WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Star Wars #58 by Kieron Gillen, Angel Unzueta, Guru-eFX and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
When the Star Wars new trilogy was announced, one of the things that excited fans most was finding out exactly what Luke Skywalker did with his life after Return of the Jedi. Many were hoping to hear that he did indeed wed Mara Jade, the red-haired assassin from the Expanded Universe, and that he lived a life outside of being a Jedi Master.
Sadly, he did not, as he turned on the Jedi Order instead, opting for a life of solitude on Ahch-To, dying at the end of The Last Jedi. Despite Mara Jade not being brought into the new canon after Disney purchased the franchise, Luke does have some romance in his life. Marvel Comics has shed light into Luke's dating habits by introducing us to the first love he ever had -- Tula of Hubin.
Luke's encounter with love happens just before the events of The Empire Strikes Back, as the rebels are fleeing Darth Vader's army, who want revenge for destroying the Death Star. After being betrayed by Queen Trios of Sho-Torun, the Rebel Alliance were ambushed in a meeting at Mako Ta, which saw their fleet depleted badly by Vader's hand, with many key figures dying. Luke, Han Solo and Princess Leia escaped, with the directive handed down to scatter and reassemble later when the heat dies down.
Thanks to Han's former wife, Sana Starros, the trio end up on Hubin, biding their time so she can pick them up at a later date. During this waiting period, they're taken in by the generous Thane Markona, who owns a grand estate and allows them a life of luxury. There are gardens, waiters and unlimited food and drink, leaving the rebels skeptical of this resort. However, they eventually warm up to the lord, Thane, who was a former mercenary and has been left alone by the Empire. As Thane treats them kindly, Luke develops a special bond with his daughter, Tula.
Apart from training with his lightsaber with Thane, now acting as a father figure, Luke actually finds out he and Tula both share Jedi heritage. Tula's grandmother left the Jedi Order to start a family, and it seems their connection to the Force ignites a romantic spark. Han and Leia notice how smitten and uncharacteristically nervous Luke is behaving, which gets worse as events build to their first date. He and Tula share stories of their past, as well as visions for a free galaxy, with the young Skywalker clearly in love after finally considering the Markona clan to be family.
He's even going on hunting adventures with Thane against the bear-like monsters called the Thanrax, leaving his peers happy that he's connecting to outsiders and trusting them on a deeper level. Sadly, Luke, impatient about waiting on Sana, wants to show Tula how much of a hero he is and builds a distress beacon to send a signal for the rebels to pick them up. She warns him it could actually invite the Empire if it's intercepted, but his judgement is clouded as he wants to impress her just as much as he wants revenge for the assault at Mako Ta.
It remains to be seen if Thane really is honorable; after all, in the Star Wars Universe, so many trusted folks end up being foes, selling you out to Palpatine's forces at the drop of a hat. Tula seems genuine, though, so hopefully Luke doesn't endanger her and the citizens of Hubin with his actions. Seeing their innocent, warm love come to light really freshens up the war-filled adventures in the wake of A New Hope, and gives us another dimension to the Jedi we'd have loved to see come to fruition on the big screen.