Editorial: Just how Powerful is Luke Skywalker?
All of us have had our Luke toy at some point in our life. Mine was modeled after the classic Episode IV poster, open chest and all portraying skinny Luke as some sort of He-Man. His journey was our journey as we watched him develop from a whiny farmboy to a Jedi Knight. The shadow of Luke Skywalker looms large over The Force Awakens, how much of him will we see? How has our hero changed in the 30 years since redeeming his father? Just how powerful is Luke now anyway? Hit the jump to read Bluestreaking’s argument concerning the power of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.
Luke Skywalker has been on many people’s minds leading up to Episode VII, rumors and leaks concerning Luke are some of the great hot button topics in our community. Behind all of these rumors is the desire to see how Luke has grown as a Jedi 30 years after proving his Knighthood in overcoming the influences of two Sith Lords and redeeming one of them. Many fans desire to see Luke take the throne as the greatest Jedi in history and bring the order to its former glory. But let’s stop think just how powerful Luke is compared to other Jedi we know. Now he is of course a vitally important figure in being the last of the Jedi and the one who finally defeated Palpatine… well wait, did he truly defeat Palpatine?
Luke’s job wasn’t to defeat Palpatine, he wasn’t the chosen one, his father was. Luke wasn’t powerful enough to defeat Palpatine and his powerful moment is rejecting the dark side. Here is how I sometimes describe it, Luke was a better Jedi but Anakin was more powerful in the force. Luke had to brush the dark side and attack Vader in a blind fury in order to gain the upper hand and I always felt like Vader was toying with him in a sense, more so with their duel at Cloud City but also somewhat on the Death Star. In Episode III Palpatine even says that Vader will become more powerful than him and Yoda.
What evidence do we really have that Vader/Anakin was more powerful than Luke? Sadly the idea of power levels seems to exist only in the world of Dragonball Z but here is my argument. In countless times throughout the PT and TCW it is expressed how powerful Anakin is and how unprecedented his abilities are. His midichlorian count suggests an even higher connection to the force than even the great Master Yoda. Anakin was a child of the Force itself and as such I feel he held an attunement to it unmatched before or since. In time Anakin would’ve become a master beyond even Yoda or Mace Windu, but he was unable to overcome his emotions. This lack of emotional control is what made Anakin a poor Jedi compared to his son.
Luke’s attachment to the Force is still stronger than usual but isn’t to the level of his father, he has too much of his mother in him. This is why Leia doesn’t really display a strong aptitude to the Force, Luke struggled somewhat compared to a young Anakin who effortlessly passed every test of Force Sensitivity. I don’t think Anakin would’ve been snuck up on by a Tusken Raider as easily as his son would be.
The question of is Anakin strong enough was never really a plot point, Luke struggled with the idea of being strong enough to confront Vader and Palpatine. Luke never stood a chance until he succeeded in mastering his emotions, and redeemed his father who was the one who truly could defeat Palpatine.
How does Luke compare to other great Jedi of the past such as Yoda, Obi-Wan, or Mace Windu? Some of the great masters of their day. In the swamps of Dagobah I feel Yoda proves a greater attunement to the Force than Luke could have, although that may also stem from Luke’s self doubt at the time. Mace is rarely given the credit he deserves since his mastery was depicted through martial skill as opposed to Yoda or Obi-Wan’s wisdom. Mace was a superior swordsman to Yoda as evidenced by the fact he defeated Palpatine in combat which Yoda could not do. If not for Anakin’s intervention Palpatine and the Sith would’ve met their end, we will never know who was more skilled between Mace and Anakin at the time but I feel that Mace would’ve won the duel. That aside Mace didn’t have the Force potential of Anakin just more experience.
That’s the kicker really, experience. Luke is made a fool by Yoda and Vader in Episode V because of a lack of experience. With 30 years to develop I am certain Luke has closed the gap concerning his abilities and those of other famed Jedi. I feel his potential isn’t quite that of his father’s or even Yoda’s and lacking any masters of the Order to guide him Luke probably is suffering from a similar crisis of confidence that plagued him in Episode VI. This confidence would be completely shattered if he lost an academy like has been rumored before.
I didn’t mention Obi-Wan earlier because I feel that is the sort of power Luke has attained. I believe he will be as powerful as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, highly capable and holding a wisdom virtually unmatched, but not an all powerful Force God as some have speculated. Luke doesn’t have the natural ability of his father but that doesn’t mean he is not a gifted Jedi Master.