Ever since the trailer came out there has been a question of “Where is Luke Skywalker?” We’ve discussed this before. So we’re not going to go back over that again. However there is an idea that has gained popularity: the “Luke is Evil” theory. Specifically we are talking about the Huffington post article here by Rob Conery. Plain and simple this article is wrong and I’m going to break down why.
“The Cave… Remember Your Failure at the Cave…”
In the article, Rob Conery quotes the movie and concludes this:
Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his emperor. If you end your training now… if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did… you will become an agent of evil.There it is: Yoda said it point blank. How many times has Yoda been wrong in the first six films? It’s almost like he can see the future sometimes! He knew Luke was on a path to become his father and, by leaving, he failed at preventing it. -Rob Conery
In this point, Conery is missing a key part of Yoda’s meaning. What Yoda is saying is IF Luke quits now AND then chooses the quick and easy path he will become an agent of evil. Quitting now does not mean Luke has chosen the quick and easy path. He must do both. Luke was given the opportunity to choose that path by Vader at the end of their duel. Luke choose to jump to his possible death instead of joining Vader. Yoda wasn’t predicting the future he was providing a warning. Yoda also added this: ” Strong is Vader. Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.” Luke did mind what he had learned and it did save him.
The Original Ending
Conery first talks about the ideas that were tossed around including Han dying and Luke walking off like Clint Eastwood does in his movies. This ending was never made and it was never even scripted. Gary Kurtz, a producer not a writer, is the one sharing this information that was based off of story discussion during the Production of Empire Strikes Back and was never used in any draft. Oh and Leia wasn’t Luke’s sister, part of the reason he was leaving alone at the end of this idea was to find his sister. They also discussed Luke becoming Vader after Vader’s death. None of these ideas made it to the screen or even script treatment so they are as important to the idea of Luke embracing the Darkside as the now discarded EU “Legends” are to The Force Awakens. He then brings in the idea that Mark Hamill had about making Luke Dark. I’m sure based on how well Mark Hamill plays evil(Joker, Trickster) he would have loved to have done that. But again Mark isn’t a writer, he just liked the idea from an acting point of view, and it never made it into any script so they are not relevant to Luke’s character in the movies.
“Nevertheless, I’m taking Captain Solo and his friends. You can either profit by this or be destroyed. It’s your choice, but I warn you not to underestimate my power.”Was that a threat? A touch of arrogance perhaps? No — Luke would never!
“As a token of my gratitude, I present to you these two droids. Both are hard working, and will serve you well…”One second. Hold on here — was that a lie? Why yes, it was. Luke is giving in, he’s drawn to the dark side. Wow… Luke lies. Keep that in mind. -Rob Conery
Was that a threat? Not really, it was an offer to a criminal, give me my friends and I’ll let your criminal enterprise continue. Luke then warned said criminal that if he didn’t take it there would be consequences and not to think that Luke couldn’t enforce those consequences. As for his perceived arrogance, its more calm confidence and we’ve seen Obi-wan, Yoda and Mace Windu all act more arrogant than Luke did in this scene. Next it was not a lie technically. Luke DID give Jabba C3PO and R2D2 and they were hard working. In fact Luke did not claim the droids back until AFTER Jabba failed to accept Luke’s final offer and was subsequently killed (By Leia not Luke). Even if it was a lie, it does not have anything to do with the dark side. Qui-Gon lied to Watto, Obi-wan lied to Taun-We and Lama Su in AotC. He also lied to Luke in ANH. Yoda lied/deceived Luke in ESB. Three of the Jedi who most symbolize the Light, all have lied to achieve positive goals.
Luke Turned, We All Watched It
Conery next says:
The emperor was working Luke pretty hard, and croaked in his guttural monotone
“Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete.”And guess what? Luke tried.
“Soon I’ll be dead and you along with me”-Luke Skywalker to the Emperor
Later in the sequence Luke loses it completely when Vader finds his soft spot (caring about his friends) and squeezes hard…Saving friends, and now family. Vader has just threatened his sister and Luke gives in. This doesn’t make sense if Luke has been a good guy the whole time. It makes perfect sense if he has indeed failed his training (which he did) and doesn’t have the ability to withstand his dad. Whom he idolized and wanted to be just like, all of his life.
This, people, is a plot hole. It doesn’t make any sense in terms of the story and also Luke’s character. It doesn’t follow Luke’s motivation at all because he quite clearly doesn’t have any motivation to stay a good guy. He’s just seen what he could do with his dark powers (defeat the bad guys, save people).
You can watch what happens next in two very different ways. The first, most obvious, is that Luke looks at his mechanical fist and then at his dad’s severed hand and realizes what could happen — oh no! Let’s make sure we come back from this ledge and stay on the Good side. This makes no sense in terms of Luke’s motivations.
Or, what I think, is that Luke looked at his fist and realized the effectiveness of his new power. Soaked in the revenge (the movie was entitled Revenge of the Jedi originally, I think this is why) and let the hatred indeed fill him… indeed make him powerful.
This would seemingly blow a hole in my story. Luke just flatly said he would never turn. He monologs for a bit about why he’ll be a Good Guy, always. He’s also lying through his teeth (like he did to Jabba, above). But why would he lie? Because he has to take out the emperor, and he knows his dad (Vader) is weak and vulnerable.
What happens next is a bit of deja vu. The emperor has realized that he has created just a little bit more than an apprentice — he’s created a rival. Why else would the emperor stop with the taunts right then? The emperor has Luke exactly where he wants him — it doesn’t make any sense to stop now!
Unless the emperor fears Luke. As he should — he just took Vader out of the equation.
The emperor tries to destroy him with the old shock treatment in the same way we saw in Revenge of the Sith (facing off against Mace Windu). In that scene, Palpatine played on the sympathies of Anakin to cut Windu’s hands off so he could toss Windu out the window.
In this scene, Luke plays his dad in the exact same way to toss the emperor into the abyss. Ahh symbolism.
“If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed! Young fool. Only now, at the end, do you understand. Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side! You have paid the price for your lack of vision!”
“Now, young Skywalker… you will die.”
1) To Obi-wan Luke: There is still good in him.
2) Princess Leia: But, why must you confront him?
Luke: Because, there is good in him. I’ve felt it. He won’t turn me over to the Emperor. I can save him. I can turn him back to the good side. I have to try.
3) Luke: It is the name of your true self. You’ve only forgotten. I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn’t driven it from you fully. [steps off to the side of the passageway, away from Vader] That was why you couldn’t destroy me. That’s why you won’t bring me to your Emperor now.
Vader: [inspects Luke’s lightsaber] I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete. [turns off the lightsaber again] Indeed you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen.
Luke: Come with me.
4) Luke: No. You’re coming with me. I’ll not leave you here, I’ve got to save you.
Anakin: You already… have, Luke. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister… you were right.
His motivation was to bring his father back to the good side. Trying to interpret Luke’s actions otherwise you have to leave out crucial steps and actions, as Mr. Conery has done, or your argument falls apart.
And another thing!
There are a couple of important things that we do know about post RotJ Luke Skywalker that need to be addressed. If you’ve avoided spoilers you won’t want to read on.
First, the new comics and books being released are considered canon to the stories of the Movies. In the book “The Weapon of a Jedi”, C3PO confirms that Luke returns Devaron after RotJ to rebuild his Jedi Order. Also in “Shattered Empire 4”, Luke, with the help of Shara Bey(Poe Dameron’s mother), retrieves the last remaining fragments of a force sensitive tree that once was in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. He gives one to Shara and keeps one for his new Jedi training temple.
Second, is the picture of Mark Hamill in his full Luke Skywalker costume. This was originally posted by StarWarsNews.net and Lucasfilm quickly issued a cease and desist so we won’t provide you with the picture however you can find it if you really want to and I will describe it. Luke is dressed exactly like Obi-wan and all the other Jedi from the prequels were. His robes are lighter than we usually see but not unusually so. He is the epitome of what we think a Jedi should look like. If you don’t believe the rest you should believe a photo of Old Luke as a Jedi in The Force Awakens.