The Force-back in The Force Awakens showed us Luke looking heart broken next to R2 with a burning building in the background. That image gave us ideas of what may have happened, and most of the theories developed went with “Luke came home to find his Academy, and students killed by Kylo Ren and possibly the Knights of Ren.” But now we know that is not true. Let’s talk about what that means.
We discussed the idea of Luke coming home to the destruction of his Jedi Academy before and now we have had our ideas thrown for a loop. This is all due to the shot of Luke’s hand popping up out of the rubble.
This shot changed everything we thought we knew about what happened. Luke was there when the Jedi Academy was destroyed and was unable to stop it. That seems shocking that Luke Skywalker, son of Anakin, one of the most powerful Jedi ever was unable to stop one of his apprentices.
It may be that when Luke said he once dealt with “raw power” he was talking about Ben, or it could have been the Emperor or his father. I suspect it was Kylo that Luke was talking about because of the line in TFA from Han telling his son that Snoke only wants him for his power. If I’m correct it still seems likely Luke could take him, but never had the chance. There evidence that Luke never actually faced anyone . Based on the shot we see it was night when the attack happened, and likely in the middle of the night. It’s possible, based on the destruction, that this attack was aerial in nature. If not, it seems unlikely that they would have intentionally left Luke alive, so this suggests that Luke never actually had a chance to face anyone.
I see two different scenarios for how this attack happened. The First Order attacked the Academy and Ben Solo either survived and was taken in by Snoke OR he set the attack up and led it as Kylo Ren. Either way Luke and the other Jedi were all presumed dead. I am leaning towards the idea that its a mix of sorts. Not long after learning that Vader was his grandfather, Snoke offered Ben a choice. Join us and unlock your full potential, which your uncle has kept you from or stay and be forever Luke’s errand boy and sidekick. The hurt that Ben felt by what he sees as a betrayal and the idea of being held back could have been enough. The attack on Luke’s academy would have been Kylo’s first chance to show he was committed to Snoke and the First Order.
This also explains Snoke and Kylo’s obsession with finding Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens. The job was left unfinished and as long as Luke lives the threat he and future Jedi pose exists. However this also left Luke fearful. Last week talked about Luke having lost hope, but we didn’t really explore the idea that he was also afraid of what he had caused and failed to see. Luke has been effectively neutralized but the obsession of the Snoke and Kylo is what will bring him back. If they had not continued to search for him then Rey would have never been found. Without Rey, Luke has no motivation to get back into the game. Luke will train her and the Jedi will return.