Luke Skywalker is not only one of the central heroes in the Star Wars series, he is perhaps the most iconic protagonist in all of cinema. The full story of Luke Skywalker, however, reaches well beyond the realm of film. In fact, although it seems impossible, he's even more awesome than you think. The expanded universe (now called the Star Wars Legends) and the official new canon offer us a sweeping narrative that covers events parsecs outside of the movies we all know and love. Included in these troves of fantastic (and sometimes not-so-great) tales is the answer to all the Luke Skywalker questions you never knew you had.
Below are some of the best moments of Luke Skywalker's life that you'll never see on screen. His first lightsaber duel, his education in the ways of the Force between the original trilogy films, even the founding of his Jedi Academy. It's all there for you to read. After all, Luke Skywalker is a larger than life figure. His heroics can hardly be contained in a few films.
Okay, technically this one isn't a true lightsaber duel. It's more like Luke's first fight using a lightsaber. While on a trip to the ruins of a Jedi temple on the planet Devoron in the novel The Weapon of a Jedi, Luke is assaulted by his guide Sarco. Sarco wields an electrostaff (a weapon designed specifically to kill the Jedi) to combat Luke. After being blinded by a flash bomb, Luke calls on the Force to defeat his adversary. His first actual lightsaber duel was with Darth Vader, but it's probably good he got some practice in beforehand.
In the story Shadows of the Empire, we meet a human replica droid named Guri in the employ of the Black Sun's leader Prince Xizor. The Black Sun was a criminal organization that sprang up after the Jedi shifted their focus from law enforcement to military affairs during the Clone Wars. Thus, Guri worked not only as the Prince's body guard and assistant, but also his assassin.
She was great at her job; in all her experiences she found that she was without equal. That changed when she met Luke. After he rescued Leia from Xizor's castle on Coruscant, Guri challenged Luke to a hand-to-hand duel. Luke promptly kicked her butt, proving both that he is a formidable warrior even without a lightsaber and that a robot is no match for a fully trained Jedi.
While they may have debuted on screen in The Empire Strikes Back, anyone who's played the Rogue Squadron games knows that their story extends far before and after the events of the film. Their exploits are covered in a multitude of comics and novels and have become the stuff of Star Wars legend (pun intended).
All of it started with the survivors of Red Squadron from the Battle of Yavin, namely Wedge Antillies and Luke Skywalker. From these humble beginnings, the Rogues became the ace flight group of the Rebel Alliance and later the New Republic.
In the Thrawn Trilogy, we met fan favorite Mara Jade. Once a private assassin for the Emperor, bore the amazingly kick-ass title of "Emperor's Hand." When Darth Vader decided to throw Palpatine's wrinkled butt down a shaft, his last command was for her to kill Luke Skywalker.
For years, the order reverberated through her unconscious mind. Jade assumed she wanted to kill Luke because he had killed her master, but the order bolstered her rage to incomprehensible levels. When she finally met Luke, however, it was in the worst possible way. She had to work together with the Jedi she vowed to kill in order to survive on a hostile planet. They eventually became friends and then got married. While Luke was never known for his romantic draw, getting a woman to pull a 180 like that is objectively pretty impressive.