He dueled him for many a long minute, and then trapping him at the end of a gantry, removed his hand from his wrist. Luke was surprised, but said not a word beyond his cry of pain. After a silence of several minutes, Vader came towards him in an agitated manner, and thus began,
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to offer you a place at my side to throw down the Emperor and reign over this galaxy.”
Luke’s astonishment was beyond expression. He stared, coloured, doubted, and was silent. This Vader considered sufficient encouragement, and the avowal of all that he felt immediately followed. He spoke well, but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed, and he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of ambition.
“You do not yet realize your importance, and only now have begun to discover your power. Join me and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.”
In spite of his deeply-rooted dislike, Luke could not be insensible to the compliment of such a Sith Lord’s offer, though his intentions did not vary for an instant. He attempted to compose himself to answer Vader with patience as per the training Yoda had attempted to instill, but the pain from the end of his arm and the longstanding list of offenses against his friends gave Luke great trouble in this manner, and he replied thusly,
“In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed. It is natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot – I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I will never join you.”
Darth Vader, who was leaning against the railing of the gantry with the gaze of his mask fixed on Luke’s face, seemed to catch his words with no less resentment than surprise. His fist tightened with anger, and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every movement. He was struggling for the appearance of composure, and would not speak, till he believed himself to have attained it. The pause was to Luke’s feelings dreadful. At length, in a voice of forced calmness, he said,
“And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might, perhaps, wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected. But it is of small importance.”
“I might as well enquire,” replied Luke, “why, with so evident a design of offending and insulting me, you chose to hand me this offer after removing my own? Was not this some excuse for incivility, if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations. You know I have. Had not my own feelings decided against you, had they been indifferent, or had they even been favourable, do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the offer of the Sith Lord, who has been the means of hunting my friends across the galaxy?”
He paused, and saw with no slight indignation that Vader was listening with an air which proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse.
“Can you deny that you have done it?” Luke asked.
With assumed tranquillity he then replied, “I have no wish of denying it. I have done everything in my power to crush the Rebellion and rejoice in my successes.“
Luke disdained the appearance of noticing this civil reflection, but its meaning did not escape, nor was it likely to conciliate, him.
“But it is not merely this affair,” Luke continued, “on which my dislike is founded. Long before it had taken place, my opinion of you was decided. Your character was unfolded in the recital which I received many months ago from Obi-Wan Kenobi. On this subject, of my father, what can you have to say?”
“You took an eager interest in that Jedi’s explanations,” said Vader in a less tranquil tone, and with a heightened colour.
“Who that knows what his understanding of the Force has been, can help feeling an interest in his worldview?”
“The Force” repeated Darth Vader contemptuously; “yes, the Light Side of the Force is great indeed. I am convinced in my knowledge that Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.”
“He told me enough,” cried Luke with energy. “You have long ago killed him!”
“No” said Vader, as he leaned across the railing towards Luke, “I am your father. Examine your feelings; you know it to be true.”
Luke felt himself growing more ashamed at this revelation, and despite his utmost efforts, a distraught denial left his mouth.
“You can destroy the Emperor,” continued Vader. “He has forseen this, and this is the estimation that I hold you in: it is your destiny. If you would but join me, together we can rule the galaxy as father and son. Come with me; it is the only way.”
Trapped as he was on the end of the gantry, it was clear what decision lay ahead for Luke, and again his intentions remained unaltered. With a calm descending upon him, Luke spoke with composure when he said,
“You are mistaken, Vader, if you suppose that your entrapment of me will mean the entrapment of my loyalty. From the very beginning, your actions, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your murders, and your imprisonment and torture of a young woman, were such as to form so immoveable a dislike that I had not known you a day before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to call father.”
To conclude his statement, and provide great shock to Vader, Luke stepped off the gantry.
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