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Padawan, master... dark side? Luke Skywalker's journey to #TheLastJedi

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The end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens left us on a quite literal cliffhanger.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) finally tracked down Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) who had spent many years in exile, and we’re now dying to find out the next part of his story.

Out of all the characters in the Star Wars universe, Luke’s journey has been the most interesting, and arguably the most tumultuous.

The mystery of what exactly happened between the end of Return of the Jedi and the events of The Force Awakens should come to light in this December's The Last Jedi, but there are some hints that our hero might not be the same as he once was.

Could the unthinkable be about to happen? Could Luke Skywalker really go to the dark side? We take a look at his journey, and the evidence so far…

Just a small-town (farm) boy...

We first meet Luke Skywalker on his home planet of Tatooine, living with his Aunt and Uncle. Frustrated with his humble existence, he quickly sees his life turned upside-down when his Uncle unknowingly purchases two droids who hold the secrets to destroying the most powerful weapon in the Galaxy.

After meeting the reclusive Ben “Obi-Wan” Kenobi (Alec Guinness), Luke embarks on an adventure that will change his life forever. The death of his family at the hands of Imperial Troops introduces Luke to the darkness in the galaxy, and leaving the relative quiet of Tatooine is the catalyst for the events that follow.


Use the Force, Luke!

Under the tutelage of Obi-Wan, Luke learns the ways of the Jedi and is introduced to the Force, continuing his training with Yoda (Frank Oz) after Obi-Wan’s shocking death.

Whether it is destroying the Death Star in A New Hope or facing off against his Father, and now Sith Lord, Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke is proven to be strong in the force and a worthy adversary to the villainous Vader.


"A Jedi, like my father before me"

By the time we get to Return of the Jedi Luke has opted for more badass black attire, and is undoubtedly at the height of his powers as he faces off against his father whilst fighting the lure of the Dark Side one last time.

There is however the underlying suggestion that he could switch to the dark side, just as Vader did. The showdown between Luke and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi isn’t just about good (Luke) defeating evil (Vader), it is about Luke overcoming any latent darkness within himself.

Whilst there’s celebration at the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke is changed by his experience, and really his story is only just beginning…


Master of padawans

Following the Battle of Endor, Luke sought to create some kind of Jedi training academy to train up the next batch of force-sensitive recruits.

One of these students was Ben Solo/Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the son of Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford). After being seduced to the Dark Side, Kylo Ren went on a murderous rampage, seemingly killing all the rest of Luke’s students and forcing our hero into exile.

However he left behind a map that would ultimately lead the Resistance (which formed out of the former Rebel Alliance) to his remote island retreat of Ahch-To. It is on this island that Rey finds Luke, taking us to where we are in the story so far…


The Last Jedi?

The teaser trailer was full of mystery, but perhaps the most mysterious aspect was the last line uttered by Luke where he said "It is time for the Jedi to end".

The speculation as to Luke’s motives is one of the hot topics amongst fans at the moment. Of course this line is very much open to interpretation and could mean any number of things, but with a new Jedi on the scene in the form of Rey, the stage is set for the once former Master to do the unthinkable and turn to the Dark Side.

Indeed director Rian Johnson has just recently confirmed that Luke is in fact the Last Jedi of the title, stating: "There’s always wiggle room in these movies — everything is from a certain point of view — but coming into our story, he is the actual last of the Jedi. And he’s removed himself and is alone on this island, for reasons unknown." 

Perhaps he'll even face off against his protege, in a mirror of the original trilogy's lightsaber battles? His many years in exile will undoubtedly have had a huge effect on him, and just what that will be, we can’t wait to find out.

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released on 15th December.

Sarah Buddery is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.