You know, we can make fun of it because it was very much a cliched NOOOOOO but my heart broke for Luke then. Because Vader had been toying with him; Luke would have known that much – that Vader was holding back, nudging him, testing him – but not knowing why. He’d assume it was cruelty, like a lothcat pawing at her prey, and this is a very fair assumption to make. Vader oversaw Leia’s torture (the scars the torture droid left are minute, tucked behind her ears and below her collarbone, and she’ll never tell him precisely how it felt; but he has these dreams and when he wakes his head echoes with screams –) Anyway. Vader oversaw Han’s torture as well – they didn’t even ask me questions – and Luke may not have been there in person but you can bet he felt it. Not all of it; but a whisper of fear, a clutch of pain; an image of red, red, red
Go back a bit. Yes, fandom loves to drag Luke for Leia comforting him for the death of his mentor just after her planet exploded into stardust and nothingness (her parents, her friends, her everything); but acknowledging his pain doesn’t diminish hers; and, think about it, he’s just lost the only parents he’s ever known (found their red-stained skeletons, reaching across the sands) and he finds Obi Wan and Obi Wan was the first person in his entire life who seemed to understand him, understand his hunger for life beyond Tattooine’s red sands. And he died too, and Luke watched powerless, and he watched Vader kick at Obi Wan’s empty robes. (Luke wasn’t to know that Anakin couldn’t quite believe that Obi Wan was dead, that he half-expected the robes to come back to life and scold him and –). So: the boy’s been through a lot. And throughout this he’s been thinking of his father. His bold and brave father. His Jedi father. In his dreams, his father looks a little like Obi Wan, a little like Owen, a little like a holo he saw of some senator once – no idea why – and he’s smiling. He says things like Luke I’ll teach you to be a Jedi and shows him how to meditate and teaches him to fight and is never cryptic or strange and speaks like a normal fucking person (angry, are you. you do it on purpose you little alien – just say you are angry –).
He idolizes his father – quite literally. He builds an idol of him and he worships it, because he doesn’t have much left. He’s only twenty.
And then this monster, this terror, this thing that has haunted his nightmares, this thing that has tortured his friends, slaughtered innocents, toyed with him – this thing says I am your father and he’s telling the truth, Luke knows, and in that moment Vader kills his father again, because all those lovely warm daydreams, all those stories he’d used to lull himself back to sleep after waking from another heart-stoppingly terrible dream (about Han dying in a swish of red lightsabre, or Leia howling her pain to the stars, or just the skeletons of two kind people who had raised a child that was not their own) – all those stories are gone. They are gone. His father is gone, and his father is here, and so he screams.
“mr. bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in the room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at netherfield. such amiable qualities must speak for themselves.”