CT Is Luke stronger than Vader?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by TheDisharmony, Jun 15, 2013.

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  1. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    In the book I mentioned - he did momentarily consider that Padme might have given birth before she died- but dismissed it.
  2. Aegon Starcaster Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 27, 2013
    star 2
    It's unlikely that Ozzel was incompetent. It's more likely that he was a rebel sympathizer.

    Whether Vader accepted punishment or not, he did not accept the same punishment that Captain Needa accepted. I wouldn't call Needa's actions incompetent. It's not standard procedure to send scouts after a ship that entered hyperspace. There's no way Needa, or even Vader for that matter could have known that they didn't jump to light speed. After all, the falcon was still there when Vader gave the order for his fleet to jump. If Needa was incompetent, for not making a search, then Vader was just as incompetent for not doing it either.

    Not all quotes can be taken at face value. Just as Obi Wan's quote that Vader betrayed and murdered Anakin can't be taken at face value. If Vader's claim that Luke would "join, or die" was something that the audience should take seriously, it seems that Vader should have tried to actually kill Luke. It was obvious that Luke didn't join, and didn't die. There's not much chance of turning Leia to the darkside, if you fail with Luke. Of all the characters in Star Wars, who had more reason to turn to the darkside than Leia. She watched them join them destroy her world. Compared to that, Anakin and Luke didn't go through much at all. Leia was not a person who focused on her anger. But Luke was. He hated Vader for much of the OT, because Obi Wan led him to believe something that wasn't true.

    That's a great point about the stun bolt probably not being able to shatter glass. However it's somewhat mute because that duel took place in areas where there was no glass between the captives, and fatal fall. stun bolts would also be much easy for any jedi to defend against than the typical high powered blaster bolt. For one, stun bolts don't have much force behind them, and two, their area of influence was wide, and unfocused. Also, you'll recall that Vader was nearly pulled out the window himself, and only avoided that fate by clinging onto objects that were bolted down. It's not likely he is reckless enough to conjure a wind that he would then lose control of for no reason. And there was no purpose to conjuring a wind that would pull Luke out the window to fall to his death. If he'd wanted Luke to die at that point, he could have stuck around to finish the job. But no. Vader went to hide, for an ambush, so that he could continue with the duel. Cloud city is not a city in space. It's a city in the clouds. Clouds are moved by strong winds. It's more likely that the wind was natural. There would be no depressurization either, as there was none when Luke was clinging to the bottom of the city. But there was natural wind. the problem with Luke being pulled out that window, is that there is a very long drop beneath him.

    Vader wasn't a novice with a lightsaber. He knew the difference between trying to kill someone, and not trying to kill someone. He never once tried to deliver a killing blow to Luke. After watching TPM, I can be pretty sure that Vader would be aware that using gas on a jedi isn't the best tactic. They can hold their breath for an extremely long amount of time, and may even know techniques for purging toxins on the spot. Whether Luke knew how to do any of that or not, Vader undoubtedly considered it an unreliable tactic. Using stun blasters doesn't minimize risk in that environment. Stormtroopers with stun blasters was an element that Vader would be unable to completely control
    Last edited by Aegon Starcaster, Jul 4, 2013
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  3. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    There was no sign of them having jumped to hyperspace. In any case if the captain of a Star Destroyer fails to capture a smuggler - with a giant capital ship and several TIEs at his disposal - he screwed up badly. Needa has a lot of personal integrity but as a captain he is a failure.

    Vader did start a search. The bounty hunters, you remember? But because Needa foolishly wasted time sending out TIEs wasn't worth it anymore.

    In 1977 Vader and Anakin Skywalker weren't the same people. Originally the quote was to be taken at face value, it has only been later retconned to mean something completely different. One of the few flaws of the OT.

    Turning Leia to the dark side would be a hell of a lot easier than Luke, considering her righteous anger and impatience. Turning Luke was very difficult because of his forgiving personality.

    And just because Vader was okay with Lukes death doesn't mean he didn't prefer to turn him. He'd rather have an alive Luke but he surely didn't invest all that much into it back in TESB. I don't see a reason to disbelieve his words.

    Wide and unfocused seems perfect against Jedi. How do you deflect an wide and unfocused beam?

    Sure, there were natural winds on Bespin, but Vader and Luke were inside a metal sphere. How would the winds go there? And why would they suck him outside? You'll also notice that the winds stop immediately after Luke is sucked outside. So it seems to me that much points to Vader conjuring the winds (He also didn't have much of a problem of withstanding them). I don't know though why he has driven Luke there. Maybe he wanted the boy to make a life and death decision on the edge of the abyss? It is not easy to answer all the questions surrounding this scene. I myself am uncertain.

    I dunno. One misstep by Luke, the inexperienced young Jedi, and he has impaled himself on Vaders lightsaber. Vader has control over his weapon but Luke is still a learner.
  4. Aegon Starcaster Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2013
    star 2
    The fact that the ship vanished instantly is quite a large sign that the falcon jumped to light speed. And I'm pretty sure that Vader hired the bounty hunters well before the falcon supposedly escaped. And I don't think he sent them out to search the system either. Needa wasn't a failure as a captain. He took responsibility for something that even Vader was guilty of. The only way not sending out a search would not have been worth it, would be if the falcon had jumped out of the system. As you'll recall, when the falcon was hiding inside an asteroid, they sent out search parties, even though it was very well hidden.


    In 1977, Yoda didn't exist. We can't use what isn't as an excuse to back up what is. George Lucas addresses the issue in story so that it is forever a part of the Star Wars canon. But regardless of that, I think we will both agree that Young Anakin never knew Luke as a child, so it seems suspect that Obi Wan would follow his "Vader killed Anakin" quote, with a bald faced lie like, "your father meant you to have this, but your uncle wouldn't allow it..." if he wasn't being deceitful. Anakin never meant Luke to have his lightsaber. As it is, one lie follows another.

    Luke was the impatient one, and he was not so forgiving when in the moment. At the mere mention of Leia's name, Luke went wild. What would Luke have done had he actually witnessed Vader killing Leia? Leia, on the other hand, was a person who had witnessed the death of her entire world, and was not so emotionally attached to Luke, or anything else, that would have made turning her easier than turning Luke.

    Vader went through too much trouble in order to keep Luke alive for me to believe that it wasn't of paramount importance to him. When the entire rebel alliance was escaping Hoth, and Luke went one way, and the rest of the alliance went another way, Vader didn't chase after the bulk of the rebels. he took 4 or 5 Star Destroyers, and chased after the one tiny ship that he thought would lead him to Luke. Vader was obsessed with capturing and turning Luke for the whole movie. One does not just give up on an obsession at the snap of a finger. Luke's death would have ruined everything for Vader.

    Much like I would expect a jedi to deflect a wide and unfocused blast of darkside lightning. Only the stun beam would be much easier. If they were more effective against jedi, surely someone would have figured that out during the clone wars.


    Besipin was absolutely buffered in clouds. That much is clear enough during the falcon's initial approach to the city. I personally live 4000 feet above sea level. In the winter, my whole house, and the surrounding neighborhood is often engulfed by clouds. The winds are ridiculous. Simply opening a window at one side of the house can slam a door 40 feet away. Winds ripped the screen off my window. It's not difficult for me to imagine that wind can get through any opening from the outside, which there were several. Luke fell through one to get to the very bottom of the city. I think everyone knows that wind does not blast continually in one place. Wind moves, as we see when clouds move miles and miles from one spot to another. The winds eventually return, but it's not a constant thing.

    And yet Vader had more control over the situation, with just he and Luke involved, than he would have if he introduced more and more outside factors like a squad of stormtroopers.
  5. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    I think this could go on forever and we are really getting off topic now. Is it okay if we call it quits and agree to disagree?
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  6. Darth Dnej Jedi Master

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    Apr 27, 2013
    star 1
    Yes, I agree. PT Vader may have had more potential and more raw force ability, but he lacked the strategy and experience that the OT Vader had.
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  7. Aegon Starcaster Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 27, 2013
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    I agree with you on this one. Though I found it engaging :)
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  8. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

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    May 21, 2008
    star 5
  9. Aegon Starcaster Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 27, 2013
    star 2
    We'll have to do it again, sometimes. But we can leave Luke and Vader up in the air.
    Truth is, hard concrete facts are difficult to come by. And George Lucas left so much up to speculation.
    I think he did it purposely to keep us talking about it, even 30 years later. In that, he is, once a gain, brilliant.
  10. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    Here's my take on it. Anakin originally had the greatest Force potential. He was the only being created by the Force itself.

    However, Luke had greater potential than an injured Anakin in the Vader suit, but I don't think Luke was at that point in ROTJ.

    Here's my take on the scene. Vader is conflicted. Luke states this, and Jedi don't use deception, so we must conclude that Luke is telling the truth and Vader is actually conflicted, so part of him doesn't want to kill his own son, which obviously makes him less effective in combat, and that conflict also makes him less in touch with the dark side of the Force. Then at the end of duel, when Vader threatens to turn Leia to the dark side, Luke responds with full rage and embraces the easy, more seductive dark side momentarily. Then, after he defeats Vader using the dark side, he looks at Vader's arm missing its hand and then at his own robotic hand and realizes what he is becoming and he totally rejects this.

    When I take this all together, I conclude that Luke won the duel because he isn't conflicted while Vader is conflicted, and that conflict in Vader isn't something that can be easily dismissed. It means that he loves his son, so he doesn't want to hurt him. Without this major conflict in Vader, I think that Vader is still the stronger of the two. Less than a year has passed since their first encounter, and he has 30+ years of training, 20+ years in the dark side. Of course, I guess it's possible that Luke has already surpassed him (though weird since Vader is still very powerful and Luke hasn't had that much more experience), but when the film makes a point of showing that Vader is conflicted and that Luke is truly enraged, I think we're supposed to assume that's the reason why Luke won the duel and not that he is truly superior to Vader.

    I would also add that Vader is probably not superior in every way. Even in TESB, Luke is faster and more agile than Vader, but Vader's strengths more the counter these advantages: he has greater control of the Force, he is physically more powerful, his suit offers him protection, etc.
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  11. Aegon Starcaster Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2013
    star 2
    I like a lot of what you said. You give good reasons, and you believe a lot of the same things that I do. But I don't agree with everything. Such as, Luke not being conflicted during that fight.
    Luke was very conflicted, because as much as Vader didn't want to kill his son, Luke did not want to fight his father. Plus he had the Emperor sitting in the background, egging them both on.
    I also think that experience is something that usually only goes so far against a vastly more powerful opponent. Luke was literally wiping the floor with Vader long before Leia's name ever came
    into it. Vader offered one instant of offense when he hurled his weapon at Luke, but that was it for him. In a lot of ways, it was very reminiscent of Anakin's last duel with Dooku. Dooku had the
    experience, but Anakin had the power.

    That said, I'm not sure that Luke was vastly more powerful than Vader, but I do think he was more powerful. A weaker jedi, with so much less experience would never be able to toss Vader around like that.
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  12. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    I only disagree with a little of what you are saying. I agree that Luke is conflicted earlier in the fight, but I don't think he is conflicted when he becomes enraged. I do agree that both are conflicted in different ways before Luke becomes enraged. Vader doesn't want to kill his son, and Luke doesn't want to kill his father. Luke only wanted to kill the Emperor and Vader intervened.

    I'd have to watch the duel again, but my memory wasn't that Luke was wiping the floor with Vader before he got enraged. I remember him getting a good kick in when Vader is standing at the top of some stairs and that sends Vader falling a good distance. Apart from that, I thought it was pretty even, but I'm not even sure that their being even when holding back says much. When 2 people are holding back, it's pretty hard to figure out which one would win if they were both trying their most. Also if a fast guy is holding back vs. a strong guy, then the stronger guy is going to look sort of awkward. Also, I think they wanted to be sure to show that Luke is much better than he was in TESB, so they clearly want to show that he can definitely hold his own, even though he's holding back.

    In the end, I would say that we don't have enough information to know for certain either way. Vader is holding back the entire duel. Luke only defeats Vader when he stops holding back. So, really it's impossible to know who would win. We can only know for certain if there is a time when both Vader and Luke aren't holding back at the same time.

    The reason I said what I said before is that I think that the film encourages us to see the duel a certain by revealing certain information. It reveals that Vader is holding back, and it makes it clear that Luke is trying his hardest when he becomes enraged, so using the shorthand of cinema, I conclude that Luke won because he is embracing the dark side and Vader lost because he is conflicted. The film has to use "shorthand" in this instance because it would get incredibly talky if it didn't. (Sort of like this post.) But I would totally agree that this shorthand doesn't give us enough information to know for certain. So I think multiple interpretations would work for Luke's duel vs his father. In fact, you make a good point with your comparison to the Anakin/Dooku duel.
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  13. Aegon Starcaster Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 27, 2013
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    Good point! Luke probably wasn't conflicted at the very end of the fight. I remember reading the novelization of ROTJ, and that moment was taken from Vader's point of view. I recall it stating that Vader had never faced such a powerful attack. Why I say that Luke was wiping the floor with Vader, however, is because the novelization implies as much. In the novel, I'm sure that the author was allowed to portray his own interpretations of events, but you can tell by the way that it is written, that he didn't have much freedom to do so. This is how the beginning of that duel is written right after Luke kicks Vader down the steps.



    Luke is realizing that he can beat Vader, and Vader is realizing that Luke can win. Luke is almost reveling in darkness, and Vader is feeling embarrassed, angry, and afraid. When you watch this part again, notice that anytime they clash blades, Luke takes the offensive. Vader was holding back on Cloud City, and yet he was on the offensive for most of it, which is the way he wanted this fight to go in front of his master. Considering all this, my assumptions are that Vader wasn't holding back for the entirety of this fight, and he lost because Luke actually was more powerful.
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  14. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Luke is realizing that he can beat Vader, and Vader is realizing that Luke can win. Luke is almost reveling in darkness, and Vader is feeling embarrassed, angry, and afraid. When you watch this part again, notice that anytime they clash blades, Luke takes the offensive. Vader was holding back on Cloud City, and yet he was on the offensive for most of it, which is the way he wanted this fight to go in front of his master. Considering all this, my assumptions are that Vader wasn't holding back for the entirety of this fight, and he lost because Luke actually was more powerful. [/quote]

    Thanks for posting this. I certainly see where you are coming from here. The beginning part, from Luke's point of view, seems less reliable. At this point of the novel, Luke seems to be feeling the power rush of the dark side. The idea that he could destroy the Emperor and Vader and rule the galaxy are almost giving him a high, and since he is flush with the dark side, his judgment is probably impaired by arrogance, as this is one of the effects of the dark side. The proof is that Luke believes he can kill the Emperor, while I think it is very clear that the Emperor is out of his league.

    What is much more convincing is that Vader starts to recognize that Luke is powerful enough to kill him. This pretty much proves that Luke is at least on even terms with Vader. So, if you bring in the novel, then I agree with you that Luke is at least as powerful as Vader.

    Personally, when I watch the films, I try to reconcile the PT and the OT the best I can, and the novels actually make that harder. For instance, I think the ROTJ novel says that Obi-Wan is Lars' brother. I like to judge the films together apart from any other source, but I certainly don't think it's "wrong" in any way if someone wants to bring together the novels and the films to get their understanding.

    Since I just go by the films, I bring in the idea that becoming a top level Force-user / duelist requires years of training. I give Luke some latitude with this because he clearly has greater potential than a severely physically-damaged Vader. That's why -- apart from my reading of how the scene plays out by itself -- I think Luke is still behind Vader. Less than a year has passed. It just doesn't make sense that Luke could make such great strides in that much time.

    Going back to the Dooku - Anakin duels, it took Anakin three years to exceed Dooku's skills. In their first duel, he was no match for him, but when they fought the second time and he fought with anger, he finally got the upper hand. So, when I compare Luke - Vader 1 to Dooku - Anakin 1, it seems that Vader more greatly exceeds Luke than Dooku exceeds Anakin. Vader is basically just toying with Luke. Then, it takes 3 years for Anakin to get to the point that he can beat Dooku. From the way I see it, Luke has a larger gap to cross, and he has less than a year to do it. So, it seems to me that Luke is still inferior to Vader, but again, I'm coming from a perspective that tries to preserve PT-OT continuity.
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  15. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The first hint that the Emperor is afraid of Luke is earlier:

    The Emperor watched Luke's face with cunning. "I'm sure Yoda taught you to use the Force with great skill."

    The taunt had the desired effect - Luke's face flushed, his muscles flexed.

    He saw the Emperor actually lick his lips at the sight of Luke's reaction. Lick his lips and laugh from the bottom of his throat, from the bottom of his soul.

    Luke paused, for he saw something else, as well; something he hadn't seen before in the Emperor. Fear.

    Luke saw fear in the Emperor - fear of Luke. Fear of Luke's power, fear that this power could be turned on him - on the Emperor - in the same way that Vader had turned it on Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke saw this fear in the Emperor - and he knew, now, the odds had shifted slightly. He had glimpsed the Emperor's nakedest self.

    With sudden absolute calm, Luke stood upright. He stared directly into the malign ruler's hood.

    Palpatine said nothing for a few moments, returning the young Jedi's gaze, assessing his strengths and weaknesses. He sat back at last, pleased with this first confrontation. "I look forward to completing your training, young Skywalker. In time, you will call me Master."

    I could see Palpatine's fear being less of "present Luke" and more of "future Luke". He even admits to Vader in ESB that "He could destroy us".

    Last edited by Iron_lord, Jul 9, 2013
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  16. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Thanks for posting this. I agree. It is unclear if Palpatine fears "present Luke" or "future Luke," but even if he fears "future Luke" in the novel, it seems to me that the film plays it differently. Palpatine seems supremely confident that the Rebellion is going to be crushed and that he either will have Luke as his new apprentice or that he and Vader will come out it together with Luke dead. Of course, Palpatine could be hiding his fears, but I really don't get that impression from the way Ian McDiarmid does Palpatine in ROTJ. I think Palpatine does recognize that Luke would become a threat if he becomes more powerful over time, but I don't think that he's fearful of this possibility because he's totally confident that he has a plan that will neutralize Luke one way or another: either turning him to the dark side or frying him with his Force lightning if he refuses.
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  17. Aegon Starcaster Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 27, 2013
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    Your welcome :) I agree that the book is unreliable in some cases, such as Lars being brother to Obi Wan. And I too try to reconcile PT with OT as much as I can, cause I like both of them. The way I see the book is, that if it could be rewritten today, I have no doubt that Lucas would have the Lars/Obi Wan thing revised. No doubt about it. he would change that. But as for the duel, I don't think he would change that part. It still follows the movie quite well.

    I would like to think that becoming a great force user requires years of training, and it has always seemed somewhat strange to me that Luke made such great strides in power in so little time. I think Lucas sort of wrote himself into a corner when he made ESB 3 years after ANH. And ROTJ 1 year after ESB. I always thought it would work better for Luke's story if it were the other way around.
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  18. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Yeah, I agree, and I don't understand exactly why he set ROTJ so close in time to TESB. I think the span of time is actually only 8 months. I don't see what purpose that really served. Why couldn't ROTJ been 3 years later also?

    The only explanation I can think of is that GL wanted to give a reason why Yoda wouldn't come to help Luke in the TESB. If Yoda is only 8 months away from dying, then that would explain why someone that powerful in the Force didn't team up with Luke to kick Vader's butt. If that's not the explanation, then I have no clue why Lucas set it less than a year later.

    BTW I also agree that GL would be far more likely to get rid of the Obi-Lars thing than the description of Luke's prowess with the Force.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Jul 9, 2013
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  19. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    oops, double post!
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Jul 9, 2013
  20. DanielUK Force Ghost

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    Nov 1, 2012
    star 4
    Midi-chlorians are what throws this whole debate in the air.

    It adds a whole new level of arguments on "power", etc.
  21. Loupgarou Jedi Grand Master

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    Jan 19, 2010
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    Luke is the compassionate, forgiving person the old Jedi Order was missing. Luke is strong in the force spiritually, much stronger than Vader is in the Dark Side, since he hasn't truly given his entire self to it as he thinks. But in a battle where both are truly fighting to the death, Vader would likely win. I think Luke knows that, and that makes him even more brave in his final confrontation.
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  22. VanishingReality Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 21, 2013
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    I wouldn't have even called the fiasco that occurred on Bespin a fight for how one-sided it was. Especially the part where Vader pushed Luke into the carbonite freezing chamber. It was just sad. To Luke's credit, he was quick to pick up some lightsaber techniques in that duel.
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  23. Michael McKean Jedi Knight

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    Jun 5, 2013
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    I'd say Luke is without a doubt more mentally strong that Vader. Luke began training at a much later age than Vader and yet in Return of the Jedi he is much more patient and wise than Vader is at the start of Revenge of the Sith. As for physical strength and skills with a lightsaber, I'd have to say Vader, though I don't think we see a true fight between the two. On Bespin, Luke hasn't been properly trained yet and is a shadow of the arrogant Anakin in Attack of the Clones; whilst Vader doesn't intend to actually kill Luke, but rather to test his skills and eventually persuade him to join forces - basically a training exercise. And on the second Death Star, despite Luke being at his peak and fully up to the task, Vader is clearly past his cell-by date and perhaps by this point holds some sympathy for his son, and I'm not sure he knew the Emperor intended on replacing him.
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  24. DarthVengeant Force Ghost

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    Oct 14, 2004
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    Young Luke, no.

    Old Luke. Very much so.
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  25. Megavolt28 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2013
    I think Luke just had the strength to beat Vader in the battle.
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