I read somewhere that Luke after A New Hope didn't do anything good to the plot.
The explanation was compelling.
I'm focusing on Return of the Jedi and the final showdown of the two trilogies.
- The rebels got information about Death Star II, without Luke's help (in fact it was a trap of the Emperor)
- They start a command mission to destroy the shield generator. Here Luke's only contribution is the speeder fight and using the force to convince the Ewoks that they are friends, shortly before Leia shows up, who would have convinced the Ewoks also if Luke were not present, I assume. The speeder fight was about not giving their presence away to the Emperor, a fact that is later revealed was already known by him (or does not play any role because even the shield generator was a trap).
- Luke surrenders to Vader, fights him, turns him and makes him kill the Emperor.
- Han & Co destroy the shield generator with help of the Ewoks (without Luke).
- The rebel fleet fights the Death Star II and Imperial fleet.
- Lando and Wedge (without Luke) reach the main reactor and destroy Death Star II.
If Luke were not present in Return of the Jedi, did not turn Vader, and Vader did not kill the emperor, wouldn't they both be killed in the destruction of Death Star II anyway? Vader could have survived if he perhaps would have not been aboard Death Star II. Perhaps he would have died aboard the Super Star Destroyer that crashes into Death Star II.
Could the Emperor have changed the course of events if he would not have been distracted by Luke and his fight with Vader? Would he have been able to flee the Death Star if he was not killed by Vader?
Both trilogies make a big deal about prophecy, the chosen one and so on, that Luke has to meet Vader, etc. It would be sad if all that in the end didn't matter.
So what was the significance that Luke fought and turned Vader, and Vader killed the Emperor shortly before Death Star II exploded anyway?