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Star Wars is choke-full of absolutely astounding coincidences, which in the real world we can attribute to the scriptwriters wanting to move the story along. I get that...
But in the Star Wars world—I'm sorry, but too many basic plot things are wildly, overly far-fetched. Take a tinnie winnie example: in all the galaxy Princess Leia’s consular ship just happens to be flying high above and directly over Luke’s Tatooine home at the exact moment that Luke happens to be goofing off and staring up at the sky (okay, the staring part was in the deleted scenes; see the clip below).
He sees the battle between the Empire’s vessel and the consular ship, little realizing he’d soon be immersed in that larger conflict himself…and certainly not realizing that his secret twin sister is on-board one ship and his secret father on-board the other.
Luke - Always in the Right Place
In another somewhat outlandish coincidence in Empire, we see Luke crashing his X-Wing into the swamps of Dagobah, a planet he’s never been to. He’s searching for Yoda, of course, who just so happens to live within a short walking distance from Luke’s crash site. And apparently Yoda had been out for a wee little stroll, because he quickly found Luke and invited him over for stew.
Prior to that scene, Empire pulls a similar stunt, as Luke roams the vast frozen countryside of Hoth searching for any signs of unusual activity. He just so happens to find some--whadda ya know--in the form of an imperial spy droid which crashes within site of Luke’s position. The young Jedi radios it in to the base, thus alerting the Rebels to the impending arrival of the Imperial Fleet.
All in all, Luke tends to be in the right place at the right time—all the time! Perhaps we can attribute these things to the Force guiding his actions. Yes. Let’s do that. But wait; there's more!
Really? Another Death Star?
But—then they built a new Death Star with a similar flaw? And knowingly advertised that flaw in order to lure the Rebels into taking the offensive? Admittedly the trap nearly worked and many Rebel ships were lost in the battle above Endor. But the operative word here is nearly. Nearly.
Obviously the Rebels won, when Han Solo and crew got the Death Star’s defensive shields lowered, thus allowing Lando and Nein Numb to slip the Millennium Falcon in like a blade between the ribs, essentially destroying the second Death Star in the same manner that the first was taken out. Come on, dude bro! Couldn’t the Emperor come up with something better? Maybe a Borg cube. Sumthin'...
Jeez, he's supposed to be able to see the future! Yeah. He's about as good at predicting the future as Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen... Obviously his Force googles have gotten too cloudy with Sith fog or something, because in his advanced years he keeps screwing up.
Palpatine - Severe Foresight Issues
It was Vader who first pitched the idea to his crinkly master, in Empire, but in true Sith Lord form, the Emperor took the idea and claimed he’d ‘forseen it.’ As we’ve already discussed, his accuracy rate seemed to be in sharp decline. Surely Vader must’ve noticed this, wily cyborg that he is. Maybe he should've spoke up... You know, the truth hurts but a real friend will tell you anyhow. I dunno. I think Vader was up to something. Call me crazy.
The Dark Side Never Sleeps
Is the Dark Side more powerful? It's certainly more tempting...like a tasty dark cookie full of butter and chocolate.
The Dark Side of the Force often seems to be stronger than the Light. Unlike the Light, the Dark Side doesn't have to awaken; it's up all night kicin' ass.
Why is that? With the power of only two Sith masters (and no I'm not counting Darth Jar Jar), the Empire has been able to wrestle away all hints of democracy and destroy all who oppose it. Even whole planets are destroyed on a whim. There are as many known Jedi alive as there are Sith—Yoda and Obi-Wan versus Palpatine and Vader. And yet the two Jedi masters sat on their wizened hands for nearly two decades as they waited for…what?
We might be forgiven to assume they were waiting for Luke to grow up…as Obi-Wan stated, he’d wanted to give Luke his father’s lightsaber sooner, but Uncle Owen wouldn’t allow it (this claim by Obi-Wan, that Luke’s father wanted Luke to have the saber, seems dubious when you try to reconcile it with the prequels, but we’ll skip that for now). So, what does this mean? Obi-Wan was just never going to give Luke the saber? Luke was ‘this close’ to running off the join the Academy (we’ll talk more about that in the next point). If he’d done so, Obi-Wan would never have even known about it, and the New Hope would’ve turned into No Hope. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Then there’s Yoda. When presented with Luke as a potential student, Yoda put up a resistance, claiming the young Skywalker was too old to begin the training, etc. The 900 year old trainer certainly didn’t jump at the chance to mentor a new warrior. Indeed he balked. Balked, I say!
So the given impression is that neither Obi-Wan nor Yoda were in any rush to ever see Luke become a Jedi. Eventually both did push Luke towards the Jedi path, but what was the hold up? Were they afraid of the Sith? Did somebody wuss out here? Were they afraid Luke might turn to evil? The Empire was already in near total control of the galaxy; they had little to lose, IMHO...
Of course none of this even touches upon the fact that Leia was a totally unused option being wasted.
Did Obi-Wan forget about her (he was there during Leia’s birth in the prequels, but then when Obi-Wan called Luke ‘their last hope,’ Yoda had to remind the Force Spirit that there ‘is another’). Again, What The Force?
But never did either of them suggest at any point that Leia might be training in the Jedi ways. Only Vader recognized her potential (what a good dad!), a fact which turned Luke into a raging saber monster as he leapt from the shadows and began slashing at Vader for suggesting Leia might be amenable to turning to the Dark Side.
Until that point, Luke had no intention of fighting his father, but suddenly fear for Leia caused him to break his equivocation. Truly the Dark Side must be powerful for all the Jedi to be so scared of it.
What Is the Empire?
Speaking of that Academy Luke wanted to leave Tatooine to join… He was, of course, talking about the Imperial Academy! Luke wasn’t trying to run off and join the Rebellion; he wanted to apply to be a pilot in the military, a military run by the same government he claimed to ‘hate.’ Perhaps there was ‘nothing he could do’ about the Empire, as he put it, but that didn’t mean he had to sign up to work for them, either! His best friends had left, and he was just looking for a way off the desert rock that was his home world (a rock, ironically, that he’d been dumped on by Obi-Wan as a baby in the prequels, whilst Leia got to grow up in the splendor of Aldaraan, the spoiled child of a wealthy diplomat).
So when, in the film Clerks, Randal makes the argument that the destruction of the Death Star equaled the murder of thousands of innocent contractors and other civilian workers, it makes you wonder…what if some of those workers were just the poor kids of moister farmers, who grew up to take whatever job they could find? I'm thinkin', yeah.
After all, when the Empire literally controls everything, it is pretty hard NOT to work for them!
But in the end, Luke did have a choice (at least, prior to his aunt and uncle being burned down by Stormtroopers)—he could apply to the Academy (and maybe, after getting trained up, leave to do something else), or he could stay where he was and end up like his uncle…a thought which he apparently hated even more than the Empire. Nice.
Well, that's it, folks! Thanks for reading...
If you want, head over to my site, Scum Hive and check out the rest of this list...5 Unsettling Considerations About the Original Star Wars Trilogy! Or, just listen to the YouTube vid up above that I made for it if you don't wanna read anymore (for my voice, they say, is rather soothing...).