Opinion — A take on Luke Skywalker’s character in the “Star Wars” sequels


Nathan Kwapisz/NW

HERO — A photo of me holding Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber. The adaptation of Luke’s character in the “Star Wars” sequels has been a hotly debated topic by many generations of the franchise’s fans, some questioning whether their childhood hero would truly act in the way he did.

Nathan Kwapisz

Luke Skywalker is a hero for many generations of “Star Wars” fans; he embodies many ideals in the story and in real life. 

To me, Luke is shown as a person that loves unconditionally. His objective in “Star Wars” was to redeem his father, Darth Vader or Anakin Skywalker. Vader has done unspeakable things, such as murder and genocide to name a few. Despite this, Luke still loves him and wants to see Vader forgive himself after everything he has done. Spoiler alert: Luke ultimately succeeds in the final battle against the Emperor and the dark side. 

Mark Hamill, the actor who plays Luke, has mentioned in multiple interviews that he disagrees with the vision director Rian Johnson had for his character in his movie “The Last Jedi.” Hamill is an incredible actor with lots of experience in the industry, so his opinion on one of the characters that defined him (and vice versa) should be taken seriously.  

In “The Last Jedi,” we see several odd character choices that make viewers question things — especially in Luke’s case. Going semi-chronologically with the movie, Luke receives the lightsaber he lost in Cloud City after a duel with his father. Instead of being shocked and excited to see the weapon, which should not be in his hand, he throws the lightsaber behind him and walks away. 

To compare, not many people would throw their father’s or some other sentimental figure’s diamond watch that magically appeared to them off the side of a mountain. 

Another complaint many people have happens late in the movie when Kylo Ren, or Ben, turns to the dark side. However, Ben does not really turn — Luke just senses Ben having a nightmare and can feel the dark side within him. 

Instead of talking with Ben about his feelings, however, Luke jumped straight to the conclusion that he had to murder him. This does not sound like the same Luke that would die in order to redeem his father who blew up literal planets. 

I believe a better adaptation of Luke can be seen in the “Legends” comics and books. The Jedis’ main problem in the prequels is their philosophy on relationships and feelings. All Anakin needed was a person to talk to about his wife, Padme. If he had received that care, his whole problem may have been solved. 

Luke understands that relationships do not weaken you, but strengthen you. He sees this with his friends and the Rebel Alliance. Luke’s new Jedi Order would focus on being in control of your emotions, but also allowing for personal relationships — which makes you a complete human being instead of being torn between being an emotionless monk or a person with feelings. 

If “Legends” Luke were in the scenario with Ben having the bad dream, I believe he would have just sat down and talked to him. 

In fact, I believe Luke would have behaved similarly to Uncle Iroh in “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” (in which Hamill also starred as the voice actor for Firelord Ozai). The “Legends” Luke would act just as Iroh did when catching Zuko with Appa — he would have talked to Ben about destiny and that it is not forced onto you, but it is what you choose to be.

It is hard seeing your heroes change so drastically, especially if, like Hamill and me, you do not think it is in a perfect or justified way. However, the great part about “Star Wars” and other stories is that there are many versions and interpretations of it. You are bound to find one story you enjoy, which is the beauty of fiction and the authors that create these legendary stories.