'Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker' - 5 Cool Luke Facts From The New Manga

In Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga new insights into the Jedi Master come from some truly unexpected sources.

The new manga is adapted from 2017's The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu, a collection of short stories tied to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Liu's collection, aimed at middle-grade readers, explores Luke from the perspective of minor characters throughout the Star Wars galaxy, who tell of their encounters with the famous Jedi.

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Viz Media / Lucasfilm

Both The Legends of Skywalker, and the new manga adaptation, approach Skywalker as a mythic figure—the events depicted are meant to be interpreted as legends, rather than a history of Skywalker's actions in the 30 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

"It's worth recalling that the Star Wars we've come to know and love isn't a single vision, but a collection of different visions in time and space," Liu told the official Star Wars site around the release of Legends. "This dynamic plays out multiple times in Legends as the same events are recounted by different narrators and as Luke himself is refracted into a multitude of Lukes."

Altogether, this means the events depicted in the manga shouldn't be seen as canonical in the same way as the movies, even if those are themselves myth and legend subject to our interpretations as viewers. But enough throat-clearing and caveats, here are five things we learned about Luke Skywalker from the new manga.

Luke Skywalker Can Take Down a Star Destroyer

While we don't get much of a look into how Luke knocks a star destroyer out of the sky—since the story "The Starship Graveyard" is from the perspective of an Imperial gunner—the Jedi uses the Force in space combat to take out TIE Fighters and blow apart airlocks. It's an impressive demonstration of power beyond what we see from the character in the Star Wars movies. The fight also leads him to a very important location in Star Wars mythology...

Luke Has Been to Jakku

The Battle for Jakku is considered the last major fight between Imperial forces and the nascent New Republic which emerged from the Rebel Alliance. It ended with the decimation of the Imperial fleet, approximately a year after the Battle of Endor and the death of Emperor Palpatine. According to the gunner narrating "The Starship Graveyard," Luke saved his life on the surface of Jakku, protecting the wounded Imperial from sandstorms and eventually setting him loose to return to the remnant Empire. However, according to Imperial interrogators, Luke Skywalker wasn't anywhere near Jakku during the battle, making this another legend of the Jedi's deeds.

Luke Wore C-3PO's, uh, Skin?

In the short story "I, Droid," adapted by Haruichi, Skywalker infiltrates a tear opal mining operation to rescue R2-D2 and other kidnapped droid laborers. But his method for infiltrating the mining operation seems to take inspiration from Hannibal Lecter instead of the Jedi Order. Luke disguises himself as C-3PO, by donning the droid's metal casing.

We never get an explanation of what happened to C-3PO while Luke was busy planet-hopping in his skin (there's also the possibility Luke used parts from another protocol droid), but it doesn't really matter. The real appeal is in watching C-3PO bust out a lightsaber and some Jedi acrobatics, at least until Luke is unveiled from beneath the armor.

In the story, Luke also demonstrates his extraordinary control over his Force abilities, disabling the "override chip" in several attacking droids simultaneously by flipping a single "logic gate" switch on the microchips.

"Luke is not merely a great man," one of the rescued droids concludes, "He is also, at least partly, a great droid."

Luke Is An Expert Mechanic

One surprising character trait only hinted at in the Star Wars movies is Luke's penchant for mechanical engineering. We know he maintains his droids and buys power converters recreationally, but in The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga, Luke pulls off some impressive engineering miracles, including constructing hover-shoes to walk over molten glass and reprogramming droids on the fly. It's a good indication that Luke has more to offer beyond his inborn connection to the Force.

Luke Tried Out Some Unfortunate Facial Hair

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Viz Media / Lucasfilm

In the years between the Battle of Endor and his eventual self-exile on Ahch-To, Luke tried out various scruffy-looking neckbeards, goatees and wispy mustaches. It's a good thing he eventually settled on his gray, leonine beard in time for his appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, because some of his looks in the new manga aren't too flattering.

That's just the beginning of the insights found in The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga, which also depicts Luke encountering a giant space slug (or exogorth)—similar to the one that swallowed the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back—and the bizarre Jedi training Luke received from an alien flea. But more than any single skill or event, the new manga adaptation of Legends gives us a sense of Luke's boundless optimism and hope. The character trait helped him defeat Emperor Palpatine but also left him disillusioned and crushed after the fall of his Jedi Temple at the hands of the Knights of
Ren.

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' reactions are in
The new manga helps us understand what led Luke Skywalker to his self-imposed exile. Lucasfilm/Disney

Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker: The Manga by Himekawa Akira, Haruichi, Subaru, Fukaya Akira and Kisaki Takashi is available now from Viz Media.