Inside Star Wars: The Trauma of Luke Skywalker

I have had discussions about this with my partner and decided it was time to talk about this with my readers and anyone else who wants to join. The thing is, Star Wars is a lot deeper than many realise (or maybe most people DO realise this, and some fans don’t like the “deeper” analysis). I wanted to dissect some of these theories or discuss them with my readers to see if we agree or if anyone can expand upon these topics. Some of these topics will be controversial, which is why I think it’s exciting to talk about them in an open forum where everyone’s opinion has value (even if we disagree).

Today, I’d like to talk about links between the movies regarding Luke Skywalker, particularly his trauma in The Empire Strikes Back, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. I’d like to begin by saying I was very much an advocate against what happened to Luke in the sequel trilogy, and I have blogged about this many times. But I’ve decided to embrace other possibilities and that perhaps what happened to Luke was always going to happen if you look at things from a certain point of view (pun intended).

Jedi Master Luke Skywalker

After all, that is all we have, right? Our own opinions and validations for what happens in our lives definitely spill over to fictional characters we love. Luke is MY hero – the one character I love above all others, so for me, this was a challenging post to write. I didn’t want him to die, and I definitely didn’t want to see my hero degraded to a hermit running away from his life and its challenges and living on some random planet nobody cared about.

But what if the events that occurred when he was rebuilding the New Jedi Order with Ben Solo as his student are emotionally linked to an earlier trauma? I am speaking, of course, about the betrayal of his father, Anakin Skywalker, when he revealed to Luke who he really was. There are definite parallels between these two events.

Here is what I think: when Luke saw what was happening to Ben Solo, he reacted in a way not befitting a Jedi of his standing and in some ways, he did push Ben even closer to Snoke/Palpatine. So when Rey is saying, “did you try to murder Ben?” I guess that is one way to look at it. And perhaps that event connects directly to his father’s betrayal of him and of the Jedi.

Luke was the son of a fallen Jedi, so the father and son relationship is almost completely destroyed in the process. Jedi Master Luke Skywalker was a “father figure” to Ben as he never really knew his real father. And Luke sees what is happening to Ben, and it’s just the past repeating itself again when Ben chooses to turn to the dark side of the force. Another “father” losing a surrogate son.

When I thought about this, it really hit me in the face that Luke was probably even more traumatised because of his experience in The Empire Strikes Back. So it would make complete sense that he would try and run and hide from that trauma. And the fact that he was cut off from the force only emphasises how much Luke was suffering. He chose to turn his back on the one part of him that had guided him and protected him. Luke turned away from the force because it didn’t protect him from the pain when he needed it most. It also stopped people from being able to locate him using the force. So there were a few reasons why Luke chose to make this decision. Why do you think Luke closed himself off to the force? Let me know in the comments!

So thinking about this idea of Luke becoming a grumpy, old hermit on Achtoo has some validity that I was choosing to ignore until now. So Rian’s choices in terms of Luke’s development really make sense when you look at things from a different perspective. Does that mean I am okay with Luke dying? Nope. Never going to be okay with that. But that’s just part and parcel of being a dedicated Star Wars fan. Sometimes the heroes must sacrifice themselves for the greater good, and that’s exactly what Luke did. So in that sense, Luke was every bit the hero, and in many ways, he was still the “hope” that shone in the galaxy right until the very end.

What do you think about these theories, friends? Please let me know in the comments so we can talk about it. ☺️😊

Stay safe out there, and May the Force Be With You!

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2 thoughts on “Inside Star Wars: The Trauma of Luke Skywalker

  1. This is interesting, because you can assign many different reasons for Luke’s running away, but I’ve never heard or even thought about your idea. It’s a good one, too. It’s clear Luke feels guilty for pushing his nephew (or surrogate “son”) to the dark side, but I never connected it to his feelings of betrayal by Anakin/Vader. It makes sense, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you 😀 It’s true there could be literally dozens of reasons why any character does anything in a film but I like to speculate about the possibilities 😀 and I enjoy looking at possible connections to a character in other ways especially when it’s a 9 movie franchise like this one 🙂 I honestly never liked what JJ and Rian did with Luke but at least now I can look at it with less anger LOL

      Liked by 2 people

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