Yeah, I said it. I’m glad Luke Skywalker is dead.
And I’m going to be honest with you. My first exposure to Star Wars happened when I was closer to my twenties than my tweens. While watching through the series completely from Episode 1 to Episode 6, it became clear to me that Star Wars is really about the Skywalker family, and their legacy. It’s a family epic.
All of the complaining about Luke’s demise in The Last Jedi is super annoying. In fact, the fact that every ounce of my online existence was plagued by whiny posts about Luke Skywalker for several months almost made me quit social media for good.
But Luke would NEVER do that!!!!!!!!111
If you’re one of those people who claimed that Luke’s death was the proverbial dump on your childhood sundae, I want you to consider what being a hero actually means. The definition of a hero is: “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” It’s also another term for a submarine sandwich. While Luke is definitely not a sandwich, he is most assuredly a hero, even though he dies.
(Also PS heroes tend to have flaws.)
Let’s fast-forward to a few weeks after the party ended on Endor. All of the Ewoks have gone back to their way of life, Han and Leia are kicking it, and Luke is??? Hanging out with two robots and thinking about all of his dead friends. Thinking about his dead dad…and his dead, crispy adoptive parents. Maybe he’ll call Obi Wan? Or Yoda? Nope. Can’t. Super dead.
Some of you may be too young to have gone through this stage of life yet, but when a lot of people around you start dying, you yourself kind of begin to wonder about your own life, your own mortality. And you change because you realize that maybe the things you thought were important maybe aren’t that important at all. When you see that you’ve lost people to a particular way of thinking, well, it can change you at your core.
Luke Skywalker is more than an annoying, whiny little farm boy who is awesome with a lightsaber and really, really loves his friends. Luke is a man who has discovered that sadly, everything he thought he knew about the Jedi was wrong, and he has suffered inexplicable loss because of it.
I learned it by watching you, Dad. I learned it by watching you.
The most heroic moment Luke experienced first hand was watching his father, Darth Vader, willingly put himself in harm’s way to save someone he loved. Vader could not bear to watch Luke die, just like Luke could not bear to watch his sister die. And Luke knows – he’s the only one with the power, the ability, the influence to stop that from happening. He walks in his father’s footsteps and changed the game in a way that no one expected. This is actually a gorgeous, epic moment. Because Luke knows, if Leia dies, if the resistance is snuffed out, and the Supreme Leader is allowed to reign, well then every single death has been in vain.
You think Luke Skywalker is going to let that happen?
This is courageous. Lots of people thought he committed suicide, which is preposterous. It’s not like his endgame was on the teat of a thala-siren after having overdosed on green milk.
Luke’s connection to his sister matters, just like his father’s connection to him mattered. And if you watch the films, you see that familial connection is the most important aspect of the story.
Don’t be mad that Luke died. Be proud that he stepped outside of himself to save his sister, to keep the Skywalker legacy intact, and to be sure that his father’s memory is not shrouded in darkness. Don’t forget that Kylo Ren wants to be like Vader, but in the end, Vader had a heart. This is all wiped away if The First Order persists and wins, because you know Kylo Ren is changing that story.
And our hero, Luke Skywalker, affirms all that is good. Light. Love. Family.