Really great article and compelling arguments! Luke has always had a darkness to him. Many EU stories were written in the 90’s portraying Luke as an antagonist. However, seems like its coming from a place of justification and not pure analysis.
- All ROTJ end references seem to leave out the part where Luke turns to see the spirits of his Jedi Masters. They’re looking on him proudly. Why would they be proudly and Luke look back knowingly if he had become a Sith?
- Yoda also says in the beginning of the ROTJ that he has one last trial before become a Jedi: he must confront Vader. This is seemingly because Yoda, in all of his wisdom, knows that that will be the last true test of temptation and that he can overcome, he will truly be a Jedi. With this in mind, it seems more than plausible that when Luke is looking at his mechanical hand/ Vader’s severed hand, he realizes all of this, that this is the ultimate temptation for him, and then throws his weapon down. “I am Jedi, like my father before me.” Luke says this because he knows in that moment that he has just passed the final test. “My father before me.” The whole movie involves Luke believing that Vader is truly good. This statement is his defiant thought process regarding Vader’s true allegiances.
- The “Father! Please!” bit during the Force lightning doesn’t seem to be so much a way of manipulation to get Palpatine out of the picture as much as it is a symbol of Vader’s redemption. Remember, the whole saga is ultimately the story of Anakin Skywalker and his decent into/accention from evil. The Windu scene is a mirror of this but, in that scene, Anakin chooses to interfere on the side of Palpatine, causing a lot of bad stuff. This time, he “corrects” his mistake and moves on The Emperor.
The whole lying to Jabba bit, two things: 1) Jedi pulling a fast one on smaller minded creatures isn’t uncommon in the saga. Qui-Gon to Watto in Episode 1, for example. 2) Did Luke lie? He did give Jabba the droids…they just had alternative motives once in his service. Seems like Luke was honest from “a certain point of view.” Theres that whole convo with Obi-Wan on Degobah about a certain point of view being a justification for the truth (i.e. Obi-Wan justifying his twisted telling of Anakin’s history to Luke in A New Hope)
- This is the ultimate point: All of this article is assuming that Lucas is infallable, which he is not. The ulimate truth, I believe, is that yes, there are plot holes. They don’t exist because greater, secret plan of Lucas’. They exist because Lucas didn’t catch them. As pointed out, Lucas was being driven more by merchandise and, instead of rewriting the whole movie, he just changed the end and kind of strong-armed a new climax in. Lucas thinks effects/merch > story, as Kurtz pointed out. Thats why Kurtz left the production. Just look at the prequels, the fewer there were around Lucas to keep him in check, the more iffy things got.