Today, The Correctness takes a closer look at Luke Skywalker, whom many have lauded as a hero, both for his role in ending the grip of the Galactic Empire, as well as playing an important role in the Prophesy of Restoring Balance to the Force. However, there is another side to this mysterious youngster, one which we’d like to shed some light upon.
The first note of concern about the stability of Luke’s mental state comes from his reactions to the events that unfold in his personal life. There are a number of warning flags raised throughout his life. Luke is a restless young man when we first meet him as an adult. He’s eager for adventure, and for a life beyond Tatooine. Soon after acquiring a couple of robots, being attacked by Sandpeople, and meeting a strange hermit from the hills, Luke returns to his home to discover his aunt and uncle, who have raised him since birth, have been horrifically killed. This, in combination with the knowledge that his father was more than what he originally thought sparks the beginning of the change in his persona.
The next critical event occurs when Ben Kenobi is “slain” by Darth Vader. Luke seems overly distraught and traumatized by this event, though he had known Kenobi for a few days. In fact, he seems more shaken by this than his earlier loss. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, and call it the release of his repressed anguish from the Tatooine events.
His immediate reaction to this is to fly back to the Death Star, and destroy it. According to people way nerdier than we could ever hope to be, the population of Death Star I was 31,622,963. So Luke’s torpedo essentially killed the population of California, a place filled with clones, reconstructed people, and British Officers (?).
A more reasonable response would have perhaps been to get the information about the Death Star to places where the people could see what their government was up to, and create an uprising, but hey, that’s a lot of work.
We skip forward to the days where Luke spends a lot of time in isolation, wandering the frozen wastes. When the base on Hoth is attacked, he flees, heading for the swamps of Dagobah. There, he does a half-assed job of learning some Jedi stuff, and runs away from that, against the advice of his 900 year old Master.
He then does relatively little to actually help his friends, and meets sees father for the second time. This would be the first time they meet face to mask. Vader cuts Luke’s hand off (a family tradition!) and tells him that he is Luke’s father. Luke’s already fragile mind snaps, and he attempts suicide rather than let his father help him to safety. Luckily, he survives.
After a somewhat successful rescue of Han Solo, marred by the great Jedi Knight being tricked by a Hutt, Luke returns to Dagobah to finish his training. But, oh no, Yoda is dying. If only Luke had listened in the first place, he might have actually been trained properly. But Luke isn’t about finishing things, mostly he likes starting, and then taking off.
Another Death Star is discovered (and the originality of that idea is a whole separate article) and the Rebels race off to destroy it. Luke is feeling all Jedilike, and surrenders to Vader (meeting # 2). He’s all ” You’re my father, and there is good in you”. Maybe this is his mind dealing with fact that he’s discovered the only girl he’s lusted after in his adult life is his sister. At any rate, after a prolonged encounter, in which the last vestiges of Luke’s mind are bashed around by family loyalty vs power etc etc, Luke’s goodyness allows Vader to throw the Emperor down a shaft (don’t get me started). Vader is dying, and Luke helps him and drags him back to a shuttle to escape the Death Star II.
At this point, Vader was probably thinking,”Why is my son helping me like i’m an old man, instead of Force Floating me to the shuttle?” Why? Because Luke missed that day in class, because he’s an idiot.
Luke doesn’t react much to Vader’s death, as they’ve only met the two times, and has tried to kill him pretty much every time they’re within 10 kilometres of each other.
Luke’s Reaction to the death of important people in his life:
Aunt and Uncle: Scream and look off into distance
Ben Kenobi: Scream and go into shock
Yoda: Look sad
Vader: Look sad
The net effect of all of this is that the Galaxy is “saved” from people who actually have a solid grasp of the Force, and turned over to a group of people for whom planning consists of “what, a threat? ATTACK!”. Also, the only 2 people we know of in the galaxy that are Force Sensitive are
1)The guy who missed most of the training, grew up without real parents, tried to nail his sister, and was stalked by his father, killed 31 million people, and can’t control his emotions enough to use his powers.
2) His sister.
At this point, R2D2 and Chewbacca, the only living members of the original Rebel Alliance and resident super spies, are shaking their respective heads and wondering if this was all worth it.
While there is no clear conclusion, it seems pretty clear that the galaxy might have been better off under the somewhat more stable Palpatine. Who knows what kind of havoc could be unleashed at the first sign of any distress on Luke’s behalf.