"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Saturday, October 17, 2020

How I am like Luke Skywalker

Hello, my Jedi Knights and readers alike!

Today is the last day of a blogathon hosted by Classics, Coffee, and Craziness and I'm Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read). What is the celebration for this time? Why, only one of my favorite things of all times, STAR WARS!!! It's the Everything STAR WARS Blogathon!
What Iʼm bringing in to the party for you today is the start of a series that Iʼve been wanting to create for a while now. Talking about how I am like and how I relate to fictional characters! Iʼm here to talk about Luke Skywalker.

SPOILER ALERT! IF YOU HAVENʼT SEEN EPISODES 4-9 OF THE STAR WARS SERIES, READ NO FURTHER. PLEASE LISTEN TO ME ON THIS. I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH AND I DONʼT WANT IT TO BE SPOILED FOR ANYONE. Seriously, if I find out that you havenʼt seen the series but you read this anyway, I will be very upset.

Ahem. As you can see, I feel rather strongly about it. One more thing: one of the hosts of the blog party, Eva, wrote a really awesome post about Luke HERE, which may have started me thinking about writing my own.

I thought that this would just be something easy and quick to write up. What resulted was several hours of madly hitting my keyboard which ended in 3,612 words. That is insane. So, I had a long time of editing to get that to a blog post size. Which was not successful. Oops, doing editing is not my forte. Enjoy!




I canʼt believe that I was so unimpressed by STAR WARS when I was little. I had never seen it, didnʼt want to, but I knew a few things: There was a guy named Darth something, a small green crinkly guy, a big green crinkly guy, and awesome looking sword things. Oh, and robots. There were robots and maybe a princess?

I knew that a ton of people loved it, but my only thought about it was, “War? That doesnʼt sound good. Why would people be obsessed with that?”

I can now say that I am one of those people.

Luke Skywalker is one of the most famous characters, yet I had never heard of him. Now that I know him I RELATE TO HIM IN SO MANY WAYS.

Sure, our our stories and lives are completely different.

Am I a Jedi Master like my father before me? Well, no.

Am I “not such a bad pilot myself!”? Another no.

But, there are other ways that I feel a deep connection to him. Itʼs not until Return of the Jedi that I really started to see the similarity between us, but since then I have seen places in the first two films as well. I know that Luke got a lot of bad rep in The Last Jedi for being not like himself, but Iʼm here to tell you that that is exactly what he wouldʼve done, and why.


In A New Hope, we meet this kid whose aunt and uncle are murdered. 

“Thereʼs nothing that you couldʼve done,” Obi-Wan tells him.

He accepts that and the epicness of the first movie occurs.

In the second movie Luke goes to Dagobah where he wants to learn to be a Jedi. He is frustrated that heʼs wasting his time when he could be with his new friends, and this weird creature is not helping him. Heʼs not mean to it (unlike R2 who zaps him), but you can tell that he is tired of waiting.

Then, he is criticized about not being ready. After all of this time of course he is! He will try his hardest.

So he does, but nothing seems good enough. It is all impossible. Yoda tells him: “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

One of the most famous lines of the series, and itʼs something that I need to tell myself everyday. I think, “What use is it?” I think that I am trying, but just the act of “trying” and not committing is the difference.

He goes into a cavern and sees Darth Vader. An impulse hits him: He can stop this. The evil oppressing the galaxy. He kills Darth Vader and the mask comes off with his own face behind it. It was just a test and he failed.

At that moment we see a glimmer of doubt in Luke. How would it feel to die himself, when there is so much to learn and that he can feel the light and good inside of himself?

He sees a vision, but one of pain and torture. His friends that he has found another home in are going to die. He has to help! He has two options:

1. Stay, complete his training while his friends die, just another casualty in an ongoing war.
2. Or never complete his training and be what he wants more that anything, but have a chance at stopping that death. Which one does he choose?

Sure, he might not be able to save them, the likelihood of succeeding without his proper training completed is low, but he just has to DO SOMETHING. After all of those years putting off going to the academy, he needs to DO anything that might result in saving those he loves. He canʼt stand by and DO NOT.

Why? Because last time: “Thereʼs nothing that you couldʼve done,” Obi-Wan told him about his aunt and uncle.

This time there is.

The consequences: He loses his hand, and he learns that Darth Vader...is his father.


The father that Luke has wanted to be like, is alive, in front of him, and one of the evilest people in the galaxy. What is Lukeʼs reaction? To get away. To let go. He needs to think this through.

Are we shown right away what the result of his time for pondering brought forth? Nope. The Return of the Jedi begins with him saving a friend, which will go before his own problems.

This was the movie where I thought, “Hey, Luke and I have THE EXACT SAME MIND”.

He offers his own two droids in exchange for Captain Soloʼs life. C-3PO is horrified by this, but we know that Luke knows what he is doing. His loyalty extends to his droids and he wouldnʼt do anything concerning them if he didnʼt have a plan. He also knows that C-3PO tends to talk and this is on a need to know basis, and he doesnʼt. (Ha, I worked a reference from The Last Jedi in!)

He knew that Jabba wouldnʼt go for it, but wouldnʼt be able to resist a gift. Too bad for the giant slug mobster, because Luke now has two people on the “inside”.

He walks into Jabbaʼs hut (ha, see what I did there?) looking just like a Jedi Knight. He uses a mind trick to get Jabbaʼs servant to do what he wants. Since that worked so well, he tries it on Jabba. Which didnʼt turn out as nicely as it could have. But, they still get out of there alive.


After that is sorted out he returns to Dagobah. Saving his friends did cost him learning to be a Jedi fully, but it was worth it. He has a few last words with Yoda, who tells him: “Pass on what you have learned.”

He does something very hard: He admits that he canʼt face Darth Vader. It is fully DO NOT, no matter who Darth Vader is, he can not and will not kill his own father.

Luke also learns that not all of his family is either dead or evil. One of the sweetest and kindest people that he knows is his sister. There is hope in his family, and maybe he wonʼt be bad either?

He joins his friends on a mission to Endor but he senses Darth Vader and a terrible feeling goes through him. Has he ruined everything? They are let through, but Luke knows that itʼs just a matter of time.

The Ewoks are going to help them and it will all be good, but Luke has a feeling that it wonʼt be successful if he is there. He tells Leia why he has to go. Finally, we see what all of his thoughts have lead to. Remember that cave scene? He has to DO something, and killing Vader is a DO NOT... so why not turn him back to the light?

The galaxyʼs most hated man and he is sure that there is good inside him. Luke will not kill his father, so doesnʼt that logical thinking lead us to believe that a father will not kill his son?

Source

Leia tries to convince him otherwise, “Run away, Luke!”, but she knows that his mind is made up.

Here is the part where every move that Luke makes would be the exactly the same. Every word, expression, look, and gesture.

He confronts Darth Vader with the fact that he is his son, and that he wonʼt be able to kill him. We see hesitation on Vaderʼs part, but, being classic STAR WARS, both are sure that the other will turn first.

The scenes with the Emperor are so painful for me to watch, because in those moments I am Luke. It is revealed that it is his fault, that he did endanger the mission, and his friends are all doing to die. Again, and again, it is his fault. For so long he waits and tells himself not to attack the Emperor because that is what they are trying to get him to do, but eventually he breaks. And I wouldʼve broken there, too.

This duel is unique from the other duels in STAR WARS. Instead of both attacking each other, Luke is constantly hiding.

“Your thoughts betray you.”

Unintentionally he released the biggest secret that he has: Leia is his sister. Then the anger comes pouring out. But, not at Vader. At himself. He is to blame that he thought about her and Vader sensed it, now Luke feels that he has to save her by destroying Vader.

A short and intense fight ensues. Luke cuts off Vaderʼs hand and a couple of things hit him all at once.:
1. Wires replace where an arm should be. Luke doesnʼt know about the dark side of the force, but he feels there is something about losing a hand and that starts the process. That was what Vader was trying to do to him.
2. He is back in the cave. Instead of staring at his face where Vaderʼs should be, he is staring at his arm where Vaderʼs should be.



He throws down his lightsaber, making the final decision of DO NOT when it comes to killing his father.

“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”

The Emperor begins torturing Luke, and his father, Anakin Skywalker, comes through. Vader chooses DO by stopping Palpatine. He throws him down a shaft, while taking the blunt of the attack and his system starts to shut down.

Luke feels that he has failed, because instead of turning him to the light, and saving him, Vader will die anyway. But, Anakin tells him: “You already have, Luke.”

This is one of the most amazing endings ever. But, Lukeʼs story continues in The Last Jedi. Many people disliked it, but I think that it fully completes his story.

Everyone has been searching for Luke since he disappeared after Ben Solo turned to the dark side and became Kylo Ren. Finally, Rey has found him and extends his and his fatherʼs lightsaber so that he will teach her.


Um, excuse me?

“You think what? Iʼm gonna walk out with a laser sword and face down the whole First Order?”

This is where everyone becomes confused when I say that I am Luke Skywalker, especially in The Last Jedi. I am a super optimistic person. It might be a bad day and everything seems horrible, but Iʼll point out some good things that happened. How would I be like this pessimistic old man who is crabby and tired of everything?

Remember, Luke was an optimist, too. The odds would look bad (or sound bad when coming from C-3PO), but he would push on.

They have found that there is a Death Star swarming with troops, but he had to get the princess out of there.

That target on the Death Star was too small, but Luke said that he used to hit rats that are not much bigger.

He has always stepped up because there had to be a way to save his friends.

What happened?

Even though I am bursting with positivity, when things are piled up and the dam finally breaks, it all reverses. I become tired of the world, am sarcastic, and angry.

This is something that I wish I could tell everyone, but I am never angry at other people. That rarely happens, possibly once or twice a year, and I can feel the difference. That anger is so different than when I am mad at myself. When I am filled with anger and despair and rage, it is all at myself. I blame every bad thing that happens on myself. Somehow, I am at fault. I know it sounds extreme, but itʼs true.

Source


This, I think is a big difference with the light side of the force vs. the dark side.

Anger leads to the dark side, so donʼt be angry they say. That, is impossible my friend, everyone gets angry from time to time.

But hatred, anger, towards others leads to the dark side. The dark side and Sith are the ones who use the Force choke on others. Whenever Luke is mad, it is towards himself. Therefore he would never turn to the dark side.

Source

But anger at yourself can still be destructive. We could go into all of the pros and cons of guilt and what it does to you, but thereʼs so much, you could write a book about it (Pst, thatʼs what Iʼm doing, if you were curious. That book is my NaNoWriMo project for this year.) Iʼll just stick to the points concerning Luke.

Luke never blames anyone else, he places the fault again, and again on him, Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master, a legend. He blames the Jedi, but he is such a part of the Jedi, the last one, that he is still blaming himself. 

What gives him the motivation to teach Rey? A visit from an old friend. Luke loves his sister so much, that is one of the reasons why he feels so much guilt.


In his lessons to Rey, he tells her: 
“But if you strip away the myth and look at their deeds, the legacy of the Jedi is failure. Hypocrisy, hubris.”
“Thatʼs not true!”
“At the height of their powers they allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire, and wipe them out. It was a Jedi Master who was responsible for the training and creation of Darth Vader.”
“And a Jedi who saved him. Yes, the most hated man in the galaxy. But you saw there was conflict inside him. You believed that we wasnʼt gone. That he could be turned.”
“And I became a legend.”

Luke feels that this failure brings down all of his victories and nothing is worthy. He forgets how much he has done because he feels that everything has just lead to this momentous disaster. That is why it is so beautiful that Rey reminds him about how he saved Darth Vader.

He remembered Yodaʼs words, “Pass on what you have learned.”

“For many years there was balance, and then I saw...Ben. My nephew with that mighty Skywalker blood. And in my hubris, I thought I could train him, I could pass on my strengths."

He wanted to share the Force. We see his face when Rey feels the force in front of him, we know how much he loves it. He wants to share that with others so they can use it for good.

But, in his words, he failed.

He closes himself off from the Force as a punishment.

He tells Rey that when he went to confront his nephew, Ben turned on him. Now, this may be part of what bothers people about The Last Jedi? Iʼm not sure. You could say, Luke lied! He didnʼt tell Rey what happened!

I understand him. When I have failed at something, it is hard to admit it. Whatever we tell people they are going to be disappointed. So what do we do? We tell them what is pounded into our brains, minute after minute.

WE FAILED.

They donʼt need to know the details.

“Leia blames Snoke, but it was me.”

The tone of his voice when he says those words kills me every. single. time.

What happened when he made this mistake? He decided to DO NOT.

This is a really hard part of always blaming everything on yourself. Eventually, you feel that no matter what you do, youʼll only make things worse. You want to fix your mistakes, but you feel that youʼll only ruin everything.

So what do you do? You run. Far away. You feel that you are worthless and canʼt do anything to make things right.

I fight this every day. Sometimes I convince myself to keep DOING, even if it doesnʼt work out. Some days that despair sinks in too much.


While teaching Rey we see that Luke wants to go back to the Force. So he does. He hears his sisterʼs voice say his name. This moment makes me so happy, because he starts to believe in himself as we have all believed in him.

He sees Rey with Kylo Ren. This is such a sad moment for Luke, because you can tell that he was going to tell Rey that he would DO it, he would help.

When starting all over again, from the bottom up, your foundation is unstable. So many times when I make the decision to DO, some tiny thing makes everything crumble again and I feel more broken than before.

Rey demands that he tell her what really happened.

“I saw darkness. Iʼd sensed it building in him. Iʼd seen it in moments during his training. But then I looked inside, and it was beyond what I ever imagined. Snoke had already turned his heart. He would bring destruction, and pain, and death, and the end of everything I love because of what he will become. And for the briefest moment of pure instinct, I thought I could stop it. It passed like a fleeting shadow. And I was left with shame, and with consequence. And the last thing I saw were the eyes of a frightened boy whose master had failed him.”

Rey is angry at him, which is understandable, but Luke has never denied that it is all and completely his fault. Did all the people think that Ben just went to the dark side on his own?

“You failed him by thinking that his choice was made. It wasnʼt. Thereʼs still conflict in him. If he were turned from the dark side, that could shift the tide. This could be how we win!”

“This is not going to go the way you think.”

She gives Luke one last chance to train her, and he turns away.

After Rey leaves he takes a rash decision. This happens to me all the time. When I failed a million times, I just want everything to end. The tree, the texts, the Jedi.

His old master Yoda appears.

Luke hesitates before DOING. He slowly lowers the flame. Yoda completes the task for him.


One of the things about blaming ourselves all the time is that we want others to do the same. I hate it when Iʼm telling someone that it is all my fault and they say, “No, it isnʼt.” then string out a million excuses, when I still know that it was me.

Whoever Luke has talked to, they blame someone else.

Leia blamed Snoke.
At first Rey blamed Kylo.

People still think that he is a legend and he just wants to reveal what he truly is: a failure.

What is so amazing to me about his conversation with Yoda, is that Yoda never tries to shift the blame. Yoda says that is okay.

“Heeded my words not, did you? Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”

We donʼt want to blame someone else. That just makes us feel worse. We want to stop failing, but can never seem to. That is why it is so big for us for someone to accept us as we are, failures, and tell us that that is okay.

We donʼt see Luke for a while, but when we do, he has chosen to DO. How? He faces down the entire First Order with a laser sword.


He has my ultimate favorite lightsaber duel of all time. He learned his lesson that he canʼt stop Kylo Ren by killing him. After all, he is Lukeʼs nephew. Luke canʼt hurt any of his family.

But, he can distract him while the others escape. AND HE DID THIS ALL FROM HIS ISLAND.

That is not the end.

He taught Rey so much and she has had another great teacher, his sister. His legacy taught her that no one is ever really gone.

They can be saved from the darkness.

Luke Skywalker passed on what he learned.


I love The Last Jedi because it is Lukeʼs story. We get to see Lukeʼs struggles and we want to see him overcome. This is why we love stories, right? We connect and relate to characters, but it doesnʼt end there. We want to see them succeed, because that means that hope is not gone for us.

I fight everyday with the struggle of DO or DO NOT. Every day I tell myself that I canʼt just try while another part of me says that it is all pointless and will end in failure anyway.

But why do I keep fighting, and keep choosing to DO?

Because I havenʼt had my most epic lightsaber battle of all time where I showed that I was the most powerful Jedi. I keep looking towards the horizon.

What will I do when those doubts come pouring back? 


Yep, brush ʻem off.



That, ladies and gents, is the reason that The Last Jedi is my third favorite movie of all time!

Thank you so much for making it through that ginormous thing! Check out HERE or HERE for other awesome STAR WARS related posts. Thanks to Katie and Eva for hosting!


Your turn to tell me your thoughts on Luke Skywalker! Are there any ways that you relate to him? Did anything that I said make sense?

MovieCritic

4 comments:

  1. This is such a great post. My family sometimes gets confused when I tell them that I relate to certain characters, too. It's sometimes hard to explain. I'm just reading or watching something, and I think, "That's me. I would make the choices this character is making, and our personalities are similar, too.
    I can definitely see how you're like Luke. I never realized until I read your post that he's quite a bit like me, too (maybe it's an INFP thing? I always thought that was Luke's type).
    Anyway, this was such a neat idea, and I loved reading it.
    And, yes, most of what you said made sense.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OH MY GOODNESS.

    Somebody else relates to Luke's arc in The Last Jedi!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes, yes, yes to everything you said here!!! I, too, have the intense self-blame problem (it's a Fi problem, Luke is ISFP, I'm INFP). I always make it about myself and the enormity of my mistakes. Like Luke, I take "I failed once" as the sign of "I'm good for nothing else." I'm worthless, I'm a ruin, etc.

    So when Yoda sat down with Luke and told him, "Failure, the greatest teacher is," YOU BETTER BELIEVE I CRIED.

    Failure will actually make us stronger, if we let it. I needed that lesson so much.

    Thank you for such an amazing Star Wars post! So glad to have you participating in our blogathon!!

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  3. Wow. Wow. SUCH a good post! I don't identify with Luke (as much), but I can TOTALLY see how you do, and how his behavior in The Last Jedi (which...I've only watched half of. The last half. Gotta go watch the beginning) is consistent with his personality. I'm honestly in awe of the filmmakers with all the symbolism and arcs and everything! The thing you were saying about anger...wow. It's making me think much more deeply about myself. Thanks for the food for thought!

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  4. Okay I've been a Star Wars fan forever, and Luke has never been one of my favorites. (I'm more of a Han solo type of gal) but The Last Jedi was the film that made me absolutely love him, and relate to him a bit too.
    I love how you broke down his whole character arc and reasons for everything. A fantastic post!
    Really enjoyed reading your thoughts! :D

    ReplyDelete

To comment, or not to comment? That is the question. Whatever you decide, I would love to hear from you!! I am always open to suggestions, advice, and any other comments! Even if you don't agree with me, I would love to hear from you as long as you keep the comment respectful and on subject. And, please, no swearing. I love comments on old posts!!
My computer won't let me leave comments, so it might take a few days, but I will reply!

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles