That’s Interesting: Luke Skywalker Wanted to Join the Empire

Just imagine if one of the most heroic individuals had been able to follow his own plan for getting off of the dustiest hunk of rock in the galaxy, and then think of what life might have been like for Luke Skywalker in the Empire. People might think that this is just an idle thought, but it’s been spread around the internet at this point and it’s an idea that’s already been around for well over four decades since A New Hope arrived in theaters. Those that can will remember that Luke mentioned that if the new droids worked out that he would be submitting his application to the Academy. Given that there weren’t a lot of academies mentioned in the first movie and the Jedi academy would have been obliterated had it still existed, it’s fair to state that Luke was headed toward the Empire like his friend Biggs Darklighter. You know, one of the people he wanted to go see at Tosche Station as he mentioned? Whether it was blind luck or the Force at work though, Luke wasn’t bound to go anywhere other than on a hunt for R2-D2, which ended up sparing his life and giving him a new outlook on the Empire. 

You could say that his mind was changed a little too quickly, but the fact is that when it’s discovered that stormtroopers have vaporized the only family you had or were aware of, it’s likely that you’ll flip on the people you thought were bound to help with your future fairly easily. Some might not have turned that quick, but it was easy to notice that Luke just wanted off Tatooine, as he had too much of his father in him, as Aunt Beru mentioned. Uncle Owen, who’d known at least a little bit about Anakin Skywalker, was constantly fearful of Luke learning anything about his father’s past, or his uncertain legacy, and had kept him as busy as possible over the years no doubt to chase any foolish aspirations out of his head. 

Obviously, that didn’t work. But what did work was the fact that Luke had no funds to go anywhere, his aunt and uncle weren’t rich enough and had no desire to ship him off to the Academy, and apart from a comic story that showed him nearly reaching orbit on his way to a much-needed vacation, Luke was kind of stuck where he was. A lot of people in the real world know very well what that’s like and why it’s such a pain in the neck considering that being stuck to one spot due to funds and responsibilities that never appear to end is like being in a type of prison that one can walk around in, exercise their freedoms in, but never escape. The Empire was Luke’s way out, at least until he and the droids found Obi-Wan Kenobi. Trying to imagine where Luke would have excelled in the military is kind of interesting since it does feel that he might have gone on to be a pilot like Han, or perhaps followed his buddy Biggs and made his way up the ranks. However it might have happened, there’s one thing that would have probably made him rebel even harder than he did.

The destruction of Alderaan feels as though it would have shaken Luke to the core, since despite being kind of a whiny teenager, Luke still had a good heart and some sense of justice. Blowing up an entire planet doesn’t feel like something he would have been on board with. There’s also another factor that might have worked against him, and that’s the idea that if he and Vader had been on the same ship or in the same vicinity it’s very easy to think that the Sith Lord would have detected him at some point. After all, Vader sensed Obi-Wan when he was on the Death Star, and he sensed Luke during Return of the Jedi when the group was attempting to sneak down to the forest moon of Endor. Such a connection might have ruined his time in the Empire right then and there, or would have given Vader quicker and better access to his son to turn him to the dark side. 

It’s fair to state that there are still a lot of theories circling as people continue to poke and prod at the Star Wars franchise since we’ve seen quite a few obscure and well-known ideas come and go over the years. But trying to imagine Luke Skywalker becoming an Imperial, that’s kind of unnerving, especially if he would have ever shown any sign of joining with a group that would destroy an entire planet. Maybe Disney+ should come up with a ‘what if’ version for Star Wars, just to see what might happen. 

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