– Guest Post by Rainbowdameron
Luke Skywalker… Reborn From The Ashes?
When Vanity Fair came out with their ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ issue, I had many questions. A few of these questions were about the picture we received of Luke. Personally, I speculated heavily on why Luke was, once again, surrounded by flame. Between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi it became a recurring image. I revisited this image recently and realized that something symbolic was staring me right in the eye.
THE SYMBOL OF THE REBELLION
In 1977, a Galaxy Far Far Away provided us with a new symbol of rebellion in the form of a bold, red crest. A symbol of a fight for freedom against the evil Galactic Empire. Decades later, Star Wars Rebels dove further into a possible origin of the symbol when they introduced our artistic hero- Sabine Wren. Wren painted the bright orange symbol several times through the series as her own signature. In that galaxy, the symbol was a starbird – a phoenix rising from the flames.
LUKE SKYWALKER’S CONNECTION WITH THE PHOENIX
If you know of mythology from here on Earth, you know of the phoenix. In ancient mythology, the phoenix exists as a powerful symbol. So powerful, in fact, that the mythology of the bird spans across several religions and cultures. The bird is most heavily associated with the sun and fire.
The phoenix is a bird of great power and is believed to have healing abilities. It’s also said that it is impossible to tell a lie around a phoenix.
When a phoenix feels that its time is coming to an end, it builds a nest for itself and, with a single clap of its wings, the mighty bird bursts into flame. As Luke Skywalker sat on Ahch-to, he made the decision to save his friends, family and the remnants of the Resistance.
Of course, when “Luke” goes into the confrontation on Crait, there’s no way for his force projection to perish. Meaning that Kylo Ren could not kill him. The First Order could not kill him.
Luke was able to die on his own terms exactly like a phoenix does.
It’s from those very ashes that a phoenix is reborn more powerful than ever before.
Luke is incredibly and naturally gifted in the ways of the Force. EU (e.g., Legends of Luke Skywalker) also strongly suggests that Luke traveled the galaxy far and wide in order to continue intimately educating himself in the ways of the Force. Just how much did he find or learn?
We’ve seen force ghosts take many forms, the most simple in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and so far the most complex in Yoda. “We are what they grow beyond.” Of course, as Yoda said, Luke grew beyond the teachings of Yoda- so how will this affect how we see Luke in Episode 9? Will he be a force ghost? Or will he be something much more powerful?
In fact, the idea that Force ghosts are capable of coming back to life has been part of the franchise for almost forty years! After all, the Jedi symbol does resemble a phoenix with its wings spread wide…
and at the center a spark of hope from the protectors of the galaxy.
The Jedi, The Phoenix… It’s Real. All Of It.
Another connection between Luke and the phoenix is their existence within mythology. In The Force Awakens, Han Solo, once a disbeliever in the Force, explains to Rey and Finn that the Jedi and the Force are both real. Skywalker and the mystery surrounding the existence of the Jedi and the Force appear to be all but mere rumors to most in the galaxy. People simply don’t believe anything like that could be real. While the phoenix doesn’t actually exist in real life, the basis of mythology does follow closely along the lines of the galaxy’s perception of the Force. Not believing in the Force seems to be more of a commonality and is only more likely to be believed once people see it.
THE PHOENIX AND ANOTHER SYMBOL PREVALENT TO SKYWALKER
Rebirth and renewal is the way of the phoenix, as is the way of the sun. Or, in the case of Luke, suns. (After all, Luke’s name does mean “giver of light”).