Good V. Evil In Star Wars Essay, Research Paper
Good v. Evil
The novel, Star Wars, by George Lucas, is a story about the classic struggle
between Good and Evil. The story illustrates what the Evil will do to achieve its goals and
how the Good will overcome many diversities to achieve justice.
To get a good idea of the background and setting of Star Wars, the prologue to
the movie ?Star Wars: A New Hope? tell us, ?a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.?
?It is a period of civil war.? ?. . .Rebel spaceships…have won their first battle against the
evil Galactic Empire.? (from the movie ?Star Wars: A New Hope?)
The main characters in the book that represent evil are Darth Vader and Grand
Moff Tarkin. ?Darth Vader, a black night. . .having chosen to use his magical power for
evil.?(Collins 1-10) Darth Vader is a character that is portrayed as a
relentless and cunning villain, and certainly the greatest threat towards the fight for
intergalactic peace. He is much wiser than his partner Grand Moff Tarkin, leader of the
Imperial forces. Darth Vader is willing to wait for his chance to defeat the rebels, Tarkin
wants immediate results. For Instance, in one scene they realize that a group of rebels
(Luke, Han, and Obi-Wan Kenobi) have gotten in to the Death Star, a large moon size
space station. Tarkin?s immediate response is to eliminate Kenobi and the rest of the rebels
aboard. Vader interjects and tells Tarkin that he must face Kenobi by himself. When the
princess of Alderaan, whom the Empire has captured, Tarkin?s immediate response is to
have her killed. Vader on the other hand believes there might be some information about
the rebels that could be tortured out of her. However, in one of the first scenes of the
book Vader chokes a man to death and then ?…continued to tighten producing a chilling
snapping and popping of a bone…?(11) Vader is also noted as having a ?malevolent
Another weakness of the Empire is the cockiness of the high-ranking Imperials.
When the men are having a meeting discussing what they should do about destroying the
rebellion one of the generals says, ?This station is now the ultimate power in the universe,
I suggest we use it? (30). Even Darth Vader gets cocky during the course of the book.
During the Death Star Battle when he has Luke in his target he says, ?I have you now!,?
but he ends up losing his shot. Another example of Vader?s cockiness can be found during
the approach to the Rebel Base. Vader says, ?This day has seen the end of the last Jedi
(Obi-Wan), it will soon see the end of the rebellion.?
On the other hand, we have the ?good guys.? They are Obi Wan Kenobi; an old
Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker; a soon to be young Jedi, Han Solo; a smuggler, R2D2 and
C3-PO; droids, and the afore mentioned Princess Leia.
Obi-Wan tells us, ?For over a thousand generations…the Jedi Knights served as the
guardians and guarantors of peace and Justice in the old republic? (66).
Obi-Wan shows a very good example of heroism, possibly the best in the novel
The rebels are trying to get off of the Death Star, but are being kept back by the
prescence of Imperial stormtroopers. Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi are dueling with
laser swords called ?light sabers? Kenobi causes a distraction so the troops will move
away from the ship. He then gives his life to save the the others trying to board the ship.
His prescence now becomes that of a voice that instructs Luke.
Luke and Han show signs of heroism when they choose to rescue the Princess.
They put their lives in grave danger to save her, but unlike Obi-Wan they do not get
killed. Han also shows a great deal of courage when he comes back and saves Luke
during the Death Star trench fight after he had stated that he was not going to have any
part in it because he didn?t want to get killed.
The droids, even though they appear to be made of metal, are the more human
than the human characters. They show more emotion than the humans. They show more
comradery than the humans. ?The human actors are consistently being upstaged by a pair
of robots? (Hatch 794). ?As a parody of the humans, the robots are far more
interesting people….they argue, sulk, express affection, sacrifice themselves, have
accidents, and remain single-mindedly loyal to one another? (Blake 568-569). An
example of C3-PO?s loyalty is his willingness to sacrifice, ?You can repair him. . .if any of
my circuits or modules will help I will gladly donate them? (177).
Princess Leia shows heroism in the beginning of the movie when she is carrying the
battle plans of the Death Star and she knows very well that she could be in danger because
Throughout the book there is a mention of the ?Force.? The Force is described by
Obi-Wan Kenobi as, ?something a Jedi must deal with.?, ?…it is an energy field generated
by living things. Early man suspected its existence, yet remained in ignorance of it for
millenia.?(66-67) The first Jedi Knights are described in this monologue by Obi-Wan
Kenobi, ?Only certain individuals could recognize the Force for what it was. They were
mercilessly labeled: charlatans, fakers, mystics-and worse. . .?(67). He also tells Luke
that the people who could utilize the Force could not do it all that well. The Force can be
compared to a type of voodoo. Like voodoo, the Force can be used for good or evil.
There are 3 major events in the book where good clashes with evil. One of them
is at the Mos Eisly spaceport, a hang out for smugglers and other low-lifes that are passing
through that neck of the galaxy. There are really two instances: the first is in the bar where
Luke is attacked by two of the bars patrons, two aliens convicted of murder. In this case
Obi-Wan Kenobi comes to Luke?s rescue. He pulls out his light saber and slices both of
the aliens. The other clash between good and evil in Mos Eisley is when Luke, Han,
Chewbacca (Han?s faithful Wookie assistant), Obi-Wan, R2-D2, and C3-PO are boarding
the Millenium Falcon (Han?s spacecraft) and they are attacked by a group of
stormtroopers. Han Solo is able to dodge the attack and blast out of the spaceport only to
find two Imperial Star Destroyers (another type of spacecraft, described as much larger
than the Millenium Falcon). The Star Destroyers are hot on Han?s tail, but Han gallantly
speeds away at warp speed, escaping the Empire with minimal damage to the ship.
The second clash between good and evil takes place on the Death Star. When
Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi engage in a light saber battle. Vader fought very
maliciously, ?…he lunged forward, feinting, and then slashing in a deadly downward arc
with the saber. Obi-Wan warned Vader that if he (Obi-Wan) was ?cut down he
would become more powerful? (137). In the end Kenobi gave his life so that the others
could get to the ship and get off the Death Star.
The third and final clash between good and evil is the rebel attack on the Death
Star. During this fight many rebel fighters were shot down by enemy laser cannons and
other enemy fighters. Towards the end of the battle Luke and two other rebel fighters are
still alive and Luke takes control of the three man squadron. One of the men gets hit, but
only sustains minor damage and has to leave. The other is Luke?s friend from back home,
Biggs. When Luke is attempting to fire a torpedo into a shaft of the Death Star to destroy
it Biggs, who was protecting Luke from enemy fire while Luke was preparing to fire the
torpedo, gets hit and his craft blows into a firey enferno. Luke is left alone with three
enemy fighters on his tail. Just when Darth Vader, who is the leader of the squadron, locks
onto Lukes ship the Millenium Falcon comes out of no where to knock out the enemy
fighters. Luke uses the force for the first time and shoots the torpedo into the shaft
without using any aiming devices and the Death Star is blown to oblivion, with Grand
Moff Tarkin on it. Vader however escapes the destruction.
As in any good fairy tale, good eventually triumphs over evil. Even though
Obi-Wan was physically dead, he became more powerful than any physically existing
being. He guided Luke and helped him overcome adversities, just as Merlin did for
Arthur in Once and Future King.
Although the Empire was far more technologically advanced than the rebels, had
thousands of ships in its fleet, and a weapon that could destroy whole planets their
intentions were evil. We know that in any kind of a myth, a well-intentioned ?good guy?
that may be inferior has just as good of a chance at winning a battle against an
evil-intentioned ?bad guy.? (David vs. Goliath)
Blake, Richard A. ?Rev. of Star Wars,?
America 25 June 1977
Vol. 136, No. 25, pp. 568-569
Collins, Robert G.? ?Star Wars?: The Pastiche
of Myth and Yearning For a Past Future?
Journal of the Popular Culture.
Vol. XI, No. 1, Summer, 1977, pp. 1-10
Hatch, Robert. ?Star Wars?
Rev. of Star Wars,
The Nation 25 June, 1977,
Vol. 224, No. 25, p.794.
Kaufmann, Stanley. ?Star Wars?
Rev. of Star Wars, The New Republic
18 June, 1977. pp. 22-23.
Lucas, George. Star Wars. New York:
Ballantine Books, 1976.