5. Emperor: “Now fulfill your destiny, and take your father’s place at my side.”
Luke: “Never. I’ll never turn to the dark side. You’ve failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”
Emperor: “So be it, Jedi.”

This quote appears in Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi. This moment, which occurs aboard the new Death Star even as the final assault begins, is the climax of Luke’s journey toward heroism. Luke has just finished beating Vader into submission, having attacked him furiously in response to Vader’s threat to turn Leia to the dark side. Luke has even severed Vader’s right hand, paying him back for the similar injury Vader had dealt to Luke. Now, the Emperor descends the steps of his dais toward Luke, encouraging him to kill Vader and take his position as chief enforcer of the Emperor’s will. In a sense, it is the goal Luke has been working toward all along: taking the position his father once held. Originally, Luke thought this meant becoming a Jedi, but now a different, sinister possibility is unfolding before him. Luke could indeed step into his father’s place, but as a Sith, not a Jedi. As Yoda and Ben warned him, Luke finds the path to the dark side to be easy, quick, and brutally efficient.

However, the Emperor has misjudged Luke’s righteous fury in defense of his sister. Luke has defeated Vader not out of some personal, revenge-driven desire, but in order to protect someone he loves. As Luke glances from the shattered hulk of Vader to his own cybernetically grafted hand, he feels pity and understanding for his father, not hatred. Luke will take his father’s place, but it will by following the path of his true father figures, Ben and Yoda, and it will be Anakin Skywalker he turns to, not Vader. When Luke faces the Emperor, then, he does so as a true Jedi, one who has faced his own demons and defeated them, making it impossible for the Emperor to prey on his weaknesses. The Emperor himself acknowledges his defeat when he addresses Luke for the first time as “Jedi,” rather than “Young Skywalker” or something similar.