‘Star Wars’: Why Luke Went Into Exile Instead of Fighting the First Order

The Last Jedi is one of the most controversial pop culture movies ever, and it has split the Star Wars fandom in two. On one hand, fans loved it and praised it for telling a great story with the Star Wars characters that everyone loves. On the other hand, fans hated it and would’ve preferred watching almost anything else over it. One of the key sticking points that have been dividing both sides has been in regards to Luke Skywalker and why he does what he does or doesn’t do in the film. That said, fans have an explanation for that, and here’s a look at why Luke went into exile instead of fighting the First Order. 

Mark Hamill looking off to the side in front of a 'Star Wars' logo
Mark Hamill | Rich Fury/Getty Images

The controversy of Luke Skywalker in ‘The Last Jedi’

The movie starts off immediately where The Force Awakens ended. Rey has traveled to Ahch-to in search of Luke, and after climbing a hill, she hands a lightsaber to him. However, he takes the lightsaber and throws it away, and immediately, some Star Wars fans were angry at this portrayal of Luke. 

Luke then agrees to train Rey, but before they could finish training, something unsettling is revealed to Rey. She’s been talking to Kylo Ren over the force all this time, and he revealed to her that Luke tried to kill him. She asks Luke about this, and he explained his side of the story. 

In any case, after this traumatic event, Ben Solo became Kylo Ren, and he joined the First Order and started reigning terror on his foes. Luke, feeling like he has caused things to get worse, decides to exile himself on Ahch-to. This whole chain of events made some fans mad, since some fans don’t think that Luke would try to kill Ben in the first place. Those fans also don’t think that Luke would exile himself, but other fans disagree.

Why Luke exiled himself

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Like fans on Reddit said, Luke decided to exile himself because of his fear of failure. He was afraid of what could happen if he decided to get involved with fighting the First Order since he had already screwed up when it came to being an uncle to Ben. 

He was afraid that his failures would end up hurting the people he cared about most. And, when it comes to Ben, that’s exactly what happened. Luke failed Ben, and that caused Ben to turn into Kylo Ren. And eventually, Kylo Ren killed his own dad, Han Solo. And so, from Luke’s eyes, his failure to Ben has inadvertently caused pain and suffering to everyone that he cared about. 

That’s why Luke decided to exile himself, according to Star Wars fans. By being in exile, Luke can’t do anything, and as a result, he can’t fail, either. But of course, he overcomes this fear of failure in the end. And, as Star Wars fans said, this is totally in line with his character. 

Why this exile was in character for Luke

Going into exile isn’t a new thing for the Jedi, and Luke’s old masters have done the same. For example, Obi-Wan Kenobi pretended to be a regular guy on Tatooine, while Yoda exiled himself on a swamp. Both of them could’ve joined the rebellion, but neither did anything until Luke came around. 

Additionally, like Star Wars fans on Reddit said, facing one’s fear is simply something that all Jedi must do. And in some cases, they don’t want to face that fear. Luke was the same in the original trilogy, but he overcame it in the end. 

Similarly, Luke finally faced his fear and he overcame it at the end of The Last Jedi. As a result, some Star Wars fans think that Luke’s portrayal was perfectly in line with his character.