Who is going to kill Luke Skywalker?

One of the things which strike me about the “Legacy Of The Force” era of the Expanded Universe is the reluctance to kill off the Original Trilogy characters. Jacen Solo is now 40 ish? He’s a fully grown man. Han was about 30 in SW4, add another 8 or 9 to the Thrawn Trilogy where Jacen was born…..and you have a man close to 80…..yet he’s still being treated like a young-ish middle aged man for the action.

These characters are not immortal. They have to die at some point. The “New Jedi Order” series killed off Chewbacca and Anakin…..personally I was stunned at both because they were central characters on the hero’s side…..but since then, nothing.

They had to bring a moon down on Chewbacca……a mighty heroic death. Admiral Ackbar provided the pivotal plan to win the war against the Yuuzhan Vong as his swan song, and passed away peacefully. Anakin led a crazy mission to Mrkkr and went out in a blaze of glory. The more heroic the character, the more memorable the death. How will Han, Leia or Luke die?

Since the prequels we think nothing of Mace Windu or Qui Gon Jinn being dead because we have a different generation of heros……yet the same applies one generation along. So why are the writers trying to hold back time?

Star Wars is an action based universe wrapped around galactic politics with constant wars and new wonders as new species are discovered (by the readers). A lot of the action revolves around the military or Force users. War is a young persons game…..there is a new Order of Jedi Knights with people like Jaina who were not born during Han, Leia, Luke and Chewbacca’s finest hours, but are now fully grown adults……give them their limelight.

The Boba Fett / Han Solo combo in Bloodlines didn’t quite sit with me due to the ages of the characters and what they did. I just couldn’t picture it. Given these characters have lived their entire lives running from one crazy war to the next, with thousands of close shaves, injuries, captures and rescues…..they are survivors, but their bodies are also only mortal. At some point their luck has to run out.

Who will be the brave writer who kills Luke Skywalker? He has been the pivotal hero for so long, and beaten so diverse and powerful enemies before, what or who finally gets him? The convention of storytelling is that the threat and danger must always rise, and be worthy of an ending. If something minor kills him, it will be an anti-climax because of what he’s faced in his past and beaten……so to avoid it being an anti-climax it must be bigger than he’s faced before…..which is going to be quite a feat if they keep him going too long.

Or the writers can keep him going until he’s an old man and his reactions are not what they were, so that something on the same level to what we’ve seen before gets the killing blow. Personally I can see it being Jacen Solo….his storyline has intrigued me since the “New Jedi Order” novels, especially “Traitor” by Mathew Stover. His role as a mature Jedi in the “Legacy Of The Force” novels is increasingly breathtaking.


12 Responses to “Who is going to kill Luke Skywalker?”

  1. Amanda Says:

    “Who will be the brave writer who kills Luke Skywalker? He has been the pivotal hero for so long, and beaten so diverse and powerful enemies before, what or who finally gets him? ”

    … maybe old age? As in, Yoda?
    I dunno.
    How old is Luke supposed to be by now anyway?
    I never read past the thrawn trilogy.

  2. Dirk Gently Says:

    Age is difficult to keep track of in the Star Wars EU. During the Legacy Of The Force novels where Jacen Solo is becoming a Sith, and the senior Jedi of the Order is Luke, my best guess is between 65 and 75.

    Yes Yoda did live for close to a century, but that was more to do with his species, than his connection to the Force. Luke is still a human, despite being a Jedi Master.

  3. showmescifi Says:

    Why does he have to get killed?

    Why not just do something like Paul Atreides in Dune..have him walk into a desert and just never be found again..

  4. Dirk Gently Says:

    There’s plenty reasons, but the biggest one for me is that it’d be a cop out the fans would never accept.

    One of the things that struck me when reading the Jacen Solo thread, was just how bizarre the storyline is getting. With clones….clones of clones, morphing….links with lineage etc, it’s like General Hospital in space.

    You know the OTT melodramatic US daytime soaps, where the writers get more an more bizarre……husband kills wifes brother who turns out to be a clone of his dead dogs mutated flea, who married his ex wife in a previous life while in a drug induced coma brought on by excess constipation. They get so involved with always topping the previous adventure, that they don’t realize just how crazy their ideas are……they are in the eye of the storm, so all is calm around them.

    Think about the SW plot lines…..step back and just look at them. I love the EU, I have written a short story set inside it, I plan to write more, I have several ideas on the back burner now…..but just look at how bizarre the writers are branching off, and where peoples guesses are going.

  5. Sly Says:

    Luke Skywalker is 59 old at the end of the LOTF novel “Exile”. Luke was born in 19 BBY and LOTF begins in the year 40ABY. This is pretty easy to determine actually.

    Also, I thought Yoda lived to be 900 years old, not 100?

  6. Dirk Gently Says:

    I meant 1,000, for some reason my tired brain told me the word I was thinking of was “century”, and it slipped through without an error flag.

    Cheers for pointing that out. When I first read your comment I thought “WTF??” until I reread my post and spotted it.

    Not sure how close to 900 he was, but it’s an accurate enough age. I know Mark Hamil and Carrie Fisher were both young adults while making Episode IV, but I can’t remember seeing or reading anything which gave their characters ages. I may have missed it. I also know Harrison Ford was a few years older, as the character of Han Solo was.

    I know many film makers like to work with older “young adults” because of the maturity in the work ethic…an 18 yr with make up and younger looking clothes etc to play a 13 yr old etc.

  7. jwash24 Says:

    To be honest i personally think that luke is going to die by the hands of jacen in either sacrifcie the upcoming legacy of the force book or inferno the book after that. I also have a feeling that the character that the authors of troy Dennings, karen traviss and aaron alltson is bringing back is none other than anakin solo. it plays out perfectly if you think about Luke has already saved the galaxy so many times already. With his daeth Anakin can feel his destiny and all the hopes of the order that many put on him before his surpossed death. besides their is jo other character in the legacy of the force series that are on luke and jacen’s level. Jaina is weaker than jacen, Ben is to young, leia does not train enough. Jacen will kill Han and Mara in Sacrifice is my opinion. So anakin when he does retrun in my oponion will either be jacen’s equal and power or just be plain stronger. I think That luke will vist anakin and ben like on the last or secoond to last book of the series

  8. Kypzethdurron Says:

    Luke can’t die of old age in his mid-late 50s. That’s silly. Yoda was much stronger than him and a different species, which would make it hard to compare – but Qui-Gon lived to be quite old considering that it had little effect on him. Luke would logically, if you have to pick a character, die at Jacen’s hands…

    … but George Lucas has vetoed Luke’s death before and he’ll do it again. The main three; Luke, Leia and Han; will not die for a while, and it’ll be Han that dies first because of his age (age won’t kill him, it’ll just be the reason he’s picked to die first of the three).

  9. Argh28 Says:

    I think that luke is actually in some sort of stasis thing in legacy and he will eventually come back

  10. Dirk Gently Says:

    Can he live forever? The timeline in the EU expands all the time, we know of the time before Anakin Skywalker was born and before….to the time where Jacen and Jaina Solo are fully grown adults. Will this expand to 100’s of years after their time? I’d expect and hope so…..will Luke be alive then? Of course not.

    There has to be a cut off point. The further along they push it, the less credibility it has. As I’ve said before, a lesser climax to a story from one that’s happened before is an anti-climax and a lessening of the character. The enemies have to continue to increase in power to avoid this…..at what point does it start to fall apart? Luke at aged 190 single handedly defeating an army of mutant Jawas with the flick of a finger?

    The longer it goes and they cling onto the “movie characters” to hold the original audience the more it falls apart. If you love a movie, and see a novel with the franchise which contains NONE of the characters you’ve grown an affection for……does it fit as within that franchise?

    There has to be a time where a novel or graphic novel contains NONE of the original characters, because their time is in the past. Killing Chewbacca and Anakin off was a brave first step in the Vong war, but I get the impression that they’ve looked over the abyss and don’t want to lean out any further.

    Some early (timeline wise) graphic novels go waaaaaay back and show the origins of the Sith, with a completely different set of characters to any of the movies. I liked this personally. It adds a sense of history, but you have to readjust your thinking about what the Republic / Jedi were then….as well as having no clue to the intents of the characters in advance. You have to work out relationships, motives etc for yourself.

    Add 200 years to the timeline from Legacy and you’ll have both Jaina and Jacen as dead, with the current characters (quite likely including Solo descendants) living with the history as set before them by (most notably) Jacen. Do we want Luke still in place as the ultimate Jedi in these times? If they are that stupid, I will give up my affinity to the SWEU on the grounds that they’ve lost all credibility and believability.

    I’ll spin this round to ask a question which might help focus it. In the game Knights Of The Old Republic for the XBOX, imagine if Lucasarts insisted on Luke Skywalker being the players character. No choice, no options. Only those familiar with the SW universe would be buying and playing the game, and anyone familiar with the SW universe would know where in the timeline they were playing……and the fact that Luke didn’t belong there. Would that allow the player to suspend their illusion of sitting at a TV screen with a controller and give themselves to the story? Or would their mind refuse to give in with a glaring error?

    4,000+ years back in time is excessive, but it explains my thinking. Every Jedi (or Sith) has their own part in the timeline, where they shine (or not). These need starting and ending points…it’s natural.

    Maybe flipping that on it’s head….imagine Exar Kun turning up live and kicking as an old man to help Jacen out. Not any fancy sci-fi trickery with clones/genetics etc…..just as everyone else……living as normal. Would the reader accept him there? Those who do I’d class as idiots. Logic tells us this is NOT his timeline, and that no man lives 4,000 years.

  11. Admiral Jedi Says:

    IProbably think its going to be Jacen who is going to kill Luke off, but on what is going to happen to Jacen after that, I think we’re forgetting a glaring possibility

    Anyone remember during the vuza vong series that there is a mention of a prophecy that the twin will destroy each other? Or maybe it was that one will kill the other, it’s been awhile since I’ve read it and I don’t own them myself, but I think that it’s a thought worth following on what’s going to happen to Jacen there

  12. SilenceOfWan Says:

    There are a ton of good ideas here, some rather weird, but good none the less. But I must agree in saying, first and foremost, Luke has to die. Han has to die, Leia has to die. Its all about being ‘realistic’. They are all human. Albeit two of them are Jedi but they are still human and can’t pull a Yoda (900+). To be up to date, Luke is a force ghost in the timeline that Darth Krayt comes to power. And I read somewhere that apparently Lucas has put the no down for killing off luke or something like that. But he is dead in the new Legacy timeline. So im guessing he goes out in a blaze of Jedi Grand Master glory taking Jacen Solo/ Darth Caedus with him and passes down the top jedi mantle to Ben, who hopefully grows some iron balls and takes over as head jedi. I dont know…seems really weird whats goin on with these old characters.

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