Part of the joy of watching the Original Trilogy of Star Wars films is watching Luke Skywalker complete his hero’s journey. He begins the first film as a snot-nosed kid whining about power converters. And he ends the last film as a Jedi Knight, having completed his training by facing both Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.
But here’s a little secret Disney would like to keep buried in that cave on Dagobah: Luke Skywalker is actually the most poorly-trained Jedi in the history of the Jedi order.
Terrible Training For Luke Skywalker
Ironically enough, we didn’t really know how poorly Luke’s training stacked up to other Jedi until the Prequel Trilogy came along.
Those films revealed that the Jedi Order liked to recruit younglings at an extremely early age. Most Force-sensitive kids are brought to the Order when they are between one and three years old. And the Jedi typically don’t take kids older than six (remember, it was a big deal they agreed to train nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker).
After years of intense training, human younglings typically become Padawans around age 13, and most don’t become Jedi Knights until they are in their early to mid-twenties (Chosen One Anakin was only 19).
Luke And Obi-Wan
That brings us back to the sad case of Luke Skywalker’s Jedi training. His first Jedi Master was Obi-Wan Kenobi, and while Old Ben was clearly a great teacher, their training was entirely contained to the trip between Tattooine and Alderaan.
That trip only lasted about two hours (Han Solo was right: the Millennium Falcon really is a fast ship). And after Obi-Wan sacrifices himself in the fight with Darth Vader, Luke doesn’t see him again until a vision of Kenobi tells him to seek out the Jedi Master Yoda on Dagobah.
Training From Yoda
Every Star Wars fan knows that Luke Skywalker receives the rest of his Jedi training from Yoda, but have you ever considered just how short a time that really was?
The main way you can tell is by using the Millennium Falcon’s voyage from Hoth to Bespin: it’s a major plot point that the ship doesn’t have its hyperdrive, and as CultureSlate points out, the Falcon only has about two months of food onboard.
Therefore, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca’s journey couldn’t have lasted more than two months, and they are soon captured and tortured by Darth Vader after arriving at Cloud City.
Luke Vs. Darth
Because he senses their torment in The Force, Luke Skywalker ends his training with Yoda early to rescue his friends.
The would-be Jedi intends to return to complete his training, but by the time he comes back, a dying Yoda says he’s had enough training.
To become a Jedi, Luke must pass the ultimate final exam by confronting Darth Vader, the Sith Lord that he now knows to be his father.
Two Months Of Jedi Training
Since he’s the last living Jedi Master, we can’t really argue with Yoda’s assessment that Luke Skywalker had more or less received enough training: he’s the son of the Chosen One. And Anakin Skywalker’s own swift rise through the Jedi ranks shows there is precedent for Luke being a fast learner.
However, none of this changes the fact that Luke only had two months of Jedi training compared to the 120 months that his father had and the 228 months that an average Jedi had (assuming they became a youngling at age three and a Jedi at age 22).
Worst-Trained Of Them All
Luke Skywalker has many admirable qualities. He’s an amazing pilot, a brave warrior, and a patient teacher. But he’s still the worst-trained Jedi in the entire history of the Old or New Republic.
Honestly, is it any surprise someone whose Jedi training lasted about half a semester ended up nearly killing his nephew in a fit of rage?