CT The Emperor's confidence

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Visitant, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Visitant Jedi Master

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    Jun 20, 2014
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    Everyone just assumes that if the Emperor hadn't “interrupted” Luke when he was fighting Vader in RotJ, that Luke would have kept going and turned to the dark side. In actuality, we don't know whether he would have or not. Personally, I think it would be pretty lame if that was the only thing stopping him. Plus, it makes the Emperor look really dumb.

    But then, with pretty much any perceived problem in a story, I tend prefer just about any explanation other than “Such-and-such character was just stupid.” Even if that is the easiest explanation.

    So why was the Emperor so darn confident in RotJ? Well, I think it's quite possible that the Emperor had foreseen Luke's turning to the dark side (and joining him?), even though he never outright says so. And if the Emperor's foresight had pretty much always been right up until now, it would make sense to be confident about it. As we all know, he turns out to be wrong (I love the uncomprehending stare he gives Luke for a few seconds after Luke defies him), but still.

    What do you think?
  2. Anakin's Daddy Force Ghost

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    I think so much had gone the Emperor's way that he became overconfident. I mean he was the ruler of the entire galaxy! He had a swelled head. Luke knew this though. He even told him that his overconfidence was his weakness. Luke could see it.

    I don't think the Emperor ever "interrupted" Luke's turn to the Dark Side. The Emperor knew what he was doing. He could sense Luke's emotions and was feeding off of them. Luke just turned out to be much more powerful than he thought.

    Yoda said, "Always emotion the future is." In ESB, Luke sensed pain in Han & Leia but didn't know the outcome. I think it was the same with the Emperor; He sensed hatred and conflict in Luke's future. His mistake was he assumed this meant that he would turn, but like I said, Luke was more powerful than the Emperor had thought.
  3. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    I think that the Emperor, possibly like the Jedi in earlier times, had become so tied up with the force, that he perceived everything through it and was unable to defend himself against what was ultimately not power through the force, but simply human strength, mental and physical. I think he correctly foresaw that neither Luke or Vader was going to eclipse him in terms of the force, so all that he thought was to be decided was which of them would serve as his apprentice. In this regard, his confidence was justified. His overconfidence was really more a case of ignorance and underestimation of human, rather than superhuman, strength.
  4. Blur Chosen One

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    What's most interesting to me in the throne room scene is that the Emperor is so confident that Vader will protect him that he goads Luke into striking him with his lightsaber, only to have it blocked by Vader. Sure, Vader did defend him at that point & kept Luke from taking him out with the saber, but IMHO this could have gone another way, i.e. Vader may not have blocked the blow, and Luke would have taken out the Emperor. Sure, the Emperor was correct in thinking Vader would defend him at that point. However, his overconfidence was his downfall at the end of the fight: when the Emperor was killing Luke with the lightning bolts, the Emperor didn't even think that Vader would ever try to destroy him, which was a false belief......
    Last edited by Blur, Jul 8, 2014
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  5. Anakin's Daddy Force Ghost

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    Yeah, that part where the Emperor tells Luke to strike him down... Luke hesitates, and then swings. This part always intrigued me. I used to think that he was actually swinging at Vader, not the Emperor here. But no, he swings at The Emperor and his loyal servant, Vader blocks it. So what if he hadn't? Would Luke have killed the Emperor right then and there or would he have used his lightning reflexes to use his um... lightning on Luke? Who knows.

    The other thing I always wondered was why did the Emperor say, "Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete?" Two things: 1) Why would he add that bit at the end? Doesn't he want to trick Luke into giving in? And 2) Why would Luke still try to strike him down after he said this? Did he not believe him? My guess is no, Luke didn't believe him. I think the Emperor gets him to try to strike him down to initiate the fight. I answered my own question there and now I'm rambling but it's an interesting scene.
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  6. Beezer Force Ghost

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    Jul 5, 2013
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    I think the Emperor was stupid for bringing Luke to him in the first place. The only thing we know is the Emperor has foreseen is that Luke could destroy him. If I'm the most powerful guy in the galaxy and only one guy can take me down, I do everything I can to keep him as far away from me as possible, and kill him by any means necessary. And for those who think the Emperor wanted a more powerful apprentice by replacing Vader with Luke, even that doesn't make too much sense. Not only do you not want an overly-powerful apprentice due to the regular duplicity of the Sith killing masters, but there's really no gain in it. You're the most powerful guy in existence with an extemely powerful apprentice. Where is the gain in replacing him with someone moderately more powerful?

    Palppy was playing with fire and it burned him big time.
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  7. Visitant Jedi Master

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    Jun 20, 2014
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    Well, the RotJ novelization gives this reason for Vader not letting Luke kill the Emperor at that time:
    I suppose it's also possible that the Emperor would have defended himself somehow (although he sure doesn't look like he's making a move to defend himself).

    I think the Emperor expected Vader to try to betray him after they had turned Luke (which, indeed, seems to have been Vader's plan), and that didn't concern the Emperor, because he was planning to have Luke kill Vader in the process of turning him. As for the Emperor not suspecting Vader's betrayal when he was electrocuting Luke, as I brought up in another thread, I believe that the Emperor thought there was zero chance of Vader turning back to the light side, so he thought that since Luke had shown that he would never turn to the dark side, that Vader would have no further interest in Luke either, and would therefore have no problem with him being electrocuted.
  8. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
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    With this video as reference:

    at about 1:52 you can see that Luke actually stops himself before the Emperor can even be heard, he has Vader disarmed and down for the count, but instead of going for the killing blow, he simply points his saber at Vader's throat.


    Continuing, when Palpatine actually speaks up, I think Luke is pretty confused, he has a befuddled look on his face. What is he thinking? How did I get here? How did this happen? What have I done? How did I let this happen? Did the dark side allow me to do this? Is the dark side stronger? I don't know for sure what he's thinking, but I think it's the bold questions above, I think it's more about getting a hold of himself than actually considering the dark side.

    The real interruption, the point that seals it, is when Luke makes the connection between his hand and his father's. I think that put a jolt through him that brought him back to his senses, once that happened, it was over.

    I'm not sure Palpatine's interference had anything to do with it. Luke was hesitating before Palpatine said a word, and if he had seen Vader's cybernetic hand/arm, it would have had the same effect.

    I think this kinda nullifies the question posed in the OP concerning Palpatine's confidence, since it's focused on Palpatine's interruption.

    The only other time Palpatine interrupted Luke during the duel was at about 0:18 in that video....though it may have reminded Luke to cool off, that kind of trolling is what got Luke to take his lightsaber in the first place. Without that trolling, Luke just stands there and watches the space battle.
    Last edited by CT-867-5309, Jul 8, 2014
  9. JEDI-RISING Force Ghost

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    i never had the perception that Sidious stopped him or that he would have killed Vader otherwise.
  10. Visitant Jedi Master

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    Jun 20, 2014
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    Me neither. That's why I was annoyed to see that everyone seemed to think he would have. But I'm glad to see there are several of you who agree with me.

    Eh, I have to admit that the second part of my OP was only marginally related to the interruption. I still think it's possible that the Emperor could have foreseen something in his favor concerning Luke, even if it was something as vague as hatred and conflict in Luke's future, like Anakins_Real_Father suggested.
    Last edited by Visitant, Jul 9, 2014
  11. darth ladnar Force Ghost

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    Great post!

    I would add that some say that Luke's choice to reject the dark side is somewhat diminished because Palpatine has nothing to offer Luke. In fact, OT-lover Plinkett makes this criticism of ROTJ. Those who have this opinion say that Palpatine hasn't given Luke any real incentive to turn to the dark side, and consequently, that makes Luke's rejection of the dark side less important. I disagree with this criticism, though. There are 2 really big incentives for Luke to go ahead and kill Vader that most people overlook or minimize:
    1) If Vader lives, he will try to convert Leia next.
    2) Luke knows that if he doesn't kill Vader, Palpatine is going to kill Luke, and most people are willing to do a lot for self-preservation. (In fact, a lot of people would just rationalize and think: "Okay, I'll say I'm turning to the dark side now, but I'll really be strong enough to resist it.")

    I think the main reasons that Luke wouldn't kill Vader are that, even after Vader rejected him and tried to turn him evil, Luke still loved his father and held onto the hope that his father would change. The issue was not that Vader was disarmed, or even that Luke had momentarily lost his cool. Yoda's and Obi-Wan's sole motive for sending Luke up against Vader and Palpatine was to kill the Sith, just as Obi-Wan and Yoda were meant to execute Vader and Palpatine in ROTS. What makes ROTJ different is that Luke wouldn't go through with that plan because Vader was his father.

    I think this might be the best way to explain why I think this. Imagine the same scenario except that Luke had just defeated Darth Maul instead of Vader. In this scenario, it wouldn't have made any sense for Palpatine to have approached Luke and said, "Strike Darth Maul down and your journey to the dark side will be complete." Luke could've just meditated for a moment, centered himself, and then killed Darth Maul while at peace with the Force. Sure, Palpatine would've killed Luke afterwards, but, hey, at least one less Sith in the galaxy. (Also, this was different from Anakin's reluctance to kill Dooku. Dooku could've been taken prisoner. Luke couldn't have taken Vader prisoner with Palpatine standing right there.)

    If Luke had done the same thing with Vader as the scenario I describe with Maul above, it would've felt all wrong because Vader was not just another Sith to Luke. He was his father, and in killing Vader, that would have meant Luke was willing to let go of his love and hope for his father's redemption.

    Just the way Palpatine would've gloated -- if Luke was somehow able to detach himself, regain his poise, and kill his father without anger -- shows that this would've been the wrong course of action: "You claim the light side of the Force is superior, but all that your strength in the light side has allowed you to do was to let go of your love for your father and give up any hope of his redemption. It was only in your combined strengths that you ever had a chance to defeat me, and yet you had so little faith in your father, that you have forsaken this one chance just so that you could kill your own father as if he were no more than another Sith to you. Your lack of faith in your father's redemption shows your true view of human nature and your knowledge of the true weakness of the light side -- that the light side is so weak that it cannot redeem a father, even when his son is about to be murdered before his eyes. Your view of human nature is already as dark as a Sith's, and if you choose not to join me now, it only out of pride, which is just another vice of the dark side."

    At this point, even if Palpatine didn't kill Luke, Luke would've probably been so filled with self-regret and self-hatred that he'd fall to the dark side anyway, and even if he didn't fall, he'd surely not have the composure and the peace of mind necessary to remain a Jedi.

    It is only because Luke's faith in his father and in human nature exceeds that of Palpatine, Obi-Wan, Yoda, or even Vader's faith in himself, that Luke wins. Luke bets the house that Vader's love for his son will surpass the power of the dark side, even at the risk of his own death and the threat to Leia's future. So, Luke's ultimate victory stems from his undying faith that people can choose good over evil, a belief that any of us can have. I think what's really so ironic about this is that what initially intrigued most of us about the Force was its fantastic supernatural powers, but when it comes down to it, by far the greatest embodiment of what the Force is all about has nothing to do with those powers it all. It simply comes down to Luke believing that love is stronger than evil.
    Last edited by darth ladnar, Jul 9, 2014
  12. Visitant Jedi Master

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  13. MOC Yak Face Old Films' Curator

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    Thank you, ladnar. And thanks for following it up with a much greater one.
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  14. Drewdude91 Jedi Grand Master

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    If you've seen the first episode of TCW, then I think Palpatine would do to Luke what Yoda did with Ventress (using the force to actually stop the swing).
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  15. Anakin's Daddy Force Ghost

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    Aug 13, 2002
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    Yeah, I'm sure Palps would have deflected Luke's saber somehow if Vader hadn't intervened.
  16. The Force Hammer Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2014
    The emperor's confidence is in my opinion well founded. As master Yoda stated
    In the Battle between Luke and Vader, Luke's hate for Vader is palatable. With all that Luke has gone through and lost it would not be a stretch for him to follow in his fathers footsteps. Does the emperor overplay his hand? perhaps. But he had good reason to believe that he had already won.
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  17. Seagoat Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2013
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    Probably already been stated but his logic was basically "Well I already turned one Skywalker, how hard can another one be?"
    Of course Luke had an entirely different upbringing, but still
  18. Among the Clouds Force Ghost

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    Vader was a fool if he really thought this, and it is he who looks "dumb" rather than the Emperor. Had the final duel with Dooku not taken place, then I would agree with the novel's reasoning. Of course, the ROTJ novel precedes ROTS.

    This is most likely what he is asking himself. It's a reflection of what happened with Anakin, Mace, and Palpatine. Anakin also questioned what he had done, but he made the choice to join Palpatine anyway. Luke questions himself and takes the other path.
    Last edited by Jedi_Apprentice, Jul 9, 2014
  19. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    What? That doesn't follow - Anakin was not beyond redemption after killing Dooku.
  20. Among the Clouds Force Ghost

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    It doesn't have anything to do with Anakin's redemption. Vader (in hindsight) would have remembered why Palpatine urged him to kill Dooku. So, Vader would not have realistically thought that the idea presented in the novel would have worked. It was always going to be either Vader or Luke by the end of their confrontation, and Vader was aware of this.
  21. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

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    Palpatine's seduction of Anakin Skywalker and his trolling of Luke Skywalker are quite a contrast.

    Palpatine spent over a decade on Anakin, it was passionate, predatory, brilliant, endlessly subtle and I'm sure very rewarding every step of the way. It was almost a labor of love. It really is up there with the founding of the Galactic Empire as his most fulfilling work.

    Palpatine's trolling of Luke, while hilarious, is really lazy and well beneath Palpatine's potential. I mean, really, he put almost no effort into turning Luke, it's not even comparable to his courting of Anakin. They only meet and speak once, for a relatively short period of time, and Palpatine goes for broke right there and then. Why not take it slow? Where's the love? Where's the passion? He doesn't even try to alienate Luke from his loved ones. He doesn't even try to drive a wedge between Vader and Luke, he actually ties them together. Why not bring up all the horrible things Vader has done? Why not play up Kenobi/Yoda's failure and withholding the truth?

    Vader actually comes up with the best taunt in Leia, he makes it very personal. What the hell, Palpatine? You let the punk kid out troll you? Palpatine's attitude is hilariously trollish, but his actual taunts are kinda weak. It's all "I won, you lost, the Rebel fleet has lost, you're gonna turn to the dark side just like your father, it's over". He's talking about how he's won without actually winning the internets. It's the weakest internet trolling, a guy with no argument whatsoever, with no subtlety in his approach, he doesn't even take it seriously, he actually announces that he's trolling. Yeah, he's irritating, but where's the work?

    If I was Palpatine's teacher, I'd leave a little note that said "not your best effort".
    Last edited by CT-867-5309, Jul 10, 2014
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  22. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    Ah, that makes sense. I thought what you were arguing was that Vader's belief that Luke could still turn back to the light after killing Palpatine was illogical because Anakin didn't turn back after killing Dooku.
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  23. Visitant Jedi Master

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    Jun 20, 2014
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    I consider that a PT problem.

    I agree that the Emperor's actions toward Luke could have been a lot better, but I disagree that his seduction of Anakin in the PT was that great either. I saw it as pretty much boiling down to “Join me or Padme dies.”
  24. fett 4 Chosen One

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    @Visitant Before then turning around and saying "maybe if we work together we can discover the secret" I suppose Anakin was that dumb it didn't matter Palpatine pretty much saying he can't save Padme!
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  25. Among the Clouds Force Ghost

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    That's long bothered me too. If somebody called me and said "Hey, I'll pay you $100 if you drive over and give me a guitar lesson for an hour," and I agreed, and then after I got there and found that they actually didn't have $100 on them at that point in time, I'd turn around and leave. Anakin stayed there when there was no obvious incentive other than "Perhaps by the end of the lesson the $100 will show up out of thin air."