Here’s Why Luke Skywalker Went Into Hiding After the Original Trilogy

exiled luke

In the events of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the story revolved around Kylo Ren and the First Order trying to get their hands on information regarding the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, who was the last remnant of the Jedi Order. Of course, we know that Luke went to a distant planet called Ahch-To, where he lived in exile for a while. Rey and the Resistance also tried to locate his whereabouts because they needed him for the war against the First Order. So, why did Luke Skywalker go into hiding?

Luke Skywalker went into hiding because it was a self-imposed exile that he felt he needed after failing the entire Jedi Order he tried to build. The destruction of his Jedi Order was due to his failure to keep Kylo Ren on the side of the light, and that was why he felt that he deserved to go into exile.

This self-imposed exile that Luke went into was one of the many things that turned some fans off to the sequel trilogy, as it seemingly made him look like a coward that wanted to do nothing while the entire galaxy was in trouble. But there’s something deeper behind this exile, as Luke was never a coward. And that’s what we are here to talk about in this article.

Luke Failed the Jedi Order

One of the things that we learned in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was that the First Order had risen up to become the next threat in the galaxy. In that regard, Kylo Ren and the First Order went looking for Luke Skywalker, who had been missing for a while, seemingly hiding in a faraway system that no one could find. As such, Episode VII was a mad scramble for information regarding Luke’s whereabouts.

Of course, Rey and the Resistance found where Luke was. That was when Rey, who used Luke’s blue lightsaber the entire film, got to him on a planet called Ahch-To. And the truth was that he was there on that planet to hide from the First Order as he went into self-imposed exile.


Luke’s exile resulted from his failure to rebuild the Jedi Order after it was destroyed by his nephew, Ben Solo, who fell to the dark side of the Force. We all know that Luke was the one that was tasked with rebuilding the Jedi Order after he defeated Darth Vader and the emperor back in the original trilogy. And we saw in The Book of Boba Fett that he was building the foundations of his new Jedi Temple.

In that regard, Luke carried the hopes of the entire galaxy because only the Jedi could truly bring peace back to the newly reformed Republic. But the fact that he failed to rebuild the Jedi Order was too much of a failure for him to carry. As such, he decided to go into exile to contemplate what he needed to do and where to restart.

This was similar to what Yoda did when he failed to defeat Darth Sidious in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Instead of actively fighting the Empire for 20 years, Yoda went into exile and hid in a swampy planet that he called home for two decades until Luke came to him to seek his guidance and wisdom. But while Yoda hid there for 20 years, he bided his time while contemplating his failure.


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In the same way, Luke was also contemplating his own failure while on Ahch-To because contemplation was always what the Jedi did whenever they were in a rough spot. Instead of actively fighting the First Order as Leia did, he decided it best for him to return to the drawing board through self-imposed exile.

Luke Failed Ben Solo

While Luke was sad that he failed the new Jedi Order, he was even sadder about failing his own nephew. As the Grand Master of the Jedi Order, Luke sensed darkness within Ben Solo. And because he feared this darkness, he tried to kill his own nephew before the darkness could even surface.

That act forced Ben Solo to go to the dark side as he realized that his master was more than willing to kill him instead of helping him overcome this inner darkness that he was fighting so hard not to give in to. And Luke realized his mistake when he saw that his actions pushed Ben Solo away and turned him into Kylo Ren.

luke attacks kylo

We know that Kylo Ren killed all of Luke’s students out of rage for what his own uncle did to him. As a result, Luke felt that he failed his nephew and the entire Jedi Order. And because he failed them, he thought that he deserved to go into exile.

During his exile, Luke was seemingly a sad and defeated old man that didn’t know what to do anymore while his friends and allies were all fighting hard against the First Order. But this exile was what he needed to refocus on, as he eventually realized that he needed to confront his mistakes instead of hiding from them. And that was why he finally confronted Kylo Ren at the end of his life.

Luke Wanted Exile All Along

While we all know that Luke went into exile because he failed both the Jedi Order and Kylo Ren, what was made clear in the canon Star Wars: Age of Rebellion: Luke Skywalker comics was that he always wanted to live a life far away from the affairs of the galaxy.

As heroic as Luke may have been, he lived a simple life on a moisture farm in Tatooine. That was why a part of him always wanted to return to that life after he could finally live the heroic life he always wanted to live when he was still a teenager on his home planet.

In Age of Rebellion, Luke Skywalker and the Rebels were fighting the Imperials during the time of the Empire. Imperial forces ambushed them, and Palpatine could sense Luke’s fear and doubt lightyears away. Sidious felt that Luke had a hidden desire to run away from the battle and to find a way to escape this responsibility on his shoulders.


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We all know that deception and manipulation have always been the key traits that made Palpatine so powerful. As such, he used the Force to allow Luke to have a vision of living a simple life on a small planet far away from the planet. In short, Sidious was trying to convince him that it was best for him to abandon the battle and follow his inner desires.

Palpatine, however, couldn’t influence Luke to abandon the war. Instead, using this vision, he only gave him reasons to leave everything behind. In a sense, he used Luke’s inner desires against him as it was clear that the Jedi wanted to live a life of exile away from it all so that he could simply live a simple life without war and chaos.

This is similar to the temptations that Jesus Christ experienced when journeying through the desert for 40 days without food. In this case, Palpatine was the Devil, while Luke played the role of the tempted messiah. Of course, we all know that Luke never gave in to Palpatine’s temptation, as he ended up helping the Rebellion defeat the Empire.

But, in a way, Palpatine successfully forced Luke to give in to his inner desires. When Sidious and the dark side of the Force successfully pulled Ben away from the light side, Luke’s entire family and Jedi Order collapsed, which finally broke the hero. As such, Palpatine was still working his magic in many different ways when he forced Luke into exile.

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