(Warning, (brief) possible Episode VII SPOILERS below)
With all the rumors that have been circulated relating to the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, it's not too surprising that there have been a few that were pretty out there. There was one, though, that I found more difficult to stomach than any other: The idea that Luke has now turned to the Dark Side, and become a Sith.
Now, I was raised on a pretty steady diet of Star Wars, so the idea that Luke Skywalker - one of storytelling's greatest ever heroes - turned out to be a villain? I just wasn't able to get my head around it...
Until, that is, I re-watched the original trilogy, and had one of those sudden, horrifying, eye-opening revelations...
Star Wars' Ending is Way More Disturbing Than We All Think
Now, I don't mean to say that there was a secret message hidden in the Ewok village at the end of Return of the Jedi, or that Chewie was secretly an Imperial spy, or anything like that.
It's far, far darker than that.
The ending of the original Star Wars trilogy, as it turns out, is - right there on the surface, where we could all see it - completely and utterly grim, dark and horrifying.
Especially the Ewoks.
I mean, take a look at what our lead hero goes through in Return of the Jedi...
First Up, Luke's Has His Hand Chopped Off...By His Dad
And, sure, that robot hand is pretty neat and all, but that's still a pretty traumatizing experience. Y'know, you find out the galaxy's most despicable villain is your dad, during a duel with him, and then he cuts off your hand. Not exactly a regular Tuesday...
Then He Almost Gets Killed a Bunch of Times
To add to the already pretty giant pile of PTSD he must be dealing with...
And After Surviving, He Discovers That the Girl He Likes is His Long-Lost Sister (Who He Didn't Know Existed)
Which makes all of those times they made out kinda awkward...
Before He Has to Embark on What is Basically a Suicide Mission
With his sister, and the third part of their increasingly weird love-triangle.
During Which He Realizes He Has to Hand Himself in to His Dastardly, Hand-Chopping Father
Who he then has to duel with...again.
Which Ends With Him Being Tortured
By the only man in the Galaxy more hated than his father...
And, When His Dad Finally Saves Him?
After almost watching him be tortured to death, remember...
...He Watches His (Only Just Redeemed) Dad Die
Seriously - they get one thirty second conversation together, and that's it.
At Which Point He Escapes an Exploding Space Station With His Father's Corpse
And doesn't even get to catch a ride with Lando in the 'Falcon.
And Has to Cremate His Father
Except, of course...
The Cannibalistic Ewoks Probably Ate Him
Along with any other Imperial troops who were lying around.
(YUP, that's totally a thing)
And, Either Way, All of His Friends are Celebrating Wildly
Which seems a little bit insensitive considering the circumstances.
At Which Point, He's Visited By His Two Dead Mentors, and His Dad
Who, in the modern (and canon) version of the movie, he wouldn't recognize.
So, After All That, Would It Really Be That Surprising if Luke Turned to the Dark Side?
After all, his dad has clearly just been completely forgiven for all of the child-murder and galactic carnage he was responsible for, and all of his friends are acting like all they care about is death, victory and power.
Han, meanwhile, is dealing with the fact that...Leia might not be in to him. Which she totally is, as it turns out.
So, why wouldn't he end up becoming a mighty Sith Lord, like his father before him, the second literally anything else went wrong? I mean, his entire world has fallen apart, and things aren't exactly about to get any easier, what with the imminent power vacuum created by the Empire's defeat, and all...
So, you know what?
I'm Actually Now Totally OK With Luke Skywalker Becoming a Sith...
And...now I'm going to go and let my inner child weep for a few hours...