In The Empire Strikes Back Luke is referred to as Commander Skywalker, but no one calls him by this title in Episodes 6 through 9. At what point was Luke no longer an officer in the Rebel Alliance or the successive New Republic military?

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    While he may not be addressed specifically by rank in RoTJ, it seems clear that others (e.g. Han and Lando) treat him as an officer. On the other hand, it is unclear what his status is in the years preceding the sequel trilogy. Did he resign or retire when he went off to train new Jedi? Was training Jedi his official military assignment? Is he officially AWOL for decades? Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 14:23
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    I believe in the legends canon, he never specifically gives it up, he just stops being referred as it and more as a Jedi master. I remember some conversation between Luke and possibly Mon Motha in the Jedi Search trilogy but I cannot find the specific reference at the moment
    – A.Steer
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 16:03
  • @RobertColumbia There was a Legends story where Mon Mothma gave Luke her blessing to start a New Jedi Order. Considering that the Jedi were the Guardians of the Old Republic, it's possible that Mon Mothma would allow Luke and his Jedi padawans to be officers in the New Republic, but that's never been stated in any Star Wars material post-Battle of Endor. Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 17:45
  • @A.Steer Yeah. I'm not sure how similar the New Republic's military structure is, to the Old Republic's military structure -- where the Jedi gave orders to the infantry. Luke certainly deserved the rank of "Commander Skywalker", that he received for his role in the Battle of Yavin. By the time of Return of the Jedi, it's implied that Luke is still a commander, and he continues fighting alongside the Rebels. Then, from The Force Awakens onward, Luke appears to be distantly associated with New Republic, even though he never officially left their military. Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Legends: Starting around 5 ABY

In Heir to the Empire, it's established that Luke resigned from the military around four years before the events of the book, which takes place in 9 ABY:

"Good evening," he said in a cool, carefully modulated voice. "I'm Talon Karrde." His eyes flicked up and down Luke, as if measuring him. "And you, I presume, are Commander Luke Skywalker."

Luke stared at him. How in the worlds …? "Private citizen Skywalker," he said, striving to keep his own voice calm. "I resigned my Alliance commission nearly four years ago."

(Heir to the Empire, Chapter 18)

A footnote in the 20th anniversary edition mentions that this is elaborated on in Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, though I haven't read it and can't confirm.

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