Study Guide

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Good vs. Evil

Good vs. Evil

MOFF JERJERROD: Lord Vader, this is an unexpected pleasure. We are honored by your presence.
DARTH VADER: You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander. I'm here to put you back on schedule.
MOFF JERJERROD: I assure you, Lord Vader, my men are working as fast as they can.
DARTH VADER: Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.

We're pretty sure he's not talking about cupcakes. Darth Vader is intimidating, both in his words and in his looming presence, and he rules through fear, not respect. The black suit and mask ensemble helps, too.

MOFF JERJERROD: The Emperor's coming here?
DARTH VADER: That is correct, Commander. And he is most displeased with your apparent lack of progress.
MOFF JERJERROD: We shall double our efforts.
DARTH VADER: I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.

Darth Vader may be evil, but the Emperor? He's really evil. When Vader tells Jerjerrod that The Emperor's going to pop in for a visit, Jerjerrod looks like he might wet himself.

JABBA THE HUTT: There will be no bargain, young Jedi. I shall enjoy watching you die.

He may be a giant, oozing slug, but next to The Emperor and Darth Vader, Jabba is a third-tier villain. Still, he's pure evil. We mean, c'mon: The dude keeps a rancor for a pet and feeds people to it for giggles.

YODA: No more training do you require. Already know you, that which you need.
LUKE: Then I am a Jedi.
YODA: Not yet. One thing remains: Vader. You must confront Vader. Then, only then, a Jedi will you be. And confront him you will.

Luke's confrontation with Vader is the climax of the movie's plot. That's why Yoda hypes it, Obi-Wan hypes it, Luke hypes it, and Darth Vader hypes it. Luke facing Vader pits good versus evil; no wonder it's the main event.

OBI-WAN: Your insight serves you well. Bury your feelings deep down, Luke. They do you credit, but they could be made to serve the Emperor.

Obi-Wan's advice is sound: The Dark Side of The Force is fueled by anger, hate, and aggression. Luke needs to keep all of those emotions in check if he wants to keep The Emperor from exploiting them and turning him into Darth Vader, Jr.

THE EMPEROR: Come, boy, see for yourself. From here, you will witness the final destruction of the Alliance and the end of your insignificant rebellion.
[Luke eyes his lightsaber]THE EMPEROR: You want this, don't you? 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.
LUKE: No.
THE EMPEROR: It is unavoidable. It is your destiny. You, like your father, are now mine.

The struggle between good and evil doesn't just play out in Luke's physical altercations with Darth Vader and The Emperor. It also rages inside Luke himself. Speaking of an angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other. Luke has a Yoda and an Emperor—each trying to pull him in opposite directions.

THE EMPEROR: The alliance will die. As will your friends. Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the Dark Side will be complete!

The Emperor sure has a one-track mind. He's anger and hate 24/7.

LUKE: Your thoughts betray you, Father. I feel the good in you, the conflict.
DARTH VADER: There is no conflict.
LUKE: You couldn't bring yourself to kill me before, and I don't believe you'll destroy me now.
DARTH VADER: You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.

At the center of Luke's goodness is his faith in Darth Vader. He firmly believes that underneath all that evil and that spooky mask, his dad's still a fundamentally good guy.

DARTH VADER: You cannot hide forever, Luke.
LUKE: I will not fight you.
DARTH VADER: Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for... sister. So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps she will.
LUKE: Never!

As this exchange shows, Darth Vader's evil knows no bounds. Can't turn his son to the Dark Side? Fine! He'll just turn his daughter. Suffice it to say, this guy's not winning any Father of the Year awards.

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