Luke Skywalker’s Complete Chronological History in Star Wars

The Last Jedi

Anakin Skywalker may be the de facto protagonist of the entire Star Wars series, but it’s hard to take anything away from his son Luke, the main character of the Original Trilogy. An adventurous farm boy who longs for a life among the stars, Luke’s journey from the desolate planet of Tatooine to his joining the Jedi Order forms the crux of George Lucas’s initial three films.

Though featured in less prominent roles in the Prequels, Luke would later play a huge part in Disney’s Sequel Trilogy, mentoring his successor, Rey, and encouraging her on her own path to becoming a Jedi Knight.

As with most characters in Star Wars, it can be a bit difficult following Luke’s story from its initial start to inevitable conclusion. From his birth in Revenge of the Sith up to his final farewell to Rey in The Rise of Skywalker, here is every appearance Luke made in Star Wars in chronological order.

Complete Lnear History of Luke Skywalker’s Appearances in Star Wars

For the sake of continuity, we compiled a general guide detailing every one of Luke’s appearances in Star Wars – including the main films, TV series, comic books, video games, and Extended Universe novels – beginning with his birth and continuing past his death.

  • Revenge of the Sith
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Rebels
  • A New Hope
  • Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi (novel)
  • Star Wars (Marvel comics)
  • Empire Strikes Back
  • Forces of Destiny
  • Return of the Jedi
  • Battlefront II (2017)
  • The Mandalorian
  • The Book of Boba Fett
  • Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith (novel)
  • The Force Awakens
  • The Last Jedi
  • The Rise of Skywalker

As helpful as the above guide is, we also wanted to flesh out Luke’s story in greater detail, tracing his eventful life from complete obscurity on Tatooine up to his days leading the Rebellion against the Empire.

Revenge of the Sith

Baby Luke Skywalker Revenge of the Sith
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

In 19 BBY, Luke Skywalker and his twin sister Leia are born to Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo on Polis Massa. The procedure – done in secrecy to avoid the detection of Imperial authorities – is successful, although the strain ultimately proves too much for Padmé, killing her moments after birth.

Believing the infant Luke to be the Chosen One meant to restore peace and justice to the galaxy, and knowing the threat to Luke’s life should the Emperor learn of his existence, Luke and Leia are separated at birth. Leia is adopted into a life of royalty by Bail Organa on Alderaan, while Luke is handed over to his closest living relatives, Owen and Beru Lars, on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan secretly watches over him throughout his childhood.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker A New Hope
Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

For the next 10 years, Luke lives a peaceful but uneventful life with his aunt and uncle. Gradually growing unhappy with his mundane surroundings, Luke begins to dream about a life of adventure beyond Tatooine, playing various games (often by himself) to escape his otherwise boring life on the planet.

During this time, former Imperial Inquisitor Reva – out for revenge against Darth Vader for his actions in Order 66 – nearly kills Luke and his adoptive family. Unable to slay the boy and remembering the trauma she suffered at Vader’s hands at the Jedi Temple, she relents at the last minute, returning Luke to Owen and Beru. Shortly afterward, Obi-Wan (who’s since assumed the identity of Ben Kenobi) introduces himself to Luke for the first time.

Rebels

A New Hope Twin Suns Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

As Luke grows into adolescence, his hopes of one day setting out on his own adventures across the galaxy continue to grow. In 2 BBY – shortly after battling his rival Maul for what would be the final time – Obi-Wan observes a 17-year-old Luke looking up at the twin suns of Tatooine, longing to break from what he views as his monotonous life as a farmer.

A New Hope

A New Hope Leia’s Message Luke Skywalker Obi-Wan Kenobi Alec Guinness Mark Hamill Carrie Fisher
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

In 0 BBY, following a brief battle over the planet between the Rebellion and the Empire, R2-D2 and C-3PO arrive on Tatooine with the stolen plans for the Death Star. Captured by Jawas and promptly sold to Luke’s aunt and uncle, the 19-year-old Luke tends to the two droids, soon uncovering a message hidden in R2 by Leia. Rescuing the astromech droid after he flees the farm on his own, Luke is nearly killed by Tusken Raiders, before his protector Obi-Wan intervenes, driving the Raiders away.

Telling Luke the general history of the Jedi, the Clone Wars, and of his own father (who, Obi-Wan tells him, was betrayed and murdered by Darth Vader), Luke becomes fascinated with the Jedi, longing to become one. Discovering Owen and Beru have been killed by the Empire during their search for R2, Luke decides to help Obi-Wan reach the Rebellion, and to study the ways of the Jedi as his father had before him.

Rescuing Leia from the Death Star with the help of smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, a devastated Luke watches as Obi-Wan is struck down by Vader. Formally joining the Rebellion, Luke takes part in the Rebel assault on the Death Star, using the Force to destroy the battle station.

Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi (novel)

A New Hope Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

A short time after the destruction of the Death Star, Luke becomes a key soldier in the Rebellion, who use Luke’s talented piloting skills and burgeoning abilities in the Force to their advantage. Becoming aware of a valuable Imperial cryptographer interested in defecting to the Rebellion, the Alliance dispatches Luke and fellow operative Nakari Kelen on an espionage mission to bring the cryptographer into the fold.

With limited resources at his disposal, Luke builds a closer connection to the Force for the sake of his survival and the mission’s success. While the cryptographer is eventually brought into the Rebellion, Nakari is killed on the assignment, with Luke feeling a brief call to the Dark Side as he grieves his friend’s death.

Star Wars (Marvel comics)

Star Wars Comics
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Bridging the narrative gap between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, Marvel’s 2015 comic book series, Star Wars, details Luke and his friend’s continued efforts to undermine the Empire. Following up on their victory on Yavin IV, the Rebellion gains further legitimacy as a viable political faction opposing the Empire, with numerous planets joining their cause in the Galactic Civil War.

As the galaxy feels the aftershocks of the Death Star’s destruction, Luke continues to hone his connection to the Force, trying to uncover more about his and his family’s past. Around this same time, Vader – who hired Boba Fett to capture the pilot responsible for blowing up the Death Star – learns Luke’s true identity, resolving to convert him to the Dark Side in the hopes of overthrowing the Emperor.

Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back Luke debates Yoda and Obi-wan Alec Guinness Frank Oz
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

Three years after the destruction of the Death Star, the Rebellion outrun the relentless might of the Empire, who are determined to wipe them out for good. Nearly killed by a ravenous Wampa on Hoth, the 22-year-old Luke experiences a feverish vision of Obi-Wan amidst a heavy snowstorm, who advises him to search for Yoda on Dagobah to continue his Jedi training. Rescued in the nick of time by Han, a revived Luke takes part in the Rebel defense on Hoth, separating from his friends as they flee onboard the Millenium Falcon.

Journeying to Dagobah on his own, Luke encounters Yoda, who is initially resistant to training Luke, believing him too old and impatient to learn the ways of the Jedi. After a careful argument on Obi-Wan’s part, Yoda relents, instructing Luke in the Jedi arts and overseeing his initial training. This period is cut short, however, when Luke sees a vision of his friends in mortal peril on Bespin, prompting to leave Dagobah and search for them (against the advice of Yoda and Obi-Wan).

Narrowly missing the chance to rescue Han from Boba Fett, Luke engages in a fierce duel with Vader in a carbonite chamber. Losing his right hand to the Sith lord after a swift lightsaber stroke, Vader then reveals to Luke that he is his true father, encouraging him to join the Dark Side. In shock, Luke barely escapes Vader’s clutches, and uses his connection to the Force to psychically call Leia for help. Nursed back to health with a robotic hand for a replacement, Luke, Leia, and their friends resolve to find Han.

Forces of Destiny

Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, The Path Ahead
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

A short animated anthology series, Forces of Destiny jumps around a lot in the canonical timeline of Star Wars. For example, the two episodes Luke appears in take place in 3 ABY and 4 ABY, respectively. In “The Path Ahead,” Luke is shown training with Yoda on Dagobah shortly before his battle with Vader on Bespin; in “Traps and Tribulations,” he and Leia successfully manage to stop a rampaging Gorax from harming any Ewoks on Endor.

Return of the Jedi

Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983).
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

In 4 ABY – one year after his encounter with Vader on Bespin – a now fully-trained Luke helps his friends rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt, using his knowledge of the Force and skills with a lightsaber to battle Jabba’s numerous gangsters. Returning to Dagobah to visit the dying Yoda, Luke is granted the rank of Jedi Knight, with Yoda confirming that Vader truly is Luke’s father.

After Yoda passes away, Luke confronts the spirit of Obi-Wan, who admits to his deception, and reveals that Leia is actually his twin sister. Believing his father still possesses good within him, Luke informs Obi-Wan of his plans to turn Vader back to the Light Side, even as Obi-Wan expresses doubt that Vader can still be saved.

Arriving at Endor with the Rebellion in the hopes of destroying the Death Star II, Luke allows himself to be captured by the Empire, reuniting with his father, who then brings him before the Emperor. As the Emperor does his best to turn Luke to the Dark Side, Luke momentarily gives in to his rage, attempting to strike the Emperor down in anger. Vader intervenes, and the two engage in another heated battle that Luke manages to gain the upper hand in. Rather than killing his father, Luke throws his lightsaber away, leading a furious Palpatine to brutally torture him.

As the Emperor prepares to kill Luke, Vader answers his son’s pleas for help, throwing his Sith master down a reactor shaft, returning to the Light Side of the Force. Grievously injured, Anakin has a sentimental father-son moment with Luke, passing away from his injuries. Cremating his father’s remains on Endor, Luke celebrates the Rebellion’s victory on Endor with his friends, fondly smiling at his father’s redeemed Force Spirit.

Battlefront II (2017)

With the Galactic Civil War beginning to wind down in the Rebellion’s favor, Luke dedicates himself to rebuilding the Jedi Order – a task that would preoccupy him for the remainder of his life. Shortly after the destruction of the Death Star II in 4 ABY, the 23-year-old Luke feels the Force calling him to the planet Pillio. Arriving there, Luke battles an Imperial legion charged with destroying the planet’s isolated observatory.

Answering a cry for help from Imperial Special Forces trooper Del Meeko, Meeko and Luke reluctantly join forces to navigate the planet’s subterranean passageways. Accessing the observatory, Luke collects an ancient Jedi artifact known as a star compass, departing amicably from Meeko, who he encourages to think for himself and focus on becoming a better person, rather than dedicating his life to either the Empire or Rebellion.

The Mandalorian

Luke Skywalker, The Mandalorian, Chapter 16: The Rescue
Image Credit: Lucas Films Ltd. / Walt Disney Television.

For the next five years, Luke continues his quest to rebuild the Jedi Order, including finding a planet capable of sustaining the next generation of Jedi. In 9 ABY, the 28-year-old Luke notices a presence in the Force from Din Djarin’s companion, Grogu, setting out in search of the former padawan. Arriving in the midst of a battle between Djarin and an Imperial battalion under Moff Gideon, Luke promptly cuts down the Moff’s personal army of Dark Troopers.

Introducing himself to Djarin and Grogu after the battle’s conclusion, Luke requests Djarin’s permission to teach Grogu the ways of the Jedi, essentially adopting him in the process. Believing it Grogu’s destiny to join his own kind (the Jedi), Djarin agrees, bidding goodbye to his close friend as Grogu and Luke depart.

The Book of Boba Fett

For the next few months, Luke instructs Grogu to the best of his abilities, encouraging him to use his connection to the Force as often as possible. Confessing his thoughts to Ahsoka Tano, Luke admits his frustrations with Grogu’s lack of progress, and that he feels his pupil is distracted and lacks the dedication to fully commit to the Jedi.

Trusting on his instincts to decide the matter, Luke gives Grogu a formal choice between continuing his Jedi training or rejoining Djarin. When Grogu chooses the latter, Luke sends Grogu back to Djarin on Tatooine, temporarily resuming his quest to rebuild the Jedi Order on his own once again.

Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith (novel)

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983).
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Over the next decade, the Galactic Civil War formally ends, with the remnants of the Empire fleeing to the far corners of the universe. Even as he works tirelessly to reignite the Jedi Order, a now 40-year-old Luke senses a dark presence in the galaxy, dwelling on an enigmatic planet called Exegol. In 21 ABY, Luke joins Lando Calrissian in an expedition to this remote world, helping him search for his lost daughter and investigate the nefarious nature of the planet.

Incidentally rescuing a family (later revealed to be Rey’s parents) from this insidious force on Exegol, Luke and Lando fail in their mission to find Lando’s missing daughter or to decipher who or what the being on Exegol really is. With his responsibilities currently attached to the Jedi, Luke departs to resume his duties managing the Jedi Temple, leaving Lando to resume his galaxy-wide search alone.

The Force Awakens

By 28 ABY, Luke has a healthy number of students – including his nephew, Ben Solo – enrolled in the Jedi Academy, dedicated to learning the ways of the Order under Luke’s tutelage. Sensing a potential darkness in Ben, Luke momentarily considers killing the boy to save the galaxy from harm. Feeling betrayed by Luke, Ben turns to the Dark Side, destroying the Jedi Temple and effectively leaving Luke’s new Jedi Order in ruins.

Six years later, Ben – who’s taken the alter ego of Kylo Ren – mounts a search for the 53-year-old Luke, who’s since gone into hiding on the planet Ahch-To, home to the first Jedi Temple. Living in self-imposed exile, Luke is later found by Rey, who returns his father’s lightsaber – last used by Luke on Bespin – to the Jedi Knight.

The Last Jedi

Mark Hamill in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Immediately after he’s found by Rey, a now embittered Luke refuses to teach her the ways of the Jedi, not wanting to repeat the mistakes he’d made with Ben. Learning of Han’s death by Kylo’s hand, Luke \ relents, although he becomes increasingly concerned by Rey’s unexplainably strong connection to the Force.

Admitting the truth behind Ben’s fall to the Dark Side, Rey tries to convince Luke to help her convert Kylo back to the Light Side of the Force. After a disparaged Luke expresses disbelief that any good still remains in Ben, Rey departs from the planet to confront Ren. Encountering the Force Spirit of Yoda, Luke is dressed down by his former master, who advises him not to let his failure with Ben get in the way of his helping Rey.

Taking Yoda’s advice to heart, Luke uses the Force to send an astral projection of himself to Crait, apologizing to Leia for Ben’s fall. Facing Kylo in one-on-one combat, Luke buys enough time for the Resistance to flee the planet, warning Kylo that he (Luke) isn’t the final Jedi before passing away, becoming one with the Force in the process.

The Rise of Skywalker

One year after his death, Rey continues her journey to becoming a Jedi Knight, her instructions having been assumed by Leia Organa. Uncovering her familial connection to Palpatine and fearing her imminent fall to the Dark Side, Rey banishes herself to Ahch-To. As she prepares to sever her connection to the Force and to the Jedi, Luke’s Spirit intervenes, admitting he was wrong to exile himself and advising Rey not to follow in his footsteps.

Dispensing advice to a discouraged Rey, Luke dismisses Rey’s relationship to Palpatine, encouraging her to find her own path. Warning her that not facing Palpatine will mean the end of the Jedi Order, Luke convinces Rey to confront Palpatine on Exegol, using the Force to speak with her during her final battle against Sidious. With Luke and the Spirits of numerous other Jedi at her back, Rey destroys Palpatine, ridding the galaxy of the former Emperor for good.

Returning to Luke’s abandoned farm on Tatooine, Rey respectfully buries the lightsabers of both Luke and Leia. When a passerby asks about her name, Rey – seeing the Spirits of Leia and Luke looking on in the desert – gives her name as Rey Skywalker, securing the survival of the Skywalker clan for another generation.