Why, if you don't mind me asking? I just laid out plenty of evidence that Luke should trump Vader, from the movies, canon, and Legends. I'd love to see a rebuttal rather than just a two word declaration that the opposite character would win.
The novelizations of the books have been confirmed canon multiple times since the Canon/Legends split. Del Ray, the current publisher of Star Wars novels, has stated that the novelizations "are canon where they align with what is seen on screen in the 6 films and the Clone Wars animated movie."
So basically, the novels are still canon. The insight we get into character's minds, still canon. Luke being Blue Five instead of Red Five? Not canon, since it contradicts the movie.
I'd provide a link, but I'm currently too new of a member to do so. But suffice to say, a guy named Kyle Newman messaged Leland Chee and Del Ray Books on Twitter, and Del Ray confirmed that the novelization of all Star Wars movies, including The Clone Wars, are in fact still canon.
You can also go on Random House Books' website and look up the official Del Ray canon timeline, in which the novels of the Star Wars movies appear.
Luke also says in ROTJ that Vader is conflicted and that he feels the good in him. Vader earlier laments that its "too late" for him... Vader wasn't fighting at his best and its right there in the film or was I missing something when he let Luke just hack away at him at the end of their duel??
Lucasfilm needs to confirm it not Del Rey books. Also where "they align with the films" is a pretty big qualifier. In any case the ROTJ Novel is just way too outdated. Lucas changed a lot of the previously accepted notions post Prequels.
I definitely wouldn't go by Luke > Vader based on the novel alone.
Del Ray wouldn't have given a statement on whether or not the novelizations were canon unless they had been given permission by Lucasfilm. Why shouldn't we take the comment from Del Ray, the Lucasfilm-licensed publisher of Star Wars novels, as fact? They would have to get confirmation from Lucasfilm before making a definitive statement about whether or not something is canon.
It's fair that you should definitely take more than just the novel's word for Luke being superior to Vader. Which is why I also brought up various statements throughout both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. On the Legends front, I also brought up details from Shadows of the Empire and the official comic adaptations of the movie as well. Right now, we have no canon sources that deny Luke surpassed Vader, and statements and behavior throughout Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi tell us that Luke has overcome his father.
Everything points to Luke being superior to Vader, until you get into some later Legends sources like Courtship of Princess Leia, where Luke (an unreliable narrator) speculates that Vader could have killed him as easily as Gethzerion almost did. Keep in mind, Gethzerion was a threat so powerful that Palpatine himself feared her, and kept her isolated on Dathomir. She was shown capable of calling up massive storms with the Force simply through her anger, casually kill over 100 Stormtroopers in an instant, and when she attacked Luke, it seemed to be some form of Nightsister Magic, not simple Force TK. In other words, Luke seems to have been flat-out wrong about Vader being able to kill him as easily as Gethzerion nearly did.
Because Del Rey may have not fully understood the new Canon rules regarding the movie novelisations. I mean heck there included the Clone Wars novel which even Leland Chee has stated isn't a very reliable source. Plus they want their sales to continue. Hence the qualifier "where they align".
The quotes from ESB and ROTJ don't prove Luke is more powerful than Vader as of ROTJ.
Legends has more evidence of ROTJ Luke being > Vader. But even that has contradicting evidence (Courtship of Princess Leia).
As for Canon, a lot has changed since the ROTJ novel was written. Lucas has stated Luke wasn't fully equipped to take on Vader in the ROTJ DVD/Blu-Ray commentary. The question is where Disney Canon stands on the issue.
Last edited by Darth Thor on Oct 3rd, 2017 at 04:47 PM
The books have not been moved to Legends. If you buy reprints, they will not have the Legends logo on them like all the other Legends novels out there. Del Ray would not be able to defy Lucasfilm about what is and isn't canon and definitively state that the novelizations are canon on both twitter and their official timeline if it were not true. There's no beating around the bush here, the novelizations are canon. No grey area there. The only thing in question is when the books 'don't align' with the movies. This would be any time there's an outright contradiction. Luke being Blue Five instead of Red Five, Obi-Wan and Owen Lars being brothers, ect. However, since we don't hear what's going through the character's minds in the movies, it's impossible for their written thoughts to contradict, or 'not align with' the movies.
Yes, it's true that quotes from ESB and RotJ don't *prove* Luke is more powerful than Vader, but they do *imply* it. In Empire Strikes Back, Yoda and Obi-Wan were very insistent that Luke not confront Vader, as he wasn't ready. Why would they make a 360 in Return of the Jedi unless they truly believed Luke was capable of winning in a confrontation with Vader? The Emperor predicts that Luke will be powerful enough to destroy both him and Vader in ESB. In RotJ, Vader mentions that Luke is indeed powerful, as the Emperor had foreseen. The Emperor is more than willing to have Luke kill Vader once Luke chopped off Vader's hand. Vader at this point would still be a useful immensely powerful tool. Why would he be so willing to give up such a valuable tool unless this new apprentice were truly more powerful than the old model? These details in no way definitively prove Luke is better than Vader, but given these details, in addition to what we can observe from the fight, there is far more evidence in RotJ for Luke being more powerful than Vader than for Luke being less powerful than him.
Regarding Legends, as I mentioned before, Luke is an unreliable narrator in Courtship of Princess Leia. Luke believed Gethzerion to be Vader's equal, when all evidence we have points to her being a Palpatine-level threat. Legends was notoriously inconsistent, and Luke's superiority/inferiority to Vader is one of the many points that Legends went back and forth on.
As far as the current canon is concerned, we have almost nothing from that time period. I'm not familiar with the George Lucas quotes you're referring to. I'll have to re-watch Return of the Jedi's commentary soon, I suppose.
As far as I know, Disney Canon hasn't given us a real answer to the Luke vs. Vader duel. I don't remember anything definitive from the new young readers novelization of Return of the Jedi regarding whether or not Luke was more powerful than Vader (but I only briefly flicked through it, since I didn't feel like actually buying that book). So instead I'm forced to rely on the only canon material we have about Return of the Jedi that I'm familiar with; the movies and the novel. Which, I will re-iterate, is definitively canon regardless of how you feel about Del Ray's credibility.
1) Doesn't matter how you feel about Del Rey, until it's confirmed by Lucasfilm it doesn't mean squat. Your point about the novels not having the Legends banner on it is a far more relevant point.
2) The creators of Canon are not and have never felt beholden to stick to the canonicity of those previous novelisations. TCW series contradicted so much of the ROTS Novel. Qui-Gon's Master in TPM Novel was contradicted by AOTC. Owen being Obi-Wan's brother in the ROTJ Novel e.t.c. Plus there me references to Legends which are clearly not Canon. That is probably changed with all new novelisations by Disney. As for The old movie novelisations, they are fine for further insight but they were never and are still not set in stone Canon which can't be changed.
3) In any case the ROTJ Novel is just far too outdated. Lucas's audio commentary is far more relevant to his latest Canon before handing over the reigns to Disney. What Disney Canon's position is still has to be seen.
Last edited by Darth Thor on Oct 4th, 2017 at 10:55 AM
Okay, fine. Setting the novelization aside for a minute, you still have yet to address any of the many other points I bring up explicitly from the movies about Luke being Vader's superior.
1) Why were Yoda and Ben telling Luke to go confront Vader in RotJ if they didn't believe he was ready? Especially if, in ESB, they were actively trying to dissuade a Luke from leaving Dagobah?
2) Sidious and Yoda have both outright stated that if Luke became a fully trained Jedi, he would be strong enough to conquer Vader and his Emperor. Yoda tells Luke that he requires no more training in RotJ. In other words, Luke is a fully trained Jedi. Vader also states this when talking to Luke, stating that Luke's skills are complete, and that he is indeed powerful, as the Emperor foresaw. How are we supposed to take this as anything other than an outright admission that Luke is a powerful and fully trained Jedi, capable of at least rivaling Vader?
3) Why was Sidious so eager and willing to have Luke kill Vader, his most powerful and useful asset up until this point? If Vader were still superior to Luke at this point, why not tell Vader to continue Luke's training into the Dark Side? Instead, he's ready to sacrifice his current apprentice to replace him with a new one. Why would he do that, if Luke hadn't already surpassed Vader?
All speculation and not Canon Fact, but I'll humour you:
1) I don't recall them telling him to confront Vader "right now".
There was no point to him staying on Degobah with Yoda dead.
2) Palpatine said nothing about "fully trained Jedi Knight". That was only Yoda. But his exact line was "Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor". So many different meanings this could have it's not even funny.
Firstly Luke wasn't a Jedi Knight until he threw his Saber down and rejected the Dark Side and the Emperor. Your context would mean he can take out Palpatine now, which we saw he clearly couldn't.
Second there are other forms of combat than just Saber/TK combat. There's also piloting which would likely be Luke's best chance to compete with those 2 at that point- in a space battle (backed by the Rebellion of course).
Third look at the level Anakin himself was at when he'd just recently got Knighted In TCW Movie. He still wasn't Count Dooku's equal.
But Fourth and most importantly- Just because Jedi Knight Luke can defeat the Sith doesn't necessarily mean he can defeat them as soon as he's become a Knight.
As for Vader's line- Luke being fully trained and powerful has to mea he rivals Vader? Obi-Wan Kenobi was a powerful Jedi Master, yet even he couldn't defeat Vader. Maul was a Powerful and Skilled Sith Lord, yet clearly no rival to Vader.
3) This is your best point tbh. Going by AOTC, TCW and ROTS, Palapatine wouldn't replace his Apprentice until the his potential replacement has already outgrown him.
But this could just be Palpatine not having the patience for that anymore. And knowing Luke is too big of a potential threat (he foresaw himself being destroyed), if he wouldn't just turn now. And they were still following the Rule of Two.
Last edited by Darth Thor on Oct 4th, 2017 at 08:42 PM
Right now, there is no 'canon fact'. Nothing has been clarified in canon, unless you take the only canon source that definitively states this, the official novelization. Yet you refuse to accept that it's canon simply because it is Del Ray claiming the novels to be canon, not Lucasfilm (even though, as I've stated before, Del Ray can't say what is and isn't canon without Lucasfilm's express permission).
As for your rebuttals:
1) Sure, Ben and Yoda weren't telling Luke "Go kill Vader right now." But here are some of Yoda's exact words in Empire Strikes Back compared to Return of the Jedi:
ESB: "Luke! You must complete the training!" "Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor." "Strong is Vader! Mind what you have learned! Save you, it can!"
RotJ: "No more training do you require. Already know that which you need." "One thing remains. Vader. You must confront Vader." "And confront him, you will."
Notice a difference here? In Empire Strikes Back, Yoda is warning Luke that his training isn't complete, that Vader is strong, and only when Luke is fully trained as a Jedi can he challenge Vader and the Emperor. In Return of the Jedi, Yoda is outright telling Luke that he requires no more training, and that the only thing that remains is for Luke to confront Vader. Not practice for a decade to improve, not meditate in hiding for 20 years like Yoda and Obi-Wan did, then go face Vader. No. The only thing remaining for Luke to be made a fully fledged Jedi is to confront Vader. Why tell Luke that if Yoda didn't believe Luke was powerful enough to do it? Especially since in Empire Strikes Back, he was insistent that Luke wasn't ready?
We see a similar situation with Ben's statements in ESB compared to RotJ:
ESB: "But you cannot control it. This is a dangerous time for you, when you will be tempted by the Dark Side of the Force." "It is you and your abilities the Emperor wants." "Patience!"
RotJ: "You must face Darth Vader again." "Then the Emperor has already won." (in response to Luke saying, "I can't kill my own father.") "The Emperor knew as I did, that if Anakin were to have offspring, they would be a threat to him."
Ben and Yoda are pushing Luke to confront Vader in Return of the Jedi, when in Empire Strikes Back, they insisted he wasn't ready. The only logical conclusion for why they would do that is if they believe RotJ Luke is ready to confront Vader.
2) No, Palpatine did not mention "fully trained Jedi knight." His exact words in ESB were: "He can destroy us." "The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi." In other words, if Luke were to become a Jedi, he could be the undoing of Vader and Sidious.
As for whether or not Luke could take out Sidious in Return of the Jedi, we really don't know that one way or another. Yoda warned Luke not to underestimate the powers of the Emperor, but he didn't tell Luke that Luke should never fight Palpatine. Luke never really tried to fight Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, as he had thrown aside his lightsaber as if to state, "I'm done fighting." Now, do I truly believe Luke=Palpatine during Return of the Jedi? I find it unlikely. But the context of the movies does imply this much. Sure, Luke was no match for the Force lightning, but Luke had also thrown aside his lightsaber. For all we know, if he'd tried to defend himself with his lightsaber instead of tossing it aside, he could have struck down Palpatine.
It's true that there are other forms of combat that Luke could have used to engage Vader, and starfighter combat was definitely Luke's best gamble (having shown in canon comics that Luke's piloting abilities rival his father's). But that same fact was true in Empire Strikes Back, and yet Obi-Wan and Yoda were insistent that Luke not confront Vader then. So something still must have changed between ESB and RotJ to make Yoda and Ben both suddenly believe that Luke was ready to confront Vader.
I'm not contesting the level of ability of a Jedi Knight vs. a Jedi Master, as it's all subjective and based on an individual. I don't know why Yoda decided to tell Luke that "A fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally" can defeat Vader and the Emperor, but that's what was stated on screen.
The reason I brought up Vader's line about Luke's skills being complete was in regards to Vader's followup statement. "Indeed you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen." The Emperor foresaw Luke being powerful enough to rival both Vader and himself. Vader is telling us that Luke is living up to the Emperor's expectation of "He could destroy us." Repeatedly throughout all of Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Vader and Sidious drive home the fact that Luke seems to be some form of Force-based WMD. They go on and on about how powerful Luke is and how strongly the Force is with him. "He can destroy us." "The Force is strong with him." "The Force is with you, young Skywalker." "He could become a powerful ally." "He has grown strong. Only together can we turn him to the Dark Side." "Indeed you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen." "Your hate has made you powerful." The lines are everywhere.
Also, rewatch the duel between the newly Knighted Anakin and Count Dooku from the TCW movie. Anakin was holding his own against Dooku fairly well while weighted down by a backpack full of rocks. It's only after Dooku starts using Dun Moch against Skywalker that he seems to gain the upper hand. Once the backpack comes off, Anakin goes right back to holding his own pretty evenly against Dooku, and even knocks Dooku from his feet and steals the Sith Lord's speeder at the end. I'd say Anakin was the one who came out on top of that engagement. Repeatedly throughout The Clone Wars TV show, we see that Anakin and Dooku are pretty much even, and in one of their fights, Anakin clearly has the upper hand. Side note - Up until after he lost his arm in Attack of the Clones, Anakin never even took his ten years of training seriously. We're outright told this in AotC, when Kenobi chastises Skywalker for how little he focuses on training with his lightsaber. It's only once the Clone Wars start that Anakin actual put serious effort into his training. Up until then, he had been sailing by on raw natural talent. Luke, on the other hand, has been training seriously, if in an unconventional manner, for four years straight, learning what he can where ever possible. The two are hardly comparable at the moments they each first became a "Knight".
While it's true that just because Jedi Knight Luke can defeat Vader, it doesn't mean he can do so the instant he is knighted, the prerequisite for Luke to become a Knight was to confront Vader. This is why I said I'm not contesting the ability of a Jedi Knight vs. a Jedi Master. Because "Knight" "Master" and "Padawan" are all just titles. The title isn't what's important here. What really matters is whether or not Luke is considered a "fully trained Jedi," which Yoda claims he is when Yoda states that Luke does not need any more training, and that he already knows what he requires.
3) I'm standing by my original third point. Your idea that Palpatine simply doesn't have the patience for waiting for a replacement to surpass his current apprentice is more baseless than my speculation. Palpatine had the patience to set up his massive grand plan that we see executed in Return of the Jedi. I'm sure he has the patience to wait until Luke properly eclipses Vader before having Vader disposed of. It's true he saw Luke as a great threat, but he still very much wanted Luke as an apprentice. The moment Sidious realized he can't turn Luke, he immediately decided to kill him. But before that moment, when Luke was standing over Vader, Sidious believed Luke to have fallen fully to the Dark Side, and was more than eager to have Luke off Vader then and there. This is totally incongruous with Palpatine's M.O. in any context other than Luke having already surpassed Vader.
I'd also like to come back to an earlier point that was raised, regarding a statement by Lucas in the audio commentary of Return of the Jedi. I sat down today and re-watched the entire audio commentary, and I feel some important context was left out.
George Lucas' statement during the Yoda scene in RotJ was "In coming back to see Yoda, we have to figure out Luke's training and the fact that he never finished his training and that obviously now he's got a big question he's got that he wants answered. And there is a point where the hero has to be left alone on his own two feet without anybody there to help him. And you can sort of have him be in a different place or something, but at some point you have to say, 'well, now all the props have been taken away, and he has to face the evil monster alone.' In this case, the scene establishes that the evil monster is actually his father, and he's going to have to do it on his own, and that he's not really equipped to do it. That he was too impatient, he didn't finish his studies, and now he's going to be half-trained to face a difficult physical and emotional challenge."
So in one of his talks, he states that Luke was 'not really equipped' to 'face the evil monster alone'. However, what he's talking about here is storytelling, not how powerful Luke actually is compared to Vader. "Not really equipped" can mean many things, but in the context of when George Lucas is saying this, it's clear that the biggest hang-up Luke has isn't a just lack of training. It's a lack of desire to kill his father. Lucas is saying all of this as Luke is asking whether or not Vader is his father. Moments after, Luke makes it clear to Ben that his biggest limitation isn't "I don't think I can win." It's "I don't want to kill my dad, because I know there's still good in him." Minutes later in the audio commentary, however, George Lucas contradicts the idea that Luke isn't "equipped" to face Vader.
"It's always an advantage to the third film in both of these trilogies, these Star Wars trilogies, that it starts out with a young boy, naive youth, that by the time it gets to the third film, he's an experienced warrior, he's matured into his full self, and therefore he's always a much more interesting character. Because he's richer and he's ready to take on his final challenge. It's also the reason the third act of a play is more interesting. Because in the first, you introduce your characters, in the second you get to introduce the problem, and in the third you get to resolve everything. And this being the third part, it has all the resolutions of all the various problems that have been developed in the first films."
Here, Lucas claims Luke (along with Anakin from Episode III) is "an experienced warrior, he's matured into his full self." "He's ready to take on his final challenge." This is within a couple of minutes of Lucas having said that Luke isn't equipped to face his father, but now we have Lucas claiming that he's ready to face his final challenge. And then we come to the scene where Luke finally confronts Vader, and we find out what George Lucas had been meaning by facing Vader.
"The scene where Luke deliberately gets himself captured and confronts Vader sort of defines the rest of the movie in terms of the fact that it's not a chase or one trying to escape from the other. It's an emotional confrontation between the two of them. And Luke isn't going to run away from him, he isn't going to fight him. It's a whole different twist on where you might expect the movie to go. It becomes a direct challenge that Luke has with his father, to say 'I dare you. I'm not going to run away from this.' Which makes it very different than keeping them as villains. Or a villain/hero kind of situation. It's where 'we're going to sit down and talk about this.' And again, on a lot of levels, there's a nice twist in their relationship and how they confront each other. But it's not just like in Empire Strikes Back, where it was actually a physical confrontation and a real cutting arms off and things like that. This is a more emotional, talking kind of confrontation."
The confrontation between Luke and Vader, in Lucas' mind, is not a physical one. This is made especially clear when we get closer to the end of the movie.
"The key issue in these movies is for a Jedi not to use anger when he's fighting. So the final confrontation here is about trying to make Luke become angry, so that when he's fighting his father, he's fighting in anger. Therefore, begins to use the Dark Side of the Force, and therefore sort of succumbs to the Dark Side of the Force. In The Empire Strikes Back, we had them confront each other and fight together. But in this one, Luke has become more mature, so that now he knows that he shouldn't be fighting him. That is the path to the Dark Side. So it's basically a competition between two people. One of them doesn't want to fight, and the other keeps trying to push him into it. And in the end, when he gives up and they really fight, what's happening there ultimately is that Luke is turning to the Dark Side. All is going to be lost."
As Lucas makes perfectly clear in the second sentence. The final confrontation, the one Luke was not equipped for, is not a physical confrontation. It's about whether or not Luke gives in to his anger.
Now, if you want actual statements from George Lucas about how Luke stacks up to Vader, they're pretty sparse and not out-right declarations of "Luke isn't strong enough to beat Vader" or "Luke can definitely beat Vader." But he did make a few comments comparing the two during the throne room scene.
"The Emperor wants Luke to kill Vader so that he will have a new, young Jedi. You know, let's face it. Darth Vader is half-mechanical. He's not nearly as good as he could be. He's not nearly as good as he was hoping Anakin would become, like he is. As he ends up in this confrontation that puts him in this suit. So he's hoping to get a new, better young apprentice in Luke. And if he kills his father, then he would take his place as his apprentice, which, actually is something that happens in the next film. That's how Anakin becomes the Emperor's apprentice. There's a lot of stuff that's repeated through these movies. Between this trilogy of 4, 5, and 6 and the first trilogy of 1, 2, and 3. One is of the father, and the other is of the son. But there's a lot of scenes that are similar, where the father and son confront the same issues, that's almost the same scene. And thematically, there's a lot of things, certain themes, that keep repeating themselves. Certain situations that keep repeating themselves. And the only thing that's different is the performance of the character, and how does he react to that."
Here Lucas comes as close as he's ever come to stating that Luke is superior to Vader. He talks about Vader not being nearly as good as he could be, and how Sidious believes Luke would make a better apprentice. This is as close to an actual comparison between Luke and Vader as I've seen Lucas make, and it's the most telling thing that Lucas says in the entire audio commentary, with regards to how Luke measures up to Darth Vader.