The path of a Jedi is often difficult, filled with conflict and pain. Luke Skywalker's life which began as a simple farmboy and saw him become the greatest hero the galaxy has ever known is an amazing example of this. Skywalker spent his restless childhood on the backwater desert planet of Tatooine, toiling away on his uncle's moisture farm. His guardians, Beru and Owen Lars, never told Luke of his true heritage. While Luke believed his father to have been a navigator on a spice freighter, he never suspected that Anakin Skywalker was once a famed Jedi Knight and incredible starpilot.
Luke was born during the chaos as the galaxy transitioned from Republic to the tyrannical Empire. He and his twin sister, Leia, were secretly spirited away from his father and the Emperor. Luke was taken to live with Owen and Beru while his sister was taken to Alderaan to be raised by Viceroy Bail Organa.
On his uncle's moisture farm, Luke learned the essentials of desert survival and droid repair. Boredom was not as scarce as water on Tatooine, and Luke often dreamed of adventure and excitement. He had a circle of friends who would loiter around Tosche station in Anchorhead when not occupied by their chores. Luke never quite fit in with his friends; they often teased him and called him "Wormie." Biggs Darklighter, though, was different and Luke considered him a true friend.
Luke honed his piloting skills alongside Biggs in Tatooine's infamous Beggar's Canyon, racing his T-16 skyhopper. Biggs and Luke often spoke of joining the Imperial Academy. Despite his dreams, Luke was not allowed to attend. His uncle needed him on the farm, and so when Biggs went away to the Academy, Luke was stranded on Tatooine.
Luke's life changed when his uncle purchased a pair of used droids from Jawa dealers visiting his homestead. The droids, Artoo-Detoo and See-Threepio, were Rebel property fleeing from the Empire. The Rebel droids led Luke on an adventure, uniting him with Obi-Wan Kenobi, a desert hermit and war hero whom Luke knew as Old Ben.
Imperial forces in pursuit of the droids murdered Owen and Beru Lars and destroyed Luke's home. With nothing left on Tatooine, Luke decided to follow Kenobi. The wise man taught Luke in the ways of the Jedi Knights and the Force, ways for which Luke showed an affinity. Kenobi gave Luke Anakin's lightsaber.
Luke and Kenobi hired the smuggling duo of Han Solo and Chewbacca for transit off planet. They were destined for Alderaan, to return the Rebel droids to their owner, Princess Leia Organa. They discovered Alderaan destroyed by the Imperial superweapon, the Death Star, and were taken captive aboard the monstrous station. There, Luke discovered that Leia was also held captive.
Luke helped free the Princess from the clutches of the Empire. Using data stolen by Rebel spies, Alliance tacticians formulated an attack plan capable of destroying the battle station. Luke piloted an X-wing starfighter in the final attack against the Death Star, and fired the proton torpedo volley that, with the aid of the Force, destroyed the Imperial weapon.
Luke eventually accepted a commission in the Alliance military, and achieved the rank of commander. On the new Rebel base on Hoth, Luke served as a scout on the frozen plains of the ice planet. While on patrol, Luke was injured by a wampa ice creature, and dragged to its lair. Using his growing expertise in the Force, Luke escaped. Han Solo eventually rescued Luke from the frozen wilderness.
Luke then led Rogue Group's snowspeeder pilots in the delaying actions taken to hold off an Imperial invasion of Hoth. After narrowly escaping death by Imperial walker, Luke boarded his X-wing fighter with R2-D2 to leave the ice planet. Instead of going to the scheduled Rebel fleet rendezvous, Luke went to a planet mentioned to him by the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi: Dagobah.
On the swamp planet of Dagobah, Luke learned the ways of the Force from Yoda the Jedi Master. Yoda honed Luke's Jedi abilities, but his training was cut short as Luke had to go rescue his friends on Bespin. Little did Luke know that it was all an elaborate trap devised by Darth Vader. Luke confronted Vader in Bespin's Cloud City, and was bested by him in a lightsaber duel. Luke suffered the loss of his hand, and the revelation that Darth Vader was in fact his father. Luke was rescued from Cloud City by Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian, and eventually returned to the Rebel fleet. Droid surgeons equipped Luke with a cybernetic replacement hand.
Luke returned to Tatooine to construct his new lightsaber in the abandoned hut of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke concealed his Jedi weapon inside R2-D2. This was all part of the plan to infiltrate the palace of Jabba the Hutt and free the captive Han Solo. Sending the droids in first, Luke then challenged Jabba the Hutt for the return of Solo. Jabba refused, sending Luke to fight his hideous pit-beast, the rancor. Luke, Han Solo, and Chewbacca were then sentenced to death at the Great Pit of Carkoon. Artoo delivered Luke's weapon to him, and Skywalker was able to destroy the Hutt's forces and escape with his friends.
Before returning to the assembled Rebel fleet, Luke went to Dagobah to complete his Jedi training. There, he found Yoda sick and dying. Yoda and the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi told Skywalker he had one trial remaining before achieving the rank of Jedi, and revealed the truth about his past. Luke found out that his father, Anakin Skywalker, had succumbed to the dark side and became Darth Vader, and that Leia Organa was his sister. For Luke to become a Jedi, he must face Darth Vader again.
Once back at the Rebel fleet Luke joined General Han Solo's strike team to the moon of Endor. This team was to deactivate the deflector shield protecting the new Death Star from Rebel attack. Skywalker feared he was a danger to the strike team since his presence could be felt through the Force. Before leaving, Skywalker confided the truth about their relationship to Leia, and left Endor to face Vader one last time.
Luke believed there was good in the Dark Lord, and that was why Vader offered Luke a chance to join forces rather than kill him outright. Luke turned himself in to the Imperial forces, and Vader brought his son before the Emperor on the Death Star. There, the Emperor planned to turn Luke to the dark side by goading his hatred and forcing the young Jedi to kill his father, thus sealing his future as the Emperor's student. The Emperor almost succeeded; in a fit of rage, Luke viciously wounded Vader. His thoughts and feelings recollected, Skywalker refused the Emperor's promised power. The Emperor, enraged, used the dark side to cast deadly lightning at the young Jedi. The Emperor almost killed Skywalker, but Darth Vader arose to save his son and hurl the Emperor down the Death Star's reactor shaft.
Luke took his father's crippled body to the Death Star hangar bay. In his final moments of life, Vader ceased to be, and Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight, returned. Luke removed Vader's mask so that Anakin could see his son with his own eyes before becoming one with the Force. Luke then commandeered an Imperial shuttle and flew to Endor. He built a funeral pyre to commemorate the Jedi, and to destroy the Dark Lord's empty armor. He returned to the victorious Rebel Alliance, and could see the spirits of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin that night at the Ewok celebration.