If there’s one thing just about everyone knows about the Star Wars franchise — even if they’ve never bothered to watch a single Skywalker Saga movie or even caught up on The Mandalorian — it’s that Luke Skywalker is a Jedi Knight.
From the time 26-year-old Mark Hamill first played the now-iconic character in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), the term “Jedi” has been as synonymous with Skywalker as “Sith” is with his father, Darth Vader.
Now, however, thanks to a canon comic series, Star Wars has set up Skywalker to leave the Jedi Order — perhaps explaining how the seeds were planted to end up alone on Ahch-To when Rey (Daisy Ridley) found him at the end of Disney’s first sequel trilogy movie, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015).
In comic issue “Star Wars #20,” which is set between the events of original trilogy films Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Skywalker finds himself in possession of a Jedi Holocron that points him toward the galaxy’s Gazian system after he fails to rescue Han Solo (currently encased in carbonite) from bounty hunter Boba Fett.
While Skywalker is on his journey, he has a vision in which he “meets” High Republic era Jedi Elzar Mann. In the vision, the duo are on a planet that strongly resembles — and may very well actually be — the rugged island that is Ahch-To.
Mann, at one point, talks to young Skywalker underwater, where they are joined by numerous other Jedi, including Yoda and Avar Kriss.
In the panel, Mann doesn’t blatantly encourage Skywalker to leave the Jedi Order — which has fallen since the his own High Republic age, in which the noble Knights reigned supreme throughout the Star Wars universe — but he does note that the young man can choose his own path, no matter what that might look like.
“You don’t have to be a Jedi, friend. We’re not the only game in town. The Order is a framework for understanding the Force and using it safely to protect life and the light. There are many other paths. The important thing is to make choices that feel right, that are true to you, and the person you want to be. But if you want it, we’re here for you.”
As a recent article about the Star Wars comic noted:
Of course, viewers of The Last Jedi [second sequel trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi ) didn’t need this encounter to happen to understand how he would leave the teachings of the Jedi behind, as his own flashbacks to his failings as a master with Ben Solo successfully accomplish this, but this sequence in Star Wars #20 helps inform fans that Luke has known for years it was possible to part ways with the Jedi.
The more Star Wars fans learn about Luke Skywalker’s lost years, specifically between ESB and ROTJ, the better prepared they are for what could come next in Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s The Mandalorian saga. Skywalker — a CGI de-aged version of Hamill — returned to the Star Wars story in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale episode (“Chapter 16: The Rescue”) at the end of 2020.
He swooped in with his X-Wing to save bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), Grogu, Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) when they were facing doom at the hands of Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) Dark Trooper droids.
Now, fans expect to see the character return again — perhaps recast with Marvel star Sebastian Stan — in The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian Season 3, Ahsoka, or even a new series about Skywalker’s Jedi Academy during the Grogu years.
What do you think about this new information about Luke Skywalker’s connection to the Jedi Order?