Luke Skywalker is one of the greatest fictional heroes of all time, whose endeavors are the highlight of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga. His story has transcended generations, with new installments like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andor deepening the franchise lore even forty-five years after its inception.
Although Luke was undoubtedly the greatest hero the galaxy had ever seen, he certainly had a great deal of help reaching that point. Along the way, there were several characters, both friend and foe, that helped Luke develop into the hero he was always meant to be.
11 Owen And Beru
Owen and Beru Lars were the only family that Luke Skywalker had for the first nineteen years of his life. Growing up without a father or mother, his aunt and uncle became his surrogate parents, raising him on their farmstead on Tattooine, where they kept him safe from an Empire he didn’t know sought to kill him.
Though Owen and Beru are not often featured in Star Wars films, their contributions to Luke’s life cannot be understated. They loved their nephew like a son, protecting him when few others would. In the end, their tragic deaths served as motivation for Luke to join Obi-Wan on a mission to rescue the kidnapped Princess Leia.
10 Padme Amidala
Padme Amidala is Luke’s mother who, though she died in childbirth, had a profound impact on her son’s life. Portrayed by Natalie Portman in the prequel trilogy, Padme’s characteristics and personality would transfer in part to her two children.
Though Leia would grow to her resemble her mother more than Luke would, it was her fond remembrance of the kind and sad woman (likely brought about by the Force) that would push Luke to seek to redeem his father. Even decades after her death, Padme’s belief in Anakin’s goodness would prove powerful, pushing their son to save Anakin from himself.
Daisy Ridley’s Rey had the rare opportunity to train under Luke Skywalker in the sequel trilogy. However, she found the aging Jedi a very different man than he had been during the Galactic Civil War. Depressed, destitute, and alone, Luke was a far cry from the hero Rey had grown up hearing stories about.
Though their time together was rather short, Rey managed to learn the ways of the Jedi from her new master. In turn, she would reinvigorate Luke’s heroic sensibilities, reminding him of everything he had once stood for. In the end, it was Rey’s chiding that convinced Luke to rescue the Resistance in the finale of The Last Jedi.
8 Emperor Palpatine
Emperor Palpatine and Luke Skywalker only ever met once throughout the franchise. Finally coming face-to-face in Return of the Jedi, Palpatine attempted to turn Luke to the Dark Side, just as he had done to his father. This confrontation, however, would go much differently than Palpatine had hoped.
Though Palpatine sought to corrupt and destroy Luke, the young Jedi instead rose to the occasion in a way that his father never had. Eschewing the Dark Side, Luke declared himself a Jedi, refusing to fall into the same pitfalls that had corrupted Anakin Skywalker. In so doing, Luke proved his heroism once and for all, becoming one of the greatest Jedi to ever live.
7 Han Solo
Han Solo and Luke Skywalker may not have gotten along upon their first meeting, but they would go on to become very good friends. The two heroes would serve together for several years during the Galactic Civil War, eventually working in conjunction to bring about the fall of the Galactic Empire.
Luke and Han together form one of the best friendships in the Star Wars franchise as each contributed greatly to the other’s character arc. From Han, Luke learned a certain world-weariness that would keep him from harm on several occasions, while also learning the true value of a good friend in times of need.
6 Ben Solo
One character that profoundly affected Luke in negative regard is his former apprentice, Ben Solo. After Ben began to struggle with the Dark Side, Luke’s actions spurred him to betray the Jedi, destroying Luke’s temple and killing many of the Jedi therein.
Ben’s betrayal was truly one of the worst events in Luke’s life, prompting him to disappear for over thirty years. Believing himself to have failed the Jedi, Luke nearly allowed Ben’s corruption to destroy him, only redeeming himself in the final moments of his life.
4 Darth Vader
Darth Vader, once known as the great Jedi Anakin Skywalker, had several interactions with Luke Skywalker throughout the original trilogy. After revealing himself to be Luke’s father, Vader attempted to turn his son over to the Dark Side, only to find himself redeemed in the moments before his death.
Though Vader was perhaps more profoundly changed by his son than Luke was by him, the Sith Lord nevertheless had a major impact on the rising Jedi. The interactions between the two served as a crucible through which Luke was forced to prove his devotion to the Jedi, overcoming evil in favor of good.
Master Yoda was one of the few Jedi to survive Order 66, who later took on one last apprentice in Luke Skywalker during the events of The Empire Strikes Back. He would train Luke over a short period, teaching him to become one with the Force in a way that he had never been able to achieve before.
It is in large part due to Yoda’s training that Luke was able to become as powerful a Jedi as he did. It is through this teacher that Luke learned to avoid doubt and instead trust in the power of the Force. Though their time together was not as long as it should have been, Luke owes much of his heroism to his master.
2 Ben Kenobi
Obi-Wan “Ben” Kenobi was a powerful Jedi Master and one of the most frequently recurring characters in Star Wars. Played by Alec Guinness in the original trilogy, Ben taught Luke the preliminary lessons of the Jedi before his death at the hands of Darth Vader.
Luke had a soft spot for Ben, especially having grown up in the old man’s proximity on Tattooine. It was through Ben that Luke had the first glimpse of his future as a Jedi and it was Ben’s voice that came to the young pilot during the Battle of Yavin, allowing him to trust the Force to destroy the Death Star and save the Rebellion.
1 Leia Organa
Leia Organa was one of Luke’s closest friends during his days in the Rebellion who would later be revealed to be his twin sister. The two would become quite close in the years following the Galactic Civil War until Luke’s sudden disappearance before The Force Awakens.
Luke and Leia had a bond tighter than most other characters in the Star Wars franchise. They each pushed each other to become stronger heroes with each passing tribulation, making their long-awaited reunion in The Last Jedi all the more emotional, as both characters seemed to realize that this meeting would be their last.