Luke Skywalker: Student, Master, Fire Hazard

The analysis of Luke Skywalker from the recent Star Wars sequels seems to bring further deep-dives into his psyche during his time on Ahch-To. So far, much of that analysis has gleaned some interesting insights that make Luke’s trajectory a more complex Star Wars story, giving more creative credit to Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams.

At the same time, many are noting some interesting parallels between the past Luke and his later self. These parallels are still being scoped out, but they become all the more eye-opening when being revealed.

One might be considered a little comedic while similarly dramatic. It has to do with flames and how Luke always seemed to make things catch on fire.

The role of fire in Luke Skywalker’s life

It almost seems hard to believe so many Star Wars fans never noticed the fire symbolism in Luke Skywalker’s trajectory. Only a fan on Reddit managed to bring this idea forward after all these years, even if it was likely mentioned at one time or another in print or online.

What makes this interesting is that pivotal moments of Luke’s life involved either setting fires or being near fires to represent shifts in his evolution. The first of these was when he came to see the Lars homestead burned by the Galactic Empire on Tatooine. As everyone remembers, the Empire killed Luke’s uncle and aunt, leaving the farm in flames.

This scene of Luke looking on at the billowing smoke from the farm was emotionally charged, yet set up two other pivotal fire scenes paralleling the first. Through the last one, it a sense of full circle occurred, nearly as much as the moment when Luke throws away his lightsaber.

Were these fire scenes intentional, or can one be bought into the idea Luke was always causing fires along the way?

What do fans think of Luke’s fire scenes?

Actor Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, speaks onstage during The Game Awards 2015
Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the ‘Star Wars’ films | Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

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When fans got wind of the aforementioned thread on Reddit showing Luke Skywalker’s moments with fire, it surprised several fans at never having thought about such connections. In the montage, it shows Luke watching the Lars homestead burn, another showing him burn Vader’s mask, then the old Luke walking through fire on Ahch-To.

All of these really do set up a symbolic path of either burning the past or using fire as a metaphor for helping the future. One can easily connect the burning of the Lars farm as a message of seeing the remnants of the past. For the burning of Vader’s mask, it was an internal message of burning the past while still carrying it forward.

Then, when old Luke walked through a wall of flames, he “became a part of the past himself”, as one Reddit fan noted.

Not that any of this stopped a few fans from being facetious about Luke’s association with fire. Said one user: “Luke Skywalker: Clearly a fire hazard.” Saying such a thing might be an exaggeration when fire is seen quite a few times throughout the Star Wars saga.

Of course, fire connects to Anakin Skywalker as well

If one has to go further on the connections with fire (and water) in Star Wars, it can almost start to look all-encompassing. Perhaps Luke Skywalker’s father Anakin nearly dying in a pit of lava is obvious when it comes to the allusions to fire throughout the entire storyline.

Also, the parallel of having Ben Solo and Rey’s final scene surrounded by water seems the ultimate contrast of two natural elements making up all life. All of this makes Star Wars all the deeper as one of cinema’s greatest stories, if maybe just falling together by accident.

Should there ever be a new Star Wars trilogy, one has to wonder if the new writers will follow this same symbology. Doing so would bring more connective strings to fans who look at the past stories as pure nostalgia.