Luke Skywalker choosing to place himself in exile in Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been the source of much controversy, but one story from the comics shows that he was always secretly tempted by this path, even fantasizing about ditching the Rebellion for a quiet life in some obscure corner of the galaxy.

After it was revealed that Luke disappeared to the distant planet Ahch-To at the end of The Force Awakens, fans had to wait two years before it was revealed what the famed Jedi was doing there. The Last Jedi provided an answer to that mystery in 2017, revealing that Luke had chosen exile following his failure to keep Ben Solo from falling to the Dark Side of the Force. That revelation was just one of the many story points that divided fans like nothing since the days of the prequels – with even actor Mark Hamill struggling to accept the Jedi giving up hope – but at least one story from the expanded universe shows that Luke held a secret desire for exile all along.


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Luke’s Vision Reveals His Secret Desire for Exile

star wars luke goes into exile in fantasy

Luke’s vision of a different life comes in the one-shot Star Wars: Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker #1 – by Greg Pak, Chris Sprouse, Scott Koblish, Stefano Landini, Marc Deering, Karl Story, Tamra Bonvillain and Travis Lanham. The story finds Luke leading a band of Rebels in an assault on an Imperial fuel refinery. As they make their escape, they’re ambushed by Imperial forces. Lightyears away, Palpatine is able to sense Luke’s fear and doubt, pinpointing a hidden desire to run away from it all. Attempting to find a weak point in Luke’s psyche, the Emperor is able to influence Luke into experiencing a vision of going off to a small planet where he lives a simple life. While Palpatine states he can’t influence Luke’s desires, he can bring them to the fore, and he tempts Luke to “leave this lost war behind” and abandon his lightsaber on a distant planet, living a long, simple life as a farmer.

Palpatine Tempted Luke to Leave the Rebellion

luke skywalker force vision star wars

It’s a scene that’s very rooted in classic mythology and religion. Luke being tempted by visions of another life recall the biblical concept of the temptation of Christ. Indeed, the original solicits for the story tellingly described it as ‘The First Temptation of Luke Skywalker.’ The scene also puts Luke’s later exile on Ahch-To in perspective, as Luke’s vision is rather similar to what happens in the sequel trilogy, finally giving in to an idea that had been in his head since before he even redeemed Vader. Palpatine may not have been able to tempt Luke away from the war when he originally sent his vision, but it’s possible he did contribute to Luke’s exile after the creation of Kylo Ren, given he had apparently long known that Luke was already tempted to step away from the problems of the wider galaxy.

While many Star Wars fans considered Luke’s decision to go into exile to be opposed to everything that defined him as a hero, this is somewhat the point of the decision, as the collapse of his family and his new Jedi Order broke Luke in a way that he only recovered from at the end of his life. Luke Skywalker‘s secret desire to stop fighting and retire to a comfortable life doesn’t make him less of a hero – indeed, it’s only in overcoming these temptations that he is a hero, repeatedly making the decision to sideline his own desires in favor of helping others.

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