Okay, not sure if this has been asked already, so I am sorry if it was.
On the Death Star during RotJ, why did Luke throw his lightsaber away in front of the Emperor and proclaim himself a Jedi. I am fine with the proclaiming his being a Jedi, but what did Luke think would happen when he did that, and why did he throw away his lightsaber (his only real defense) when facing the most powerful Sith Master of all time? Did he think the Emperor would be like "I AM BLINDED BY YOUR LIGHT" and then jump down into the Death Star's reactor?
Please help me figure out what Luke was doing, or why Lucas had him toss away his lightsaber.
Palpatine is old and decrepit and doesn't seem to own his own lightsaber. As far as Luke knows, his biggest weapon would be something telekinesis-related.
Also, it's pretty heavily implied that during the rise and reign of the Empire, Palpatine's been the intellectual architect where Vader was the shock troop. It wouldn't surprise me if Palpatine's Force-sensitivity was relatively secret: everyone who figures it out in RotS is either killed, exiled, or is Darth Vader.
Plus, if Anakin Skywalker was believed killed during Order 66, making Darth Vader the only obvious Sith Lord, there also isn't the intuitive leap for the galaxy's citizens whereby a good Jedi is corrupted by someone with knowledge of the Dark side of the Force.
Then what did Luke think Vader meant when he said that Sidious was his master (on Endor). If not, what about when Sidious kept saying that he could FEEL the hate, anger, and emotion growing stronger within Luke.
Simple: Luke a.) probably didn't think Palpatine had a reason to be armed with any sort of weaponry to attack him with, and b.) definitely didn't know Palps was capable of shooting lightning bolts from his fingertips. Therefore he wouldn't have seen a need to fight Palps with anything but his fisticuffs(even though willingly throwing your saber away mid-battle goes against everything Jedi are taught.)
...Either way, it sure would have been nice for Yoda to disclose the lightning thing to Luke prior to confronting Palps, but hey, what can you do..?
Even IF Luke didn't know Palpatine was a Sith before meeting him, he probably would have deduced that much when Palps, you know, tried turning him to the dark side.
I haven't seen the movies in a long time but didn't yoda not want him to leave to save his friends because his training (to kill/fight Vader) was incomplete or something to that effect? He went anyway, lost his hand and then worked toward saving Han from jabba in the start of the next movie. Perhaps Hesitation on vaders part was anticipated by yoda in fighting his son but to think he would assume vader would betray the emperor and kill him for his son seems like a bit of a stretch. Luke seemed to be the last ditch effort of yoda to throw a Jedi out into the galaxy to trump the dark side no matter how slim a chance he might have.
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: On cloud 9 in 7th heaven! I didn't
I always took it like, he knew Palps was a Sith Lord given his previous convos with vader, and the fact that he saw the Emperor release his cuffs via the force. However, I dont think there was a way he could imagine how strong he was, although if its enough to control Vader, then his power level should be assumed.
As far as physically throwing it away, like others have said, he was tip-toeing that line between light and dark, and had he kept it, blocked the lightning then lunged at Palps out of anger, he would have turned. Or he could have continued his assault on Vader and killed, yet again, turning him to the darkside.
I think he also beleved his saber to be a physical manifestation or representation of what he percieved to be his only offensive weapon, and he wanted to void himself of anything that could lead to him turning.
Imo, Luke knew Palpatine was powerful, both from Vader's dialogue and from what Obi-Wan and Yoda told him. Not only that, but Luke definitely sensed the Dark Side emanating from Palpatine.
He tossed his lightsaber away to prove a point. Consider for the fact that Luke was confident that his friends would destroy the Death Star. He even says "Soon, I will be dead and you with me." I think Luke was most certainly ready to die on the Death Star with Vader and the Emperor so long as he redeemed his father in the process.
Before Luke threw away his lightsaber, he knew his fathers true secondary feelings. Realizing, while looking as Vaders cut off hand, that giving into hate, is a path to power. Palpatine stating that 'Join your place at my side' is telling Luke that he will not make the same mistake his father did. Luke finally felt what his father went threw, confirming that hate leads to only death/pain. Throwing away a lightsaber is saying 'no way'. Vaders secondary feelings save Luke