It’s a common take: the Jedi were wrong to forbid “attachment,” and Luke proved this by saving the galaxy through his love for his father.
Themes are always open to interpretation, and my reading is a little different. I’d argue that the Jedi were, broadly, correct, and whatever the flaws in their approach, I firmly believe George Lucas meant for us to view his story as a warning against the jealousy and greed that arise from becoming overly attached.
What is “attachment”?
The key is to understand what is actually meant by “attachment” in Star Wars. Anakin explains it in Attack of the Clones:
Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion – which I would define as unconditional love – is central to a Jedi’s life. So you might say that we are encouraged to love.
Attachment, here, is one manifestation of love – one tied up with “possession,” and separated from the selflessness of compassion. Yoda reinforces this in Revenge of the Sith:
Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is. (…) Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
“Jealousy” is used here in its true sense. It is not the same as “envy,” which is wanting something that somebody else has; “jealousy” is the fear that somebody or something in your possession will be taken from you.
The influence of Buddhism on Lucas’s thinking is well documented, and echoes of its ideas are undeniable here. In Buddhist terms, attachment can be defined as “exaggerated not wanting to be separated from someone or something.” Compassion is the selflessness of “wishing others to be free from suffering.” To traditional Buddhists, attachment is the path to misery, because change is inevitable; to gain peace, we must accept change and learn to let go. » Read more..