the Star Wars Saga is full of great battles and few characters have had bigger fights than the hero of the Original Trilogy, Luke Skywalker. Luke would become a great Jedi throughout his life, called to face some of the greatest threats the galaxy has ever known. While he often needed the help of his friends to save the day, there is no question that Luke faced powerful foes throughout the years.
Whether in Disney canonical sources or in Legends, where Luke lived a very different life, Luke Skywalker faced some of the most dangerous beings, always triumphing and bringing hope to the galaxy.
10 Kylo ren
Technically, Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker only had a physical altercation, beyond sparring in training, and Ren was able to Force him down enough to knock him out for hours. Years later, the two would “meet” on the planet Crait, with Luke distracting his volatile nephew, preventing the First Order from completely massacring the remnants of the Resistance.
Ren was a powerful Force user and his lightsaber style, while lacking in finesse and skill, was extremely brutal. However, his anger was his greatest weakness, and it’s what allowed Luke to finally triumph over Kylo Ren – if Ren had used the Force and thought things through, he might have realized that Luke wasn’t really there and he hadn’t wasted time with a glorified hologram.
9 boba fett
While Boba Fett is better known as Han Solo’s enemy than Luke’s, Luke and Fett clashed multiple times. The first time was shortly after the Battle of Yavin on Tatooine, when Luke returned to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s home to find memories of his dead master. The two came and went, and Luke was finally able to escape from the bounty hunter.
During Han Solo’s daring rescue from Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi, Luke and Fett would briefly collide again, with Fett binding Luke and Luke able to get out. Fett was almost able to get Luke out both times, which is pretty impressive.
Lumiya was Darth Vader’s apprentice in Legends, an Imperial agent he sent to infiltrate the Rebellion and get close to Luke Skywalker. Posing as a pilot, he would fly Luke’s wing. Luke, using the Force to search for enemies when his instruments were off, ended up taking down his fighter and Darth Vader rebuilt her into a cyborg, renamed the Dark Lady of the Sith.
Lumiya and Luke would collide many times over the years, with Lumiya’s mastery of the light whip testing Luke’s abilities with the lightsaber. He would eventually end up tempting Luke’s nephew Jacen with the Sith and teaching him their ways before sacrificing himself by pretending to have killed Luke’s wife, Mara. Luke beheaded her, getting dangerously close to the dark side at the moment.
7 Luuke skywalker
Legends is ridiculed for many reasons by fans who are not very familiar with it. Sometimes, it’s for a good reason (never read Star Wars: The Crystal Star) and other times for not so good reasons. Luuke Skywalker is one of those things that seems boring on the surface, a Luke clone with an extra vowel in his name, but he’s actually a lot cooler in practice.
Created from the recovered hand that Luke lost on Bespin and wielding his old lightsaber, Luuke fought Luke to stop him at Wayland as the heroes attempted to destroy the cloning facility / hidden treasure house of the Emperor and his guardian, the madman. Clone Jedi Master Joruus C’baoth. Luke’s battle with his clone was one of the most challenging up to that point, one that he could not win without the help of enemy-turned-friend Mara Jade.
6 Overlord Shimrra
The Yuuzhan Vong War in Legends was one of the most destructive conflicts the galaxy has ever known, with billions of deaths. The Yuuzhan Vong were an extragalactic species that had destroyed their entire galaxy in their wars and arrived in search of a new home. Armed with astonishing biotechnology and invisible to the Force, they were the greatest challenge faced by the heroes of the New Republic.
They were led by the Supreme Overlord Shimrra and Luke ended up fighting the massive warrior during the last battle of the war. Shimrra was the pinnacle of their society: strong and skilled, he gave Luke a run for his money, almost defeating him, but Luke was able to triumph.
5 Joruus C’baoth
Joruus C’baoth was the mad clone of the Jedi Master Jorus C’baoth. Created by the Emperor to protect his personal treasure, he would join Grand Admiral Thrawn in what is known as the Thrawn Trilogy, the series of books that basically started the EU and saved Star Wars after years of stagnation.
C’baoth and Luke would collide multiple times, with C’baoth obsessed with using Luke, Leia, and any other Force users he could get to start a new Empire led by the Force-wielders. Luke, with the help of his friends, would eventually defeat the mad clone on Wayland, ending his threat and dealing a heavy blow to Thrawn’s military might.
4 Darth caedus
Darth Caedus was once Jacen Solo, son of Leia and Han and nephew of Luke. Jacen was one of the most powerful Jedi in history, dominating multiple Force disciplines before falling to the Sith due to Lumiya’s machinations and a desire to control everything so that no one would suffer again. Caedus would manage to seize most of the galaxy through subterfuge and cause a second civil war.
Caedus was a very powerful and skilled Force user, but Luke had a huge part in his training and was able to defeat him quite easily in the only lightsaber fight they got into. However, Caedus remained one of the greatest threats Luke had ever faced, nearly managing to end Luke’s Jedi Order and plunging the galaxy into darkness again.
3 Darth vader
Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker clashed many times during the Galactic Civil War, and their relationship became more tangled and complicated as things progressed. Vader was Palpatine’s main enforcer, cutting a bloody swath through the enemies of the Empire. After the destruction of the Death Star, Vader set about finding Skywalker.
Their battle at Bespin was the most emotionally charged and changed their relationship forever, with Vader revealing that he was Luke’s father. From this point on, Luke would dedicate himself to redeeming his father, although it was questionable if he deserved it, a move that would eventually end the Emperor’s dark reign over the galaxy and cost Vader his life.
two Exar Kun
In Legends and Canon, Luke opened a Jedi Academy. The difference between the two is that the one from Legends was successful and survived more than one attack from its enemies. However, the first attack could have ended Luke’s dream in Legends just like in canon. The academy was located in the Great Temple on Yavin IV, the former Rebel base, and unbeknownst to all an ancient Sith base.
The temple was haunted by the spirit of the Sith Lord Exar Kun, awakened by the Force powers of the apprentices. He would end up killing one student and driving another dangerously close to the dark side, even severing Luke’s spirit from his body. The spirit of Luke and his remaining student would defeat Kun, but he was very close.
1 Emperor Palpatine
Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, was the culmination of millennia of Sith planning. Palpatine was able to manipulate his way to the top, taking control of the Republic and destroying the Jedi. With the galaxy under his cruel yoke and Darth Vader by his side, Palpatine considered himself untouchable.
He and Luke only fought once and it wasn’t much of a fight, with Palpatine attacking the young Jedi with Force Lightning and easily incapacitating him. Before he could kill Luke, Vader came to his son’s rescue and paid Palpatine for the years of pain he had suffered from the Sith Lord, killing him and effectively ending any hope of an Imperial victory.
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