The twins suns of Tatooine are setting, a hopeful Luke looking out on the horizon. Dreaming. Wishing. Hoping. Little did his young heart and mind know that the suns he looked upon were very metaphorical. They were him and his long lost father.
The poetry of Star Wars is oft referred to, but mostly with regards to The Phantom Menace reflecting A New Hope, or Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith being mirror opposites. And, of course, there is the ring theory. However, the poetic elements of the saga run much deeper.
It is no accident that Luke looks onto a binary sunset, rather than a binary sunrise. The sun is setting on Luke’s current life, and when the sun rises in the morning it will be the start of his new life.
What he looks out on is far more than two suns. Rather, he’s looking out, unbeknownst to him, on the twin sons. The twin sons of Tatooine. Anakin and Luke. Stories forever intertwined, rising and setting pulled by each other’s gravity. Shining only when the other shines.
When Luke is born, Anakin is truly becoming, as the mask settles, Darth Vader. While it is true that Luke becomes the new hope for the galaxy, at this time the suns are setting. Anakin is becoming trapped in his hate; Luke is being trapped in a life where he will be unfulfilled and limited. Anakin’s gravity is already tugging at Luke, despite their never having met.
As Luke grows into his own, the sons begin to rise. Luke, in meeting Obi-Wan, is finally getting to shine and become who he was destined to be, and possibly who he would already be should Anakin not have fallen. Simultaneously, the light of Rebellion is really beginning to shine, as the team of Rogue One gets the plans of the Death Star. Even though Vader is at his most Vaderish, killing rebels left and right (not to mention up and down), the light to his redemption is beginning to shine with the introduction of his children to his life.
The light, ironically, begins to be snuffed out when the Death Star explodes. Vader finds himself walking in a thick pile of poodoo with the Emperor, and Luke struggles to find his way as a Jedi. Things are looking bleak for both, but once again time brings a rise of the sons once more as Luke and Vader clash sabers for the first time (sorry, that pun was far too easy).
The ending duel in Empire Strikes Back is often thought to be tragic, but I encourage you to watch it once more. While it is true that Luke’s world, and hope for finding his father, is shattered when Darth Vader reveals his true identity, far too often the fact that it is the beginning Luke really needs. How often in our own lives do we find that we need to be broken to truly rise again? Luke is broken, but still has hope as he calls out to his father through the Force.
Look at the colors during that duel. Things start very bleak. Grey. Dark. Dominated by the dark side. It gets even worse as Luke is broken by Vader’s revelation. And he falls into the darkness, ready to embrace death rather than turn to the dark side, only to find himself back in the light of the Cloud City day. That willingness, to give up everything before letting the sunset last eternally, is what causes the sons to rise once again.
At the beginning of Return of the Jedi, we see that sunrise happen. Luke has become stronger, and the black garb he wears reinforces that he has become more connected to his father. One way or another their paths will be intertwined. The sons will rise and set together.
Throughout the film, we see that connection grow stronger, starting with Luke being able to identify his father’s presence. We also see the twin sons get woven together in a deeper, more spiritual way when Luke willingly walks into the belly of the beast to confront Anakin. Once more, we see the sun begin to rise when Luke is taken away and Vader, or possibly Anakin, leans somberly on the railing (Wait, what?! A railing in Star Wars!!), contemplating his son’s offer of returning to the light, all while battling his own inner turmoil.
High noon hits in the darkness of the Emperor’s throne room. Slowly we see Anakin start to creep back, but at the same time Luke is sliding towards darkness. The sons balance each other until eventually and, in love, truly balance each other. Luke rights his way. Anakin redeems himself.
And the sons shine eternal.
The art featured in the header was done by the extremely talented Renata Castellani. Find more of her great Star Wars fan art at: http://renny08.deviantart.com/gallery/29173588/Star-Wars