The Force has always been strong with the Skywalkers, but Luke could reach a whole new pinnacle of power when he uses nothing but the Force to take down ships as a big as Star Destroyers. In fact, maybe the whole reason he’s in hiding is because he’s become too powerful with the Force.
In The Force Awakens, finding the Jedi Master seems not only important, but vital to the Resistance and its cause. We could conjure up a lot of speculation about why Luke’s presence is so important — that he’s a great leader, that Leia wants her brother by her side, that he might be able to slap some sense into Kylo Ren — but it’s most likely because his power is so much greater than ever before.
Supposedly, part of the reason for Luke’s exile is due to his shame over losing his nephew, Kylo Ren (née Ben Solo), to the dark side of the Force. We’re sure that’s a huge part of it, but if Luke’s power is substantial enough that he can crash ships with just his mind, then he may have freaked himself out a little. If one person were to really hold that kind of power, it might make sense for him to, say, exile himself to a remote planet where he can do no harm. Luke might be hiding because he’s afraid of himself. Meanwhile, if he was capable of such feats, he’d be a pretty handy weapon in the fight against the First Order.
This kind of power exhibited by a Jedi (and Luke, for that matter) isn’t unprecedented. In the Dark Empire comics, Luke takes down an AT-AT with nothing but the Force. Granted, a Star Destroyer is a little bit larger than a Walker, but Luke Skywalker is Luke Skywalker, and the films in this new trilogy are probably trying to raise the stakes with Force powers.
We’ll see what Luke is capable of when Star Wars: Episode VIII arrives in theaters December 15, 2017.