So I’m working on the second half of this Luke fic (and it’s taking me forever because apparently I’ve decided I need to write about every single Luke and Vader interaction in ROTJ in excruciating detail), and I need to meta a little bit about that scene on Endor’s moon, just after Luke turns himself in.
I’ve talked a lot about the horrible significance of Anakin saying “I must obey my Master,” but you know what’s infinitely worse? The lines that follow.
“The Emperor will show you the true nature of the Force,” Anakin tells his son, the son he’s preparing to turn over to that Emperor. “He is your Master now.”
That’s how completely Anakin has given up. It’s not just that he thinks it’s too late for him (although he does). It’s not just that he wants Luke to give up on him too (although he did, and most of the Endor’s moon scene prior to this line is him trying to convince Luke to leave him and save himself before it’s too late).
It’s that he’s so completely accepted his place as Palpatine’s slave that he’ll stand by and watch Luke, his free son, be enslaved too. And not just watch - he’ll actively deliver his son to the Emperor. The father Luke once imagined as a breaker of chains is going to deliver him into slavery, simply because he’s been ordered to and he can’t see himself as anything other than a tool that obeys.
And that’s when Luke says, “Then my father is truly dead.”