The first fight between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader during the events of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back will forever be one of the most iconic events in the history of Star Wars. Although Luke lost that fight to Vader, that was when the dark lord of the Sith revealed the truth about himself as Luke’s father. Of course, Luke also lost a part of himself in that fight. So, what did Luke Skywalker lose in his fight with Darth Vader?
Luke Skywalker lost his right hand in the fight against Darth Vader in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. The fight took place on Cloud City on the planet called Bespin. Lando Calrissian cut a deal with Vader and the Empire to give up Luke’s friends as Skywalker was forced to leave Yoda’s planet to help them.
During that fight with Darth Vader, Luke realized just how wide the gap between him and Vader was and that he needed more time to prepare for the fight with the dark lord. Of course, he also learned the truth about his father and what he did many years ago during the end of the Clone Wars. So, with that said, let’s talk more about what Luke lost in that fight with Darth Vader.
Which Movie Does Luke Skywalker Lose His Hand?
The first Star Wars trilogy will always be remembered as one of the most memorable trilogies in the history of fiction. Those movies launched an entire fictional universe that has become so popular that some would say it is a cult. In that regard, the conflicts between the Rebels and the Empire were the highlights of those three films, as we saw in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope that the galaxy was now banking on Luke Skywalker to be the one to save it from the tyranny of the Empire.
After the Rebel victory in the Battle of Yavin, when Luke destroyed the Death Star, the Empire found a way to chase the Rebels down and corner them on Hoth. The Rebels had to retreat from the Empire because they were outgunned and outmatched. And after retreating, Luke needed to go to Dagobah because this was the planet where Master Yoda, a powerful Jedi, was hiding.
But when Lando Calrissian, a man Han Solo trusted with his life, sold the Rebels off to Darth Vader, Luke sensed through the Force that his friends were in trouble. Even though Yoda tried his best to let Luke let go of his friends because his attachment to them would only make him lose focus, he still decided to leave Dagobah and temporarily abandon his training in the ways of the Force.
Of course, Vader knew what he was doing when he used Leia, Han, and Chewbacca as bait to draw Luke to him on Cloud City on the planet of Bespin. Luke Skywalker arrived on Bespin and confronted Darth Vader to rescue his friends. Han had already been frozen in carbonite, but Leia and Chewbacca were able to escape with the help of Lando, who regretted helping the Imperials.
Luke and Vader fought in a lightsaber battle for the first time, and it was clear that the Sith Lord was merely toying with the Jedi-in-training. Vader cornered Luke and overpowered him before cutting off his hand. Luke lost the fight and tried to escape the Sith Lord, all while Vader tried to convince him to join him at his side. And the biggest revelation in Star Wars history happened when Darth Vader told Luke that he was his father, even though Obi-Wan Kenobi told him that Vader killed Anakin Skywalker many years ago.
This happened in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, as Luke could escape Vader’s clutches with just one hand. After that, the Rebels help Luke by giving him a cybernetic hand that replaces the one he lost in that fight with Vader.
Which Hand Did Luke Lose?
In that fight against Darth Vader, we know that Luke Skywalker lost his hand. But the one that the Sith Lord cut off was Luke’s right hand because he was predominantly right-handed and preferred to fight with his right hand. Luke had his lightsaber in his right hand before the Sith Lord cut it off. Of course, we know that the lightsaber was recovered by Maz Kanata sometime later as this very same saber not only belonged to Luke but was the very same one that Anakin used before he fell to the dark side.
The fact that Luke lost his right hand to Vader was somehow foreshadowed by a previous event involving the Rebel hero. On Hoth, he had to face a Wampa in one of the caverns of the icy and snowy planet. Luke had to cut the Wampa’s right hand in their fight, as this act foreshadowed that he would also lose his right hand.
Why Did Vader Cut His Son’s Hand?
We all know that Darth Vader knew that Luke Skywalker was his son and wanted Luke to join him in the dark side of the Force. So, if that’s true, why did Darth Vader cut his hand off? Well, the answers can be found in one of the issues of the Darth Vader comic book series released by Marvel Comics.
In one of the issues in the comic book series, Darth Vader made it clear that his goal was not to kill Luke but to convince him to join him in the dark side of the Force and rule the galaxy together as father and son. He wanted Luke to experience the same pain and suffering he felt years ago when he left the Jedi and became a Sith Lord.
As such, Darth Vader didn’t cut Luke’s hand to disarm him. Instead, he did so to make Luke suffer. That’s because pain and suffering can help build negative feelings within a person, as we saw how Anakin became angrier when he lost his limbs and nearly died after his first fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi. And we also know that Darth Maul became angrier when Kenobi nearly killed him in their fight.
So, because Vader wanted Luke to join him in the dark side, he dismembered him and allowed him to feel pain and suffering so that the negative feelings within him would build up. Allowing Luke to suffer was his best way to make him angrier and stronger on the dark side. But we all know that Luke never joined his father despite the pain that he was feeling.
Luke Lost a Hand but Gained Resolve
Even though Luke did indeed lose his right hand in that fight with Darth Vader, he found his resolve. Vader’s plan of making Luke angrier backfired because the younger Skywalker found the strength to continue his Jedi training and defeat his father, not because he wanted revenge but because he wanted him to return to the light side.
As such, Luke had to leave the Rebellion to continue his training with Yoda on Dagobah. Of course, he also learned that Vader could sense his presence, so he had to stay away from the Rebels to keep his friends safe. Losing his hand may have been a steep price, but Luke found his inner strength in confronting the man he never knew was his father.