main
side
curve

Lit "Superman" Luke of the EU

Discussion in 'Literature' started by DarthPhilosopher, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Despite what some say about Luke in TLJ, I still think he is, at his core, a "Superman-like" character. I don't mean his powers, I'm talking about his sense of always doing the right thing, never killing unless defending another or himself and always having compassion.

    In the Canon we have the Luke as depicted in Battlefront II with what I consider his "Superman" personality, but otherwise we don't have much of Luke post-ROTJ.

    Knowing the jist of the EU, although having not read much, I'm not sure which books and comics depict him in a 'Superman' like form (i.e., the often maligned 'too perfect' Luke). Any suggestions?
     
  2. Dr. Steve Brule

    Dr. Steve Brule Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2012
    I don't think the old EU, with a few notable exceptions (DE, Black Fleet, a few others) really actually considered what Luke's trajectory as a Jedi would be after ROTJ. ROTJ culminates with him symbolically becoming a Jedi by A) throwing away his lightsaber, B) accepting that not even Vader is beyond redemption, C) perhaps accepting that the Emperor is beyond redemption, but still refusing to kill him, or even fight back when Palpatine zaps him.

    Instead in the old EU we get Luke in the model he was in at Jabba's palace, the ninja with a laser sword. To be fair pretty much the same route the Jedi were portrayed at in the prequels too - personally I think one of the biggest sins of the prequels, that doesn't get as much attention, was Yoda being turned into a saber-wielding fighting machine in AOTC.

    But that being said, I don't think the (few) glimpses of him we've seen in the post-ROTJ new canon have really changed this old EU portrayal. I haven't read Legends of Luke Skywalker at all so can't comment on it, but in Shattered Empire and Battlefront II, he's basically his old EU self, using his lightsaber and X-wing and Force powers to go on missions for the New Republic. In BFII, he even explicitly lays out his view to Del Meeko - he attacks those who attack him first, and only helps those who ask him for help. And in both cases, it bothers me that he's mowing down Imperials left and right specifically to help him recover Jedi artifacts to help him rebuild the order. I don't think Yoda would approve of those acquisition policies.

    Then in TLJ he tells Rey that his immediate instinct on sensing the dark side is to light up his saber and strike it down, which doesn't really seem to line up with either ROTJ's ending or his stated policy in BFII, and if gave me the impression when I heard that line that he spent the years since ROTJ just going around fighting darksiders, Bantam-style. Not to mention his refusal to see good in Kylo doesn't line up with his views of Vader, unless he somehow thinks that Kylo is even more depraved and evil than Vader was and on the level of Palpatine, something we've seen no evidence of (especially since Kylo's been character moments in TFA and TLJ have been just how conflicted he is, something we never saw out of Palpatine or Vader, as least until the last minutes of the OT for the latter).

    True, Luke's actions in the rest of TLJ are more interesting as a spiritual development from ROTJ, but even then it downplays ROTJ in favor of shifting his symbolic achievement of Jedi-hood to Rey showing up and the pep talk he gets from ghost Yoda.
     
  3. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    If you're thinking of Superman's morality, Hambly's Planet of Twilight has Luke described in a similar way by Callista.

    ''People have tried to use him from the moment he put out his hand and summoned his lightsaber to come to him.Vader wanted to turn him. Palpatine wanted his services. Palpatine's clone managed to enslave him for a time. But Luke is strong, stronger than he knows. And Luke has a single purpose. I suppose you could say that he has a pure heart. Luke doesn't hunger after power. In some ways I don't think he understands those who do."

    In Survivor's Quest, Mara's thinking similarly, when Luke shows mercy to the wolvkil warbeasts used by their enemies:

    Farmboy - the word ran affectionately through Mara's mind. She herself had been trained in ruthlessness, taught never to risk herself for those who threatened her and who, by definition, had therefore forfeited their right to live.
    But Luke didn't see things that way. Even as the years had grown and matured and hardened him, the inner core of idealism and mercy he'd brought with him out of that moisture farm on Tatooine had never faltered. Others might sneer at that, she knew, or use his farming background as an insult.
    But for her, the title was an acknowledgment of his moral high ground, a large part of what she loved and admired most about her husband. And at the end of the day, she slept better for knowing that even their deadliest opponents had been given every chance they could possibly hope to receive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  4. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    I didn't really have an issue with Luke in Battlefront 2, as I think it's slightly using loaded language to say he attacks those who attack him first and only helps those who ask for help. If anything, his recovery of the compass wasn't any different than what Yoda and Obi-Wan did to infiltrate the Jedi temple -- I guess it's a matter of whether you think either Yoda and Obi-Wan were wrong in doing that, or if in that case the ends justified the means whereas in Luke's case they did not (which gets into consequentialism...).

    I think both on Pillio and Crait, Luke is depicted very similarly to Obi-Wan on Mustafar. He's killing with a heavy heart of compassion.

    Even Zahn depicted him that way during his first encounter with the Noghri in HTTE.

    In general, I think Luke has been depicted this way throughout Bantam, but admittedly that's not the freshest thing in my memory. The difference between Legends Luke (Bantam era) and the new continuity Luke is more his priority toward the Jedi order, but we have a small sample size for new canon. Quite a few stories involving Luke are him becoming embroiled in something outside of re-establishing the Jedi, and thus far in the new canon we haven't seen that.

    I'd argue it's Legacy era and New Jedi Order era (Dark Nest is there, remember) Luke that imbues him with "compassion is for those who deserve it," the Luke with a ****-eating grin of schadenfreude over Sith dying through their selfish actions.
     
  5. Jedi Princess

    Jedi Princess Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 25, 2014
    That's part of the point of those movies, though. Yoda didn't turn into "a saber-wielding fighting machine"; that's what he was, but he becomes the being who doesn't believe there's such a thing as a "great warrior." He has a character arc now.

    That era of the EU made the mistake of forgetting that Luke was trained in a different way than the Jedi before him.
     
  6. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    I think Yoda commanding soldiers is more problematic than his using a lightsaber. Which is why wars don't make one great.

    Yoda going to take out Sidious or Tyranus? Not a problem.
     
  7. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Luke in TLJ does tell Leia that Ben Solo isn't really gone. And his instinctual moment against him in the flashback seems just that, instinctual, and against his philosophy, which is why it shakes Luke so much.

    Since @DarthPhilosopher was saying he doesn't know much about Luke in the old EU... let's just say his post-NJO appearances (Dark Nest trilogy, 9-book Legacy of the Force, 9-book Fate of the Jedi, Crucible) really show Luke to be the opposite of a morally-pure hero. NJO tried to take him out of the story by saying he's crippled by poison for the rest of his life. The following books ignore this, and decide to make Luke more gray.
    ... in DNT, Luke declares himself the all-powerful dictator of the Jedi (and is briefly crippled by doubt when Artoo shows him the hologram of Anakin choking Padme, but learns from going-dark Jacen that it's bad to ever have doubt)
    ... in LOTF, Luke at first doesn't mind letting his son be trained by Jacen despite fearing that Jacen being the head of the secret police and acting like a dark-sider are troubling signs, and then Luke beheads his ex-girlfriend (who he think killed his wife) in a rather dark manner when he could have captured her, and then feels he might fall to the dark side if he attacks anymore so he orders Jaina to assassinate her twin brother instead of doing it himself, and says "compassion is for those who deserve it"
    ... in FOTJ, he teams up with the Sith, but knows they're evil, and basically believes this teenager who's friends with his son can't be redeemed because she's Sith, yet lets them hang out anyways
    ... in Crucible, Luke is "enlightened" by realizing that the galaxy needs evil, suffering, mass-murder, and dictatorships, because that's balance, and he decides to maybe retire
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  8. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2013
    I would note that canon shows Luke in a similar light, though; Aftermath having Yupe Tashu say something to the effect of "he's incorruptible."
     
    MandaloreRex2015 likes this.
  9. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    "Compassion is for those who deserve it" is from FOTJ: Allies. The way Luke treated Vestara -- I forgot about that, but yeah that was problematic.

    I mostly remember the compassion line while he's getting schadenfreude from the Sith self-destructing.

    It's sort of ironic that you say the post-NJO made Luke "more gray" since that's what they were trying to get away from. Talk about missing the forest for the trees.
     
    MandaloreRex2015 and Revanfan1 like this.
  10. Revanfan1

    Revanfan1 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Yeah, the point at which Luke decided a teenage girl was probably irredeemable (IIRC) when she had not committed any true atrocities*, while his father the genocidal maniac was, showed me how much FOTJ missed the mark.

    And before we get any comments about TLJ doing the same but with a teenage boy, A) Luke said it was a split-second instinct and recognized it as a mistake and B) he told Leia on Crait that "no one's ever truly gone," implying he thought Ben could be redeemed, just not by him.

    *Of course, by Crucible, she had killed 25,000 people, but that was only after Luke had told Ben (the other Ben; dang, this is confusing) that he didn't think Vestara could be redeemed.
     
  11. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Well, it's handling the premise of redemption better than LOTF, by addressing the fact that you can't save everyone, rather than having Luke order a hit Godfather style.

    Unless it's proven otherwise, I'd like to think Luke tried before going to Ahch-To. "Luke couldn't reach him." "This isn't going to go the way you think."
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  12. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 5, 2015
    Luke was a Superman in the EU. His feats at times were incredible. In the nu-canon, Luke has been weakened due to the Force returning back to what Lucas originally intended- a force field that strengthens body and mind, not a grimoire of "spells" and literal power. However, Luke in nu-canon probably learned all sorts of Force tricks from the Jedi texts on Ach-To, Projection probably being one of the most impressive of them
     
  13. Ulicus

    Ulicus Lapsed Moderator star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Yeah, I don't doubt that there is "still light in [Kylo]", whatever that actually means, and I don't doubt that Luke can feel it, just as Rey can.

    But knowing something is present isn't the same as having the tools to reach it.

    Even at his most evil, Vader saw in Luke a second chance. A second chance to make ruling the galaxy a family business, sure, but it was something to work with.

    All Kylo sees in Luke is his attempted murderer and most powerful adversary. Han had a much better shot of getting through to him.
     
  14. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 5, 2015

    Agreed. Luke could've never reached Kylo. Yet its weird that Luke would jump to conclusions and try to kill Ben based on his feelings, when he gave his father a second chance. He shouldn't have acted so rashly.
     
    MandaloreRex2015 likes this.
  15. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    To play the devil's advocate regarding later Luke can we say that Luke by the period of Crucible is bitter jaded and has become cynical?

    He has lost his wife, two nephews-one who fell into darkness despite Luke investing a lot in him and then that nephew hurt him greatly by torturing his son, killing his wife(albeit under circumstances Luke didn't understand-self defense) among other crimes.

    He's tired and quite frankly doesn't have the energy or spark to seek the redemption of others.

    Now let me be clear I don't like it Luke went in this direction and even with my argument one could argue it wasn't handled consistently or effectively but even so it's a sensible one in my humble opinion.

    Also regarding the force-I had no issue with Luke being a Demi God, Yoda being a killing machine, or the more flashy or outright "magical" abilities the force in the old eu offered. I think it showed what the force which we hear in the OT is this omnipresent awesome entity or field is actually capable of doing or what those who understand it are capable of doing.
     
  16. nancipants

    nancipants Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 16, 2017
    He didn't try to kill Ben. "It passed like a fleeting shadow, and I was left with shame...and consequences."
     
  17. mnjedi

    mnjedi Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Yeah Ben only had the chance to wake up and pull the tent down because Luke stopped himself from trying to kill him.

    LOTF onwards Luke wouldn't even have hesitated, RIP Ben Solo.
     
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  18. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    not even that

    I guarantee you the way Luke was written in Legacy era never would have had that happen. He would never experience indecision or doubt like that, and he'd never have a hut collapse on his head and knock him out. They couldn't bother writing Caedus getting any sort of win on Luke, they had to sideline Luke.
     
  19. Coherent Axe

    Coherent Axe Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2016
    He heavily implies he didn't bother reading those Jedi texts, but just enshrined them.
     
    MandaloreRex2015 likes this.
  20. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    I suspect the "Sacred Jedi Texts" weren't a guidebook to Jedi powers.
     
    MandaloreRex2015 likes this.
  21. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2005
    I just looked at the topic of this thread and was amused since apparently Timothy Zahn, in his first thoughts in drafting the Thrawn Trilogy that became the foundation of the modern EU, thought of Luke as Superman. And in his own words in interviews, Zahn described creating ysalamiri as the kryptonite to Luke's Superman.

    However, if you read between the lines in TLJ, what Rian did is no different. Use of the light side of the Force should not kill anyone. Yoda in ESB: "My ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us."

    Does this sound like something that will kill you if you use it? Yet in TLJ, we get built-in kryptonite in a new rule sneakingly added in without fanfare--that Force projection will kill the user.

    Never in any of the EU or other canon material is this indicated at all. In the EU, Luke is able to use Force projection and be just fine, like in Dark Empire. In canon, Yoda appeared to Ezra on Rebels from light years away--I'm sure Story Group is working on some kind of "retcon" now on why this didn't kill him.

    Rian literally added his own "kryptonite" in Luke by adding a fatal side effect on Force use that has never been indicated before. It's a plot point created solely to kill Luke. Sort of like how Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan suddenly had an irradiated engine room that one can go into to reactivate warp drive that was never seen before in the original Star Trek show nor seen in any future media after (except for when it was reused in Star Trek Into Darkness). A Kryptonite created to give a character a dramatic sacrifice. Rian did the same with Luke in TLJ.
     
  22. DigitalMessiah

    DigitalMessiah Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2004
    The Force projection didn't kill Luke, it was the exertion of using the Force to such an extreme. It's the same thing that killed Anakin Solo (or if you want to split hairs, would have killed him if he wasn't otherwise mortally wounded), and it severely messed Luke up in Dark Nest trilogy so Jacen and Luke worked on testing their limits after The Joiner King. TLJ didn't invent it at all.

    In fact, Dorsk-81 gets burnt up overusing the Force in Darksaber, so it's not even that it's a Denning thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    MandaloreRex2015 and Lady_Misty like this.
  23. sidv88

    sidv88 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2005
    True, I forgot about those lethal Force usages in the EU. It's an easy way to create drama and heroic sacrifices, because the more realistic option (powers just burning out from fatigue) isn't as interesting.

    Also I could have sworn Kylo told Rey that if she were projecting herself it would kill her--that's how the rule was put in the movie, I remember...
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    MandaloreRex2015 and Lady_Misty like this.
  24. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 5, 2015
    Where else did he learn to Project himself?
     
  25. Yunzabit

    Yunzabit Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 5, 2015
    I don't believe him. I'm sure he took a peek.
     
    MandaloreRex2015 likes this.