When audiences caught up with Luke Skywalker for the first time since the original trilogy in 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, some were surprised to see how he had chosen a life of isolation and distanced himself from the ways of the Jedi entirely, despite the ways in which this fell in line with his narrative trajectory. Given that he was seemingly such a heroic character the last time we saw him, it was hard to imagine how he could abandon the teachings of the Jedi, though the latest issue of the Star Wars comic is helping shed light on doubts he might have had about the discipline much earlier in his life.
WARNING: Minor spoilers below for Star Wars #20
The current storyline of the series falls between the events of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, with Luke’s failure to rescue Han Solo in carbonite from Boba Fett seeing him go on a quest to learn more about his Jedi training. In addition to discovering how a Jedi Holocron contained the teachings of Yoda, it also pointed Luke in the direction of the Gazian system. While there, Luke has an encounter with the vision of a Jedi from the High Republic era, Elzar Mann.
The otherworldly encounter begins to unfold in a landscape reminiscent of Ahch-To, sparking connections to where Rey meets Luke in The Last Jedi. Elzar notes that Gazian is a living organism, a “vergence in the Force,” which allows it to transform throughout the rest of the issue. Elzar regales Luke about what the times of the High Republic were like, when the Jedi were much higher in number. Given that Elzar had died hundreds of years ago, he mentions how Luke is interacting with the echo of what Elzar was like when he himself had visited the planet.
However, the vision of Elzar notes that, while there are many admirable teachings of the Jedi Order, just because Luke has a connection with the Force doesn’t mean he has to follow the Order’s ways. Unlike Darth Vader and the Sith, Elzar doesn’t try to persuade Luke away from the Jedi Order, merely points out that he can follow his own path, wherever that might take him.
Of course, viewers of The Last Jedi didn’t need this encounter to happen to understand how he would leave the teachings of the Jedi behind, as his own flashbacks to his failings as a master with Ben Solo successfully accomplish this, but this sequence in Star Wars #20 helps inform fans that Luke has known for years it was possible to part ways with the Jedi. With years to go between the events of this issue and Luke’s failure to train Ben Solo, we’re sure to learn even more about how he could have such a falling out, though this encounter marks a pivotal reveal for the character and makes his voluntary isolation in The Last Jedi feel more authentic to his character.
Star Wars #20 is on shelves now.
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