Why would killing Darth Vader or the Emperor turn Luke to the Dark Side?

Discussion in 'Star Wars' started by Ganesh Ujwal, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Ganesh Ujwal

    Ganesh Ujwal New Member

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    By the end of Return of the Jedi Luke has already killed thousands of Imperial troops by blowing up the first Death Star, sliced and diced his way through Jabba's pleasure barge not to mention shish-kebabbing and blastering literally dozens of random storm troopers.

    My question is why would killing Darth Vader or The Emperor be the trigger to turn Luke to the Dark Side?
     
  2. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

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    it's not about the killing, it's about the emotions used while killing.
    anger, hatred, fear are easier to channel, therefore an easier pathway than patience, calm, serenity. luke's feelings on his father clouded his judgement, had he struck down his father his emotions could have overwhelmed him, beginning his path down the darkside.
    Palpatine, on the otherhand, was an unarmed opponent. striking him down, regardless of the evil he had committed, could have begun luke down the path to the darkside.

    nb: i say could because nothing is certain, many times we hear that once you start down the darkside it will control you, but the evidence is plain that no one is not redeemable (moreso if you include legends)
     
  3. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Killing in itself is not the way to the Dark Side. It's how and why you kill, what drives and motivates you to make that killing blow. At the time the Emperor was trying to instil in Luke a sense of rage, hatred, fear, contempt, anger.

    In the Death Start battle Luke is more concerned for saving his friends and life; in fact near to the moment he's more concerned and focused on aiming the shot in itself rather than the thoughts of slaying all those Imperials. He's not thinking "yeah lets slaughter these Imperials!" Which is the important part.

    If he had killed the Emperor then he'd be acting on his rage and hate - whilst not unredeemable it would be a first step along the same path that Anakin took when he went to slay the Sand People who killed his mother. The slaying of them wasn't the important part, it was how and what motivated him to kill them. Not a sense of saving others from the sand people; but an unbridled hatred and rage at them.


    It's clear that force sensitivity makes one more open to manipulation by both sides of the Force; which in turn preys upon the emotional elements of the person.

    With the Emperor specifically there is also the line that a Sith Lord is succeeded by his apprentice slaying him and taking his role. As such Luke killing the Emperor is almost akin to the apprentice slaying the master - likely increasing the influence of the Dark Side upon him. Sure he'd not have taken over the Imperial Army - he'd have likely gone through a brooding phase where he slowly became more and more twisted and dark. Much like the Imperium was born of the Republic, Luke could have birthed a new Empire from the Alliance. (an in the view of unity and restoration and cleaning up the old empire chances are people would have welcomed him early on).

    This is kind of why you can see that Anakin had to go to the Dark Side and near enough had to die in that moment too. By slaying the Sith lord as his apprentice and then giving his life in that moment too the Sith line is ended in one final blow.
     
  4. Anakin

    Anakin King of TFF

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    I think others here have explained it well, but I'll put in a little story from Joseph Campbell (who was George Lucas' mentor and friend before he died) as an example. It's about a Samurai who is sent on an assassination mission:

    "His overlord had been killed, and his vow was, of course, absolute loyalty to this lord. And it was his duty now to kill the killer. Well, after considerable difficulties, he finally backs this fellow into a corner, and he is about to slay him with his katana, his sword, which is the symbol of his honor. And the chap in the corner is angry and terrified, and he spits on the samurai, who sheathes his sword and walks away"

    The point here? The samurai walks away because if he had killed that man, he would have done so to satisfy his own rage because he had been spat on. That wasn't the purpose of his mission, there had been no malice there before, it was about honour and what was right. This is what Obi-Wan and Yoda are warning Luke against. It's not about the killing, it's about the intent behind the killing. You mentioned Luke going through countless troopers etc, but he did not kill them in a rage, he killed them because he was defending himself and his comrades. There's a big difference between killing in defence and killing in vengeance.
     
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