The new Star Wars trilogy that Disney made is a very controversial topic. There are a lot of Star Wars fans who hate the movies. I could write a whole defense article for them, but right now, I just want to focus on one thing: Luke Skywalker.
Part of the controversy is on Luke Skywalker’s portrayal and the idea the he’s out of character, which I can understand, but I don’t entirely agree that he’s out of character, and I want to talk about my thoughts.
He doesn’t appear until the very end of The Force Awakens and doesn’t do anything until The Last Jedi. That’s where people think he’s out of character, and his ghost in The Rise of Skywalker acts different as well, so some people, whether or not they had issues with him in The Last Jedi, complain about him being inconsistent.
Luke’s Character in The Last Jedi
In this movie, Luke seems to have completely lost all faith and given up on hope. He’s hiding out on an island, and for a long time, refuses to help Rey or train her in any way. We also find out that he contemplated killing Kylo Ren/Ben Solo early on.
This doesn’t seem like our old Luke Skywalker, the hero, the chosen one, who save the galaxy, and even refused to kill his father, Darth Vader, thinking there was still good in him, which he was right about, so why did he give up to begin with?
Simple: He’s a human being – he has flaws. Being the chosen one and a hero doesn’t change that. More on this later. About him contemplating killing Ben. This is definitely something people can question. Why would he do something like that, given everything with him and Darth Vader. When I first watched The Last Jedi, I didn’t think it was very in character for him either, but after watching The Rise of Skywalker and going back and thinking more about this, I think the answer is also pretty simple and goes along with why he gave up. Humans can be pretty complex and irrational sometimes with decision-making. Not everyone is always going to be exactly consistent all the time. This is something we don’t see in a lot of characters all the time, because if you make a character TOO inconsistent, it’s just unrealistic. A character needs to have their own distinct personality, but if done well, not ALL of their actions have to make complete sense consistence-wise. Luke Skywalker is a good example of this. There’s a lot of time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens/The Last Jedi, so who’s to say Luke is exactly the same as he was when he was a teenager/young adult. He had a different attitude toward been than he had toward Darth Vader, but it kind of makes sense. He only CONTEMPLATED killing Ben. He ended up deciding not to, because that isn’t who he is as a person overall. He still stayed true to the old Luke. He’s just not a perfect person, and he has flaws and can make bad decisions sometimes.
The Rise of Skywalker
Luke died at the end of The last Jedi and is a ghost in The Rise Skywalker. Luke acts different than he does in The last Jedi. He’s much better and stronger, and he stops Rey from throwing away her light saber when she felt like giving up, when he himself tried throwing away his light saber and wanted to give up in the movie before this one. But again, this isn’t his character being inconsistent. This is more like redemption. He learned from his mistakes in the last movie, and he changes and fixed them and encouraged Rey to do better like how she had encouraged him, because after all, they’re both humans. They both have flaws and make mistakes. It doesn’t matter that they’re good, heroic people. Even good people are great at making bad decisions. Luke Skywalker fell into doubt and hopelessness in The Last Jedi, then got out of that spot by the time of The Rise of Skywalker, and we can see the moment he changes at the end of The Last Jedi, so The Rise of Skywalker does a good job at picking up where it left off. And seriously, why wouldn’t it make sense? This is Luke’s ghost. He’s dead, in the afterlife, now, so why shouldn’t he be a better person? I don’t really think ghost Jedi are supposed to be flawed like they are as humans….
Overall, I honestly think the new trilogy did justice to Luke’s character and fleshed him out and made him a better character than he was in the originals. I mean – it’s not that Luke was bad in the original movies – it’s just that I find his character as a whole, looking at the original ones and new ones, to be more satisfying and complete than just his character in the old ones specifically. He’s human. He’s a heroic and good person overall, and he ended up doing great things in Return of the Jedi, but he fell back into “sinfulness” later on, then came out of it again. It was a nice, realistic cycle, and it makes him a more real and better chosen one than just “I can’t do anything wrong! I’m too perfect! :D” And boy, do I hate characters like that…. The same (about being a flawed but good chosen one) can also be said about Harry Potter. I love him too, but that’s for another thing.