Enchantment Under The Death Star

Star Wars, Back to the Future, time travel, Luke Skywalker, Marty McFly, Obi Wan Kenobi, Friday Night Think Tank, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherThis week, Modern Philosophers, I’m excited to announce that The Friday Night Think Tank is going to time travel back to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

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.

Star Wars, Back to the Future, time travel, Luke Skywalker, Marty McFly, Obi Wan Kenobi, Friday Night Think Tank, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe 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?

Star Wars, Back to the Future, time travel, Luke Skywalker, Marty McFly, Obi Wan Kenobi, Friday Night Think Tank, philosophy, humor, Modern PhilosopherAs Doc Brown has warned us, you cannot alter the past without causing consequences for the future.

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…

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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20 Responses to Enchantment Under The Death Star

  1. I think you’re entirely spot on! There’s too many chances for a butterfly effect, so to speak. He could go back and mess up more than just the time zone: he could never have been born, his father could have not gone to the Dark Side, Ben could have died at another critical point, and so on and so forth. I had a much greater debate on hand until you expounded the reasons why Luke would decline. For that, I’m not too worried to drudge it up again because yours was stellar. Thanks for the share and the great idea of a collaboration!

    • Austin says:

      Feel free to share what you were going to say. I’m really intrigued by this one, and want to hear all the opinions and debate it through the weekend. 🙂

      • Okay, I think I’ve remembered where I planned to take this, since you’re interested!

        Luke would be tempted; who wouldn’t be, even fleetingly? It’s so easy to forget, though, that in such situations it is emotion not logic that rules one’s decision-making skills. (Perhaps I’m being a tad too strong on the generalization? Let’s just keep it for the sake of example.) That split second is emotion, not logic, talking the: “hell yeah, let’s go time traveling!” instead of “let’s be rational, take a step back and think this through.”

        For the emotional approach, going back in time like I mentioned before could lead to a butterfly effect. There’s too many variables to make a solid let alone stable induction. If Luke goes back in time, how would Ben know him and give the sage advice he seeks? For Ben to be the man/leader/father figure he idolizes, Ben had to go through his destined path too (lame, perhaps, but I can’t think of another appropriate phrase!). So what good would Ben be to Luke? None. (We’ll not even contemplate the chance of being spotted by past figures either…at least not yet, ha!) If Luke goes alllll the way back to that critical moment between Obi Wan and Anakin, what risks does he take for a moment of comfort? Will he even obtain that reassurance? Where’s the evidence?

        But, his training has to play a role in his ultimate decision to decline. Is it a role of good versus evil, the Jedi versus the Dark Side, black and white? Once one begins to debate and unravel, it’s really quite obvious it’s all gray. There was a purpose for Ben’s death, no matter how devastating it had been for Luke. Plus, there’s that whole Chosen One concept that needs to be followed, huh? Okay, that’s cliche but there’s some merit there. Ben died for the greater good. Now it’s Luke’s turn to acknowledge that AND to grow up some more.

        But really. Who wouldn’t be tempted to turn back the clock to erase the choice to kiss your twin?

        I think that’s where I was headed with this. Hope it makes coherent sense. Thanks for the great debatable platform!

      • Austin says:

        It does make perfect sense. While it seems that Luke would take comfort in having Ben around to guide him, we now know Ben didn’t have the best luck training the Skywalker clan. 🙂 Also, it’s so essential to Luke’s development that he uses the Force when he fires the shot that destroys the first Death Star. If Ben isn’t dead, then maybe he can’t speak to Luke at that moment to urge him to trust himself…

      • Yes, exactly! 🙂 I forgot to mention Ben’s lack of luck in the Skywalker department. Case in point, all things (here) had to happen for a reason. Trust, huh? What another intriguing aspect.

      • Austin says:

        I’m hoping some other readers will disagree and make a case for Luke’s taking Marty’s offer…

      • No one has yet? Well…this isn’t much of an argument then. 🙃

      • Austin says:

        I was hoping this post would get shared much more and generate a lot more comments…

      • Have hope! The weekend isn’t over yet. 🙂

      • Austin says:

        I’ve searched my feelings and decided to have a new hope… 🙂

      • Heh…nice pun there. What can I say? Whenever I see an opportunity, I take it and run. Nice one! 😃

      • Austin says:

        Thanks. 🙂

  2. Megan Sloan says:

    Totally agree. I think that his training would stop him from going back and saving Ben. Especially when he knows that Ben sacrificed himself for the greater good. It would be dishonoring Bens sacrifice.

  3. floridaborne says:

    Definitely not. Remember that when Obi Wan went into the ether, it made him a stronger force. 🙂

    However, Luke should take a short vacation to the future and see what happens in the future. If his galaxy turned out anything like ours, he might decide to leave it to the Emperor and become a superhero in the future.

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