The plot of Star Wars is better-known than the Declaration of Independence or the Ten Commandments. It's basically: a teenager learns space magic and defeats his robot father with love.
After he forgave him for farting in the elevator.
But what if it wasn't so simple? What if we weren't dealing with an innocent battle of Good versus Evil, but a battle of Good versus Wrinkled, Sperm-Hungry Maniac? For years, Star Wars has been a great way to introduce kids to the fantasy genre. Now it's the sex ed class from hell. Because if you look at the plot from a motivational standpoint, you realize that the Emperor didn't just want to turn Luke to the dark side ... he wanted to use him as a breeding stud.
Why do you think they took his right hand?
The Star Wars prequels weren't kind to ol' Anakin Skywalker. Before 1999, all we knew is that he was a dad and that he was Awesome Evil Personified. And then The Phantom Menace came, and we found out that Anakin was a whiny kid who grew into an angsty teenager who threw fits whenever things got difficult. Ah, to be young, dumb, and full of midi-chlorians again.
Then he got cut in half and thrown into some lava. It was supposed to be the end of a tragic look at a man falling under the sway of the Dark Side, but it became the end of a tragic look at an unlikable man who wouldn't stop being unlikable, and his beloved teacher had to give him 10th-degree burns just to be rid of him. Kids, never meet your heroes. Or watch their prequels.
"You were supposed to bring balance to the franchise, not leave it in darkness!"
We were constantly told that Anakin was special, and that he was the Chosen One for some reason. We're reminded of it every time there's a soft moment in John Williams' iconic music. Oddly enough, this never really seemed to pan out. Compared to the awe-inspiring potential of a Wookie Jedi or a Darth Hutt, puny Anakin isn't exactly anyone's first choice to be the Chosen One. Sure, he was pretty strong in the Force, but Yoda, the Emperor, and even Sunday School Master Obi-Wan all seemed more powerful throughout the prequels.
There was the whole "Bring balance to the Force" part of the prophecy, but again, did he really? He killed a bunch of Jedi kids and helped lead the crusade against the remaining ones. And yeah, this did bring the total number of Jedi and Sith closer to being equal. But let's face it, the Emperor already had this one pretty much in the bag without Anakin's help. Order 66 had the clone troopers gun down an untold number of Jedi, and all Anakin really did was mop up some first-graders at the Temple.
At the end of Return Of The Jedi, Vader threw Palpatine down one of the many bottomless chasms that are all the rage with far-far-awayist architects. If we're talking percentages, then that one act brought the numbers from Sith: 2, Jedi: 1 all the way to Sith: 0, Jedi: 1. You might recognize that as 100 percent of the Force being Jedi now, which is about as far out of "balance" as you can get.
So how could he have been the Chosen One? What's so special about grouchy-ass Anakin? Well, he has kids, but that's not special. That's basic biology and the result of Natalie Portman's mopey cuteness overriding his Jedi celibacy training. Once we all had our minds blown in Empire Strikes Back by Vader spoiling the results of Luke's paternity test, it kind of made sense, though. Of course Darth Vader is Luke's dad. Luke can use the Force, Vader can use the Force, something something genetics. Sure, let's all just accept this and not give it a second thought. Look! Boba Fett! The point is, we were kind of dumb in the '80s. But why should we assume that the ability to use the Force is genetic? If ability was inherited, then Michael Jordan's kids would be in the Basketball Hall of Fame, Ernest Hemingway's children would be Pulitzer winners, and Martin Sheen could hold his head up with pride.
Though to be fair, tiger's blood isn't any more or less stupid an explanation than midi-chlorians.
Unlike in the Original Trilogy, in the prequels, we see literally dozens of different Jedi. And yet Anakin's kids are the only examples of inherited Force use that we are shown or even mentioned. Sorry, fellow nerds, the Expanded Universe is gone, like a shared decades-long peyote dream. If our collective assumption that it was common for Jedi kids to inherit Force abilities was correct, then Yoda would have 900 years of grandkid Jedi, and surely the Emperor would have a few Darth Princes running around, ready for Pop-Pop to kick the proverbial Death Star. Hell, Palpatine knew that Anakin's unborn kids had gotten away, but he never gave it a second thought, because who cares? It's not like those brats could ever be a concern for him, right? He's got more power in the crow's feet on his forehead than the Rebellion has in its whole army.
The Old Republic had to screen all newborn babies across the entire Galaxy to see if they would randomly be born with the ability to use the Force, which seems inefficient if you could just notice when one of your own got pregnant instead. For that matter, the opening crawl of Episode II mentioned that there was a galactic Jedi shortage, which should have been impossible if Samuel L. Jackson could father them. Shmi Skywalker told Qui-Gon Jinn that Anakin was conceived by the Force itself -- though to be fair, this could have just been a deflection for a strange man on a dark rooftop suddenly asking about her sex life.
"You sure you can't give me any more details? Positions? It's all very important."
The Force Awakens somewhat cryptically mentions other Force users who sprang up after Return Of The Jedi, but unless Rey is revealed to be Obi-Wan's grand-niece or something, we're still left with people gaining Force powers arbitrarily. All of this means that it must have come as quite a shock when Vader and the Emperor learned that Anakin's son had not only survived, but could actually use the Force as well, and had promptly crashed the family vehicle the moment he got his license.
This was new territory for Palpatine, and his first thought was to kill the person who could potentially upset his precarious balance of power. He sent Darth Vader and an entire fleet of Star Destroyers to hunt this kid down. But why, exactly? Between them, Vader and Palpatine had already killed dozens of fully-grown and trained Jedi Masters, Knights, and Padawans, and literally had the resources of most of the Galaxy at their disposal. It's not like Luke presented any sort of threat that they hadn't already taken care of many, many times over at this point. Why would one untrained and unskilled Force user cause the most powerful Sith in history to be afraid? I'll give you a hint: It had nothing to do with lightsabers.
Insert your own dick joke here.
Anakin Skywalker wasn't the Chosen One because he could kill a bunch of Jedi. He was Abraham, father of an entire clan of descendants who could use the Force. By the time the Emperor realized that his apprentice's greatest asset was his genetic material, it was too late. When people catch on fire like Anakin did, their extremities like toes, ears, and other assorted dangly bits are the first things to go. Padme was the last person to see his before he became an ugly half-robot Ken doll. His lightsaber went missing. His dick got burned off, is what I'm saying.
Anakin's fathering days were done, but Luke's were just beginning. Once the Emperor realized that Anakin could pass along his Force-using genes, why not just crank up the ol' cloning machines and let them do the work? What, you think you're smarter than an evil, magical dictator? If it was possible to clone a Jedi or Sith, they would have done that already. They made millions of clone troopers based on a Jango Fett, who was stomped on by a space rhino and then had his head chopped off because he stood in one place for too long. You know he wasn't their first choice. An army of Darth Mauls would have been way more impressive. But that will have to wait for whenever George Lucas gets drunk and calls his CGI creators in because he's "Got, like, the best idea ever for Attack Of The Clones, guys. I swear."
Who wouldn't love C-SPAN: Universe Edition?
The Force has always been presented as a kind of counterpoint to technology. Lightsabers are "more elegant than a blaster," the unstoppable Death Star can be blown up by a kid using the Force, etc. It makes sense that the Force would only be accessible to someone of a natural birth. Therefore, the only way to get more Force users would be a natural conception as well. When Darth Vader mentioned that rather than killing Luke, they could simply capture him and bring him before them, Palpatine immediately recognized the possibilities and changed course. Luke's greatest potential wasn't as a Jedi, but as the father of thousands of prospective Jedi.
That's right. First and foremost, they wanted Luke's balls. The whole classic trilogy is about the quest to capture Mark Hamill's blessed nutsack. If he could gain control of Luke, Palpatine would suddenly be in control of an unlimited supply of new apprentices whom he could mold from birth to be an army of loyal Sith. Merely eliminating an untrained Jedi was no longer good enough; the Emperor wanted to turn Luke into his willing Darth Stud Farmer. When Luke was finally brought before the Emperor and then proved that he would not freely join the Sith cause, does Palpatine snap his neck, whip out his own lightsaber, or even order his faithful apprentice to kill Luke? Nope, he tases him into submission.
Is it a coincidence that we use electroejaculation to breed animals? I think not.
Sure, it would have been easier if Luke had come willingly, but it's not like there was no way for the plan to continue without his cooperation. One way or another, they could extract the necessary baby material. But that's when this plot becomes even more sinister. The lightsaber fight between Darth Vader and Luke completely changed gears once Vader realized that Luke had a twin sister who had survived. Sure, a male could produce dozens of offspring per month, but if the Duggars are any standard, under the right circumstances, a female Skywalker could still give birth to at least 19 Force-using kids, and evil people wouldn't exactly care how willing she was. Once he realized the horror of possibilities that the Emperor and his father could inflict upon Leia, Luke changed tactics and became determined to prevent his father from revealing his daughter's existence. Luke was willing to kill his own dad in order to save his sister from a life of birthing s****y kids for a cackling geriatric.
Frankly, the Emperor should have ditched the "Join the Dark Side and rule the galaxy!" sales pitch and concentrated on "Have ridiculous amounts of sex for the rest of your life, or we'll torture your sister." No wonder Luke ran off to be by himself during The Force Awakens. I think that would have been most of our reactions, too.
See what Star Wars could have been in 7 Insanely Bad Ideas Cut From 'Star Wars' At The Last Second, and if you wish Star Wars would quit focusing on the Skywalker family, then make sure to read Why 'Star Wars' Should Ditch Han Solo and the Skywalkers.
Also follow us on Facebook, because there's no better place to shout out 30-year-old spoilers to unsuspecting victims.
Our bodies are changing.
Many of today's celebrities have some real surprises in their family trees.
Everybody loves a good old-fashioned meltdown.
Science is fun.