What was Luke's plan in ROTJ?

The thread about Empire Strikes Back reminded me I’d always had a question about this.

So Luke shows up at Jabba’s palace after Leia has been captured trying to rescue Han. He lets himself get arrested/captured without any struggle and then gets thrown in with the rancor. The rancor dies, and Luke is taken to be put in the Pit of the Sarlacc, at which point he goes all badass.

Really? That was his plan? “Wait until I am closer to death than ever before, than destroy Jabba and all his minions, nearly getting my friends killed in the process?”

Or am I missing something?

I think Luke was assuming his Jedi Mind Trick would work.

I may be having memory problems, or conflating scenes, but didn’t he attempt to use the Jedi mind trick on Jabba? But it failed miserably?

So I’d figure that was his plan - mind control Jabba into just giving his friends back.

Of course, “get caught and then save myself and my friends a moment before my execution” is a pretty common trope too…

I believe it was meant to show that Luke had grown as a Jedi, and was trying to to use diplomacy first, and violence only as a last resort. He could have waded in there and slaughtered them all right off the bat, no problem, but that’s not really the Jedi way, at least in theory.

Instead, he tried to sneak Han out, then tried the Jedi mind trick, then tried negotiating. When all else failed, he killed them.

I think he walked into Jabba’s palace well-prepared but short on actual plan. He knew Lando was there, an armed, inside man. He had R2-D2 & C3PO gathering intelligence, hopefully spreading misinformation, and hiding a lightsaber. He had a reasonable if false expectation that he could control Jabba’s brain meat.

Plus, even though Han, Chewie, and Leia are imprisoned, Luke knew that he could count on them when shit got real.

I always wondered about Leia’s plan. So she unfreezes Han and…troops all over Jabba’s palace gathering up everyone else? She’s got to haul Han’s ragged, blind ass out of there, free Chewie from a separate prison, and then gather up Lando and the droids.

Skywalker strategy: I’m going to get in there and…be awesome. Duh.

I don’t think anybody had a plan, and that includes George Lucas.

Interesting point, in that after the prequels you can compare the question to “What would Anakin have done?” Anakin would have done as you said, walked in and sliced salami’d the whole bunch.

Luke was trying to be a good Jedi, taking the approach (a mature) Obi Wan or Yoda would have taken. Set up the situation to your own benefit a bit, and then maybe just bend the minds of people a bit to get your way.

Jabba has to be resistant to the Jedi Mind Trick because every power has to have its limits, otherwise the whole good & evil thing loses interest. If Superman becomes impervious to kryptonite, the stories get really boring. Mind control’s a hell of a power to have… if you’re trying it on a foe, and he can tell you are, and it doesn’t work… you’re in trouble.

Luke’s plan wasn’t all along to end up with the Rancor, he was clearly surprised by the dungeon he fell into. But as plan B’s go, it wasn’t a bad recovery :wink:

Ok, well, I guess that makes some sense. Thanks, all.

And how could Luke know or guarantee that R2 would be on Jabba’s pleasure barge and would be able to get on the deck to toss him his lightsabre?

Shush, you.

I think this is what really happened, but it made a cool movie anyway, even with the complete and utter chaos. And it’s Luke’s demeanor that really makes the whole rescue, IMO. He is not boasting or claiming badassery, he just shows it, simply and purely.

I actually think Luke’s plan was almost exactly what we saw. We know Lando’s been placed inside the palace and we can reasonably assume he’s been feeding intelligence to Luke–why else is Lando already there? He then places everyone else in strategic positions… AND gets them out of the palace before attempting the escape… I imagine escaping when you are already outside of the prison is easier than trying to breakout while you are in it.
He surely was assuming a lot, but all plans rely on assuming certain things.

I read somewhere in the SWEU that Lando had “arranged” for a droid vacancy on the sailbarge. I’m thinking it was in Tales From Jabba’s Palace, in EV-9D9’s story, but it might have been in the Thrawn trilogy with Mara Jade’s backstory.

You don’t seem to want to accept the fact you’re dealing with an expert in jedi warfare, with a man who’s the best, with light sabres, with X-wings, with his bare hands. A man who’s been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather, to live off the land, to eat things that would make a taun-taun puke. In Mos Eisley his job was to dispose of enemy personnel. To kill! Period! Win by attrition. Well, Luke was the best.

No worries; The Force takes care of all that “fortunate coincidence” stuff.

So, Obi-wan was really Col. Trautman?

Are you telling me that 200 of our men against your jedi is a no-win situation for us?

(I could “hear” Richard Crenna’s voice while I read that, GargoyleWB.)

This made me giggle. While on the phone.

I don’t think that his plan was actually all that detailed. It probably consisted of something like:

1: Assemble a bunch of personnel and resources in Jabba’s palace.
2: Use those assembled personnel and resources to rescue Han when the opportunity comes up.

He didn’t know that he’d end up on a sailbarge next to a ravenous sand-monster with his hot sister in a gold bikini and a chain long enough to strangle a Hutt while his droid friend served hors d’oeurves. But when he ended up there, he was ready to take advantage of it.

What you call Hoth, he calls home.

(ok, I’ll stop now) :smiley: