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Luke Skywalker

Star Wars Character Profile

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Luke Skywalker After Return of the Jedi

The defeat of the Empire was only the beginning of the battles Luke Skywalker would face. A remnant of Imperial officers and their loyal followers would threaten the New Republic for over a decade. One of the enemies Luke encountered was Mara Jade, a former Dark Jedi and servant of the Emperor. Although their initial relationship was less than pleasant -- the Emperor had ordered Mara to kill Luke -- they soon fell into a tentative alliance against a common enemy.

Despite his inexperience as a Jedi (and recent fall to the Dark Side in the service of the resurrected Emperor), Luke Skywalker set about rebuilding the Jedi Order. Declaring himself a Jedi Master, he founded a new Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, where he began training students in the Force -- many his age or older. The New Jedi Order faced one of their first struggles when the spirit of Exar Kun, an Old Republic Sith, tempted several students to the dark side; together, they were able to destroy him.

The New Jedi Order initially strengthened under Luke's leadership; but as the Order grew, the lack of a Jedi Council led to conflict and splintering between adherents of different philosophical views. During the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, Luke adopted a view of the Force which held that Jedi must embrace both sides, light and dark. When the New Jedi Order threatened to split over how involved the Jedi should be in political matters, Luke appointed himself Jedi Grand Master in an attempt to unite the two factions.

After several unsuccessful romances, Luke married Mara Jade in 20 ABY. Their son, Ben Skywalker, was born six years later. Like many powerful Jedi, Luke returned as a Force Ghost after his death. He provided council to his descendant, Cade Skywalker, helping convince the smuggler to take up his destiny as a Jedi Knight.

Luke Skywalker Behind the Scenes

In early drafts of the Star Wars story, Luke Skywalker's role of farmboy-turned-Jedi hero was filled by Annikin Starkiller, a character who combined the traits of Luke and Prequel-era Anakin Skywalker. The name “Starkiller” was changed to “Skywalker,” which had less violent connotations, late in the script's development. “Starkiller” later became the name of Darth Vader's secret apprentice in the video game The Force Unleashed.

Luke Skywalker was portrayed by Mark Hamill in the Star Wars Original Trilogy, the Star Wars Holiday Special and other media, including a commercial for the New Jedi Order book series, Robot Chicken: Star Wars, and an episode of The Muppet Show. In Revenge of the Sith, Aidan Barton briefly appeared as the infants Luke and Leia. Several voice actors have portrayed Luke in Star Wars radio dramas and video games, including Bob Bergen, Joshua Fardon and Mark Benninghofen.

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