Balancing The Force

At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke’s right hand was cut off by Darth Vader during their duel on Bespin. Shortly after, it is replaced by a cybernetic prosthesis that looks, on the surface, identical to a real hand. Symbolically, however, Luke’s prosthesis moves him one step closer to being like Vader, his father. Vader, a full-fledged hybrid of man and machine, is one of the directions Luke can move to in his life. His two father figures, Obi Wan and Darth Vader, both displayed far different ideals and possible outcomes of Luke’s journey. Could Luke be headed on a path to the Dark Side? Or is he destined to be the good guy? In the prequels it’s thought that Anakin would bring balance to the force, but I firmly believe that prophecy referred to his son. Luke is going to be the perfect balance of good and evil displayed to him by his two father figures, and will be neither the true good or true evil. I think balance is the center, not picking a side. This is where I can see Episode VII going. Instead of picking up with Luke as a long standing hero, he might just be in between, having seen both sides of the force as possible sources of Good, the force can’t be defined in black and white terms. The force just is.

The Force, The Fall & The Father

Artwork by Alex Pardee

Return of the Jedi continues the story of Luke’s path by showing us his hand when it is damaged during the fight on Jabba’s barge. Rather than fixing or replacing the hand, Luke simply pulls a black glove over it. From that moment on, we see that Luke might have just made one step closer to his father. Luke later would cut off his fathers own right hand, in the climax of Return of the Jedi. Vader cries out, but not flesh was harmed, but circuits and wires. Luke looks in horror at his own right hand and back to his father, making the connection once again and realizing that he too has the capacity within him to turn to the dark side. Luke sees this, and instead of taking revenge, he helps his father. He sees the good still in him. Vader didn’t die a heroic Jedi Knight, but a good Sith. I think what Star Wars has been missing is the fact that the Sith aren’t necessarily inherently evil, but different. They war with the Jedi who have within them the power to do terrible things. I think neither side can be defined in simple terms, and the balance Luke seeks is in reconciling the two. This would make a lot of sense to me.What do you guys think? Should the Jedi and the Sith remain forever the epitomes of good and evil? Or are both sides potentially the same, just different perspectives? Will Luke balance the two and bring balance to the force? Let me know in the comments what you think!