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Every Time Luke Skywalker Made The Wrong Decision

Plenty of "Star Wars" characters are ingrained in popular culture, but few are as iconic as original protagonist Luke Skywalker, played by several actors over the years but most famously by Mark Hamill. Growing up on Tatooine unaware of his family history and connection to the Force, Skywalker had to learn the ropes pretty quickly in order to destroy the Death Star and redeem Darth Vader. Without his help, the Rebel Alliance would have surely failed and Palpatine would have continued his reign of terror across the galaxy.

Luke remains a fan favorite to this day, but his track record is actually pretty spotty. The former farm boy faced a lot of tricky situations during his fight against the Dark Side, and he didn't always get everything right. Although he undoubtedly made some great decisions, there's no hiding the fact that he also made some big mistakes. His importance to the overall "Star Wars" story meant that each of these errors would also have serious consequences for those around him. Here's every bad decision that Luke Skywalker made in "Star Wars."

Choosing to fight Darth Vader so early

In "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back," Luke Skywalker is training on Dagobah with Jedi Master Yoda when he has a vision of his friends — namely Han, Leia, and Chewbacca — in trouble. He quickly abandons his new mentor and travels to Cloud City in an attempt to save them. In doing so, he must have known that he would soon have to face Darth Vader, the feared Sith Lord who was partly responsible for wiping out the Jedi in the first place. As everyone who has seen the movie knows, this was not a smart move.

Luke left despite the protests of both Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who were rightfully concerned that Luke wouldn't be strong or disciplined enough to tackle Darth Vader on his own. After all, the Sith had a lifetime of training and experience while Luke had only recently started his journey toward understanding the Force. As Swapna Krishna pointed out in a StarWars.com debate, the pair were also likely afraid that Vader might reveal his relationship to Luke, causing him to lose control of his emotions.

Fans are undecided on whether Luke abandoning his training was the right thing to do, but one thing is for sure, the fight with Darth Vader did not end well. The rookie Jedi loses his hand and he is almost killed during the battle. All of this is something that Luke could have avoided if only he had listened to his elders and waited.

He carries on a bad tradition when he trains Grogu

As the last of the Jedi following the events of "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi," any hope for the Order's survival lay at the feet of Luke Skywalker. To ensure that it would last and not fail due to the same issues it had during the Clone Wars, the Jedi Order would have to change and evolve. It needed to be more accepting and less dogmatic in its approach. Luke knows this, yet he still abandons the lessons offered by Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi and falls into the same traps.

Luke has some interesting scenes with Grogu in "The Book of Boba Fett," with the new Jedi Master teaching the youngster about the Force and what it means to be a Jedi. He almost immediately makes the same mistake that Yoda did with his teachings. When speaking to Grogu, Luke tells him that he must give up his attachment to Din Djarin and forgo the friendships he made in "The Mandalorian" in order to become a Jedi. These exact teachings led Anakin to become dissatisfied within the Order and made him susceptible to the Dark Side, so Luke makes the wrong decision by carrying on this archaic practice.

He followed Yoda's teachings too closely

In some ways, it is completely understandable that Luke holds Yoda in such high esteem. The Jedi Master is a legendary figure within the Order, and he's one of the very few Jedi left alive following the post-Clone Wars purge. Luke only met two Jedi during his training, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, so they were both likely to be huge influences on him, shaping the type of Jedi that Luke would become. But this poses some problems in that Yoda was (at least partly) responsible for the downfall of the Jedi in the first place.

As the council's Grand Master, Yoda transformed the Jedi. He did this by getting everyone to buy into his view of the Force, one that forbids attachment and teaches Jedi to not tap into their emotions. Luke was once the opposite of this, putting trust in his feelings and valuing his friendships and family. It's exactly this that helped him redeem his father and save the Rebel Alliance from the Emperor. Luke's belief that there was still some good in Darth Vader stopped him from falling to the Dark Side and inspired his dad to turn on Palpatine. There's no telling what other good things he might have done had he been willing to bend his master's strict views on the Jedi.

Leading the Empire to Yavin after escaping the Death Star

The conclusion of "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" sees the Empire find the rebel base hidden on Yavin 4. The base's location had remained secret throughout the movie and Leia had even refused to reveal where it was under direct torture from Darth Vader. All of that hard work goes up in smoke when Luke and the rest of the gang escape the Death Star. Unfortunately, the Sith Lord has placed a tracking beacon on their ship, so Luke and co. lead him right to the rebels.

Granted, this one cannot be entirely blamed on Luke, as Leia, Han, and Chewbacca are all seasoned fighters and should have been aware of the risks. In fact, Leia even points out that their escape from the Death Star was too easy and they were likely being tracked. Yet, even with this knowledge, they all agree to go to the rebel base anyway. They lead the Death Star straight to it, starting a countdown to the destruction of the facility. While it's ultimately the Death Star that gets destroyed, the situation could have easily gone the other way and left the leadership of the Rebel Alliance wiped out.

Fighting rather than talking to the Tusken Raiders

Anyone who has only watched the original "Star Wars" trilogy would be perfectly entitled to think that the Tusken Raiders — otherwise known as Sand People — are ruthless killers who only want to cause destruction. A group of them attacks Luke in the first movie and he is only saved when Obi-Wan Kenobi scares the assailants away by mimicking the cry of a Krayt dragon. The Tusken Raiders are represented similarly in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" and the other prequels, where they are seen as marauding bandits who will kidnap victims, steal, and kill.

What most "Star Wars" fans now know is that the Sand People are not just mindless killers. They are actually intelligent beings who are capable of negotiation and cooperation with others, which is shown in "The Mandalorian" and later in "The Book of Boba Fett." As pointed out by Yahoo, a group of Tusken Raiders stops hostilities toward Din Djarin when he communicates with them, demonstrating that they are not just "vicious monsters," as Anakin's step dad Cliegg Lars calls them in "Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones." Perhaps if Luke had tried talking to them, they might not have been as aggressive towards him and others on Tatooine.

Exploring Hoth alone

Going off and exploring an unknown location alone is never a good idea. That goes doubly for hostile icy planets that provide plenty of opportunities for creatures to sneak up on you, so the fact that Luke decided to explore the surface of Hoth by himself is not exactly a wise decision. What makes the mistake even worse is that he tells Han to go back to the base, leaving him completely alone in the wilderness — all because he wants to check out what he believes is a meteorite strike. This move doesn't end well for the budding Jedi.

Mere seconds after ending his radio transmission to Han, Luke is ambushed by a giant Wampa. The creature knocks him unconscious and takes him back to its lair in a cave. Luke manages to escape by using the Force to get his lightsaber before the Wampa attacks him for a second time. However, this only creates another problem as he is now stuck in the snowy tundra without shelter or a way to get home. Luckily, Han finds him while out on a search and manages to keep him warm until they can both be picked up in the morning. This was a bad decision that almost cost Luke his life.

Almost killing his nephew

One of Luke's biggest ever mistakes is entering the chambers of Ben Solo and having a momentary urge to kill him. Luke goes as far as igniting his lightsaber while standing over his sleeping nephew, but quickly recovers his senses and realizes that it's not right. By this point, though, the damage has already been done — Ben woke up.

Luke only took this drastic action after sensing the darkness within Ben. Knowing what he could become, he felt a duty to stop him — he sensed the great power Ben had with the Force and understood what destruction he could unleash. Yet, it was this very betrayal that pushed Ben to the Dark Side and kickstarted his transformation into Kylo Ren. The disillusioned young Jedi destroys the new Jedi Academy in his rage and wipes out the trainees for good measure.

If Luke never had that momentary urge to get Ben out of the picture, then his fall to the Dark Side might well have been completely avoided. Luke could have instead tried to reach out peacefully, appealing to the good within his nephew. Instead, he effectively forces him to become Kylo Ren and, in turn, causes a huge conflict. Not Luke's finest hour, that's for sure.

Not killing Kylo Ren

While choosing to kill Ben Solo in the first place was a mistake, once Ben woke up and assumed that Luke was there to kill him, he probably should have just gone ahead and done it. Luke must realize in this moment that he has pushed his nephew to the Dark Side. There's no going back from this point on, but instead of nipping the problem in the bud and saving the galaxy a whole lot of problems, Luke freezes and lets his furious relative escape. Luke creates and then unleashes Kylo Ren in a matter of moments.

Of course, Luke is aware that some who fall to the Dark Side can be redeemed (as shown by his own father), so he may have been willing to take a chance. That said, getting rid of Ben before he could grow into the role of Kylo Ren might have saved billions of lives and stopped Palpatine's plans. Yes, the trauma would likely have pushed him into exile, but that's something that happened anyway, so it wouldn't have made that much difference in the grand scheme of things.

Choosing to kiss Leia

During the original "Star Wars" trilogy there was something of a love triangle between Luke, Leia, and Han. Both men feel strongly about Leia and share some romantic thoughts. While Leia ultimately ends up with Han, it is not without a little bit of drama. In "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back," Leia and Luke kiss after Luke recovers from the Wampa attack, prompting some grumbling from Han.

A deleted scene from that film also shows Luke trying to express his feelings towards Leia and the two almost kiss before they are interrupted by C-3PO and R2-D2. It's obvious that the two have a connection and it's something that Han picks up on, as he tells Leia that she loves Luke and that he won't stand in their way in "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi." Unfortunately, as all "Star Wars" fans now know, this connection turns out to be a familial one — they're twins.

This makes the kiss between them a pretty major mistake, even if they didn't actually know they were related at the time. "It's a big joke and everyone has a good laugh, but for Luke it was TRAUMATIC!" Mark Hamill said of the infamous kiss in a tweet. "Seriously, a life-altering experience."

Exiling himself and shutting off from the Force

In the sequel trilogy, viewers learn that Luke is missing and hasn't been seen by any of his friends for a long time. Ultimately, it is revealed that the Jedi Master has completely shut himself off from the Force and exiled himself on Ahch-To. After the destruction of the second Death Star, Luke tried to rebuild the Jedi Order and put the lessons he had learned from Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi into action. The results were spectacularly bad. The Jedi Academy was destroyed and his most promising student became the fearsome Kylo Ren.

Rather than face the consequences of his actions, Luke hides away, afraid of what further bad decisions he might make. In his mind, becoming more involved in events will just make matters worse, so he chooses a life of exile. This is one of the biggest mistakes he ever makes. By abandoning his friends — something he would never have done previously — he leaves them all in mortal danger, and by doing nothing he allows Kylo Ren to rise up. Billions of lives are lost as the First Order wages war, and Luke could have at least tried to prevent that from happening.

Choosing to leave Yoda and save his friends

Luke's intentions were honorable when he went to fight Darth Vader on Cloud City, but absolutely nothing went right for him from that moment. He leaves Dagobah to rescue his friends, but Luke does nothing to assist in their escape. Han Solo is still frozen in carbonite and gets taken away by Boba Fett, while Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO all get to the Millennium Falcon thanks to the help of Lando Calrissian.

In fact, Luke actually puts the group in more danger following his battle with Darth Vader. After falling through the air shaft, he communicates with Leia through the Force, prompting her to direct the Falcon back to him. This allows TIE fighters and Vader's own personal Star Destroyer to almost capture the ship and everybody onboard.

Worst of all is that Luke lost out on valuable training time with Yoda. Although it might seem like "Return of the Jedi" follows immediately on from "The Empire Strikes Back," it actually continues the story a year on. That's a lot of time that Luke could have been learning from one of the most powerful Jedi ever to live. By the time Luke arrives back on Dagobah, the Jedi Master is dying and has only a short amount of time left.

Using a complicated plan to save Han from Jabba

After Han is frozen in carbonite, Bob Fett takes him to Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine. There he is kept as a sort of decoration in the chamber, reminding everyone of the fate that awaits you if you betray the crime lord. Luke, Leia, and Lando come up with a plan to rescue Han and free him from his makeshift prison. The only problem is that the plan that they come up with is needlessly complicated, full of unnecessary steps, and seemingly doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Luke sends the droids to deliver a message to Jabba but — as Star Wars News Net points out in an analysis of the famous rescue scene — Leia and Chewbacca then inexplicably enter. This just makes the situation more complex, especially considering that Lando is already undercover in the palace as a henchman. With none of the schemes going to plan, Luke rushes in — and ends up trapped with a rancor.

When Luke kills the huge creature, Jabba sentences them all to death, but Luke manages to get his lightsaber from R2-D2 and save the day. However, it all could have ended very differently. The haphazard nature of the rescue and the luck involved — Jabba could have easily killed Chewbacca and Leia when they first arrived — make this whole operation one huge mistake.