That’s right, gang, our weekly philosophical exercise is going to involve one of my favorite subjects (time travel) and two of my all-time favorite movies. If I have to tell you what those flicks are, then you might be hanging out on the wrong blog.
So climb into your DeLorean, fire up the flux capacitor, and be on the lookout for Imperial Star Destroyers as you search your Deep Thoughts on tonight’s topic.
This week’s topic: You are Luke Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi. The Rebel Alliance has just won the Battle of Endor, the Death Star has been destroyed, and your father saved your life by killing the Emperor. As you reflect on all this, a young man named Marty McFly shows up with a time traveling DeLorean and makes you an intriguing offer. He will take you back to the first Death Star right before Ben Kenobi lost his life at the hands of the man you now know is your father. Do you go back to save Ben’s life?
Is that a Deep Thought provoking topic, or what?
Just imagine for a moment, a reality in which Luke and Marty could exist together. That alone is enough to keep the Deep Thoughts flowing all night. The adventures those two could get into with a DeLorean, a lightsaber, and the Force is simply mind boggling.
As for my question, I’m not not really sure how to answer it yet. What I can say for sure is that if Marty showed up at the end of A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back, and made the very same offer, Luke would accept it in a heartbeat.
The future was bleak at those times, even after the great victory at the end of Episode IV. Luke had lost his only known family and the man who had become his mentor and a father figure. He had not yet started his Jedi training, had no concept of controlling his emotions, and would have been desperate to get back someone he had lost.
After Empire, life was especially grim. He’d lost his hand, the friend who had become like an older brother to him, and his newest Jedi mentor. Oh, and the second most evil being in the galaxy, the dude who had just sliced off his hand, had dropped the bombshell that he happened to be his father.
Luke would’ve been completely out of sorts at that point, and badly in need of Ben’s sage advice. Because sometimes, a shimmering ghost-like vision just isn’t enough for a lost boy with one bionic hand and serious Daddy issues, you know?
The whole reason I posed this question as I did, however, was because so much had changed by the end of Jedi. Luke was more in control of his emotions, and acted like someone who had completed his Jedi training. He had saved Han, gone off to confront his father, and was ready to stand up to the Emperor.
And Luke wasn’t the only one who’d changed. The whole course of history had taken a major 180. The Empire had fallen, the good guys had won, and the galaxy was free. Finally, good times were on the horizon.
So why mess with that?
So as much as Luke would probably want to share a glass of punch with Ben at the Enchantment Under The Sea Dance, and talk about what his Dad was like as a kid, the mere idea of doing so would have to cause a powerful disturbance in the Force.
Even though Luke would want to save Ben’s life and have him around to mentor him, share in the Rebel Alliance’s victory, and help revive the Jedi Knights, if he searched his feelings, he would discover that changing that one wrinkle in time could realistically destroy the present day countless people had worked so hard to achieve.
Ultimately, Luke’s Jedi training would save the day. He would understand that a personal victory could never be allowed to jeopardize a victory for the entire galaxy.
I think Luke would thank Marty for the generous offer, but decline. However, he might ask to borrow the DeLorean for another journey instead.
My guess is Luke would then use the awesome time machine to travel back and make sure that he never kisses his sister.
What do you think, Modern Philosophers? May the Force be with you…