This Luke Skywalker Theory Restores Everything You Knew About ‘Star Wars’

All the talk of Luke Skywalker being Kylo Ren or new Sith leader in The Force Awakens has me very irritated. That sentence should at least put some validation on my Star Wars fandom and ranking on the old geek meter. The far out theories had me analyzing the trailer and even scouring the poster for clues. Still, did it bothered me to the point where I felt I needed to write something? No.

That all changed when this article by Rob Conery came along. It’s a well-written article. Unfortunately, his theory is not only wrong, it’s borderline blasphemous.

Luke is not a Sith. Let me repeat that. Luke is not a Sith. And he certainly didn’t turn to the dark side at the end of Return of the Jedi.

So, he’s not in the poster and J.J. Abrams said that was on purpose. There could be several reasons for this other than the ridiculous theory he is Kylo Ren.


True, I know very little facts about the upcoming movie. However, if you just look at the guy’s physique in any number of the shots. You can tell Ren is skinny and tall. Adam Driver is 6’2″ and 31-years-old. Mark Hamill is 5’9″ and 64-years-old. If that does turn out to be the case, that’s just horribly thought out.

There’s other evidence against this theory, but I really want to get back to the whole Luke turned to the dark side after Return of the Jedi thing.

“The Cave…Remember Your Failure at the Cave…”

Conery wrote:

Many people (my friends included) put it off as foreshadowing Luke’s discovery that Vader is his father. I think it’s foreshadowing that Luke will become his father. Of course, you don’t know Vader’s his dad at this point — but at the end of the film, when I thought back to the cave… it made perfect sense. It’s good, solid plot juice. Becoming your parents (or trying not to) is a huge motivator.

Let’s take a look at this. Luke’s failure at the cave is Yoda’s way of testing Luke to see how he will react to fear. Luke fails the test by taking his weapons and drawing his lightsaber on the fake Darth Vader. Vader’s head is cut off and it reveals Luke’s face. Yes, this foreshadows Luke’s possible turn to the dark side if he does not find a way to face his fear instead of fighting it. It’s a hard lesson he only learns after losing his hand in the battle with Vader at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

Conery continued with his Yoda prognosticating by pointing out:

How many times has Yoda been wrong in the first six films?

Have you seen the entire prequel trilogy? He’s wrong about everything! Yoda lets his former apprentice Count Dooku defect to the dark side. Why train him if he knows everything in advance? Yoda knows nothing about the clone army being created on Kamino. Yet, seems fine with using them to fight a war even though they were all fashioned after an evil bounty hunter. Yoda works for Senator Palpatine aka Darth Sidious for three movies! One, two, three! And never realizes he’s a Sith until it’s waaaayyyyyyy too late. But yeah, Yoda’s always right.

The Original Ending

Yes, Producer Gary Kurtz clashed with George Lucas over what should happen at the end of Return of the Jedi. But, just because Luke walked off alone like Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns would not make him a Sith. Plus, that’s the way Kurtz remembers it. There are also reports that Lucas fired Kurtz because the budget on The Empire Strikes Back spiraled out of control.

And in the end, Lucas made the film he wanted to make. Luke didn’t walk off alone. He burned his father’s body and went back to his friends to celebrate their victory.

Luke Turned, We All Watched It

Next, Conrey cites the battle between Luke and Vader on the second death star. He offers up the notion that Luke turned to the dark side the moment his lightsaber zipped into his hand and he tried to strike down the emperor. Then adds he went full on Sith when he jumped out of the darkness to attack Vader and eventually cut off his hand.


Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Yes, Luke’s anger brings him to the brink. However, this actually turns into a moment of clarity for the young Jedi as his father begs for mercy. Something Conrey refers to as:

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).

Defeat the bad guys? Save people? Who has he saved by cutting off Vader’s hand? The rebels? Nope. They’re fighting that battle themselves on Endor and outside the death star. And which bad guy did he defeat? His father? Nope. The whole movie he’s trying to redeem his father and turn him back to the good side. He says it a number of times! THAT’S HIS MOTIVATION!

Luke’s talk with Leia before he confronts Vader:

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.

When Luke and Vader meet at the base on Endor:

Luke: Search your feelings, Father, you can’t do this. I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate.

When Luke and Vader are battling each other on the second death star:

Luke: Your thoughts betray you, Father. I feel the good in you, the conflict.

Darth Vader: There is no conflict.

Luke: You couldn’t bring yourself to kill me before and I don’t believe you’ll destroy me now.

Darth Vader: You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.

Then later after he takes off his mask:

Anakin: Now… go, my son. Leave me.

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.

[Anakin smiles and his eyes begin to droop slumps down in death while giving one last dying breath]

Luke: Father… I won’t leave you.

Need I go on? Need I go on? Yes, I guess I should.

Conrey writes about the emperor’s force lightning attack next:

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.

That shock treatment? He basically brushed it off. Luke is a badass. It’s the only way this whole scene makes any sense at all.

So, in this theory, Luke turns to the dark side but doesn’t finish off his father. Instead, he tries to fake out the emperor by saying he’s a jedi. Some how knowing the emperor would hit him with the force lightning, so he could play possum and Vader would throw the emperor into the death star abyss? Right. Sounds reasonable.

And another note: Both Yoda and a young Anakin have gotten hit by force lightning and gotten up relatively quickly. See Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Will Luke actually be bad in The Force Awakens? I can see why producers would want to do that as a twist. But it really wouldn’t make much sense. And it would basically nullify everything we grew up with in the Original Trilogy. Luke’s journey and Anakin’s journey from good to evil back to good.

And no offense Rob Conrey, but you may want to:

Watch Return of the Jedi again,



posted by Seth Szilagyi in 80's Fun,Star Wars and have Comments (3)

3 Responses to “This Luke Skywalker Theory Restores Everything You Knew About ‘Star Wars’”

  1. Rob Conery says:

    Thanks for your comment. I do agree with your counterpoints – well thought out and thanks for taking the time :). The only problem you have here is that it still leave a *massive plot hole*.

    First – the Yoda thing. Great points! However in each case you bring up it’s a problem of *ignorance*, not error. As Yoda said many times: “The Dark side clouds everything”. So, yes, he was ignorant. No, he wasn’t *wrong*.

    RE Luke “temporarily turning” – this is what I thought originally and what I keep hearing from people as an explanation. This is counter to everything every Jedi has said, ever, about the Dark side. When you fall, you fall. Yet we’re to believe that Luke gets a refund on this? Watching that last scene – you would have to be blind not to see Luke utterly give in. It’s kind of silly to think he could just stop that and say “oops!’

    RE His motivation: this is an argument I’m all too familiar with. The idea of “saving his dad”. Sure. While just minutes before he was about to hack him to pieces. OK – for the sake of argument, let’s say that was his motivation – in fact I’ll just agree with you. Why not.

    Yes, he says those things to Leia. Yes he tells his dad he can be good. Yes yes yes! THAT’S THE POINT! He wants this to happen and he *does whatever it takes to make it happen*! This is a very, very human motivation – something that actually *works* in terms of motive! He tries so hard (and wins) and ends up losing himself to the dark side.

    Think about it: so much more human. The Force is in balance (as it must be) and Luke just sacrificed himself to save dad and sissy.

    As you say: “Need I go on?”. Yes. Yes I should.

    The final point you raise (about Luke playing his dad etc) is such an old, old archetype. This happened almost exactly in Revenge of the Sith – the emperor playing on Anakin to toss Windu out (as I mention). You seem to just blow that all off – as if it’s just silliness. That’s hardly a counterpoint.

    So, back at ya: just watch ROTJ one more time and let yourself at least entertain the idea.

  2. Seth Szilagyi says:

    RE Luke “temporarily turning” – this is what I thought originally and what I keep hearing from people as an explanation. This is counter to everything every Jedi has said, ever, about the Dark side. When you fall, you fall.

    Not the case. At the end of Return of the Jedi Anakin, once a jedi has been redeemed by literally and physically throwing away the dark side (the emperor) to save his son’s life and sacrificing his own. The six movies are about his fall from grace and his eventual redemption. If Anakin were not redeemed he would not be a force ghost and smiling proudly along with Obi Wan and Yoda at the end.

    And on the Mace Windu/Emperor mirroring, I can see your point. But, unfortunately it doesn’t fit. If he was playing possum, he would use his new found powers to force lightning the emperor down the shaft instead of sacrificing his father’s life. Similar to what the emperor did in Revenge of the Sith.

    Awesome debate!

  3. To me, Yoda and Obi-Wan don’t actually seem too concerned that Luke is going to fall to the dark side. In RotJ, they still manipulate him, same as happened to Anakin. Obi-Wan’s repeated lying just takes the cake for me! I think they just want the Sith destroyed. Let’s not forget that Anakin brought balance to the Force and that in turn was VERY BAD for the Jedi. So maybe the Force didn’t want the Jedi anymore. And by the end of RotJ, it had no more use for the Sith. Intriguingly, Force Awakens exists in a potential post-Sith, post-Jedi era. Without Sith or Jedi, the Force lives on, after all!

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