The 25th of September is Mark Hamill's birthday - and we're in a celebratory mood. The actor is perhaps most famous for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker, the original heroic Jedi who journeyed from unknown moisture farmer to famed Jedi master.
But how good was Luke with a lightsaber? What duelling form did he favour? Why did his lightsaber change style between films? Let's take a deep dive into Luke as a combatant and see what it was that made his duelling saber the one that finally defeated Darth Vader....
Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber
Luke's first lightsaber, the blue-bladed one handed to him by Obi-Wan Kenobi, is a hand-me-down from Anakin Skywalker. It has a smooth, shining silver metal hilt with black ridged cooling veins near the pommel. The saber was built with Form V, Anakin's chosen lightsaber form, in mind - favouring powerful attacks and counters in a more aggressive fashion.
This version of Luke Skywalker's lightsaber was eventually lost in Cloud City before it returned to Rey and ultimately was buried in the sands of Tatooine.
Next we see Luke Skywalker's green lightsaber, which he wields when he comes to Jabba's palace to free Han Solo. This more intimidating, mystical version of Luke suits the strangeness of the blade - whose origins in canon are shrouded in mystery. In Legends, Luke's second lightsaber was created by hand in a painstaking and rough process made harder by the fact the Empire had banned the sale of Kyber crystals. In the Canon storyline, however, all we know is Luke was guided through the construction project by the force and notes in Ben Kenobi's old hut.
What we do know, however, is that Luke's green lightsaber looks absolutely awesome. Inspired by his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, the saber's balance was exceptional and ultimately held firm throughout Luke's battle with Vader and his later life.
Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber Form
Luke's lightsaber form was not like the traditional Jedi of the past. As the sole inheritor of the Jedi title, Luke was not able to train in specific schools of combat and instead learned directly from Obi-Wan and then Yoda.
However, thanks to his mastery of the force and deep understanding of Jedi history, Luke is able to replicate famed styles and even mimic his father's favourite form, Form V.
Although originally bested by Vader, Luke's eventual victory that leads to the downfall of the empire itself comes as a result of furious Form V repeated strikes. However, Luke does comment that it's important to balance the aggression of Form V with a sense of compassion.
How good was Luke Skywalker as a duellist?
In a world where Jedi were outlawed and Sith were extremely rare, Luke's experience as a lightsaber combatant was limited at best. His encounters mainly focused on deflecting blaster fire or overcoming melee foes using non-lightsaber weapons.
His only real duelling experience stems from training with master Yoda, where he dispatches an illusion of Vader with ease. In their encounter in cloud city, Luke is beaten and loses his hand - but he did have moments of success against a FAR superior combatant in Vader.
Just over one year later in the storyline, Luke once again battles Vader and shows hugely improved saber skills. He defeats Darth Vader by showcasing a range of techniques such as awareness of high ground, defence against physical and mental attacks and even furious repeated strikes.
In Star Wars Legends, which is no longer canon, Luke goes on to become the most masterful Jedi in history and can easily toy with great duellists thanks to his force abilities.
In the real canon, we don't see Luke battle saber-to-saber again - instead relying on the force to trick Kylo Ren. However, in another surpise appearance we do see a certain green lightsaber-owning Jedi absolutely destroying row after row of droids.
It's hard to rank Luke against the great duellists we mentioned in a previous article. He could, potentially, be #1 - he bested a true lord of the Sith in Vader within just a year of suffering his initial defeat.
Celebrate Luke Skywalker's green lightsaber and defeat your own Sith Nemesis with Saberzone's own interpretation: the Skyglider saber.