Study Guide

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Family

Family

LUKE: Master Yoda, is Darth Vader really my father?
YODA: Rest I need. Yes, rest.
LUKE: Yoda, I must know. If you know, tell me.
YODA: Your father, he is. Told you, did he?
LUKE: Yes.
YODA: Unexpected this is. And unfortunate.
LUKE: Unfortunate that I know the truth?
YODA: No! Unfortunate that you rushed to face him, that incomplete was your training. That not ready for the burden were you.

Luke has a bit of a chip on his shoulder when it comes to Darth Vader. We would, too, if everybody lied to us about who our father is—even if it was to protect us.

YODA: Do not underestimate the powers of the Emperor, or suffer your father's fate you will. Luke, when gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be. The Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned. There is another Skywalker.

Say what? Just when Luke starts coming to terms with the whole "My dad is an evil warlord" thing, Yoda tells him he has a sister that he never knew about.

DARTH VADER: A small rebel force has penetrated the shield and landed on Endor.
THE EMPEROR: Yes, I know.
DARTH VADER: My son is with them.
THE EMPEROR: Are you sure?
DARTH VADER: I have felt him, my master.
THE EMPEROR: Strange that I have not. I wonder if your feelings on this matter are clear, Lord Vader.
DARTH VADER: They are clear, my master.

We really hate to side with The Emperor, but he's right to be worried about Vader's judgment being cloudy. After all, this is his kid we're talking about.

LEIA: Luke, what's wrong?
LUKE: Leia, do you remember your mother? Your real mother?
LEIA: Just a little bit. She died when I was very young.
LUKE: What do you remember?
LEIA: Just...images really. Feelings.
LUKE: Tell me.
LEIA: She was very beautiful. Kind, but sad. Why are you asking me this?
LUKE: I have no memory of my mother. I never knew her.

In this exchange, Luke's working his way around to telling Leia that they're brother and sister. We can't blame him for taking his sweet time. "Surprise! We're twins! You owe me, like, twenty years of Christmas gifts!" is a lot to process.

LEIA: Luke, tell me. What's troubling you?
LUKE: Vader's here, now, on this moon.
LEIA: How do you know?
LUKE: I felt his presence. He's come for me. He can feel when I'm near. That's why I have to go. As long as I stay, I'm endangering the group and our mission. I have to face him.
LEIA: Why?
LUKE: He's my father.

Luke and Darth Vader have kind of a Harry Potter-and-Voldemort thing going on, don't they? These two are bonded so tight that they can feel each other's presence and sense each other's thoughts and feelings—which means, had Luke grown up with Vader, it would've been virtually impossible for him to lie about a broken vase or something.

LUKE: If I don't make it back, you're the only hope for the Alliance.
LEIA: Luke, don't talk that way. You have a power I don't understand and could never have.
LUKE: You're wrong, Leia. You have that power, too. In time, you'll learn to use it as I have. The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And my sister has it. Yes. It's you, Leia.
LEIA: I know. Somehow, I've always known.

We're prone to believing Leia here, even though we still wonder why, if she knew, she never spoke up. Still, if she's a Skywalker, that means the The Force is sturdy in her, so it's totally believable that she sensed that she had a brother out there somewhere.

THE EMPEROR: I'm looking forward to completing your training. In time you will call me Master.
LUKE: You're gravely mistaken. You won't convert me as you did my father.
THE EMPEROR: Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things.

Here, Luke's making an argument for nurture over nature. He may be Darth Vader's kid, but he was brought up differently—and far more peacefully.

LUKE: I will not fight you, father.
DARTH VADER: You are unwise to lower your defenses!

When Darth Vader says "defenses" here, he's talking not just about Luke's lightsaber, but also his emotional guard. At this point in the story, he views Luke's compassion as a weakness, just like The Emperor does.

THE EMPEROR: Good. Your hate has made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny. Take your father's place at my side.
LUKE: Never. I'll never turn to the Dark Side. You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.
THE EMPEROR: So be it... Jedi!

Here, Luke flips the script and makes a case for nature over nurture. By that we mean that Luke still believes his dad's a good dude. That goodness is just buried under years of Imperial brainwashing and a really creepy mask. Strip all of that junk away, and there's still a noble Jedi underneath.

DARTH VADER: Luke, help me take this mask off.
LUKE: But you'll die.
DARTH VADER: Nothing can stop that now. Just for once, let me look on you with my own eyes.

When Luke removes his dad's mask, he effectively kills Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker is reborn. Then Anakin gets just a couple of precious minutes to talk to Luke as his father, for real, not as Vader.

HAN: I'm sure Luke wasn't on that thing when it blew.
LEIA: He wasn't. I can feel it.
HAN: You love him, don't you?
LEIA: Yes.
HAN: All right. I understand. Fine. When he comes back, I won't get in the way.
LEIA: Oh, it's not like that at all. He's my brother.

This is why family secrets are a bad idea. Not knowing that Luke and Leia are brother and sister, Han mistakes Leia's love for Luke as her being in love with Luke. Whoops.

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