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Star Wars: How Powerful Was Luke Skywalker At His Peak?

If "Star Wars" has a single main character, it's Luke Skywalker. The prequels are all about Anakin, it's his story that connects George Lucas' six films, and Rey is ultimately the one who defeats Darth Sidious for good in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy. But neither of them really usurp Luke in the protagonist role. He's the farm boy, the Arthurian hero, and the emotional core of the original trilogy. And, at his peak, he's also one of the most powerful "Star Wars" characters.

The first three "Star Wars" films don't show Luke at full strength. He's still in training throughout the trilogy, and that training is inconsistent at best. Yes, Obi-Wan and Yoda give him some key bits of wisdom in lightsaber technique and the nature of the Force, but Luke is left to his own devices to figure a lot of things out on his own. While he defeats his father at the end of "Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi," his greatest triumph is having the will to throw down his weapon and resist the emperor's temptations.

In the old "Star Wars" Expanded Universe, now known as the Legends timeline, Luke became a living legend. Through dozens of novels and comics, he battled Sith, Imperial remnants, and vicious alien invaders, marking himself as arguably the most powerful Force user alive. The modern canon doesn't have quite as many mythical tales of Luke's strength, but the feats he accomplishes there are possibly even more impressive.

How powerful is Luke Skywalker in canon?

The tricky thing about discussing Luke Skywalker's canonical power level is that we still haven't really seen him in his prime in canon. "The Mandalorian" Season 2 ends with a compelling display of his lightsaber prowess, as Luke cuts his way through an army of Dark Trooper droids aboard Moff Gideon's flagship. It's cool, but these robotic foes aren't exactly a proper test of Luke's strength. It's also worth noting that he's still incredibly young at the time. 

In "The Book of Boba Fett," we see him training Grogu in the ways of the Force, and it's clear that Luke is quite strong. Even so, his real prime comes in the ensuing years, as he begins constructing a new Jedi order and training padawans, including the young Ben Solo. There are a number of impressive stories from this period. In the comic "Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren," Luke fights off the assembled Knights of Ren single-handedly. Later, in the canon novel "Shadow of the Sith," Luke faces off against a dark side cult called the Acolytes of the Beyond and duels a powerful warrior named Kiza who's driven to evil by an ancient Sith spirit.

While these victories are notable, Luke's most impressive feat comes in his twilight years at the end of "Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi." His dying act, projecting himself across the known galaxy to face Kylo Ren and aid the Resistance as an astral specter, is one of the most powerful displays of Force mastery ever seen in "Star Wars."

How powerful is Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Legends?

If you're looking for examples of a middle-aged Luke Skywalker slaying monsters and winning wars like Aragorn or Gandalf the Grey, then the Legends timeline is really the place to look. The old Expanded Universe is filled with renowned feats performed by the Jedi master, to the point that it gets kind of ridiculous.

Some highlights include Luke's victory over Yuuzhan Vong Supreme Overlord Shimrra Jamaane in the "New Jedi Order" novels, which eventually leads to the end of the brutal Yuuzhan Vong War. He faces the powerful lightwhip-wielding Sith warrior Lumiya on multiple occasions (though he doesn't always win), defeats clones of both Palpatine and of himself, and eventually vanquishes the Dark Jedi and Grand Admiral Thrawn ally Joruus C'baoth with the help of his future wife, Mara Jade. Luke's most impressive Legends victory, though, might be the one he earns over the ancient dark side Force god Abeloth in the "Fate of the Jedi" novels. The Jedi master ultimately vanquishes her in a duel fought on an astral plane beyond the physical world, though he does get some assistance from the Sith Lord Darth Krayt.

It's also worth noting that Luke loses his fair share of Expanded Universe fights. Powerful "Star Wars" villains like Lumiya and the ancient Sith Lord Exar Kun get the better of him on more than one occasion, but Luke always gets back up and keeps fighting. Perhaps that is his true superpower — the stubborn will to never give up.

Luke greatest strength isn't his skill in combat

Both the canon and Legends timelines feature noteworthy examples of Luke Skywalker's combat prowess in his prime, but his most impressive feats remain the spiritual ones. His astral projection in "The Last Jedi," his defeat of Abeloth through spiritual warfare, and his pervasive communion with the Force reveal the true power of a Jedi master — someone for whom the Force is an ally, and a stronger one than any lightsaber could ever be.

For all the great comics and novels out there, Luke's peak remains his victory over evil at the end of "Return of the Jedi." Overcome with anger and the desire to protect his friends, he still manages to resist the pull of the dark side, knowing full well that it may mean his destruction. His faith in the strength of light and redemption proves to be the ultimate power, as his father rises one final time to defeat Palpatine and save the galaxy from his oppression. Luke wins not by killing or maiming, but by giving himself over fully to the Force. For all the reckless behavior he shows throughout the "Star Wars" saga, he becomes not just one of the most powerful Jedi ever, but one of the wisest as well.