Note: contains SPOILERS for Star Wars #30.
Luke Skywalker’s journey from moisture farmer to galaxy-saving Jedi Knight is one of cinema’s most beloved epics. His story kicked off in a little film called Star Wars, launching a franchise that now spans eight officially canon movies (and two non-canon Ewok movies), two animated series, and hundreds of stories, toys, video games, and comic books. Ironically, George Lucas intended Darth Vader’s alter ego, Anakin Skywalker, as the true thrust of the first six movies, as its his story that technically spans the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy. However, Luke Skywalker’s hero’s journey started it all off – and made everything Star Wars (or Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) possible.
Even though the history and mysteries of Luke Skywalker have been explored extensively in supplemental materials, especially comics and novels there are still a number of fascinating questions about his backstory – and not just what happened to him in the years after Return of the Jedi and before The Last Jedi. Much like the Marvel and then Dark Horse comics that came before it, the once-again Marvel spawned ongoing comic continues to dig into Luke's fascinating story, most recently dealing with the years before his training with Yoda began.
The most recent story arc follows Obi-Wan Kenobi's own written history, as he relates a tale of the legendary green Jedi Master. Not only is Star Wars #30 a fascinating glance at Yoda, but it also reveals a grand destiny in the making for Luke.
Luke Gets Left Behind
Fans may be wondering what’s up with Ben’s diary. The Rebellion recently enjoyed a hard-fought victory, stealing a star destroyer from the Empire. Unfortunately during the process, C-3PO was captured. Although his friends want him back, the Rebels simply don't have the resources or the lives to gamble on the protocol droid. Ever-impetuous, the plucky little astromech droid, R2-D2, swiped an X-Wing and headed out to rescue his comrade. When Luke tracks him down, Artoo disabled the young hero's fighter and soars off to rescue Threepio, leaving the would-be Jedi stranded in deep space. Feeling somewhat helpless at this point, Luke realizes he’ll need more insight, and all he has is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s old journal for now.
In the years following Obi-Wan’s death in A New Hope, Luke has struggled to better understand his burgeoning abilities and the mysterious powers of the Force. After returning to his home world of Tatooine, he fends off Boba Fett for the first time – unless you count the Holiday Special, which Disney does not) – discovering a set of journals belonging to Ben. Not just a tool for writer Jason Aaron to tell stories, the old wizard's writings also allow him to delve into the myth and mysteries of the Jedi and expand them.
Thus far, several journal entries have fleshed out Obi-Wan’s exploits during his time after the Empire's rise, as well as while watching over Luke. Starting in Star Wars #26, though, diminutive wizard Yoda took a starring role. The arc, entitled “Yoda’s Secret War,” tells the curious tale of Yoda's calling to a barren, lost world – which also starts Luke's own strange journey.
Yoda’s War Begins…and Ends
Trying to understand his peculiar new environment, Yoda makes his way from the slightly peaceful flatlanders, the Muckwhackers, to the lands of the war-like Rockhawkers, who live on and around the mysterious mountain. He also discovers that his prodigious Force skills have little effect on the translucent blue spears and rocks that these violent juveniles– very Lord of the Flies meets Star Wars – assault him with. As a result, they corral him inside the great rock, pushing him ever closer to the “heart” of the mountain. Here, he discovers both the cowardly adults of the tribe, hidden away, as well as more-sympathetic Rockhawker refugee, Garro.
Garro teaches the Jedi Master how to commune with the mountain through his “stonepower,” and Yoda begins to understand the true damage this war between factions has caused. Not only has it caused a rift between the adults and children, but it also drove the Force-infused living and breathing creatures that once occupied the land into a state of hybernation. Using his own life essence, he begins to heal the “mountain.” Emerging from the caves, Garro betrays Yoda in order to rejoin his people, leaving the little green Jedi stuck between a living rock and the hard ground.
However, in classic David and Goliath format, the Jedi Master faces down the Rockhawker’s hate-inspired megalithic creature and helps the Mudwhackers revive other powerful, age-old rock people through positivity, bringing an end to the long war.
Luke’s Connection to the Force Deepens
Previously, fans were treated to Luke Skywalker’s first official lightsaber duel, where he fought the surprisingly adept Sergeant Kreel, the ruthless leader of Task Force 99 (aka Scar Squadron, the only capable Stormtroopers in the Empire, apparently). Now, as the young Jedi to be desires a more profound relationship with the Force, he ascertains the coordinates to Yoda's mysterious planet. Soaring over in his X-Wing, he realizes that the planet is even more devoid of life than before, as the mountainous creatures themselves are once more nothing but nearly lifeless rock. Well, the planet is almost devoid of life.
Now, only a handful of small "rock children" are left, aside from one bitter old man: Garro. The former Rockhawker blames Yoda for the slow death of his planet. It seems that after Yoda’s departure, the natives began to leave their home in search of adventure in the worlds beyond. As they left, so did their life essence, and the living rock creatures began to dwindle as well. Garro seeks to use Luke’s innate abilities to finally end the battle between his people and the rock creatures.
Luke, while green in the Force, refuses to partake in the battle. Skywalker's willingness to sacrifice himself reawakens something in Garro, who then sacrifices his own life essence to reawaken the rock people. Watching life on the planet come full circle, and realizing how significant the aging stonepower-user's conversion is, Luke agrees to help restore life on their world as best he can.
Luke's actions in Star Wars #30, it would seem, are his true major steps into a larger world. And they don’t go unnoticed, either. From light years away, a small, green Jedi feels life return to the planet and recognizes Luke (and Garro’s) contribution to the living Force. Yoda notes, saying “soon ready he will be.” But before he can meet his destiny and begin his Jedi training, young Skywalker will face one of his toughest challenges yet – the cutting wit of Doctor Aphra in the upcoming “Screaming Citadel” miniseries.
Star Wars #30 is currently available.
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