However, in The Last Jedi Luke is shown to be contemplating murdering his own nephew in his sleep for things he hasn’t done yet.
Which is why it would be no different if there was a time machine involved.
Suppose Luke does go back in time to kill Anakin. It would be the same. He would still be killing Anakin for things that Anakin hasn’t done yet. That’s the entire premise of the Hitler dilemma.
But I understand your point. The future is not set in stone, it’s always in motion. Unfortunately, this point isn’t as well-established as you might think.
Yoda stated categorically that the future is both “always in motion” and “impossible to see”.
And right before this, Yoda says, “Through the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future. The past. Old friends long gone.”
The entire context of the conversation they’re having is a vision Luke has had of Han and Leia in danger on Cloud City. Which literally comes true, just as Luke saw it.
Moreover, it’s a scene where Yoda is actively discouraging Luke from flying off half-cocked and confronting Vader before he’s ready. Yoda has every motivation in this scene to downplay the accuracy of Force visions.
On the other hand, maybe Yoda was being truthful. It may be the case that the future is murky and hard to see for the average Jedi.
But the Skywalkers are not average Jedi.
Anakin was imbued with more latent Force ability than any other Jedi of his time, and Luke seems to have inherited much of that.
And every time a Skywalker has been shown to have a vision of the future, that vision has come true.
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Now let’s look at the other times Yoda mentions looking into the future.
Another oft-used quote used to debunk Force visions is Yoda’s, “The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is.”
But the context of this quote is that Palpatine is asking Yoda whether the potential Separatist secession could lead to civil war. Yoda has had no specific vision here; Palpatine is asking him to look into the future and seek out a vision. Very different type of situation.
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Another instance comes when Anakin comes to Yoda seeking advice after having his vision of Padmé. Yoda warns him against heeding his vision, as he will later do with Luke… but the conversation ends up going very differently.
Yoda says nothing about the future always being in motion. He doesn’t even attempt to try to convince Anakin that the vision might not come true. Instead, Yoda cautions Anakin about attachment, and how fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side.
He’s essentially acknowledging that Padmé is going to die (or that she’s very likely to), and telling Anakin that he just has to accept it.
It’s likely he uses this tactic because he knows Anakin has already had one vision of the future that happened exactly as he saw it.
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There’s another point worth discussing: authentic prophecies versus self-fulfilling prophecies.
As I said, we’ve now seen four examples of a Skywalker having a vision of the future, and then that vision come true. But two of those examples only came true because of the actions taken to try and prevent them from happening.
Anakin tries to save Padmé, and in doing so, ensures her death.
Luke tries to prevent Kylo Ren’s galactic genocide, and in doing so, ensures Ben’s fall to the Dark Side.
So you might argue that they should have left well enough alone. But for both characters, the first vision they had was an authentic prophecy. That is an integral point.
Vision #1: Anakin sees his mother’s death. Authentic prophecy. Anakin could have saved her had he acted sooner, and it was only through inaction that the vision came true.
Vision #2: Anakin sees Padmé’s death. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Anakin attempts to save Padmé and only ends up killing her.
Vision #3: Luke sees Han and Leia in danger on Cloud City. Authentic prophecy. Had Luke not acted, very likely that Leia at least would have been killed.
Vision #4: Luke sees Kylo Ren’s reign of terror. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Luke (briefly) considers acting to prevent this vision from coming true, and though he changes his mind and does not go through with it, his actions are still what bring about Ben’s fall.
So both characters face an authentic prophecy first, which gives them a (perhaps false) sense that the future will come true unless they act to prevent them. And so when both characters receive a second vision, they are compelled to act, and these are the self-fulfilling prophecies which doom them.
That’s also another thematic connection. Luke’s arc paralleling Anakin’s, in a way.
But people keep telling me Johnson is a shit writer. Hmm…
The real conclusion to draw from The Last Jedi (or the Transformers franchise) is that some people just like terrible films if the special effects are glossy enough that they can turn their brains off.
Thanks, I really appreciate the condescension.