The Real Life Implications Of Luke Skywalker's Actions In 'Star Wars'
Have You Thought About This?
When the first Star Wars movie was released back in 1977, it was clear that this was a classic story of good vs evil. George Lucas did his absolute best to ensure audiences understood Luke Skywalker, and by extension the Jedi/Rebels, were the good guys, and the Empire were the bad guys. This theme obviously continued throughout the original trilogy, then the prequel trilogy showed us just how the galaxy ended up under the control of Emperor Sheev Palpatine.
The destruction of the Death Star at the end of A New Hope is regarded as an absolute win for good guys, with Luke and Han both receiving a ceremony and medals for their contributions, but a potential plot issue here lies with the fact that not everything in life is so black and white. An argument could be made for Luke actually being "evil" as well based on his actions.
The Death Star was obviously a weapon with devastating consequences for anything it was aimed at and is definitely not something you want just casually floating around the galaxy. The fact that it is able to completely destroy entire planets with little effort means it does definitely need to be stopped, but did it have to be destroyed?
At the time of the first film, the franchise was completely brand new, and virtually no expanded media existed. But with how vast it has expanded now, fans have spent hours looking at all the little details and viewed them in a new light. The destruction of the first Death Star is one element which has always bothered me, personally. New shows such as The Bad Batch have only made it worse for me. The Bad Batch focuses on the time immediately after the events of Revenge of the Sith, with the Jedi all but extinct and the newly formed Empire beginning to take control of the galaxy in place of the previous system, the Galactic Republic. Whilst the Empire clearly has less regard for life than its predecessor, many of the galaxy's inhabitants actually preferred the new system as it gave opportunities to some communities which previously didn't have any.
Although Palapatine's driving force was to achieve ultimate power and rule the galaxy, destroying those who stood against him, there is evidence within the franchise showing many species and characters actually benefited from the Empire's rule. The Death Star, whilst a devastating weapon, was also a space station housing thousands of employees. Based on its purpose, it's likely that many of them worked and lived on it, potentially with their families. Now, it's worth noting that these arre only my own personal thoughts on the matter, as this is never shown to be the case, but it's a fairly safe assumption based on what we know about it.
In the real world, we have many organizations and governments whom people could consider to be "evil," but it doesn't necessarily mean everyone involved or working for them is evil. For example, the station is obviously going to need some sort of maintenance or cleaning crew. With limited options, many beings will have no doubt taken these jobs in order to "pay the bills" and provide for their families. This doesn't make them bad, rather just people trying to make their way in the universe and likely had absolutely no idea what the station's true purpose was. Then along comes Luke Skywalker and his rebels, who believe the only possible solution is to blow it up, killing everyone onboard.
Whilst I appreciate many who read this article will be sitting thinking "it's only a movie," the Star Wars universe has grown into something much bigger over the last four decades, and many parts of it have been dissected and analyzed, but I've never come across anyone questioning the implications of Luke's actions. Perhaps there was some sort of mourning period for the innocent lives lost, perhaps not. But the fact remains that Luke didn't just defeat the Empire's greatest weapon that day; he also killed a lot of innocent people and changed the lives of many families. The real life implications of his actions are not something any normal person would just be able to shrug off. Despite doing what he believed to be the right thing, taking the lives of thousands of people in a single blow, regardless of the reason, should have inspired some sort of guilt within the character, and would have made for an interesting story arc, in my opinion, anyway.
Many people were extremely unhappy with how Luke was portrayed in Disney's highly controversial sequel trilogy, but when you look at his actions throughout the original trilogy, perhaps it does make sense that he gave up. All that blood on one's hands would definitely make someone question their actions and lead them to shutting themselves away. It would also have made his decision to try and murder Ben based on "bad dreams" make much more sense. After everything he has done, maybe Luke can no longer tell the difference between good and evil, and has been programmed to snuff out what he believes to be a threat in the first instance with no consideration for any other options. If so, then it truly does make Luke's character one of the most tragic in all the franchise.
Written By Jordan McGlinchey
Syndicated From Culture Slate