Does a line exist where what happened before actually means something? Or are things now so disposable it matters not what happened before, only what is happening now, regardless of what the past can show us or how the present can only exist through the events of the only single timeline capable of producing the present state of things? The present is caused by the past and ought to be informed by understanding the past. Maybe I am doing nothing but illustrating just how tenuous a hold on any understanding of time I have by just asking the questions, but damn it, I do not see how making Luke Skywalker evil isn’t The Force Awakens simply refuting his entire story arc in the greatest fantasy storyline of all time.
The entire point of Luke going off to face Vader the second time was to prove whether he would choose the Light Side or the Dark Side of The Force. He danced with it. He nearly succumbed to it. We were even given the over-the-top, sledgehammer-to-the-brain, “wow, Luke cut off Vader’s hand, he has a robotic hand, and he’s becoming Vader,” visual during the lightsaber due to pound it home. What does he do? Throws away the lightsaber. “You’ve failed, Your Highness.” Luke passed the test and became a Jedi. Period. End of story. One more time for those who have more money than sense: PERIOD.
But naturally it cannot be the end of the story. There is money to be made in them thar hills, and Harrison Ford is going to die someday, so we’d better get them all on screen before he takes the dirt nap. Regardless of how Return of the Jedi seemed to wrap up the story in 1983, it has to keep going on, and fan speculation is rampant picking Luke to be the Evil One of the new trilogy. Some even say, “that’s a great idea.” I do not agree. The whole point of the Original Trilogy is to prove Luke will never choose evil. Am I the only one who saw the Original Trilogy?
When Episode VII was announced I could not imagine where the story could go when Luke’s temptation to use the quick and easy path of the Dark Side was put to rest at the end of Jedi. Story is over. Go home. Now, if fan speculation proves to be accurate, it turns out Jedi wasn’t the end of the story. Then what the Hell was the reason for Jedi? When, in this disposable society, does someone say, “for Pete’s sake what happened means something?”
In my history I have turned my back on Star Wars only once for exactly two years after the movie for The Clone Wars. I said it then, and I still feel it today: why should I care about Star Wars when George Lucas doesn’t? And now I am staring at the potential the people with the keys to Star Wars have as fundamental a misunderstanding of Star Wars as its creator. And it isn’t a matter of living up to my expectations. The question of Luke’s allegiance was settled. If they throw it out, no matter the reason, they take a flamethrower and finish the obliteration of everything great about Star Wars started by Lucas when he tinkered with the Special Editions for the first time. Go ahead, tell me I don’t know the rest of the story, and Luke’s resolution could be spectacular, but I’ll respond with, “I know it will be because I already saw it and I have no interest in watching someone else’s version of it.”
On one hand, historically there is so little time to speculate about what could be in the next Star Wars movie I relish the unknown. On the other, if they make Luke evil, he isn’t Luke. He’s a character named Luke, played by the same actor, written and directed by people who get to make Star Wars without understanding Star Wars. It’s as though millions of voices were to shout out in support of a Presidential candidate who would advocate trampling upon the very Constitution he would be charged with serving and protecting even we the people would never, ever be part of anything such as that. Oh, wait.
Goddamnit. Luke is f*cked, and it’s our fault for being okay with it.