Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi

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Subj: The way I understand it...
Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 at 02:24:31 pm EST
Reply Subj: Luke vs. Darth Vader (End of Episode VI)
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 08:06:50 pm EST

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My friend, in his ignorance, insists that Luke Skywalked had superceded Vader in power by the end of the final movie. I, of course, laughed at him and explained that Vader wasn't really trying to beat Luke, and if he was, it would have been a repeat of their fight in Cloud City.

My friend, in his mental insanity, says that in the time between V and VI, Luke grew stronger, and beat Vader in a fair fight, or at the very least, could have if he'd wanted to. He points to Luke taking Vader's hand as proof. I pointed out that Vader spent half the fight goading him and blocking, and didn't use any of his powers in the fight like he did in cloud city.

Alas, I see no way to tell for certain, so I thought I'd see what the majority of the board thought.

Note: The important point, however, is that all arguments have to be made using episodes IV-VI preferably, I-III if necessary, and not any outside material (novels).

Anyone have an opinion? There's some videos of the fights on youtube if you need a refresher.

.... is that Luke's final battle with Vader was kind of his graduation as a Jedi, much like the death of Padme was the final graduation for Anakin as a Sith. When Luke & Vader battled that last time, I believe that they were very close in power. No, Vader wasn't going all-out to kill Luke. But then again, Luke was trying his best not to fight at all. Vader wasn't so much "toying with him", as he was simply trying to goad Luke into raising his Saber against him. For the better part of the conflict, Luke refused. When he finally did, he took Vader down in a hurry. And at that point, I don't believe there was any toying around on either of their parts.

That being said, when Luke refused to finish Vader off it was kind of his inaguration, his graduation into being a full-fledged Jedi. He had resisted the Dark Side. He had won. And I'd say that his power was close enough then to Vader's to make him a match.

Furthermore, I believe that Luke is actually the "most-powerful-Jedi-ever" that the prophecy once spoke of. They mistakenly believed that it was Anakin. In fact, though, it was his son. Remember when Mace & Yoda are discussing the prophecy in (I believe) Episode 1. Mace talks about Anakin seeming to be the one the prophecy talks about, and Yoda responds with...

"A prophecy which misread could have been."

I believe that Anakin had all the potential in the world. But I think the later allusion is that the prophecy was not really about him, but rather, Luke. As in the story for the final 3 Episodes (7,8,9), Luke apparently becomes a bad-ass to end all bad-asses. It's revealed that there are actually other Sith in the Galaxy, and if I remember correctly they were Palpatine's superiors. They covet Leia and her growing power, and Luke must protect her from them. That's the general story.

In that story, as I understand it, Luke becomes a Jedi like the Universe had never known, propelled by his graduation (the last fight with Vader) in Return of the Jedi. He becomes the prophecy, like his father had the potential (but not the destiny) to do.

And so, in terms of where each of them were for that last fight, I'd say it's possible that Luke had already surpassed Vader in power. After al, that's why the Emporer wanted to replace him with Luke. Just as he had hoped for before between Dooku and Anakin, the Emporer wanted someone younger and more powerful. He specifically says this. And so, I imagine he wanted Luke for the very same reasons.

I mean, if Luke hadn't been a step up from Vader, I don't think the Emporer would have bothered at all. He would have just had Vader kill Luke and continue reigning supreme as he had been. But he feared Luke's power, for he knew how great it was. And so, sought to harness it... at the cost of his former Padowan....

So yeah, it's not exactly clear what their respective power levels were at that point. But I think it was at least very close, with Luke potentially already being over-the-top. 'Cause when he kicked Vader's butt at the end, that wasn't Vader going willingly or just toying around. He got beat.

His son was the fulfillment of the prophecy. And so, knowing that, all bets are off...

Peace and Love

- PoetTree -

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