Leave it to me to rant about the wonders of Star Wars. Applying Archetypes to the saga, I realized that in almost every episode, someone loses a limb or two. In my opinion, this represents the Unhealable Wound, which can either be physical or psychological. This wound cannot be fully healed and sometimes signifies a loss of innocence or control.
In the movies, the most significant scene that depicts the Unhealable Wound is when Darth Vader cuts Luke’s arm off in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. In this particular scene, Darth Vader reveals to Luke Skywalker that he is his biological father. It’s a very dramatic part in the entire Saga, because it creates an idea that, as a hero, Luke has the potential to become just as villanious as his ancestry suggests. Chosen by his father to join the “Darkside”, Luke’s vulnerability becomes apparent when he loses his arm. This vulnerability lies within the conflict of making a decision between family and one’s sense of morality.
Another victim of the Unhealable Wound is Anakin Skywalker, A.K.A. Darth Vader. Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith-In a battle against his mentor/best friend, Obi Wan, he loses both legs and one arm. In an effort to cure these wounds, a costume is made for Anakin, thus turning him into the infamous, robotic Darth Vader. The loss of limbs, in this situation, signifies a fall from grace. It was a gradual fall from grace, because in Episode II: The Attack of the Clones, Anakin loses one of his arms from the blow of Count Dooku’s lightsaber. His arm was later replaced by a robotic replica, which was a foreshadow of the machine he would later become.
Of course, in the end of the saga, Vader dies, and Luke is truimphant. Although both characters reconcile eventually, their wounds still exist thereafter. This is my opinion of the multiple images of loss limbs throughoutt the films, but when asked about it, George Lucas merely smiled to himself and walked away leaving the question unanswered. Why would Lucas constantly portray such symbols and what effect does it have on the viewers/fans? Was it an outlet for his own internal conflicts of losing one’s self control or innocence? And if he possessed the experience and heartache that trails behind that feeling of lost innocence, was the production of the saga his attempt of grasping onto his inner child?