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Star Wars: Following Luke Skywalker's entire canon journey in chronological and release order

Following the journey of Luke Skywalker

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Image credit: Lucasfilm

Star Wars has always been larger than any one hero – but from the first moment the world could witness this grand story in all its forms and passages, Luke Skywalker has been our entrypoint. A boy, barely a man, with a mundane life who dreamed he was meant for something more, Luke represented a generation of young viewers who could only imagine the adventures which awaited us as we took our own first steps into a larger world. For all the droids, aliens, smugglers and Sith who populate this fiction, there are still many who stand by the hero who began it all.

For those Luke Skywalker fans, it felt as if his journey was only just beginning as Return of the Jedi rolled its credits and Luke had truly earned his place in the Jedi Order. Although most were unfilmed, many more stories of Luke’s exploits were told in the years to come. Most during his time with the Rebellion, some before, and some even after. If you’re willing to follow Luke’s journey across the breadth of Star Wars media, you might be surprised what you find in his footsteps. We’re here to guide you through each point in Luke’s journey until now – a path which, you may find, continues to grow.

Below, we offer two choices. You can choose to follow Luke’s path as he did, through chronological order, or as fans before you once did as this media was released to the public, in order of release. After all, every journey begins with the choice to take it.

Chronological order

Young Luke in Obi-Wan Kenobi
Image credit: Lucasfilm

Young Luke

  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Movie). Here we briefly see Luke’s beginnings, born to his mother and sent away from his father to Tatooine.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (Television). Old Ben Kenobi watches over young Luke from afar, against his guardians’ wishes.
  • Star Wars: From the Journals of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Comic). This collection of interlude chapters from the 2015 Star Wars series by Marvel Comics reveals further incidents where Obi-Wan had to protect young Luke – including a tackle with The Book of Boba Fett’s Wookiee mercenary, Black Krrsantan, in his first appearance. Includes issues 7, 15, 20, and 26-30 (mostly about Yoda).
  • Star Wars: Rebels, “Twin Suns” (Television). Maul comes to Tatooine for one last duel with Old Ben Kenobi. There, Obi-Wan shares his secret with the dying former Sith: that he is protecting the instrument of the Empire’s undoing.

Star Wars: A New Hope
Image credit: Lucasfilm

A New Hope

  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Movie). Luke leaves Tatooine behind, rescues a princess, and becomes the hero of Yavin.
  • Heir to the Jedi (Novel). In his first mission for the Rebel Alliance after the Battle of Yavin, Luke is sent to retrieve an alien cryptographer capable of breaking Imperial codes as he reckons with the death of his mentor.
  • The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure (Novella). Luke is guided by The Force to the Eedit Temple on the planet Devaron.
  • Choose Your Destiny: A Luke & Leia Adventure (Young Readers’ Book). A choose your own adventure book with 20 different outcomes where Luke, Leia, and R2-D2 fly the Millennium Falcon on a Rebellion assignment.
  • Star Wars (2015) Annual #4 (Comic). Luke collects funding for the Rebel Alliance from an underground podrace, and runs afoul of imperial forces.
  • Star Wars: Skywalker Strikes (Comic). Luke encounters Darth Vader face-to-face for the first time. Collects issues #1-6 from the 2015 Star Wars Marvel Comics series.
  • Star Wars: Showdown on the Smuggler’s Moon (Comic). On the search for Jedi knowledge and artifacts, Luke finds himself competing in the death games of Grakkus the Hutt. Collects issues #8-12 from the 2015 Star Wars Marvel Comics series.
  • Star Wars: Vader Down (Comic). Downed in pursuit of Luke Skywalker on the planet Vrogas Vas, the Rebel Alliance has Darth Vader surrounded with their best chance yet of taking them out. Much carnage ensues. This crossover story collects Vader Down #1, Star Wars #13-15, and Darth Vader #13-15.
  • Star Wars: Rebel Jail (Comic). Luke and Han take odd jobs to raise money for the Rebel Alliance, and become actual nerf herders. Collects Star Wars #16-19.
  • Star Wars: The Last Flight of the Harbinger. Luke embarks on a daring heist to steal a Star Destroyer for the Rebellion. Collects Star Wars #21-25 and Star Wars Annual #2.
  • Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel (Comic). Luke teams up with the troublesome rogue archaeologist Doctor Aphra to survive an enclave of alien vampires. Collects Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel #1, Star Wars #31-32, and Doctor Aphra #7-8.
  • Star Wars (2015) #33, “Rebels in the Wild” (Comic). Luke and Leia get stranded together on a desert island, and fortunately don’t do anything hinky.
  • Star Wars Adventures (2017) #4-5, “The Trouble at Tibrin” (Comic). Luke and Leia run into Imperial entanglements in a diplomatic mission on Tibrin.
  • Star Wars Adventures Annual 2018, “Mind Your Manners” (Comic). When Princess Leia is injured, Luke must fill in for her on another diplomatic mission for the Rebellion to Sarka.
  • Star Wars: The Ashes of Jedha (Comic). Luke encounters the remnants of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Collects Star Wars #38-43.
  • The Last Jedi: The Storms of Crait (Comic). Remember when Leia took the Resistance to the salt flats of Crait in The Last Jedi, mentioning it had briefly been a Rebel base in the past? This is that story.
  • Star Wars: Mutiny at Mon Cala (Comic). In a pivotal victory, the Rebellion liberates Admiral Ackbar’s homeworld from Imperial rule. Collects Star Wars #44-49.
  • Star Wars: Hope Dies (Comic). Princess Leia is betrayed by a close ally, leaving the Rebellion in shambles. Collects Star Wars #50-55.
  • Star Wars: The Escape (Comic). With the Rebellion scattered, Luke, Han, Leia and the droids are stranded together on a pastoral moon. Collects Star Wars #56-61.
  • Star Wars: The Scourging of Shu-Torun (Comic). Picking up the pieces from their devastating loss, the Rebellion strikes back. Collects Star Wars #62-68.
  • Hyperspace Stories #2 (Comic). Luke and Leia scout the planet Banas as a potential new base for the Rebellion, but the Imperials are already there.
  • Star Wars: Rogues and Rebels (Comic). Luke follows a Force-sensitive card hustler from Jedha to learn what she knows about the Guardians of the Whills before rejoining his friends on their new home on the ice planet Hoth. Collects Star Wars #68-75 and Star Wars: Empire Ascendant #1, the last issues of the 2015 Star Wars Marvel Comics series.
  • Star Wars Adventures (2020) #11-12, “Squad Goals” (Comic). Luke takes hotheaded new Rogue Squadron recruit Ibti Myrak under his wing.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Image credit: Lucasfilm

The Empire Strikes Back

  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Movie). Luke gets mauled by a wampa, trains with Master Yoda, learns about his dad and loses a hand.
  • Star Wars: The Destiny Path (Comic). Luke reckons with the revelation of his parentage, and seeks out a new lightsaber. A new Star Wars series from Marvel Comics begins here, collecting issues #1-6.
  • Star Wars: Operation Starlight (Comic). The Rebellion attempts to regroup after scattering across the stars in the Battle of Hoth. Collects Star Wars (2020) #7-11.
  • Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters (Comic). Han Solo’s body, still encased in carbonite, is stolen from Boba Fett by the Crimson Dawn syndicate and put up for auction. Luke shows up to get it back. Collects Star Wars (2020) #12-18, with the Omnibus edition providing greater context for the larger crossover event.
  • Star Wars (2020) #19-20, “Dangerous Lessons” (Comic). Luke recovers a Holocron which leads him to a living sea where he learns more about the Jedi in the time of the High Republic. Collected in Star Wars: Crimson Reign.
  • Star Wars: Hidden Empire (Comic). Luke and the Rebellion coordinate with Crimson Dawn on a risky gambit to eliminate The Emperor and Darth Vader in one fell swoop.
  • Star Wars (2020) #26-28, “The Path to Victory” (Comic). Luke retrieves two embedded Crimson Dawn agents with news of the second Death Star.
  • Star Wars (2020) #29-33, “Lost in No-Space” (Comic). An ancient experimental hyperdrive strands Luke, Leia, Chewie, Lando, and Amilyn Holdo in a pocket zone of space with no apparent means of escape.
  • Doctor Aphra (2020) #31-34, “Dead Ringer” (Comic). Aphra abducts Luke Skywalker to enlist him in what she assures him will be a mutually beneficial arrangement.
  • Star Wars: Dark Droids (Comic). This crossover event is where the ongoing Marvel Comics Star Wars series are currently developing as of this writing, with Luke and the rest of the galaxy contending with a droid uprising.
  • Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker (Comic). Luke is tempted to the Dark Side by the specter of Emperor Palpatine.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Image credit: Lucasfilm

Return of the Jedi

  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (Movie). Luke rescues his friends from Jabba the Hutt, confronts his destiny aboard the second Death Star, and becomes a Jedi Knight.
  • Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, “Traps and Tribulations” (Television). Shortly after the Battle of Endor, Luke and Leia help the Ewoks trap a giant Gorax.
  • The Princess and the Scoundrel (Novel). Still on Endor, Luke officiates Leia and Han’s wedding.
  • Star Wars: Shattered Empire #4 (Comic). Luke goes on a mission to retrieve the last remaining cuttings from the great tree which once stood at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II (Video game). Luke recovers a compass kept at the Emperor’s observatory on the planet Pilio.
  • The Mandalorian, “Chapter 16: The Rescue” (Television). Luke takes Grogu from Din Djarin’s stewardship to train as a Jedi.
  • The Book of Boba Fett, “Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger” (Television). After some time training with Luke, Grogu makes the choice to return to Din Djarin.
  • Shadow of the Sith (Novel). Luke and Lando Calrissian head to the far reaches of space to tie up some loose ends, but find more questions than answers.
  • The Legends of Luke Skywalker (Story collection). These possibly apocryphal tales share a few legends of Luke Skywalker’s exploits over the long years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Image credit: Lucasfilm
The Force Awakens

Production order

Mark Hamill behind the scenes on Empire Strikes Back.
Image credit: Lucasfilm

If you’d like to follow Luke’s story in the order it’s been released so far, then this is his journey from another point of view.

1977-2005:

  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

2015:

  • Star Wars: Skywallker Strikes (Comic)
  • Heir to the Jedi (Novel)
  • Star Wars: Showdown on the Smuggler's Moon
  • The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure (Novella)
  • Star Wars: Shattered Empire #4 (Comic)
  • Star Wars: Vader Down (Comic)
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Movie)

2016:

  • Star Wars: Rebel Jail (Comic)
  • Star Wars: The Last Flight of the Harbinger (Comic)

2017:

  • Star Wars: Rebels, "Twin Suns" (Television)
  • Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel (Comic)
  • Star Wars (2015) #33, "Rebels in the Wild"
  • The Legends of Luke Skywalker (Story collection)
  • Star Wars: The Ashes of Jedha (Comic)
  • Star Wars Battlefront II (Video Game)
  • Star Wars Adventures (2017) #4-5, “The Trouble at Tibrin” (Comic)
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (Movie)
  • The Last Jedi: The Storms of Crait (Comic)

2018:

  • Star Wars: Mutiny at Mon Cala
  • Star Wars Adventures Annual 2018, “Mind Your Manners” (Comic)
  • Star Wars (2015) Annual #4
  • Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, “Traps and Tribulations” (Television)
  • Star Wars: Hope Dies (Comic)
  • Choose Your Destiny: A Luke & Leia Adventure (Young Readers' Book)
  • Star Wars: The Escape (Comic)

2019:

  • Star Wars: The Scourging of Shu-Torun (Comic)
  • Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker (Comic)
  • Star Wars: Rebels and Rogues (Comic)
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

2020:

  • Star Wars: The Destiny Path (Comic)
  • Star Wars: Operation Starlight (Comic)
  • The Mandalorian, "Chapter 16: The Rescue"

2021:

  • Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters (2021)
  • Star Wars Adventures (2020) #11-12, “Squad Goals” (Comic)
  • Star Wars: Hidden Empire (Comic)
  • Star Wars (2020) #19-20, “Dangerous Lessons” (Comic)

2022:

  • The Book of Boba Fett, "Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger"
  • Shadow of the Sith (Novel)
  • The Princess and the Scoundrel (Novel)
  • Star Wars (2020) #26-28, "The Path to Victory" (Comic)
  • Hyperspace Stories #2
  • Star Wars (2020) #29-33, “Lost in No-Space” (Comic)

2023:

  • Doctor Aphra (2020) #31-34, “Dead Ringer” (Comic)
  • Star Wars: Dark Droids (Comic)

Luke and Yoda on Dagobah.
Image credit: Lucasfilm

Frequently asked questions

What about the old stuff? When should I read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, Heir to the Empire, or the Yuuzhan Vong war, or any of the stuff Luke appears in outside of the movies until 2015?

Whenever you like. In 2014, Disney and the Lucas Story Group streamlined the Star Wars canon to the movies, the Clone Wars TV show, and some miscellaneous supporting material. Everything since then has existed within the same continuity, and that current view of Luke’s journey is our focus here.

How old is Luke, anyway?

This is fairly simple to keep track of, as we know the moment Luke was born in Episode III. Luke is 19 years old in A New Hope, 22 in Empire Strikes Back, 23 in Return of the Jedi, 28 when he shows up to collect Grogu in The Mandalorian, and 53 in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

Are these comics and novels and so on really important to understanding Luke’s journey?

Not to the story of the films. But for those of us who identify with Luke and want to know more about him as a character, these stories explore Luke’s questions of identity over accepting the responsibility of continuing a millenia-old tradition he never truly got to know first hand. How did the bright-eyed Luke who dreamed of a galaxy beyond his twin suns become the somber green milk chugger of The Last Jedi? For the answer to that question, your journey begins here.


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About the Author
Alex Jaffe avatar

Alex Jaffe

Contributing writer

Alex Jaffe is a columnist for DC Comics, answering reader-submitted questions about the minutiae of comic book history. He also hosts the Insert Credit podcast, where he's been asking the smartest people in video games the weirdest questions he can think of since 2012. ReedPOP is Alex's place to write about Star Wars, his "vacation universe" away from DC, but he may be persuaded to occasionally broach other topics. A powerful leg kick makes this goon the meanest guy in the gang.
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