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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[src]

The destruction of Luke Skywalker's Jedi temple occurred during the reign of the New Republic. Before the temple fell, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker sensed the dark side building within his nephew Ben Solo 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 angrily raged outside the temple and his eyes turned partially red. He noticed red storm clouds had appeared above the temple before they erupted with lightning and razed the temple, killing most of Luke's students.

Solo fled 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.

PreludeEdit

"The Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned."
―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.[8] With help from the likes of Lieutenant Shara Bey of the Rebel Alliance[9] and the explorer Lor San Tekka, Skywalker sought out ancient relics and texts of the Jedi Order to better understand their history and teachings.[8] Following the end of the Galactic Empire and the destruction of the Sith Lords, Skywalker had come to have great hope for the future of the Jedi, coming to believe that if a single Jedi could help bring back balance to the Force, then a restored Jedi Order perhaps could maintain that achieved peace and prevent the dark side of the Force from ever regaining its hold on the galaxy.[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.[11] 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 Solo as a Jedi.[6]

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.[4] This fulfilled a promise to Skywalker's own Jedi Master, Yoda, who on his deathbed told Skywalker to pass on what he had learned.[12] And so he did, training Solo and the others in the ways of the Jedi. Throughout Solo'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.[4]

The temple fallsEdit

A terrible misunderstandingEdit

"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 the 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]
Wakey wakey Ben

Ben Solo believed that his master, Luke Skywalker, had betrayed him.

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.[4]

Enemy in the ranksEdit

Tai confronts Ben Solo TRoKR1

Ben Solo was confronted by Hennix, Tai and Voe in the aftermath of the temple's destruction

With Skywalker trapped under the rubble, Ben left the ruins of his room and raged, confused at why his uncle had attacked him. As he did so, his eyes turned partially red. A red storm gathered above the temple and erupted with lightning, setting the temple ablaze and knocking Ben off his feet. Ben attempted to save his fellow students, but was again knocked down by an explosion. After the massacre, three students Hennix, Tai and Voe, who had been off-world, arrived to discover the temple in flames.[5]

After sensing Ben's presence, the three Jedi went to confront him. Ben told them that Master Skywalker had tried to murder him in his sleep and that the Jedi Master was dead. When Voe expressed skepticism, Ben replied that he was stronger than the other three Jedi. Despite Tai's attempts to defuse the situation, Hennix and Voe drew their lightsabers. Voe charged at Ben but the latter froze her in mid-air and threw her back at Hennix.[5]

The three Jedi tried to take down Ben together but he used the Force to shower them with debris, wounding Hennix. While Tai and Voe attended to Hennix, Ben fled aboard his personal ship Grimtaash. The other Jedi pursued Ben in their starship Verity but Ben managed to disable the ship's main engines. The three then decided to pursue Ben in order to discover the truth behind Ben's betrayal and the destruction of the Jedi Temple.[5]

AftermathEdit

Skywalker's despairEdit

Flames of the Past WotF

After regaining consciousness, Skywalker and R2-D2 stared at the destroyed temple in shock and shame.

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.[4]

Ben's journey to the dark sideEdit

Decisive Blow SoR

Ben Solo embraced the persona of Kylo Ren after his fall to the dark side.

Following the destruction of Luke Skywalker's Jedi Temple, Ben traveled to a space station where he encountered Snoke, who embraced him. Despite Ben's failure to kill Skywalker, Snoke asked Ben what he planned to do next now that he was no longer under Skywalker's influence. Ben decided to seek out the Knights of Ren, a shadowy group of dark siders led by the enigmatic "Ren" who subscribed to an ideology based on his lightsaber, the Ren.[5] Ultimately, after Ren killed Tai on the Minemoon of Mimban, Ben gave into the dark side of the Force, killed the Knight of Ren, and then killed Voe. The Knights then accepted Ben as their new leader, and the former Jedi bled his kyber crystal.[7] He joined the First Order and fell under the tutelage of the Supreme Leader Snoke, taking on the new name of Kylo Ren in the process.[13] His actions at the Jedi temple earned him the moniker of "Jedi Killer" amongst the First Order's ranks,[13] 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.[6]

Fall and return of the JediEdit

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

For his part, a shameful Skywalker blamed himself instead of Snoke for Ben's fall to the dark side.[4] He felt that he had failed to restore the Jedi Order, to protect his own students and to save his own blood and flesh from his family's dark legacy.[10] Skywalker 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, feeling that it was his fault. 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.[4] 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.[6]

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 a 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.[6] She tried for some time to convince Skywalker that the return of the Jedi was critical if the Resistance was to prevail in it's 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.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

"Ultimately, the one who lies is Luke, in the very first flashback, where he omits the fact that he had a lightsaber in his hand. Kylo is basically telling the truth about his perception of that moment."
―Rian Johnson[src]

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, during Luke Skywalker's and Kylo Ren's flashback sequences.[4]

Though included in the finished version of the film, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson made a late decision to include the three flashbacks which showed the destruction of Luke's Jedi temple, as they were not present in the film's script before shooting began. Taking inspiration from 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.[14]

ContinuityEdit

"Did he tell you what happened? The night I destroyed his temple, did he tell you why?"
―Kylo Ren[src]

Kylo Ren has been consistently and unambiguously named as responsible for destroying Luke Skywalker's Jedi temple and killing his fellow students in sources both in-universe[2][6][15][10][4] and out-of-universe.[13][16][8][17][18][19][20] The Rise of Kylo Ren 1 made the cause of the destruction less explicit than all prior sources, giving rise to confusion among readers.[5] After Ben collapsed his hut on Luke, Ben was furious about why Luke attacked him and faced the temple as a red storm cloud gathered over it, with identical red coloring in his eyes. He reacted in confused horror as lightning exploded the temple and killed everyone inside, then he tried and failed to run inside before another explosion. Ben was mentally contacted by a voice that blamed the Jedi. Ben soon after told the Knights of Ren that he destroyed the temple,[2] and later Kylo told Rey the same.[4] If the story is internally consistent and consistent with all prior sources, Ben may have impulsively or unintentionally created the storm then immediately regretted it when he saw the results; if he witnessed the storm created by someone else and his claimed responsibility is a lie, it would be a contradiction.[5]

Prior sources such as Luke in The Last Jedi stated that a handful of his students vanished with Ben while the others were killed,[4] implying that the survivors joined Ben's cause. The Rise of Kylo Ren series later revealed that the only survivors (Tai, Hennix, and Voe) were off-world at the time and pursued Ben in the aftermath, but they did not join his cause afterward.[5]

Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded stated that the Knights of Ren were involved in the temple's destruction, implying that at least one other individual worked with Ben to destroy it.[21] However, The Rise of Kylo Ren 1 didn't explicitly feature the Knights of Ren during the destruction or show that any other individual was involved before Ben fled from Tai, Hennix, and Voe.[5]

AppearancesEdit

Non-canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

History of the Jedi
Prime Jedi · Jedi Order · Hundred-Year Darkness · Sith war · Great Scourge of Malachor · Entruvia Conflict
Doom of the Ordu Aspectu · Mandalorian-Jedi War · Fall of the Old Republic · Momin's destruction of a city
Battle of Takodana · Jedi-Sith War · Jedi–Zygerrian conflict · Skirmish on the moon of Drazkel
Naboo Crisis · Open-Closed War · Separatist Crisis · Clone Wars · Mandalorian civil war
Jedi Purge · Early rebellion against the Galactic Empire · Galactic Civil War
Destruction of Luke Skywalker's Jedi temple · First Order–Resistance war
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