The hero of the Rebellion in the Star Wars Original Trilogy, Luke Skywalker marked the beginning of a new order of Jedi, one very different from the Jedi Order in the Prequels. The son of Anakin Skywalker (who became Darth Vader), Luke had all of his father's Force potential, but managed (for the most part) to avoid the pull of the dark side. His strength helped Darth Vader return to the light side of the Force and defeat the Emperor.
Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Films
Luke was born on Polis Massa in 19 BBY. His mother, Padmé Amidala, died in childbirth. His twin sister, Leia, was adopted by Queen Breha and Bail Organa of Alderaan. Obi-Wan Kenobi took Luke to Anakin's step-brother and his wife, Owen and Beru Lars, on Tatooine.
Work on his uncle's moisture farm was dull, and Luke dreamed of leaving Tatooine to have adventures. By the time he was 19 years old, most of his friends had attended the Imperial Academy, and his best friend Biggs Darklighter had defected to the Rebel Alliance.
A battle above Tatooine led to a change in Luke's fortune: Leia, now a senator and Rebel leader, had hidden the plans to the Imperial Death Star in a droid, R2-D2, before getting captured by Darth Vader. R2-D2 and his counterpart, C-3PO, led Luke to Obi-Wan Kenobi. A general in the Clone Wars and Anakin's former master, Obi-Wan revealed to Luke that his father was not a navigator on a spice freighter, but a Jedi knight.
After Imperial Stormtroopers tracked the droids to Luke's home and killed his aunt and uncle, Luke agreed to come with Obi-Wan to Leia's home planet of Alderaan. But when they reached Alderaan (courtesy of smuggler Han Solo and his partner Chewbacca), they discovered that the planet had been destroyed. He successfully helped rescue Princess Leia from the Death Star, but lost his mentor.
When the Death Star attacked the Rebel Base on Yavin 4, Luke's piloting skills and newly discovered Force abilities helped him fire the shot that destroyed the Imperial superweapon. Darth Vader sensed that the Force was strong with Luke, but did not yet realize that Luke was his son.
On the ice world Hoth, Obi-Wan Kenobi's Force Ghost counseled Luke to find the Jedi Master Yoda, in hiding on the planet Dagobah. Despite Yoda's warning, Luke left before his training was complete to rescue Han and Leia from Darth Vader. When he faced Vader in a duel, the Sith Lord cut off Luke's hand, then revealed that he was Luke's father.
In the following year, Luke constructed his own lightsaber and became a Jedi Knight. After helping Leia rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, he returned to Yoda, only to see the Jedi Master die of old age. From Obi-Wan's Force ghost, Luke learned that Leia was his twin sister.
Believing that he still sensed good in his father, Luke turned himself over to the Imperials. On the second Death Star above the Forest Moon of Endor, Luke faced Vader once again, this time before the Emperor. Refusing to join the Emperor and become a Sith, Luke successfully convinced his father to return to the light side of the Force. Vader destroyed the Emperor, but was mortally injured, living only long enough to bid a final farewell to his son.