ByStrahinja Suba Subotic, writer at
Political Science student and a Sci-Fi fan

Luke is the hero of the Star Wars saga. Or is he?

Here it will be presented on how the movies IV, V and VI have hinted on why Luke might be joining the Dark Side of the Force. In order to understand this, the descriptions of Jedi will be used from the I, II and III will be used and additionally, Luke will be compared to his father Anakin Skywalker.

Some people might think that Luke is a complete good guy because he defeated the Empire, and at the end of SW VI we see that there is a happy ending, with Luke being on the good side. The end. Or is it? The upcoming movie SW VII “The Force Awakens” made people re-think the whole idea behind Luke. Until the movie really comes out in December, we can only speculate on what happened with Luke. Whether Luke is shown to have join the Dark Side does not really matter, since here it will be shown why he could have joined his father. (but Lucas didn’t want to do it.)


Yoda trains Luke
Yoda trains Luke

Yoda, the Jedi Master who used to train Jedi for 800 years, the one who knows the most about the Force. Yoda is considered to be very wise and that is why we are going to look at what he had to say about Luke.

First, Yoda points out that Luke is already too old. That is the same thing he said to Anakin (when he was around 10 at that time and Luke is around 20). What it means is that Luke is already a formed man with his set of ideas, concepts and a worldview. That is why Yoda pointed out that Luke must unlearn what he has learned. Luke would be hard to influence, since he has a lot of questions of his own. Yoda added that a Jedi must clear his mind. I point out this, since from the very beginning we can see that Luke was not ready to become a Jedi.

Second, Luke has characteristics that separate him from a Jedi, and that is being reckless, inpatient and adventurous (this is how Yoda described him). Actually Luke failed the patience test even before Yoda revealed himself to be a Jedi Master. At that time, we could see that not only Luke was inpatient, but also disrespectful of his host.

Third, Yoda at one point says how the Force is supposed to be used for defense and never for attack. Luke then asks why not for attack? This shows how Luke might be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force in order to achieve certain goal.

He does have a connection with the Force, but by having all of these elements, his training for becoming a Jedi could never be fully completed, which is why he could have gone to the Dark path.

2. PATH towards the Dark Side

CYCLE towards the Dark Side
CYCLE towards the Dark Side

Yoda pointed out how there is a path that leads to the Dark Side:

fear->anger-> hate -> suffering

1. Fear…of loosing friends (Han and Leia).

Sounds familiar? Anakin had fear of loosing Padme (that’s how it all started)

2. Anger…we could say that Luke was angry at the Emperor and at Darth Vader. Vader provoked Luke by threatening to take Leia. Then Luke started aggressively attacking Vader in VI.

3. Hate…Yoda sensed that Luke has much hate in him, which is definitely not a Jedi characteristic. (like when Anakin said he hated Obi-Wan)

4. Suffering…Luke did suffered when realized that Vader was his father. (Anakin suffered when realized that he was the one that killed Padme)

We could see Luke touching upon all four elements. The Emperor pointed out that Luke is having hate, anger and agressive feelings within him.

Luke did the right thing in the end, but that does not mean that he did not have any of those “bad” elements, which do not make him a good Jedi.


Luke sees himself wearing the mask of Vader
Luke sees himself wearing the mask of Vader

The vision that Luke had in the cave is one of the most mysterious elements of the SW saga. Luke confronted Vader (which was actually his fear), by attacking him. He went inside the cave with a lightsaber, despite Yoda’s advice not to bring it. After stricking Vader he saw his image in the helmet. This is open to interpretations, but I think that it might be a warning that if Luke starts going along the dark parth, he may end up as Vader. Since this discussion is all about Luke’s dark side, we might say that this is showing us the actual face of Luke (in future movies).


Luke just does not listen! He follows his own path, even when told otherwise by the wiser people (Yoda, Obi-Wan)

He left his training half-way done, despite Yoda telling him not to go. He was emotional (since he was trying to safe his friends), but a Jedi should detach from people (since emotions lead to the previously explained path to the dark side)

“If you end your training now — if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did — you will become an agent of evil.”

Here it can be clearly said that if Luke leaves, by following his emotions, that he will become a Sith. Yoda was right about Anakin, we could say that he would be right about Luke.


The Force Choke by Luke
The Force Choke by Luke

I am not as wise as Yoda, but I know enough that a Force Choke is not something that Jedi is supposed to do. Here Luke came to save Solo and others from Jabba. Emotions drove him here to fix the situation. That is why he did not chose his means in order to achieve his goal. It is a praise-worthy goal, but a Jedi goal. He also used the force choke for attack (remember Yoda saying how the Force should be used only in defense).

Like father, like son…


the last hope
the last hope

Upon Luke’s departure Obi-Wan says that Luke is the last hope.

Yoda finalizes by saying: “No, there is another.”

There was no statement by Yoda afterwards that discharged this claim. Yoda does not say things randomly, but because he has a good understanding of it.

There are a lot of speculations who might be the person who is supposed to represent hope, but that topic can be discussed additionally in some other blog.


Luke vs. Vader
Luke vs. Vader

When Luke confronted Vader and Emperor, he was forced to chose whether to attack or not. That is why the Emperor said the following:

“The hate is swelling in you now. Take your Jedi weapon. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to your anger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant.”

As I mentioned previously the Emperor noticed all the negative elements in Luke. And Emperor predicted Luke did try to strike him down, even though he was unarmed — which is not very Jedi-ish thing to do. Eventually Vader steps in. Luke actually gave into anger which completed his path to the dark side. We even see how Luke is fighting with his emotions against Vader, which is not the way Jedi fight.


We did see Luke choosing not to kill Vader and thus keeping the good with in him. That decision made him the hero of the story, even though he did some bad stuff along the way. He certainly has some good elements. Most importantly he tries to see good in people.

Here the negative aspect of Luke has been shown, which doesn’t mean that he hasn’t got any good in him, on the contrary.

But, a Jedi cannot pick and chose. A Jedi cannot be a true Jedi if he tends to use the Dark elements occasionally, even if the goal is rightcheous. We do not see Obi Wan or Yoda ever using dark elements for achieving their goals. One quote of Yoda might finalize this discussion:

“Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.”


Is Luke on the Dark Side after all?


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