Luke proves that although he is headstrong, he learned his lesson in The Empire Strikes Back and isn’t so impulsive in Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Luke Skywalker #1.
Warning: This article contains plot points for Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Luke Skywalker #1.
Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker #1
Story: Greg Pak | Art: Chris Sprouse, Scott Koblish, Stefano Landini | Inks: Karl Story, Marc Deering | Color: Tamra Bonvillain | Lettering: VC’s Travis Lanham | Cover Artists: Terry and Rachel Dodson | Production Designer: Anthony Gambino | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia
The current Star Wars canon has stories that span the entire length of the saga. However, the brief era between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi is light on content. Therefore, it is refreshing that Grek Pak chose to set his Luke Skywalker story for Age of Rebellion during this time. Luke has evolved in many ways, but Darth Vader and the Emperor don’t know what their young adversary is capable of yet. The Emperor gets a lesson in exactly what he is up against in Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker #1.
The Confident Jedi
Luke Skywalker #1 begins with Luke escorting a captured Imperial Support Vessel under Rebel command to an Imperial mining platform. Their mission is to secure the platform’s fuel reserves. In a nice touch, those fuel reserves are presented as coaxium as seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story. The Rebels tasked with this mission were initially unaware that Luke was their escort, but they quickly come to appreciate his presence.
This highlights a new era for Luke. He is known as the pilot that blows up the Death Star, but he hasn’t had many opportunities to fight with the common soldiers of the Rebellion. Usually, he is on a mission with some combination of Leia, Han, Chewbacca, and the droids. Luke Skywalker #1 changes that. His presence inspires and encourages the Rebel soldiers. Early on, Luke takes the lead in the assault on the platform and destroys most of the security droids single handedly. Luke doesn’t let this go to his head. In short, he is beginning to act like the model Jedi.
The Influence of the Emperor
It is at this moment that Luke becomes the focus of the Emperor in Luke Skywalker #1. In an audience with his master, Darth Vader insists that Luke would be a powerful allie if he were found and turned. Intrigued by his pupil’s confidence in Luke, Palpatine, or Sidious if you prefer, turns his Force meditation on Luke. He begins to probe until he finally senses Luke’s thoughts and begins to make suggestions through the Force.
Star Wars audiences witnessed the power Supreme Leader Snoke exhibited to reach across the galaxy and either influence events or take physical action against individuals in The Last Jedi. The Emperor’s ability seems less powerful by comparison. He admits that he can’t put a vision in Luke’s mind, but he seems to influence Luke’s thoughts. Alternatively, Sidious might just be trying to get Luke to turn to the dark side.
The Emperor tries to manipulate Luke twice in Luke Skywalker #1. The first time, the Emperor encourages Luke to give up the fight. Although he can’t put the vision in Luke’s mind, he suggests that Luke run away and abandon the Rebellion. In his vision, the Rebel’s vessel is destroyed. A grief stricken Luke then flees the battle, finds a remote world, gives up his X-Wing and lightsaber, and joins the native population. In the vision, he raises a family before snapping out of it. The Emperor’s control, or influence, over Luke was only fleeting. This story suggests that Luke is then familiar with the type of power Snoke used on Rey and Kylo during The Last Jedi.
When Luke comes back to the present, he immediately springs back into action. The Rebel cruiser still floats nearby. Luke instantly flies into the hangar and destroys several Imperial TIEs along the way. The officer in command, a major, is missing though. The Luke learns the major is planning his personal craft for launch. Luke initially misinterpreted the major’s action as a betrayal, and the Emperor seizes upon this to encourage him to turn his guilt and anger into something stronger. For a brief moment, it looks like the Emperor won. However, Luke proves resilient. When Luke realizes the major is attempting to distract the Empire so the cruiser can escape, Luke volunteers to serve as his pilot.
Final Thoughts on Luke Skywalker #1
The Emperor failed. In Luke Skywalker #1, he was unable to persuade Luke to abandon the Rebellion or embrace the dark side of the Force. However, this won’t be the last time that the Emperor attempts to seduce Luke into turning. In Return of the Jedi, the Emperor plays on Luke’s fears and doubts as he tempts him to give into those feelings, embrace his rage, and lash out with the Force. Even though his plan worked better then, he still failed.
Luke Skywalker #1 is a great story that demonstrates how far Luke has come with embracing Yoda’s teachings in the ways of the Jedi. Although angered, Luke never gave into those feelings. Even when he felt a disturbance in the Force, he still obeyed the major’s orders. Furthermore, instead of seizing the glory for the successful escape, he let’s the major receive all the accolades.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of this book is that audiences get to see Luke in his Jedi prime. After Return of the Jedi, Luke is only seen in glimpses here and there. Gamers experienced a little of his story in Battlefront II. A few random tales were collected in The Legends of Luke Skywalker, but those were unreliable. Even though Luke Skywalker only features a few scenes of Luke letting loose with his Jedi powers, it is a welcome sight.
Like Princess Leia #1, Han Solo #1 and Lando Calrissian #1, readers get to learn a little more about the motivations and character behind the Rebel Alliance’s heroes in an action packed story. Luke has his moments of impressive saber work, but in the end, it is his adherence to his ideals that win the day. As he will tell the Emperor in their first face-to-face encounter, he is a Jedi Knight, like his father before him, and the Emperor failed.
Dennis Keithly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, North Texas attorney, husband, father of two, and co-host of Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels. In addition to Star Wars, Dennis is a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes in general. When not engaged in fictional universes, Dennis is reading a good book or watching the NHL, football, or studying the NFL draft.