed. If you look carefully, you can even see the blaster damage from Return of the Jedi.
  • Badass Baritone: His voice has gotten far deeper now that he's older.
  • Badass Beard: Luke now has a full-grown beard as a Jedi Master.
  • Badass Grandpa: He's around 53 years old by The Force Awakens, and is the last of the Jedi.
  • Beard of Sorrow: He has this beard after having endured the betrayal of his apprentice and the destruction of his New Jedi Order, leading him to go into exile for many years. Han Solo's death might have been yet another blow he felt through the Force. (Although it's not clear if he started growing it before any of the aforementioned tragedies happened.)
  • Big Good: What the Resistance is riding on him becoming, and what the First Order fears he already is. Although he doesn't actively participate in the events of the The Force Awakens, his presence holds significant gravity over the story arcs of many of the characters, and much of what happens are a result of his actions in prior years, making him a Greater-Scope Paragon for the time period.
  • Broken Hero: Luke is not in a good place as of The Last Jedi, as he makes it clear to Rey that he doesn't want any part in the Resistance because he feels as though he's already failed.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: By the events of The Force Awakens Luke hasn't been seen by any of his old friends in six years. As such, many people are uncertain of who the man was — Rey, for instance, thought that his accomplishments with the Force were fabricated legends, and she was surprised to learn that they really happened.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: In The Last Jedi, Luke starts wearing a brown leather glove over his prosthetic hand.
  • Cynical Mentor: For whatever reason, he believes that the Jedi Order has to come to an end. This doesn't stop him from training Rey to use the Force, even though Rey's natural abilities with the Force remind him a lot of Kylo Ren.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Kylo Ren's betrayal and the destruction of his growing Jedi Order led to his disillusionment with the Jedi.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In The Last Jedi, he swaps out his white robes for brown — and later, black — robes, but he still hasn't turned to the Dark Side.
  • Demoted to Extra: Although a huge chunk of The Force Awakens focuses on finding his location (and he is mentioned several times throughout the film), he only appears in two brief scenes: Rey's Force-induced vision and the final scene.
  • The Dreaded: A heroic example. Luke is so revered that the First Order lives in fear of the potential of his return, especially Snoke who outright admits that Luke is powerful enough to defeat them. Snoke orders Kylo Ren and Hux to obtain the map if they can, but is fine with the map being destroyed if necessary if it can keep Luke lost forever.
  • The Exile: The double blow of losing Ben to the Dark Side (which, according to Han, Luke feels he's responsible for) and his ultimate failure in the attempt to restore a new Jedi Order cause him to become a hermit for six years, disappearing almost completely from everything. However, he trusts the secret of his location with R2-D2 and Lor San Tekka, as he does want to be found. Han also implies that there is also another, unknown reason he disappeared — "People who knew him best think he went looking for the first Jedi temple."
  • Hermit Guru: Even before becoming an exile, Luke spent much of his later years in life away from war in order to try and rebuild the Jedi Order. After his students were killed, he retreated into complete isolation.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: He undergoes this in backstory of The Force Awakens when one of his apprentices (Kylo Ren) turns to The Dark Side and exterminates the fellow Jedi-in-training, leaving Luke as Last of His Kind again and forcing him into hiding. To twist the knife further, Kylo Ren was his nephew, being Leia and Han's son.
  • He's Back: Subverted in The Last Jedi, where, in spite of taking the lightsaber from Rey, he initially has no intention of getting involved in another war.
  • It's All My Fault: He blames himself for failing to keep Ben Solo, his nephew from falling to the Dark Side and becoming Kylo Ren.
  • Last of His Kind: He is explicitly described as being the last Jedi, both in the opening credits of The Force Awakens and in the context of the movie by Snoke. He tried to correct this by restarting the Jedi Order, but Kylo Ren killed all of his other students. This is reflected in the title of the eighth movie.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: He's become a mythical figure in the fringes of society, and a lost icon to more centrally civilized populaces.
  • Living MacGuffin: The search for Luke Skywalker drives the story of The Force Awakens without much input from the man himself.
  • Man in White: He's wearing a predominantly white robe, similar to what he wore in A New Hope, in the closing scene of The Force Awakens and several early scenes in The Last Jedi. He later switches this out for brown and black robes.
  • My Greatest Failure: The betrayal of his apprentice, Kylo Ren — then Ben Solo, Luke's own nephew — has driven Luke into isolation by the time of The Force Awakens, much the same as Obi-Wan so many years before.
  • Old Master: Obi-Wan's last student is now the last master, and looks less like a a youthful Everyman than an otherworldly elder with flowing robes and a beard to make God jealous.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Whatever happened to Luke, or whatever he discovered, in the thirty years since he defiantly told the Emperor that he is a Jedi like his father before him must be rather significant.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: He trained Kylo Ren, but failed to fear his immense power and watched him destroy the Jedi Order.
  • Present Absence: In The Force Awakens. The entire plot of the movie revolves around both factions of a war trying to find out where he's gone, but aside from a brief flashback, he doesn't actually appear until the last minute of the film. That doesn't stop it from feeling like he has a huge impact on the setting, however.
  • The Quest: He has spent several years of his life looking for the First Jedi Temple — something that continues even after his self-imposed exile, and is ultimately successful in doing once he finds Ahch-To.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: In the flashback to the massacre of his Jedi temple at the hands of Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi, he was buried in the ruins of the building — then his robotic hand bursts through the rubble to show that not only did he survive, but he was apparently right there when it happened.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: The screenplay of The Force Awakens explicitly reveals that he knows who Rey is the moment he sees her. He doesn't say anything about it, though.
  • Silence Is Golden: He doesn't say a word when he reveals himself in The Force Awakens.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Luke barely appears in the teasers for The Force Awakens — and for good reason, as he only appears in a Force vision and the last minute of the film.
  • Suddenly Voiced: After being silent for his minute of screentime in The Force Awakens, Luke is considerably more talkative in The Last Jedi.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave:
    • However long he's spent on Ahch-To, he's become this to his island's caretakers, who begrudgingly tolerate his presence on the island.
    • He initially regards Rey as this, as he simply wants to be left alone at first, but he eventually comes around.
  • Treasure Map: For whatever reason, Luke wanted to be found eventually, which is why he placed his coordinates on a holograph that more or less gave context to where he went. Making sure that it was the right person who found him would be why he stored the remainder of the data on his most trusted droid ally, R2-D2 (although, unfortunately, Luke did not realize that the First Order also had access to this same data).
  • White Sheep: By the time of The Force Awakens, he's the only trained Jedi in his family to remain a Jedi, since Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader and Ben Solo became Kylo Ren.
  • Wizard Classic: With his white robes and beard, he looks very much like his old master. Like him, Luke is the last scholar of a dying order of knights that mastered the energy which binds all creatures together.