ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. Twitter: @ExtraTremeerial | Email: [email protected]
Eleanor Tremeer

When we finally meet Luke Skywalker again in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, we're gonna have some questions for him. And not the "hey, long time no see, how have you been?" kind. No, they'll be more along the lines of "why did you abandon your sister when she was grieving?" or "why didn't you stop the First Order from rising from the ashes of the Empire you fought so hard to defeat?" and the like. Just like Rey, we have high expectations of Luke — and so far he's done nothing but let us down.

But we should probably wait to hear him out, right? Maybe the legendary Jedi had a good reason for turning his back on the galaxy for so many years. In fact, we may have just discovered Luke's motivation for his inaction, thanks to the new Darth Vader comic.

A Vow Of Penance

Following Darth Vader right after the closing moments of Revenge Of The Sith, the Darth Vader comic is only two issues in but already it's stuffed with fascinating new information. Last issue revealed how Sith get their lightsabers (deviating from the Expanded Universe canon), and now we've got a new piece of Jedi lore to obsess over.

Darth Vader Issue 2 sees the fledgling Sith Lord take out an entire space station's worth of clone troopers — despite the fact that they're on his side now. Well, Anakin "drama queen" Skywalker always did know how to make an entrance. He's on the hunt for a Jedi to kill, as to create his own lightsaber he must steal the Kyber crystal from a Jedi Knight's weapon. Using the space station's archival systems, Vader and his sass-mouthing droid sidekick — who's already our new fave (sorry BB-8) — track down a Jedi who survived the Order 66 massacre.

But why? I hear you cry. Order 66 meant all the Jedi were wiped out! (Except Kanan Jarrus, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Quinlan Vos, and many many more, of course.) Well, as it turns out there were dozens of Jedi already in hiding, thanks to their adherence to the Barash Vow.

The Barash Vow is a type of spiritual penance, as its followers dedicate their entire lives to meditating and following the will of the Force — taking absolute no other action. This means that not only would they have been absent when Order 66 took place, they also couldn't do anything to stop it — which plugs up a plot hole in a somewhat convoluted fashion.

Vader explains the Barash Vow. [Credit: Marvel]
Vader explains the Barash Vow. [Credit: Marvel]

This new information begs an obvious question...

Did Luke Skywalker Take The Barash Vow?

In the wake of Kylo Ren's massacre of the new Jedi students, we can come up with a whole host of reasons as to why Luke Skywalker ran off to his remote island getaway. And at least one of these reasons has already been revealed. In The Force Awakens, Han Solo speculated that Luke went on a quest to find "the first Jedi temple" — which Rian Johnson confirmed to Vanity Fair in their The Last Jedi preview issue.

Clearly, Luke is on a personal mission to dive deep into Jedi lore, presumably seeking answers for why, even after he thought he restored balance to the universe in Return Of The Jedi, the dark side still rose in the form of his wayward nephew. We already know that The Last Jedi will see Luke teach Rey everything he knows, which presumably includes everything he's learnt since the original trilogy ended. Basically, you can expect a ton of Force-related exposition in The Last Jedi.

But to get back to the issue at hand, does the Darth Vader comic really answer the question of why Luke turned his back on the galaxy for so long? Honestly, it's very possible, even probable, that the Barash Vow will come into play in The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm are notorious for hiding hints in their new extended canon — everything from Rey's destiny to Snoke's origins have been teased (or potentially revealed) by comics and books.

Luke has significantly changed in 'The Last Jedi'. [Credit: Lucasfilm]
Luke has significantly changed in 'The Last Jedi'. [Credit: Lucasfilm]

The Barash Vow actually works very well as a reason for Luke's inaction. The Vow means that the Jedi must shut themselves away from distractions (check), focus on learning more about the Force (check), and must not act even if their friends are in grave danger (check). And it might even explain why Luke thinks the Jedi should end.

Now, none of this sounds like the headstrong Luke we knew from the original trilogy, who abandoned Yoda's training to save his friends, but it seems that Luke's learned some harsh lessons over the years — and his decision to take the Barash Vow might just be why Mark Hamill has problems with Luke's character in The Last Jedi.

We'll just have to wait to find out the truth, but in the meantime keep your eye on those Darth Vader comics — they might just contain the answers to all those burning questions we have for Luke Skywalker.

Tell us in the comments: Do you think Luke would take the Barash Vow?

(Source: Vanity Fair)


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