While writing my analysis of Luke’s costumes through the Original Trilogy, an interesting question presented itself.
Do you think Luke would have turned to the dark side had he not known Leia was his sister?
I’m looking at this in a way of Luke having no family that he knew of at all. Leia can still be in the picture, but only as a friend at this point, not even a romantic interest.
Luke finds out about Leia being his sister right before he goes to confront his father. I know that in the end, it looks like Leia could be the string that unravels it all. When Vader finds out Luke has a sister and uses it as bait, Luke goes crazy. The thought of Leia being turned brings him perilously close to the dark side; some could even argue that he enters the dark side as he lashes out against Vader (one of my favorite lightsaber battles).
You could argue that Leia brought him closer to the dark side. He had attachment to her at this point, something Yoda of the Prequels would admonish him for. But could this attachment also have saved him?
He now had an immediate family member, something Luke had never had his entire life until finding out about Vader being his father…and that’s not really the family you always wished for. In a way, Leia is holding him accountable, subconsciously, to come back after he is done confronting Vader. She was the last person he spoke to and saw before leaving for the Death Star.
If Leia was out of the picture, would the Emperor have been able to turn him? He was so, so close with the talk of Luke’s “pitiful friends” and the trap that was laid out for them. Luke was the first to go on the offense at the Emperor’s goading.
When Vader found out about a sister, it was because Luke was trying so hard to *not* think about Leia. He didn’t want Vader to know about her for fear that Vader would, of course, try to lure her to the dark side too (though, personally, I think Leia is has a stronger personality and wouldn’t have been swayed).
So taking Leia out, would it have been easier for him to turn? Pointless thoughts, I know, since that’s not what happened, but it made me think that perhaps Luke’s strength in the Force comes from love for family. If Vader was the only family member he knew, maybe he would have been more easily tempted to join him and take down the Emperor. Perhaps Leia was holding him back as a reminder of the light side of the Force.
Care to discuss?