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Luke VS the Emperor- What if Vader hadn't been there?

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Alright, kiddies... put on your Infinities hats (mine has a beanie!) and let's use our imaginations for a spell! We all know how Luke's face-off against Vader and Palpatine went down. He surrendered himself and focused all of his attention on his father- showing no fear and an outpouring of compassion for him.  Vader was torn between warring emotions... and while he tried to remain firmly rooted in the Dark Side and its associated subservience to the Emperor... once the Emperor's attention focused on his only son, a son who had just stood on the brink of the Dark Side and had safely stepped away... he saved his son and threw his master to his death.

Our infinities scenario picks up similarly.  Luke surrenders himself to an Imperial patrol.  But, to his disappointment, Vader is no where to be found.  Instead, he faces the Emperor alone.  What happens next?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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My opinion,I do no think Luke was strong enough to face The Emperor alone,so win in a battle he would not.

Hell if Vader was not conflicted with those emotions I really don't think Luke was strong enough to defeat him either,in my mind,I picture Darth Vader as being one very powerful hell bringer.

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Did Yoda even mention that pesky Force lightning? Luke certainly didn't seem prepared to deal with it, or expect it.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Luke would have lost how?  It was clearly not the Emperor's first choice to kill Young Skywalker.  He wanted to turn him.  How does that scene go without Vader, and what is the result?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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Well, hell, my question is what would the result have been if Vader had not been there to stop Luke's initial sword stroke on the Emperor?  I mean, I get a feeling he would have been able to deal with it... but what would he have done?

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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HEY! I am asking the questions here, pretty lady!  You supply the answers!

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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xhonzi said:

Alright, kiddies... put on your Infinities hats (mine has a beanie!) and let's use our imaginations for a spell! We all know how Luke's face-off against Vader and Palpatine went down. He surrendered himself and focused all of his attention on his father- showing no fear and an outpouring of compassion for him.  Vader was torn between warring emotions... and while he tried to remain firmly rooted in the Dark Side and its associated subservience to the Emperor... once the Emperor's attention focused on his only son, a son who had just stood on the brink of the Dark Side and had safely stepped away... he saved his son and threw his master to his death.

Our infinities scenario picks up similarly.  Luke surrenders himself to an Imperial patrol.  But, to his disappointment, Vader is no where to be found.  Instead, he faces the Emperor alone.  What happens next?

From what i have read the idea originally would have been for Luke to confront Vader first and defeat him.  Then the Emperor would be confronted later would be why there were 9 episodes instead of 6, and Leia would not be the sister.

I'm not sure if this was before or after they decided Palpatine was a sith and not just a corrupt politician.

According to Kurtz Han would have died, and leia would have been queen of her people so Luke would have very much been alone in his confrontation of the emperor after undergoing a long period of training under the tutelage of yoda.

I guess you could say it would be like a kung fu warrior facing an opponent of one skill level and gaining strength form defeating him like in a video game or movie, and then facing the master.  He would only be strong enough through the trial of defeating Vader.  Defeating Vader would be mostly a bout of physical strength the Emperor's power being his voice and power of persuasion.

The Emperor would be so powerful he would not need to jump and twist around with a lightsaber.  Stupid prequels ruining Yoda and Palpatine by giving them lightsabers and making them warriors rather than masters of arcane knowledge.

You can thank Dark Empire for putting Ideas in Lucas head.  Palpatine's clone with a lightsaber outclasses Luke Skywalker in a duel.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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dark_jedi said:

My opinion,I do no think Luke was strong enough to face The Emperor alone,so win in a battle he would not.

Hell if Vader was not conflicted with those emotions I really don't think Luke was strong enough to defeat him either,in my mind,I picture Darth Vader as being one very powerful hell bringer.

 

I half agree.  :-)  In my opinion too, Luke was not strong enough to confront the emperor.  I thought this before the prequels, and after Palpatine gave both Yoda and Mace Windu runs for their money, I became sure that Luke could not have successfully confronted the emperor.

Vader has always seemed the more powerful Jedi to me too, but that doesn't preclude the idea of Luke beating him.  In my opinion, Kenobi would have been no match for Anakin in ROTS if his rage and overconfidence had not led to him making that final fatal leap.   While Vader was more experienced in ROTJ, similar factors might still have operated and allowed Luke to prevail.  

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It would have been interesting for sure. The whole nature of the battle would have been different. For me, it just seems that Vader suddenly becomes weak and never really puts up much of a fight to compare with the earlier performances and menace in Empire and SW. I've always thought that there was a good chunk cut out of the final release version (all I know is the part of Luke losing his saber to Vader was cut).

Palpatine is so much more menacing by not using a physical weapon. As a kid I tried to learn Palpatine like pronounciation because it just sounded so evil.

So when it comes down to it Luke vs. Palpy can only be determined by the screenwriter. Is it a happy movie aimed more at kids, or the sequel to Empire Strikes Back?

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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Well, Luke was not there to kill the Emperor after all, he was there to meet his father. Lando and friends would have killed the Emperor in the end no matter what.

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captainsolo said:

So when it comes down to it Luke vs. Palpy can only be determined by the screenwriter. Is it a happy movie aimed more at kids, or the sequel to Empire Strikes Back?

 

Unfortunately, ROTJ was aimed more at children rather its more serious predecessor.  That's why we had the ewoks!

 

TMBTM said:

Well, Luke was not there to kill the Emperor after all, he was there to meet his father. Lando and friends would have killed the Emperor in the end no matter what.

This is undoubtedly true, TMBTM.  Nonetheless, in his despair when the empreor convinced him that his friends were doomed, Luke made a genuine unpremeditated attempt on the emperor's life, so the issue still merits speculation, in my view.   

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captainsolo said: As a kid I tried to learn Palpatine like pronounciation because it just sounded so evil.

 

Haha very good. I also used to do Palpatine impersonations. He likes to over pronounce his Bs and Ps and grimace to effect his most menacing statements. I'm trying to think of a way to demonstrate his pronunciation through text...but alas my feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side.

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TMBTM said:

Well, Luke was not there to kill the Emperor after all, he was there to meet his father. Lando and friends would have killed the Emperor in the end no matter what.

 Wow, you're right.  I guess the setting would have to be moved too.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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It's not certain the emperor would have been killed in the death star explosion. Maybe he could have escaped in the last moments like Luke eventually did.

Luke couldn't have handled the Emperor by himself. Not enough power. And if he did somehow kill the emperor he'd have probably gone dark because of doing it in anger. But I think Vader was very destined to be there. And I'm not just talking about the bloody prophecy. Destiny is mentioned in the OOT and I think it's reasonable to think that in a fairytale like Star wars the characters were destined to fulfil certain roles. Vader was destined to be there and the only question was what side he'd end up taking. Also, Luke wasn't just going to go hand himself over to any old imperials just o meet the emperor. He handed himself over because he knew Vader was there. Meeting Vader was a certainty.

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Vaderisnothayden said:

It's not certain the emperor would have been killed in the death star explosion. Maybe he could have escaped in the last moments like Luke eventually did.

Luke couldn't have handled the Emperor by himself. Not enough power. And if he did somehow kill the emperor he'd have probably gone dark because of doing it in anger. But I think Vader was very destined to be there. And I'm not just talking about the bloody prophecy. Destiny is mentioned in the OOT and I think it's reasonable to think that in a fairytale like Star wars the characters were destined to fulfil certain roles. Vader was destined to be there and the only question was what side he'd end up taking. Also, Luke wasn't just going to go hand himself over to any old imperials just o meet the emperor. He handed himself over because he knew Vader was there. Meeting Vader was a certainty.

Actually the prophecy Lucas probably was talking about was the son of god.  One of his early scripts opened with a pseudo biblical passage " In the time of greatest despair there shall come a savior.  And he shall be known as the son of the suns" As in the twin suns of tatooine.

Was the sun of the suns Luke or Anakin?

Lucas borrowed from different religions while crafting star wars.  It may be blasphemy to christians that Lucas was riffing on the bible in episode 1, but he did it anyway.

His mentor Campbell studied this as well.  But instead of calling it comparitive religions he called it comparitive mythology.

The archetype of the hero born to save the world, has become something of a cliche in modern culture in film, video games and comic books, novels.

That Lucas struck such a chord with star wars proved to him that man is still obsessed with Heroes.  The man made himself very rich on this concept and explosions and special effects,lol.

The prequels were to be a direct reversal of the original trilogy with the negative side of heroism explored, too bad they fucked it all up. It should have been about Hubris. 

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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Vaderisnothayden said:

It's not certain the emperor would have been killed in the death star explosion. Maybe he could have escaped in the last moments like Luke eventually did.

Luke couldn't have handled the Emperor by himself. Not enough power. And if he did somehow kill the emperor he'd have probably gone dark because of doing it in anger. But I think Vader was very destined to be there. And I'm not just talking about the bloody prophecy. Destiny is mentioned in the OOT and I think it's reasonable to think that in a fairytale like Star wars the characters were destined to fulfil certain roles. Vader was destined to be there and the only question was what side he'd end up taking. Also, Luke wasn't just going to go hand himself over to any old imperials just o meet the emperor. He handed himself over because he knew Vader was there. Meeting Vader was a certainty.

Well, yes, of course.  Let's not forget that the reason Luke handed himself in had nothing to do with confronting the Emperor.  "He won't (emphasis mine) turn me over to the Emperor."  He apparently had no belief that Vader would even bring him to the Death Star.  Luke's entire motivation was to save his father.

There is no lingerie in space…

C3PX said: Gaffer is like that hot girl in high school that you think you have a chance with even though she is way out of your league because she is sweet and not a stuck up bitch who pretends you don’t exist… then one day you spot her making out with some skinny twerp, only on second glance you realize it is the goth girl who always sits in the back of class; at that moment it dawns on you why she is never seen hanging off the arm of any of the jocks… and you realize, damn, she really is unobtainable after all. Not that that is going to stop you from dreaming… Only in this case, Gaffer is actually a guy.

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I never really took the time to answer my own question here, so I think I'll pluck this little gem from page 3 and put 'er back on top:

I think Luke would have lost.  And I see two or three scenarios in how he would have lost.

1. Luke would have been presented to the the Emperor.  The Emperor would have tried to turn him- first by talking to him and then attacking him.  (All very much in line with the events of the end of RotJ- except for the absense of Vader)  Luke would have stayed cool, however, and not taken the bait from the Emperor.  The Emperor would then realize that Luke was not going to be turned, so he must be destroyed (again, like the ending of RotJ) and Luke would die.  Perhaps he gets to be a Force Ghosty and hang out with Ben and guide Leia into becoming a Jedi.

2. Luke would have been presented to the Emperor.  Luke would be ready for the clean kill- a proper "light side" way to rid the Galaxy of the Evil Emperor.  But before he gets the chance, the Emperor begins to goad him and make him feel bad/fell mad.  Then he justifies his strikes against the Emperor and his usage of maybe just a little bit of the Dark Side to strike him down.  Luke has the Emperor on the ground and poises to strike him.  He is full of dark side energy. 
2.a  A look of peace crosses Luke's face.  Reluctantly, Luke lowers his arm and shuts down the sabre.  He bends on one knee in front of the fallen Emperor.  The Emperor rises to his feet and demands fealty from young Skywalker.  Luke, corrupted by the Dark Side, swears allegiance to his new master.  He watches as the Emperor returns his attention to the battle out the window.  Luke joins the Emperor as they use the dark side to guide the Empire to victory.
2.b Luke has the Emperor on the ground and poises to strike him.  He tries to push the dark side from his mind.  But his emotions outweigh his thoughts- he angrily swings the sabre and slices the Emperor clean through.  Luke gets ahold of himself.  He has done it.  And it did not, as the Emperor warned, cost him his soul.  He has not only rid the galaxy of the Evil Emperor, but he has used the Dark Side of the Force and bound it to his Light Side will.  He has nothing to fear of the Dark Side.  It is his ally.  It is under his control.  And he can bend it to his will.  It will not control him.  Ben was a fool to think it would.  Yoda wasn't strong enough to control it.  Not like Luke is.  Luke is truly the master of the Whole Force.  And with it, not only will he bring down the Evil Empire- he will bring peace to the Galaxy.  He will bend the galaxy to his will, just as he has done the Dark Side of the Force.

2.a - I think this is really hard to pull off.  When the Emperor says things like "Strike me/Vader down and your journey to the dark side will be complete!"  I think Luke must be thinking: "I bet I can strike him down and not be totally won over to the Dark Side... Why would killing one or two evil men, even in anger, makeover my moral view of the galaxy and instantly make me join an enemy?  He can't be serious!"  I can't really see Luke deciding to serve the Emperor in the near future no matter what happens in the Emperor's throne/thrown room.

2.b Rather, I think Luke would kill the Emperor, with the Dark Side, but not chose to serve him.  He would emerge from this experience less afraid of the Dark Side.  More sure of himself.  Palpatine and Yoda both said that just a little taste of the Dark Side would change Luke forever... Well- they were wrong!  It didn't change Luke.  He was the same as he ever was.  In fact, he was better!  He no longer had to fear treading down the dark path and becoming his father.  He was above that!  And of course, it would be these feelings of triumth and disregard for the warnings he had been given that would ultimately be his downfall.  The Emperor taunting him about instantly becoming a servant of the Dark Side would cause him to focus on the near term effects (which don't really exist) and ignore the long term effects. 

The 2.a scenario is along the lines of Anakin's fall in RotS.  I can't for the life of me think of how this single scene could be changed to make it end with Anakin joining the Dark Side full time.  I can see him momentarily employing the Dark Side to get himself out of a jam- and then maybe losing his fear of the Dark Side to where he's using it a lot... and then finding that he doesn't agree with every point of Jedi doctrine... being outcast from the Jedi once they hind his usage of the Dark Side to be unrepentant... and before long... he's a Dark Jedi.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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I have to disagree on that one.  The Rebel fleet on started to win after Palpatine was killed.  Palpatine was probably holding the Imperial fleet together with some kind of battle meditation.  Once that was gone the Rebel fleet was able to gain the upper hand.

"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."

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veritas said:

I have to disagree on that one.  The Rebel fleet on started to win after Palpatine was killed.  Palpatine was probably holding the Imperial fleet together with some kind of battle meditation.  Once that was gone the Rebel fleet was able to gain the upper hand.

 You have to disagree with which one?  I said:

I said:

Luke joins the Emperor as they use the dark side to guide the Empire to victory.

So I agree with you.  Were you disagreeing with someone/something else?

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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veritas said:

I have to disagree on that one.  The Rebel fleet on started to win after Palpatine was killed.  Palpatine was probably holding the Imperial fleet together with some kind of battle meditation.  Once that was gone the Rebel fleet was able to gain the upper hand.

 Timothy Zahn said the same thing in his Heir to the Empire trilogy.  I disagree with this.  Palpatine's death has little to do with Han blowing up the shield generator on Endor, which is where the battle really turned.

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I'm cribbing from myself here, but here are some additional thoughts of mine from another thread:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/STAR-WARS-Movies-Animated/post/403117/#TopicPost403117

In trying to craft a "realistic and satisfactory" arc for Anakin that includes a "fall/seduction" to the Dark Side... I've analized Luke's "lean to the Dark Side" at the end of Jedi.  It's the only concrete example of how the Dark Side can overtake an otherwise good Jedi.  And the conclusion I've come to is that the scene, on the surface, is broken to me.  Palpatine claims Luke will be his new apprentice if he can take out Vader.  Assuming this is true, why would Luke "stop killing the bad guys" if the Dark Side had compelled him to kill Vader?  Wouldn't he follow through and take out Palpatine as well?  He would have tried, at least, right?  Either he would have killed Palpatine or would have been killed by Palpatine.  Maybe I can see him attacking Palpatine and being toyed with Cat->Mouse until Palpatine traps him and takes him prisoner for further indoctrination...

But I digress.  My point is this: Palpatine appears to not have a very good exit strategy from DSII at the end of RotJ.  This makes him look a little stupid.  And how exactly Luke would end up being his apprentice in any scenario- I can't see it working out.  IF you take into account Palpatine using cloning and not fearing his own death... then he is poised to use his death as a means of converting Luke to the Dark Side.  If Luke wins his "duel" with Vader by tapping into the Dark Side, presumably he then turns on an undefended Palpatine.  The Light Side would not allow Luke to kill an undefended man, no matter how evil he might be.  But the Dark Side!  The Dark Side would compel Luke to take revenge on the man, to blame him for the making Luke kill his own father!  It was Palpatine's fault for corrupting him afterall!  So, Luke cuts him down!  Is his Journey to the Dark Side complete?  No, what nonsense!  But his Journey to the Dark Side has begun.  And Palpatine, having cheated death, will be there to guide him in.

Anakin's first temptation as a Sith should not have been to murder innocent Jedi children.  Murder.  Innocent.  Jedi.  Children.  It goes against everything the man stood for 10 minutes prior.  Sending him to despose of the Separatist Leaders is much better.  It's not murder, it's a military assassination to end a war.  Palpatine is a commander and Anakin is a soldier- and the war does need to end.  So you can justify it, from a moral perspective.  And using the Dark Side to control enough power to bring to pass a good thing... THAT is a temptation for a Jedi.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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 (Edited)

veritas said:

I have to disagree on that one.  The Rebel fleet on started to win after Palpatine was killed.  Palpatine was probably holding the Imperial fleet together with some kind of battle meditation.  Once that was gone the Rebel fleet was able to gain the upper hand.

Yup another thing Lucas borrowed from Lord of the Rings. 

 

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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xhonzi said:

TMBTM said:

Well, Luke was not there to kill the Emperor after all, he was there to meet his father. Lando and friends would have killed the Emperor in the end no matter what.

 Wow, you're right.  I guess the setting would have to be moved too.

This is the statement I disagreed w/ earlier, i think i posted to the wrong entry. 

I don't think it was a given Lando and Han would have succeeded, had the emporer not been killed.  The Empire still had a vast numericall superiority in the battle and they just seemed to come apart once Palpy died.  I mean one lone A-wing took out a super star destroyer. 

I haven't wathed ROTJ in a while, but if memory serves the sheild generator was destroyed before Palpy died, but the destruction of the Executor and the superstructure attack all happened after he died. 

Hmmm...   Maybe it was the Ewoks that Palpatine failed to underestimate?  They were the ones that turned the tide on Endor...  So the Ewoks saved the galaxy?! 

So the Rebel victory was probably contigent on several factors.  Cheif among them the death of the emporer.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it :) 

"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."

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Vader being there is key to Palpatine's plan.

If Luke kills his father chances are he will need to call on the darkside to do it and will become Vader's replacement.

If Vader kills Luke it's business as usual but with possibly a more twisted, tormented and safer version of Vader for the Emperor to push around.

If Palpatine turned Luke before killing his father that would mean there would be two bad guy Force users who might successfully team up and kick the boss down the well.

But if Vader was somehow out of the picture already, I'd imagine he'd concentrate more on getting him to question the goodness of the Rebels, the honesty of his Jedi mentors, the evil of the Empire (considering how easy it was for him to topple the Republic, pretty much on his own it must have been inevitable that someone would have done it and all Palpatine is guilty of is replacing it with something stronger).

Possibly he would offer amnesty to his friends if they stopped fighting and he listened to his point of view.

This would not be what Luke would be expecting from the Emperor as painted by Ben and Yoda and he might have fallen for it.

The fighting might have stopped, the Emperor may even have offered the Rebels positions in an Imperial Government and framed it in such a way that not accepting peace was a sign of how right he was.

If Luke did fall for it he may find himself fighting his sister for the chance to be heir to the throne.

If he didn't he might have been held and used to turn Leia who also has the Skywalker anger but none of the training.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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skyjedi2005 said:

You can thank Dark Empire for putting Ideas in Lucas head.  Palpatine's clone with a lightsaber outclasses Luke Skywalker in a duel.

 IMO the idea of Palpatine using a lightsaber was portrayed in DE better than it was in the PT. The reborn Palpatine only used the lightsaber because he got off on the idea of defeating a Jedi with a Jedi's weapon and not because he relied on one. Not so with Palps in the PT; Lucas just gave him a lightsaber to make the fantards orgasm.

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