Star Wars’ Prequel Trilogy Defined Disney’s Luke Skywalker & Ben Solo
9 mins read

Star Wars’ Prequel Trilogy Defined Disney’s Luke Skywalker & Ben Solo


  • The Jedi attachment rule from the prequel trilogy influenced Luke’s and Ben’s arcs in the sequel trilogy.
  • The policy against attachments blocked the possibility of a wife for Luke and a better arc for Ben Skywalker.
  • Ignoring the attachment rule could have led to more compelling storylines for characters like Luke and Ben.



The Jedi Order of the Star Wars prequel trilogy set one critical Jedi policy in motion, and it shaped Ben Solo’s character and Luke Skywalker’s character in the sequel trilogy for the worse. While the original trilogy came first in the Star Wars timeline, those movies saw Luke trying to piece together who and what the Jedi had been with limited information. It wasn’t until the prequel trilogy, decades later, that Star Wars showed the structure and rules of the Jedi Order, both explaining the facts and hints given in the original trilogy and determining the fate of the sequel trilogy.

While the prequel trilogy had a lot of ground to cover, particularly in showing how Anakin Skywalker went from a sweet little boy who wanted to help his mother to the murderous tyrant Darth Vader, the sequel trilogy was a bit more of a blank slate. Star Wars Legends, previously called the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU), had explored the events following the original trilogy, but it was clear that canon would be going in a different direction. However, that direction, particularly for key characters, had already been paved by the Jedi Code of the prequel trilogy.


How To Watch Star Wars Movies In Order

Here is how to watch all Star Wars movies and TV shows chronologically and in order of release, and how each fits into the Star Wars timeline.

Luke Skywalker’s Canon Story Is Dictated By The Jedi Rule Against Attachments

Mark Hamill Luke Skywalker as seen in the Star Wars sequels: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi

In Legends, Luke has a wife, the dark side Force-user Mara Jade. Known as “the Emperor’s Hand,” she worked as an assassin for Palpatine during the Imperial Era. This was fascinating for numerous reasons, but it wasn’t yet shocking. The original Star Wars trilogy didn’t mention attachments as a problem, and it wasn’t until the prequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones specifically, that the rule against attachments was made explicit.

Shannon McRandle as Mara Jade from Star Wars

Mara Jade

Created By
Timothy Zahn

Shannon McRandle

First Appearance
Star Wars: Heir to the Empire


Emperor’s Hand, Countess Claria, Lianna, Litassa Colay, Arica Pradeux, Agent Green, Chiara Lorn, Karrinna Janish, Baroness Paltonae, Merellis, Celina Marniss, Senni Kiffu, Baroness Muehling

Empire, Jedi


Luke Skywalker (Husband), Ben Skywalker (Son)

The final two installments of the prequel trilogy cemented the seriousness of that policy for the Jedi. Anakin embodies the exact issues with attachments by marrying Padmé in secret, becoming obsessed with keeping her alive, and letting his paranoia about her dying drive him to the dark side of the Force. Given the prequel’s commitment to the idea that attachments were fundamentally against the Jedi Code and the way they showcased what attachments led to, it was simply not possible for Luke to have a wife.

Mara Jade, introduced in the 1991 novel Heir to the Empire several years before The Phantom Menace was released, was therefore blocked from entering canon. Instead of marrying, by the time of the sequel trilogy, Luke has gone into hiding on the planet Ahch-To, no longer believing in the Force or the Jedi after his failed Jedi Temple was destroyed. This meant that their son, Ben Skywalker, was also never to be.

Star Wars Legends’ Luke & Ben Were Much Better

Criticism of the sequel trilogy’s depiction of Luke Skywalker was not quiet. Between Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Luke goes from a hopeful Jedi who turned his father, one of the most powerful Sith Lords in Star Wars history, back to the light side of the Force to a man who has no faith in the Jedi and has abandoned everyone, including his sister, Leia, as she fights the First Order. Legends Luke, in contrast, managed to establish a successful Jedi Order and carry the Jedi into the next century as the Jedi Grand Master.

This version of Luke feels much more like a prophecy fulfilled; he turned his father back to the light and defeated Palpatine, bringing balance to the Force, and he went on to truly “return” the Jedi to something like what they were before. Ben Skywalker, of Legends, had a similarly better Legends arc than the Ben Solo of canon did. Ben Skywalker, as Luke and Mara’s son, was incredibly powerful in the Force, but his trajectory as a Jedi remained complicated; it wasn’t a straightforward, boring character arc.

Ben Skywalker, despite his power, shuts himself off from the Force in Legends after experiencing the horrors of the Yuuzhan Vong War, and he is only coaxed back into using the Force by his cousin, Jacen Solo, Leia’s and Han’s Legends son. Ultimately, though, Jacen turns to the dark (seemingly aligning somewhat with Ben Solo’s arc in the sequels) and even kills Ben Skywalker’s mother, throwing Ben into turmoil. He remains a light side Force-user, though, and fights many battles alongside his father.

This arc for Ben Skywalker is so much more compelling than Ben’s end in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. In fact, the title of that movie seemed to tease that connection somewhat, with many assuming before the movie was released that Ben Solo, as the last in the Skywalker bloodline, would be the titular Skywalker. Instead, Ben died, effectively ending the bloodline, and while Luke and Leia appeared for Rey on Tatooine at the end of the film, they did not appear by the side of their nephew and son, respectively, when he died.

The Star Wars Sequels Should Have Ignored The Attachment Rule

Luke Skywalker from The Book of Boba Fett and artwork of Mara Jade from Star Wars Legends

One of the issues with the Jedi’s attachment policy, alongside robbing audiences of this arc for Luke and Ben, is its inconsistency in the franchise. While Anakin is condemned in Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith for his attachment to Padmé, Obi-Wan refers to Anakin as a brother and says he loved him, which is blatantly an attachment. Luke also went on to have an attachment to Leia, as his sister, and Kanan Jarrus, another Jedi, was romantically linked to Hera Syndulla and did not fall to the dark.

The attachment rule was flawed even when upheld; the Jedi insisted that attachments were bad, but this contributed to things like Master Yoda telling Anakin not to mourn or miss the dead with very little extra guidance when he was grieving. It also left the Jedi choosing between emotional bonds and the life of a Jedi, which made many Jedi conflicted. Obi-Wan himself tells Satine Kryze, Bo-Katan’s sister, that had she asked him to leave the Order for her, he would have, demonstrating the extent to which great Jedi were prone to leaving the Order solely because of this policy.

The issue with attachments is also misunderstood. Anakin’s issue wasn’t with attachment, really; it was with possession and control. He didn’t struggle with the dark because he loved Padmé; he struggled because he was desperate for more power to control life and death and because he let himself become swallowed up in fear. Interestingly, Star Wars does seem to be exploring this issue more, with Grogu having chosen a life alongside his now adoptive father Din Djarin in The Mandalorian. The Mandalorian & Grogu movie will now see Grogu as a Force-user, with attachments, who isn’t a Jedi.

Ultimately, this policy deprived Star Wars of an interesting follow-up to the original trilogy that could have explored what it meant for a powerful Jedi to establish a new Order and change the old ways. Presumably, Star Wars: New Jedi Order will offer that, but the sequels’ dedication to the Jedi Code of the prequel era cost Luke Skywalker and Ben Skywalker/Solo more interesting arcs (and cost Ben his life). It would have meant a much-improved legacy had the canon followed in Star Wars Legends’ footsteps and seen the continuation of the Skywalker bloodline with Ben Skywalker.

All Star Wars movies and TV shows are available to stream on Disney+

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