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"He was training a new generation of Jedi. One boy, an apprentice turned against him, destroyed it all. Luke felt responsible… He just walked away from everything."
―Han Solo, on Luke Skywalker[src]

The destruction of Luke Skywalker's Jedi Temple occurred at the hands of his nephew and apprentice, Ben Solo, sometime between 28 ABY and 34 ABY. Before the temple fell, Jedi Master Skywalker sensed the dark side building within his nephew and feared for the boy's future. One night, Skywalker looked into a sleeping Solo's mind and saw that the dark side had already corrupted him. Skywalker instinctively ignited his lightsaber before quickly realizing his error, but it was too late: Solo awakened and, believing his uncle was about to murder him, collapsed his room and trapped Skywalker under debris. Solo then razed the temple and murdered the rest of the Jedi.

Solo fled with a handful of other disciples and joined the First Order under the tutelage of Supreme Leader Snoke, who had been seducing the boy from afar, and became Kylo Ren. Skywalker, distraught over his failure, abandoned his hope of rebuilding the Jedi Order and went into exile on Ahch-To, the birthplace of the Jedi Order. It was not until 34 ABY that he was rediscovered by Rey, a powerful Force prodigy who tried to convince Skywalker to help the Resistance in the war against the First Order. Skywalker was reluctant but chose to briefly rejoin the conflict and confront his nephew, sacrificing himself in the process—and reigniting the legend of Luke Skywalker and the Jedi Order across the galaxy.

PreludeEdit

"The Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned."
―Jedi Master Yoda, to Luke Skywalker[src]

After the end of the Galactic Civil War, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker was the last Jedi left in the galaxy.[10] With help from the likes of Lieutenant Shara Bey of the Rebel Alliance[11] and the explorer Lor San Tekka, Skywalker sought out ancient relics and texts of the Jedi Order to better understand their history and teachings.[10]

Luke Skywalker Jedi Master VII

After the Galactic Civil War, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker began training a new generation of Jedi.

As the war was coming to a close, Senator Leia Organa of the New Republic and General Han Solo welcomed a son, whom they named Ben Solo. Even before he was born, Organa sensed the capacity for both light and darkness within her son.[12] After many years she sensed the influence of Snoke, the Supreme Leader of the shadowy First Order that had arisen from the ashes of the Galactic Empire. Hoping to curb Snoke's dark side influence, Organa wanted Skywalker, her brother, to train Ben as a Jedi.[7]

Skywalker took his nephew and a handful of other disciples, gathered over his many years of traveling the galaxy, and established a Jedi Temple, from where he hoped to rebuild the Jedi Order.[9] This fulfilled a promise to Skywalker's own Jedi Master, Yoda, who on his deathbed told Skywalker to pass on what he had learned.[13] And so he did, training Ben and the others in the ways of the Jedi. Throughout Ben's training, Skywalker also sensed the growing darkness within his nephew, but he believed that he could contain it and keep Solo on the path of the light.[9]

The temple fallsEdit

"I saw darkness. I'd sensed it building in him. I'd seen it in moments during his training. But then I looked inside, and it was beyond what I ever imagined. Snoke had already turned his heart. He would bring destruction, and pain, and death, and the end of everything I love because of what he would become. And for that briefest moment of pure instinct, I thought I could stop it. It passed like a fleeting shadow. And I was left with shame... and with consequence. And the last thing I saw were the eyes of a frightened boy whose master had failed him."
―Luke Skywalker to Rey[src]

Ben's darkness continued growing, and Skywalker came to fear what it might mean. He went to confront his nephew in the boy's room and, while Ben slept, used the Force to look into Solo's mind. What Skywalker saw terrified him: he saw Snoke's dark machinations and the death and despair that his nephew would bring. In the briefest moment of pure instinct, Skywalker ignited his lightsaber to kill him and prevent what he had seen, but was quickly overcome by shame for thinking of killing his nephew. But it was already too late: Solo awakened and saw his uncle standing over him with an ignited blade. Thinking Skywalker was about to murder him, Ben ignited his own lightsaber and the two sabers clashed, as Solo used the Force to bring the roof of his room collapsing down upon them.[9]

Force Vision of Jedi Massacre TFA

Luke Skywalker and R2-D2, kneeling before the burning temple.

With Skywalker trapped under the rubble, Ben left the ruins of his room and lit the Jedi Temple aflame before attacking his fellow students, murdering all but a handful who left with Ben as they fled the Jedi Temple. By the time Skywalker regained consciousness, it was too late; the temple was in ruins and the corpses of his students littered the grounds. Luke, overcome with despair and shame with only his faithful astromech droid R2-D2 by his side, watched as his Jedi Temple and the future of the Jedi Order collapsed into flames.[9]

AftermathEdit

"The rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I will not be the last Jedi."
―Luke Skywalker, to Kylo Ren[src]

Ben joined the First Order and fell under the tutelage of the Supreme Leader, taking on the new name of Kylo Ren—master of the Knights of Ren—in the process. His actions at the Jedi Temple earned him the moniker of "Jedi Killer" amongst the First Order's ranks,[14] though it was many years until the wider galaxy learned about what happened to the Jedi Temple. Snoke believed that Skywalker also had to be destroyed, lest the spark of the Jedi remain alive in the galaxy.[7]

For his part, a shameful Skywalker blamed himself and went into exile on Ahch-To, the birthplace of the Jedi Order and the home of the first Jedi Temple, where he intended to one day die. It was his intention to bring an end to the Jedi religion, which he believed had only a legacy of hubris and destruction in the galaxy—in his mind, it was the Jedi that allowed Darth Sidious to create the Galactic Empire and seduce his father, Anakin Skywalker, to the dark side.[9] There were many rumors and stories about where Skywalker had fled to, but those closest to him believed that he went looking for the first Jedi Temple.[7]

Luke Skywalker on Crait

Skywalker projected his appearance into the Battle of Crait, sacrificing his own life to confront Kylo Ren.

The First Order and the Resistance, led by General Organa, both searched for Skywalker and sought out San Tekka, who had part of map to Ahch-To. The map was pieced together by the Resistance and given to Rey, a powerful Force prodigy, who used it to find Skywalker on Ahch-To.[7] She tried for some time to convince Skywalker that the return of the Jedi was critical if the Resistance was to prevail war against the First Order, but he was too guilt-stricken. It was not until the spectral intervention of Yoda that Skywalker was shaken from his guilt and put his faith in Rey as the future of the Jedi. During the Battle of Crait, he projected his appearance into the conflict to confront Kylo, allowing the Resistance to escape from certain destruction. The effort he expended proved fatal and Skywalker passed away into the Force on Ahch-To, but, through his actions, the legend of Skywalker and the hope of the Jedi and the Resistance spread across the galaxy.[9]

Behind the scenesEdit

The destruction of Luke Skywalker's Jedi Temple was referenced in the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Although the event took place in the film's backstory, its aftermath was briefly seen in Rey's vision.[6] The event's development was featured in the 2017 film Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, although mostly during Luke Skywalker's and Kylo Ren's flashback sequences.[7]

Though included in the finished version of the film, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was the one who decided to add the three flashbacks which showed the destruction of Luke's Jedi Temple as a late addition, given the fact that these sequences were not present in the film's script before shooting began. Taking inspiration of the 1950 film Rashōmon, Johnson decided to divide the sequence in three parts from different points of view, instead of just doing a long flashback as he wanted something harder to influence Rey's journey in the story.[15]

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