What was Luke thinking at the end of Return of the Jedi?
Luke is in a life/death struggle with the Emperor and Darth Vader. It looks like his only choice is to kill Darth, but he embraces "positivity," I guess, by not killing his dad and supporting redemption.
So why toss away his sword, too? He does the right thing, then tells the big baddie to shove it... After which Luke gets smacked around - helplessly - where having a weapon was obviously useful. Why does not killing Darth mean standing defenseless, with no cover?
I'm no fighter, kid... but if you drop your guard, they hit you.
When Luke failed in that cave in tESB, he should've learned that The Force is not about walking up to someone you hate, starting a fight, then killing them. But the lesson wasn't "don't even defend yourself." The whole rebellion's at stake!
That's a practical critique, tho, and not the most interesting question. Try this: what did Luke think would happen when he said "no" and tossed the saber?
Luke: I will never join you!Really, did Luke think the monster-faced old guy would... stop attacking? Or just give up and shut down the Death Star? Or... turn to the light side, too?
Emperor: ... Luke, you have spared Lord Vader! Your nobility has touched my heart, and I will step down as Emperor and let you and your formerly-pitiful friends go. The Republic shall be restored. Shalom! (Emperor exits stage right, then surrenders to Leia, who finds Luke a nice androgynous girlfriend)
There are bigger logical screwups in popular movies and famous scenes, sure. Though I've rarely seen it, the mere mention of RotJ makes me think, "the hell was that scene about? Did he think the Emperor wouldn't fight? Did Luke win because of... 'determination?' If so, does 'begging for your life' count as a strategy?"