The Last Jedi introduced us to a very different Luke Skywalker than we remember. The character was and remains the center of the Star Wars Universe. He grew from wild-eyed farmboy thirsting for adventure to a trained Jedi Knight equipped with the skills and mental discipline to take on the Galactic Empire. Even in his incarnations outside the original trilogy, Luke is portrayed as a noble hero – a guy who’s willing to do the right thing and lead the rise of a new Jedi order. Then the Last Jedi turned him into depressing grandpa edge-lord who apparently went off to live by himself with nothing but an old man beard and a collection of amateur poetry written by a high school kid who just discovered Friedrich Nietzche.
Needless to say, there was a harsh backlash to how Luke Skywalker was treated by the writers. Even Mark Hamill, the guy who plays Luke Skywalker, was so distraught that he could barely keep the Social Justice narrative alive. He spoke out against it, then immediately apologized for stepping out of line with his left-wing masters. (I guess Lucas had a point about selling off his beloved franchise to the white slavers – how does it feel being a white slave Mr. Hamill?) I also disagree with how they handled Luke. I think they did a terrible job, but not for the reason you might think.
Emo Luke is a drastic change from what you’ve traditionally seen with the character. But, that’s not why I dislike how the character was portrayed. I think Disney did a bad job because, somewhere along the line, someone dropped the ball – BIG TIME.
Why do I say that?
First, because as I said before, Luke Skywalker is the center of the Star Wars universe. If Disney wanted to take such a drastic route with the character that is, quite literally, the foundation of the Star Wars Franchise – then Luke should have been the hero of the sequel trilogy. Not Rey.
Lucas’ vision worked because we got to see Luke change from farm boy to epic space hero. We saw how he got there. We saw why he got there. We saw how he changed and the challenges he went through. So, by the third movie, we knew why Luke was the person he was. Luke the child was dead. We saw him die. We watched Luke be reborn as a hero.
For Disney’s vision to work, we needed another journey – we needed the sequel series to be a tragedy.
It would even fit into George Lucas’ rhyme theory, except with a better rhyme. Anakin Skywalker was a great hero who later became one of the greatest evil threats in the galaxy. Now, his son Luke Skywalker has become a great hero – leading the brave rebellion over the evil Empire. It would be poetic to see Luke Skywalker, too, fall from grace.
Let me put it like this. I have no problem with a darker and cynical Luke Skywalker. After all, being a galactic hero can be pretty stressful. I’m saying that Disney should have come to the obvious conclusion that if they wanted to present a Star Wars loving audience this darker Luke Skywalker, they needed to show us how he got there. Not tell us. Show us. You can’t just roll over this major a character change in this major a character with a few lines.
Disney’s Star Wars Trilogy – Luke Skywalker’s fall from grace. Now that’s something I’d be interested in seeing.