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ROTJ throne room ending, a moot point?

Discussion in 'Original Trilogy' started by bferr1972, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. bferr1972

    bferr1972 Force Sensitive

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    Not sure if there's an existing thread on this, but it just occurred to me that the destruction of the shield generator on Endor and the Rebels' advance on the Death Star's main reactor kinda renders the Throne Room climax of ROTJ a moot point, doesn't it? I mean, Luke could have killed Vader and turned to the Dark Side, but it would've been short-lived since the Rebels still would've blown up the Death Star and everyone on it. If Luke remained in hiding and never put himself in a position to be attacked by the Emperor, the Rebels still would've blown up the Death Star and everyone on it. The scenario that played out in the film is still best because Luke survives a hero, even though the Rebels blew up the Death Star and everyone else on it.

    Even with the shield generator destroyed and the Rebels making their move on the Death Star, no one in the Throne Room ever suggests that they should maybe make their way to an escape craft. The scene plays out with the players oblivious to how the tide had suddenly turned in the space battle, and how inevitable it was that the Rebels would blow up the Death Star and everyone on it.

    "Evacuate?? In our moment of destruction?? I think I'm underestimating their chances!" :)
     
    #1 bferr1972, Nov 20, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  2. Lazlo

    Lazlo Rebel Official

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    But what if the Emperor survived but there was no Skywalker legacy? It's kind of like asking what if Hitler died in a trench in world war I instead of being injured and sent to a hospital to recover.
     
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  3. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    Yeah, this has been debated a good bunch on this forum.

    My take:

    In the time it took to blow up that Deathstar, Luke was able to walk his half-dead, armor clad, cyborg dad all the way to a hangar; have a tearful farewell; prime and board a shuttle and THEN make his getaway. Logistically, that’s a LOT of time.

    The idea that the ‘Emperor of the Galaxy’ wouldn’t have an escape plan is pretty ridiculous to me. If that situation had ended with Palps on top, I have every bit of confidence that he’d have booked it the hell out of there the second word got to him about that shield. He’s overconfident, but he’s not stupid.

    Blow up all the Deathstars you want, Palpatine was the darkness that needed to be defeated. In my mind, team Skywalker stopped the Emperor, and with him, his Empire. That’s what ultimately saves the day.

    That’s just my 1/50 of a dollar though :)
     
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  4. Ken Obi

    Ken Obi Clone Trooper

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    The throne room was the stage of Anakin's redemption, which is quite removed from the consequences of the battle on Endor. Even if the emporer wasn't killed, or somehow escaped, as long as Vader repented, that's all the throne room was about. Anakin's pride in his son is what saved him, really.

    But had the Emporer not zapped Vader, let's say, as he was chucked over a cliff, and Vader got to live whole as a reformed Jedi ... how would that have worked, I wonder? "Oh, yes! No, Vader's one of us, now. The evilness is gone out of him. I'm telling you, I was there, I saw it all -- he's turned back to the good side!"

    Then we see Vader on Endor at the end, with his arms around Luke and Leia ... no. The price for his redemption had to be death. Either because he's expired, or ended up getting killed. Best to have that hashed out in the throne room, than on a rebel base, or the Endor moon.
     
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  5. MandoKenobi

    MandoKenobi Rebel Commander

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    I agree. There’s no real other way to play that out well.
     
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  6. Kato Sai

    Kato Sai Jedi Commander

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    Actually, Luke had Palpatine’s senses focused on him and Vader so that he couldn’t pick up on what was happening on Endor. Luke may have been playing Deep Game, trying to get The Emperor focused on him so his friends and the Rebel Fleet could prevail. Just a thought. :) (green)
     
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  7. bferr1972

    bferr1972 Force Sensitive

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    Isn't that what Timothy Zahn was getting at in one of his Thrawn books? Problem for me is that I couldn't buy into that because there was no evidence of it in the movie, so it seemed a little retcon-ish.
     
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  8. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    A little retcon-ish? That's like 95% of Star Wars post-1977
    --- Double Post Merged, Nov 27, 2019, Original Post Date: Nov 27, 2019 ---
    The only thing that would have made it moot is if they would have made Luke into the super Jedi just going around Maclunkey blast up left and right. Because the whole point of that was him appealing to non-violence and love to win the day, not being a super bad ass with a laser sword facing down the emperor.
     
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  9. bferr1972

    bferr1972 Force Sensitive

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    Good point. I was giving the Zahn novels the benefit of the doubt since I didn't like them when I read them nearly 30 years ago and barely remember anything about them-- except that I found Thrawn to be a wholly unbelievable villain.
     
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  10. MandoKenobi

    MandoKenobi Rebel Commander

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    Possibly, but I think it’s more that Palps likes to overstate his abilities... he was/ is powerful, but not as much as he wants everyone to think.
     
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  11. Kato Sai

    Kato Sai Jedi Commander

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    Depends. Inferences can be found. But as @Ken Obi mentioned the point was Anakin’s Redemption.
     
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  12. Obi5Kenobi

    Obi5Kenobi Rebel General

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    Even though Luke claimed that Palpatine's overconfidence was his weakness, that may not have been true. Palpatine may have exuded an air of overconfidence but it was really justified confidence. The trap on Endor worked. The trap for the Rebel fleet also worked. Up until a certain point, everything actually did proceed as he had foreseen. The only thing that threw the plan off was the insignificant indigenous beings living on Endor that couldn't possibly influence anything. Until they did.

    To the main point though, yes, anything at all could have happened in the thrown room and it wouldn't really matter as long as the emperor died. Anything between Luke, Vader and the Emperor is just personal stuff as long as Palpatine dies.

    Here's a question: Shouldn't the Empire still have won the battle even with the loss of the Death Star and the super star destroyer?

    If you look at screencaps from the battle, there are about twenty regular star destroyers. The Death Star had already destroyed a few of the rebels' capital ships. One star destroyer is supposed to be bad ass. Twenty, or even ten, with squadrons of TIE fighters should have mopped up the rebels.
     
  13. bferr1972

    bferr1972 Force Sensitive

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    Not unless the remaining Imperial fleet was reeling from the quadruple loss of the Emperor, Vader, the Death Star and the Super Star Destroyer. Feeling leaderless, the Imperial fleet likely would've retreated.
     
  14. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    In universe answer: Luke still escaped, didn't he? And he dragged a giant samurai cyborg with him, to boot.

    If Palpatine and Vader/Dark Luke had to escape, they would've had plenty of time.

    Meta answer: This is all about the Moral Victory. Lots of times, a hero will need to make a moral choice, and if they make the right choice then they have earned a Moral Victory. This is especially common in stuff where you have true good and true evil, like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.

    If Luke had given in to the dark side, and if by some freak accident he and the Emperor were blown to bits in the explosion, the Rebels still would've "won". But their moral victory would've been more hollow- exponentially so if word got out that the Hero of the Rebellion turned his back on everything and joined the sith before the end.

    Coincidentally, this lens lends itself really well to the Sequel Trilogy needing to happen, as well. Luke is necessary in The Last Jedi, and had he turned to the dark side and blown up some 30 years earlier, the hope he could've brought would to the galaxy wouldn't exist. Not to mention, TLJ is also a pretty good example of a Moral Victory coming at the same time as what is essentially a physical defeat.
     
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  15. BobaFettNY21

    BobaFettNY21 Force Sensitive

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    See, if Twitter existed:

    "MarQuANd RUiNed LUkE sKYwALkeR! He Shud hAVe kILLeD dA eMPeRoR aND bLoWn uP thE DeAth StaR!! He wAs waSTeD iN fAVor Of teDdy beARzzzz!!! HiZz dEAth mEAnt noTHiNG!!!"
     
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  16. Clankershot

    Clankershot Rebel Trooper

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    So I see what your saying. But without the emperor the chain of command was screwed up. Not to mention though there were many imperial supporters alot and alot of other portions of the galaxy's leaders supporting the rebellion atleast in ideology. The rebels had a structure by the time the death star blew up. But I guess the same thing killed the rebellion in between the 6th and 7th coz after their leader died infighting happened. Leaving the doors open for the first order.
     
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  17. Obi5Kenobi

    Obi5Kenobi Rebel General

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    I was referring specifically to the battle of Endor, not the greater conflict between the alliance and the empire. Even with the emperor and Vader dead and the presumed admiral of the fleet, Piett, dead, there should still be competent captains of twenty Star Destroyers left to win the battle.

    It may hold legends status now, but I thought that I read somewhere that the emperor used the force in a broad sense to give the empire focus and cohesion. Sort of like a very wide range area of effect buff in a video game. Maybe when he died there was mass confusion and panic?
     
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  18. Clankershot

    Clankershot Rebel Trooper

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    Possibly, but even if not I feel perhaps the imperials felt like surrendering since they knew they no longer had an emperor.
     
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  19. R3dFiv3

    R3dFiv3 Clone

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    Basically the emperors death can attribute to the final destruction of the death star, or even him being distracted, the strength of the empire was in palpatines Sith equivalent to battle meditation. And further more had luke turned he undoubtably would have been sent to kill his friends and his turn arguably would have shook leia.
     
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  20. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Luke's meeting with Palp and his Father is separate from the battle of Endor.

    Like so much of what is good in Star Wars, this act was a parallel of a spiritual and physical battle, and like so many in Star Wars, they are separate.

    Luke chose to meet his Father because he needed closure; not to help the battle.

    Luke really didn't express much care about the battle at this point. He was really sucked into higher purposes and spiritual quests.

    In ANH he was completely in for the societal investment, but this time around, he's invested in his personal quest. He's not going to face down the Empire. He's going to love his Father.

    His struggle is to stay true to this goal. He stumbles, but it's not only his Father who has a last minute change of heart and is saved. Luke shares the same experience. He remembers his want to love his Father, and his Father touches back to his want to love his family; his Son.

    Luke, it is implied, knew he was on a suicide mission; that even if he succeeded in connecting with his Father, they could end up dead (Lucas considered this option, actually, and had written the "There is another" line in case he wanted to follow through with the idea of killing Luke in the finale).

    This throne room scene, and the Vader Endor scene, come from a 1962 film version of a 1924 story called Billy Budd in which Billy touches the heart of the evil taskmaster dressed all in black, however, he fails to fully heal the darkness in him and ends up in the cabin, set up much the same as the Throne Room, with the captain and taskmaster. The moral roles are flipped and the captain favors Billy, while the taskmaster does not, but the taskmaster and Billy get into a fight in front of the captain because the taskmaster keeps pushing Billy emotionally and he doesn't know how to handle it (Billy's a bit of a Forest Gump). Billy accidentally kills the taskmaster in a moment of anger during the fight, and the captain is horrified because he now has to hang Billy for killing the taskmaster even though he knows Billy is the most good hearted man he's ever met. Worse still, Billy wants the captain to do so because Billy is horrified with what he has done.

    The Throne room is somewhat a reversal of this, and like Billy's tale, hasn't anything to do with the world's physical battles (discussed in the film as setting and topic, but never shown).

    So it's not moot. Luke needed it. Vader needed it. Regardless how the battle went, good and evil had to be discussed through hate and love, and a Father and Son had to fight and embrace.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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