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While this will likely come off as blasphemous the question has only begun to gnaw at me: Aside from being the last and thus only one, what made Luke a great Jedi?

Excluding the extended universe, which actually no longer exist as possible canon, you've got an initiate Jedi who took out the Death Star with basic perception skills, saw Yoda lift and move an X-wing but never did it himself, leave half finished training to lose his hand, look for and rescue Solo after months while refining what he learned, and finally be the key thing that turned his father from the dark side.

Again, just looking at the original 4-6 trilogy, in what way shape or form was Luke one of the most powerful Jedi ever? One who apparently pulled off what no other could by the time the Last Jedi came around?

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    I think you are minimizing what Luke was able to do. He saved Han against Jabba and his entire lot. Granted there was a bit of planning here, but Han was blind and it was at least 20 - 3? (including both R2 and Lando in this), but he also had to save the blind Han just a small walk away from death at the same time. And he defeated Vader, the Sith Lord, second only to the Emperor AND "saved his soul." That seems pretty good. I'm not sure why, but even Yoda hadn't found a way to do either of those things. Sure he had little training, and wasn't the best student, but isn't that more impressive? – Odin1806 Jan 2 '18 at 3:30
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    In the original movie he was a bumbling hick with minimal skills. By the end he's sufficient powerful to take on The Emperor and lose within seconds. He's definitely not one of the most powerful Jedi ever. – Valorum Jan 2 '18 at 3:31
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    @Valorum - That’s simply not the case. He had the same potential as Anakin, which made him pretty strong. Sidious, on the other hand, was nearly as powerful, and much more experienced. – Adamant Jan 2 '18 at 3:35
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    @Odin1806: He surrendered to the Emperor after nearly turning to the Dark Side, was in the process of being tortured to death which inspired Vader's turn where nothing else did. they never actually fought. Starting to think that the Force's true power is manipulation of casualty or probability which would far outstrip any physical manifestation of it. That everyone from Lucas on down forgot that after the first movies. – user91944 Jan 2 '18 at 5:25
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    Something something midichlorines – user13267 Jan 2 '18 at 16:39
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"Real :)" Star Wars canon (Episodes IV-VI):

  • What did he do:

    • Blow up Death Star 1

    • Duel Darth Vader, as untrained Jedi. Second time, to a standstill and then a win (using Dark Side anger, granted, but that doesn't reflect negatively on his power)

    • ???

    • Profit.

  • Why was he considered powerful?

    On a relative scale, because he was #1 in a pool of 1.

    On an absolute scale, because of his potential. Evidence: the Emperor (who happened to be a Sith Master) thought so. So did Vader. If you recall, the Emperor wanted to replace Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, the Chosen One, the highest-midichlorian-count-living-Jedi with Luke as a new apprentice.

Please note that there was never a mention of Luke being "one of the most powerful Jedi ever" as you put it.

Disney Canon

  • What did he do:

    So far, the main achievement we know of is, he managed a Force Astral Fighting Projection from Ahch-To to Salt Central. This seems like a pretty big effort.

  • Why was he considered powerful?

    Same as the last section, but with more proof. It's discussed elsewhere on the site, but Anakin had the highest m&^&^*n count ever known. And Luke had as high a count as Anakin.

Please note that there was never a mention of Luke being "one of the most powerful Jedi ever" as you put it; though Midichlorian count may be an indication of that actually being true.

EU/Legends Canon

Too many things to count. Brief list here, full list on Wikia

  • Don't forget that in the Disneyverse he also trained Jedi himself for a while. – JdeBP Jan 2 '18 at 13:52
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    @JdeBP - that's not necessarily proof. "Those who can't do, teach..." and all that :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 2 '18 at 14:55
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    @DVK-on-Ahch-To - and those who can't teach, teach gym... and what it "Jedi training" expect glorified gym class.... running through the swamp, handstands, lifting rocks, fencing..... – Skooba Jan 2 '18 at 16:17
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He brought Anakin back to the light side. That alone should qualify him.

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    That is arguably inconsequential, as Vader (and the Emperor) would have died on the Death Star II when the Rebels blew it up. – Null Jan 2 '18 at 15:51
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    Also, he did not do that with the "power of the Force" he did it with the "power of love"... queue the Huey Lewis! – Skooba Jan 2 '18 at 16:19
  • @skooba So he Dumbledore'd Vader to the light side? – user13267 Jan 2 '18 at 16:40
  • He did use the force for this, he "felt" the goodness in him. And knew that he could be redeemed. Remember that the prequels revealed that the original, and the prequels tell the story of Anakin's fall and redemption. Luke is paramount to his redemption. WIthout this, the story doesn't come together as well. – fdec01 Jan 2 '18 at 18:27

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