With the Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) theories going around, isn't Jedi more or less a certification or title granted by the Jedi order (analogous to being knighted)?

If so then isn't Luke technically not a Jedi since the Jedi order didn't official proclaim him as a Jedi?

One could just assume Jedi means "light side force users". If that's the case then certainly a "master" requires some sort of certification. Perhaps Luke is a Jedi but is he not a Jedi Master? Anakin was pissed about being on the council without being recognized as a Master.

As for the title Return of the Jedi (1983) it could simply be Anakin rejoining the light side.


4 Answers 4


Yoda (the sole remaining Jedi Master) sets one very specific precondition on Luke being able to call himself a Jedi, that he has to confront Vader.

“No more training do you require,” Yoda assured him. “Already know you that which you need.”

“Then I am a Jedi?” Luke pressed. No. He knew he was not, quite. Something still lacked.

Yoda wrinkled up his wizened features. “Not yet. One thing remains. Vader … Vader you must confront. Then, only then, a full Jedi you’ll be. And confront him you will, sooner or later.”

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - Official Novelisation

Since he accomplishes this later in the film, it's fair to say that he's a Jedi.

Various other authorities on the subject also state that he's a Jedi.

Vader thinks Luke is a Jedi.

Vader seemed almost to smile through his mask at his son’s use of Jedi voice-manipulation. He looked down at the lightsaber the captain had given him—Luke’s lightsaber. So the boy was truly a Jedi now. A man grown. He held the lightsaber up. “You have constructed another.”

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - Official Novelisation

The Emperor thinks Luke is a Jedi

The Emperor’s glee turned to a sullen rage. “So be it, Jedi. If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed.”

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - Official Novelisation

Luke thinks he's a Jedi.

He hurled his lightsaber away. “Never! Never will I turn to the dark side! You have failed, Palpatine. I am a Jedi, as my father was before me.”

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - Official Novelisation

The film's official novelisation explicitly calls him a Jedi Knight pretty consistently throughout the book.

The monster then turned and started for Luke. But the Jedi Knight leaped eight meters straight up and grabbed onto the overhead grate. The crowd began to boo. Hand over hand, Luke traversed the grating toward the corner of the cave, struggling to maintain his grip as the audience jeered his efforts. One hand slipped on the oily grid, and he dangled precariously over the baying mutant.

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - Official Novelisation

The (fully canon) Ultimate Star Wars reference book calls him a Jedi in the timeline on Luke's page.

Jedi Luke Skywalker demands Jabba release Han Solo

The (fully canon) Star Wars in 100 Scenes factbook agrees.

Desperate, the young Jedi [Luke] calls out to his gravely wounded father for help.

and so does the official StarWars.com Databank article on Luke.

Luke Skywalker was a Tatooine farmboy who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever known.

Interestingly, the (canon) Star Wars Made Easy: A Beginner's Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away factbook pinpoints the precise moment that Luke becomes a fully fledged Jedi, when he casts aside his lightsaber during his duel with Vader.


No. Luke does call himself a Jedi Knight when he goes to Jabba’s palace, but it is not until later that he truly becomes one by renouncing the dark side, even though it will likely cost him his life.

  • 5
    @AdamGent - A Jedi "Master" is simply a Jedi Knight who's trained another Jedi to knighthood.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 17:54
  • 4
    @AdamGent I wonder if you could make the argument that Luke "trained" Vader in the last few minutes of his life.
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 20:13
  • 8
    @CortAmmon well in my opinion "Return of the Jedi" could also be interpreted the returning of Anakin to the light side (regardless of whether Luke is a Jedi or not since Jedi can be the plural form).
    – Adam Gent
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 20:41
  • 1
    @AdamGent - "Who is the eponymous Jedi in Return of the Jedi?"
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 20:42
  • 5
    @Cronax - A Jedi Knight can train a Padawan (which we see happen in Star Wars: The Clones Wars with Knight Anakin Skywalker and Padawan Ahsoka Tano). When the Padawan takes the Trials and becomes a fully fledged Jedi Knight, the Knight who did the training is usually then given the title of Master.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 11:28

He is a Jedi

In the absence of the Jedi council, the only surviving member was Grand Master Yoda, after Obi-Wan Kenobi died in the duel with Darth Vader. So Yoda could have announced Luke as Jedi, but did not have time, as he died prematurely.


  • Luke has nearly completed his training with Yoda, so he had a proper Jedi training, although incomplete.
  • Yoda assigned him a quest (to confront and defeat Vader) which he successfully accomplished.

This makes him a Jedi. Continuing your analogy: in the old Knight novels, when a Squire is successful on a quest assigned by a King, and the King does not live to formally announce him a Knight, he is knighted by Quest.

  • 35
    "Luke, when gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be." Seems kinda like Yoda proclaiming him a Jedi Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 17:49
  • @JasonBaker Except that he knows he will never really be gone (ghost) and when he does die Luke (according to the accepted answer) is not yet a Jedi.
    – Adam Gent
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 20:42
  • 7
    @AdamGent Pretty sure he considers being a force ghost "gone" from his current existence. Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 0:44
  • IIRC Force Ghosts will not stay around forever, at least if you accept Yoda's Quest for Qui-Gon's ghost in the Clone Wars series as canon...
    – Zommuter
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 7:38
  • @Zommuter If you prefer the old ways, the fading of Obi-Wan's ghost was an important point in Heir to the Empire.
    – KSmarts
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 16:19

This is a interesting question, because, nobody really gives Luke the title, because there is no order to grant it. However, Luke is the return of the Jedi, and he has the training and capabilities, to be a Jedi master, after he has defeated Vader.

There is some theories, that he established the Old Jedi Council again, and was training younglings, until his nephew turned to the dark side, and killed the order and the younglings. Perhaps we will see this in The Last Jedi as a flashback..

  • 8
    CAn you expand on how you come to the conculsion that Luke is the return of the Jedi and not Anakin?
    – Thomas
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 11:06
  • Practical, he is, Because the Jedi is destinct, when we get to episode 4. That is why nobody believes in that stuff anymore (the force). After the fall of the republic, I gues the Empire destroyed every historic evidence, of the time "before". Luke is the return of the jedi, because he is the last hope for the Jedi order and the Jedi's in general to return. However, Anakin was the Padawon, and turned sith apprentice, before reaching the rank of jedi, because the Order wouldn grand him that title, being aware that something was comming up the given time. Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 13:47
  • Luke is not the "return of the Jedi", Anakin is. Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 16:22
  • Luke isnt a Jedi before episode 6, that is why he is "the return of the jedi", because he got his training and have now become the last jedi, and "the new hope". I atleast think so, I think that darth vader to be the jedi, is just a fan theory. He has been lost in the dark side for far too long, to ever become a jedi again. He has been sucked into the dark side, and now only have the powers of the sith. You can't become a Jedi after what his been doing.. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 7:10

No, he isn't.

But you could make arguments depending on your understanding of what is "a jedi".


Jedis trained since very young to the end of their teenage years in order to master all skills and techniques. Then training for a year or so with Yoda doesn't qualify as true training. He got a crash course on the skills he needed to fulfill his task (defeat Vader). It would be very unlikely that he covered all basics that would make him a Jedi.


How does Luke compares to fellow padawans in the verge of becoming Jedi's? Do you think Luke would have held his ground force/sword/knowledge? You can see some padawans in their last years in the form of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ashoka. I would say he isn't even close. (But he is the most powerful force being ever... ok).


With no Jedi council there is no one to give him the title. So he isn't a formal Jedi. Yoda then gave him his final trial in the form of Vader. You could argue that Yoda being the last member of the council (as of now) granting him the title would make him "a Jedi". OK.


But ultimately did Luke behave like a Jedi? Luke used his training for personal uses (saving his father, helping his friends) and constantly showed non-Jedi behaviour like showing attachment, showing emotions, holding to the past. He may hold the title, but he didn't stand by it.

I read Valorum's answer and it has good points. Nonetheless I find them too literal:

  • He/Sidious/Vader/everyone thinks he is a Jedi: most probably used as "good guy using the force". Take a look at how everyone refers to Ezra/Kanan as "Jedi" whenever they see them either holding a lightsaber or using the force. It is just a shortcut for that concept (without Jedi order implications at all).
  • EU thinks he is: EU is based on the belief he's a Jedi, so no much argument here. Is there in the EU any resource that challenges his status? (EU is wrong thinking SW is about Luke).

(From a the real world Ep IV - VI were filmed prior to EP I-III where all the basics for what actually is Jedi was exposed, so yes "thinks he is" is outdated at best).

Then who is the last Jedi? Yoda most probably.

If you think Luke is a Jedi, then you would have to prove (at least) that neither Ezra (same case) nor Ashoka (training not finished) aren't around to compete for the title.

Did you ever hear the tragedy of the EU? That is why I don't discuss it.

  • 2
    "training for a year or so with Yoda doesn't qualify as true training". Really?
    – Valorum
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 20:44
  • IMO compared to being several years as a kid under Yoda's training (as shown all younglings have), and then even more years with a Jedi in field. No, it is not even 1/10 of what real training looks like.
    – Jalex23
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 22:02
  • 1
    All of those little kids had to share Yoda between them. Luke got the 1-2-1 good stuff
    – Valorum
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 22:39

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