A very complicated fan theory thinks Luke Skywalker is the real villain of Star Wars

Did the Rebel Alliance cause a galactic recession when they blew up the Death Star?

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You’ve got to love the moral certainty of Star Wars. A clear-cut tale of good and evil, the kid-friendly franchise has great goodies, obvious baddies (wearing black) and a simple message: goodness will always triumph over the forces of darkness.

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Or so we thought. One new fan theory suggests that, far from bringing peace and prosperity to the galaxy, Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance could have wrought untold suffering and agony on the very people they were trying to liberate when they blew up the Death Star in 1977’s A New Hope.

You can see the whole theory in the video below, but put simply it boils down to cold hard cash. According to academics (clearly with way too much time on their hands), the steel alone for the moon-sized weapon would have been around $852,000,000,000,000,000 in today’s money, and so its destruction by the Rebels would have plunged the galaxy into a recession.

With the second Death Star destroyed in Return of the Jedi and the Emperor killed along with it, the situation would have deteriorated even further, with no one left to pay off the Empire’s debts and a power vacuum filled by various factions.

In short, it would have been chaos, and much worse for the average Joe than Emperor Palpatine’s less violent political takeover in the Star Wars prequels. 

As the video goes on to argue, some citizens may have seen the violent rebels as far worse than the relatively absent Empire, whose governance little affected their day-to-day lives and brought stability to their society. From that perspective, is it so crazy to see Luke Skywalker and not his father as the real villain?

We’ll leave it up to you to decide. The Film Theory team seem to have ignored the fact that the Empire enslaved about half the galaxy to build the Death Star, making both the cost and happiness around the project a debatable point, but they’ve certainly put a lot of research in and it’s an interesting idea.

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If nothing else, we’re hoping some of that moral ambiguity makes it into upcoming spin-off Rogue One. Hooray for shades of grey!