Did you ever grow up wanting to be Luke Skywalker? Have you ever even seriously considered what you are asking for?
Lets just examine for just a minute what actually ended up happening Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Luke is recruited by an elderly member of a religious sect which has been deemed to be dangerous as well as complicit in the attempted assassination of a respected government official. The recruitment tool used is that a prominent government official in the established political system murdered the father of the new recruit. The recruiter is a known and wanted criminal who is living in hiding and fear. He cannot even reveal his true identity. The recruit has possibly had either minimal contact with the with recruiter or possibly never met him before. All of the sudden, the new religious zealot is brought into a plot in order to break into a military institution. Who else is along on this mission? A known smuggler and his bodyguard who has a price on his head by a gangster that the smuggler has willingly associated with in the past.
"You're twisting everything" you may plaintively scream. No, I am telling the truthÃ¢ï¿½Â¦from a certain point of view. Luke Skylwalker is exactly the type of mark that modern terrorist organizations such as Al Quaeda regularly target. Luke lives in a poor farming area in the desert. He is surrounded by glory stories from the old days and wants to do his part. He is convinced that the existing power is evil or possibly even "The Devil." He is further convinced that breaking the law is perfectly acceptable based on a moral certitude. The question does not become how Luke is a terrorist. The question becomes how he is not. Mace Windu did actually in fact try to assassinate Palpatine when he was the sitting Supreme Chancellor rather than attempt to bring him in to justice. Windu was a member of the JEDI COUNCIL. How was is not an attempt at a coup d'etat.
What are Luke's other options? What about doing exactly what he originally intended to do?
Think about it. When Luke is wanting to go to 'academy,' what Academy do you really think that he is going to? Do you think that there is a place that you apply that says "Rebel Pilot Application, become a known and wanted criminal. Please include 50 dollar registration fee." No, the Academy would be an Imperial Academy where Luke would have learned to become a Tie Fighter Pilot. What is more, do you remember Biggs Darklighter? He went to the Academy. He was also a Rebel Pilot. Do you know what that makes Biggs Darklighter in every known Army and Navy in the world? A traitor. What's more? Biggs is a traitor who abandoned his post. Death would be the mandatory punishment for Biggs in any known universe.
And it is all a crock.
The primary reason why Luke comes along with this plan is because Vader killed Luke's father whom Luke believes to be a noble hero. Imagine if Vader had found and gotten to Skywalker first. Skywalker would have easily made it into the Academy (which was his plan) and would have known the Obi Wan tried to kill Anakin. He would have also known that Obi Wan had maimed Anakin as well as left him to be burned by lava. Luke was willing to believe anything. With the official blessing, Luke would slit Obi Wan's throat in his sleep with a light saber. By going over to the light side (which presumably included 40 fellow virgins when he died) what does Luke actually do?
He blows up a military installation killing literally thousands of people. You might argue.
Yeah, but they destroyed Alderaan! How does that actually change anything that Luke does? It certainly adds a bit of impetus to what Luke does but it does not change it at all. This is especially true because Luke is still offered a chance to turn away from it several times after he does it. First, Vader directly offers it to him and then Vader and the Emperor offer it to him. Who is Luke exactly staying loyal too here? There are smugglers, bitter former government officials, cruise liner crews turned into pirates, and the tattered remains of an admittedly dangerous religious sect? The Old Republic actually had a lot more going for it falling than just the evil of Palpatine. Think about this, what if a Senator toppled the Islamic Republic of Iran tomorrow?
There would probably be a worldwide celebration at the fall of this 'dangerous' Republic. How is it set up? You have a Supreme Leader (who is a religious leader) as well as a publicly elected Senate and President. This is the exact same type of government setup that these 'Rebels' are trying desperately to get back to. How is this in any way going back to the 'good old days?' The Empire commits atrocities. Most every government known to man has committted atrocities. The Old Republic was easy to destroy because it was already on the brink of destruction. We see everything strictly from Luke's point of view. From Luke's point of view, it all seems perfectly rational as well as morally defensible. This is exactly the same mindset that every terrorist who has ever strapped on bombs and walked into a crowded area believed. They believed that they were fighting a corrupt immoral institution as well. It does not make them right. It also does not mean that you would be any less likely to cheer when government forces brought them in.