Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight, Brother to a Princess, savior of the Rebellion, Jedi Master and ultimately Myth. What is he now? Rumor coming from filming and leaks has painted two different pictures for who Luke has become and today we’re going break down what has been leaked and what we think it actually means.
Lets first look at the descriptions of Luke that we were getting early this year. First lets look at the costume as first released here on MSW. Basically we are looking at a design that is similar to his RotJ outfit with some small updates. This feels to me like Luke everyday wear unlike his full Jedi robes that he was wearing when Rey showed up. This is what he wears to train her, an out fit he feels comfortable in and his Jedi robes were more for the audience to know Luke is good and to make an impression on Rey when she arrived.
Our next release is from May and again the boys at MSW and covers Luke’s actions when Kylo and the Knights of Ren show up. This description shows Luke being a completely awesome Jedi using his lightsaber to run through the Knights of Ren as though they were nothing more than props. It almost reads like wish fulfillment from what people wanted in TFA but never got. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and when I first read it I definitely thought “Dude Awesome!” but does it fit? I’m not sure it does. We also have this video that appears to show a green lightsaber in hand as well as a blue one. However all of this flying the face of the latest releases from MSW.
In the latest release coming from MSW Luke never uses his lightsaber and perhaps never carries it. They also say that the costume we mention at the start is dirty and ragged, almost as though Luke is adopting Yoda’s dress and lack of weapon from ESB and RotJ. Jason questions whether or not the people reporting in Ireland saw what they thought they saw or if they merely assumed that Luke was using a lightsaber. So which is it? Does Luke use only a staff? Is he walking around like a dirty hobo? It sounds like they are playing off of the mythological motif of the “unlikely master” on the side of the road, the way Yoda does not appear to be a master at first sight.
Based on these reports and how we understand storytelling to work, Luke will be wearing the black outfit and it will get dirty but he doesn’t spend the whole movie in that state. Luke was pristine when we finally saw him in TFA so the idea that he reverts into a walking around dirty and disheveled is out of character. He will get dirty no doubt but by the time Luke and Rey leave he may have cleaned up once again.
What about that lightsaber? Luke won’t be carrying his lightsaber most of the time especially when he is training Rey. Whether he is walking around with her staff or one of his own that will probably be the only thing we see him carry around on Ahch-to. Does that mean he doesn’t use his lightsaber? Of course not, the video and the eye-witness accounts are somewhat accurate. The fight with the Knights of Ren will be more difficult than it appears on the written page.
Luke will probably start with the staff or stick in hand and call his lightsaber to more effectively handle the rest of the Knights. This however isn’t a given, the eye-witnesses COULD have been mistaken. There is also the many tales of a Master using a stick to beat a swordsman which could have some influence on this battle. A really cool twist to this old motif is that Luke also has the ability to “Force-throw” his opponent into oblivion. This stick could just be prop to lull his opponens into a false sense of security.
Either way after Rey and Luke leave Ahch-to he will bring his blade even if he doesn’t wear it openly, let’s not forget that R2 has great little hiding place for it. In the end we won’t see much of Luke wielding or even carrying his lightsaber but it will make an appearance. Think of him as more Obi-wan than Yoda, a lightsaber isn’t his only option but he will use it if needed.