Yoda's tests

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Katana_Geldar, Jul 22, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, MOC Yak Face
  1. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    i was watching ESB the other night and it occured to me that Luke's training also had several tests by yoda himself, and he didn't pass all of them.

    Test 1. Recognising Yoda

    When Yoda first came up, Luke thought he was just some little character inseatd of a great Jedi Master. He forgot the words "Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them." and merely relied on what he saw.

    This was further continued when he had dinner at Yoda's, he made assupmtions about what was going to happen instead of letting the present situation guide him. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are noted for doing this in the prequels.

    Test 2. The cave

    The biggest mistake Luke made in going in the cave was taking his lightsaber with him. Why is this? Luke took it on the assumption that what ever was in the cave would try to attack him. Therefore what was dark was outside himself.

    This was wrong, as Luke's face was behind Vader's mask showing that darkness was not outside, but within. He didn't acknowledge this until the end of ROTJ, which was why he failed.

    Test 3. The Force

    This perhaps may have been Luke's biggest mistake of all, he completely underestimated the Force which was why he couldn't lift the X-Wing. He didn't know he could do it remember, he only tried.

    Reminds me of one of Morpheus' lines in the matrix "there is a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path". Yoda says that Luke's failure is on the fact that he doesn;t beleive in the Force completely.

    Test 4. Letting go

    This is proably a close second, if not an equal first, with one of Luke's biggest mistakes. On receiving that vision through the Force about Han and Leia he decides to act on it. Big mistake.

    This is the main reason why attachment is forbidden in the old Jedi Order, the consequences it can lead to. Yoda says that he has to decide how to serve them best, and that means not going after them. Yoda and Obi know that Vader and Palps are preying on Luke's weakness to his friends and wish to exploit him. But Luke doesn't see this, he just saw his friends and he knows he has to go and help them.

    Well that about sums it up, i have to go but i may be back to check on your comments.

    MTFBWYA
  2. clone3131 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2004
    star 4
    I agree with all except #4.

    I think its his strong feelings and good thoughts for his friends that allows luke to stay centered and not betray him

    A trait that was not learned previously by Jedi's and was forbidden to Anakin- which made him fail to the darkside.
  3. sweetcaroline Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2004
    star 4
    This is a great post! Very insightful!! :)
    I think you've really nailed it Katana_Geldar. The Force is with you!!! :)
  4. BaronFel88 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2004
    star 7
    Thing is, these were probably all 'growing pains' every padawan goes through. However, cause Luke was one of the last hopes left, these 'failures' were magnified.
  5. JediSF Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2004
    star 4
    Katana, good post!

    Scenarios 1 and 4 are important in understanding exactly what yoda is teaching Luke.

    You correctly point out that Yoda is testing Luke upon their first meeting. I think it is more than just a test of using his other senses intuitively ("Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them."), but it is also a test of Luke's patience. One of anakin's weakest attributes was his lack of patience. Yoda has "watched" Luke for a long time and senses a degree of restlessness in him. Important to note that his first test for Luke is in regards to his ability to maintain composure, practice patience, and use his intuition. Definitely inline with the being mindful of the Living force as Qui-Gon preached.

    #4 letting go is also a lesson about the nature of the Force. While I don't think yoda prepared this test for Luke, as he did the cave or their first meeting (it was very much a "test" created by the circumstances), the lesson that Luke learns from it is about the Cosmic Force. while the Living force focuses on the moment, the cosmic Force is about the greater understanding of the big picture. In other words, how does what is happening in the moment fit into the greater scheme of destiny, the future, etc... this was Yoda's leson for Luke: you may be able to accomplish something in the moment (i.e. saving han, leia and co.) but you must consider what the consequences of your actions are for the greater good and in terms of your destiny (i.e. destroy all for which they have fought). Luke's complete focus on the moment caused him to lose sight of Vader's intentions and what his failure would mean in the grand scheme.



  6. Indigo_Jade Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2002
    star 5
    Agreed with JediSF on the #1... it was definately a test of patience:

    "I cannot teach him. The boy has no patience."
  7. JediSF Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2004
    star 4
    Indigo,
    Thanks. That quote from Yoda, in and of itself is a test of Luke's patience and dedication.
    "I cannot teach him...the boy has no patience."

    The great thing about this scene is that Yoda starts out by talking to Obi-Wan, but the conversation is really between him and Luke. I especially like yoda's final question on the matter.

    Yoda: Will he finish what he begins

    The question is directed to Obi-Wan, but we never hear another word from Obi on the matter. Luke answers:

    LUKE: I won't fail you...I'm not afraid

    Yoda is also trying to get a feel for Luke's level of commitment to the undertaking. As he says himself:

    Yoda: A Jedi must have the depest commitment....the most serious mind

    I'd say although Luke falters in the patience and intuituive departments, he passes with flying colors in the intial commitment. Furthermore, the "tests" are really lesson to Luke. I don;t think yoda reall expected him to know who he was or even have the patience to deal with his frustrating act. he's been eatching Luke, he knows that these are Luke's weaknesses and it's yoda's way of demonstrating these weaknesses.
  8. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    thanks for the comments guys! :D

    test 2 i think is one of the key things in understanding the dark side. evil, the dark side, is not neccesarily something that is exterior. we set it personified in such beings as Palpatine, Vader as well as Maul and Dooku. Each of us have the potiential for good and evil, it lies within the choices we make. Choice, as Luke says in the novel, is a double-edged sword.

    In the novel after the cave is he is very confused, doesn't know if he's turned to the dark side or some how killed himself.

    But Luke only really becomes a Jedi when he realises that the darkness, the evil that he has been trying to erradicate is not just in Vader and Palpatine. It's in himself as well, and acknowledging this is a huge step.
  9. origjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2001
    star 3
    Jedi SF,

    "...you must consider what the consequences of your actions are for the greater good and in terms of your destiny..."

    Are you saying that when Yoda said "You will destroy all for which they have fought and suffered" to Luke about Han, Leia, etc., that he was referring to everything, the Rebellion since the beginning? If you were, I hadn't thought about that statement by Yoda referring to everything. I thought he just meant their suffering on cloud city. Thanks for the insight!
  10. DS615 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2003
    star 4
    I agree with them all except number 3.

    Luke almost pulls the X-wing free. And while he's doing that Yoda's eyes are all bugged out in disbelief. It seems pretty obvious that he had no expectation of Luke actualy being able to do that.

  11. JediSF Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2004
    star 4
    Are you saying that when Yoda said "You will destroy all for which they have fought and suffered" to Luke about Han, Leia, etc., that he was referring to everything, the Rebellion since the beginning? If you were, I hadn't thought about that statement by Yoda referring to everything. I thought he just meant their suffering on cloud city. Thanks for the insight

    Origjedi, I think that is exactly what Yoda is geeting at. In rushing off, Luke is risking failure against Vader. Luke's initial reply was that he has "to do something, Han and Leia will die if I don't." But, what he is failing to see ios the big picture. He may prevent them from dying on Cloud City but what does that mean to the Rebellion. They have been risking their lives in order to defeat the Empire and the Sith. Luke hasn't come to understand where his destiny as a Jedi falls into place among the goals of the Rebellion. If he had died or turned, the hope would have been lost or significantly postponed. And, if he had died or turned, would Leia and han have survived?

    As it happened, Luke was stil somewhat of a failure. He wasn't fully prepared for the Dark Side or to confront Vader. And, he wasn't able to save his friends. Leia and Lando had to save Luke. Han was frozen in carbonite

    I guess the big question is what would have happened if Luke had continued his training?
  12. Wilhelm-Scream Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 3
    Number 4 is wrong.Look how badly the Jedi of old screwed things up.They practically creATED Darth Vader and the Empire.Their !@#$%^ up ideas about love and attachment are inconsistent and wrong.
    Luke is the one who rectifies everything.Yoda has been wrong about so much and he was wrong to discourage Luke from going to save his friends(in fact,who's to say that THAT wasn't a test that Luke passed?).
    It's Luke's attachment to the idea of his father and Anakin's attachment of the idea of his son that ultimately turns DV back from the darkside,ends the Empire AND defeats the Emporer.
    The original Jedi fell for a REASON.They were wrong.Maybe that's how the chosen one brought balance to the Force,by once and for all proving that the Jedi restriction against emotional attachment was wrong so Luke was able to bring back normal,healthy relationships to the lives of the Jedi that would follow.

    If Natalie Portman wanted me,and my Jedi master told me,"It is forbidden."? I'd turn to the darkside TOO!!!!!
  13. JediSF Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2004
    star 4
    Luke didn't exactly beat Vader by giving in to attachments. Ultimately, at the end of RoTJ he was willing to die becase he wasn't going to let his emotional attachments turn him into the very thing he was trying to rid the galaxy of. remember, it was Vader's reference to Leia that sets Luke off during the RoTJ Duel:

    VADER: If you will not turn to the Dark Side, perhaps she will.

    Luke literally draws on the Dark Side because Vader is able to manipulate his emotional attachment. So, there is truth to the statement that the jedi had a skewed view of attachment in practice. but the philosophy remained consistent and relevant. Emotional attachments were dangerous if they were placed above all else. At some point, a Jedi has to be willing to accept that the people he cares about will die and may have to die for the greater good. that philosophy was apparent in the PT.

    When Luke left Dagobah he wasn't ready for the challenge of facing Vader and the Dark Side. What was the result? Vader was unchanged and unharmed. Luke almost died. Han frozen in carbonite. Which is why we begin RoTJ with Luke ona mission to save Han. They have now been side tracked because he didn't take into consideration the major threat. Han was going to be imprisoned in carbonite anyway. Vader was preparing to hold Leia and co. captive. Had Luke waited, perhaps he would have been fully ready to face Vader. I don't suggest that they shouldn't have rescued han in RoTJ. But, the process was reveresed because Luke acted rashly. instead of eliminating the major threat to the galaxy (the Sith and Empire) first then saving Han. Luke and co. postponed the greater mission. How many suffered, how many innocent lives were lost because Luke was rash.

    I don't say this to suggest that Luke is culpable for the actions of the Empire, but he failed to see the bigger picture because of his attachments.
  14. Wilhelm-Scream Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 3
    But,despite any mis-steps or furtive excursions into the darkside,who won?,...LUKE,the rebellion and the galaxy.
    You could just as easily wonder how many innocent lives would've been lost had Luke just sat around on Dagobah for the next few years until he knew more about the force and was brain-washed by Yoda,the guy who was asleep at the wheel during the PT and sort of allowed the whole mess to begin in the first place.
    Plus,you can learn things by being told by someone,but you REALLY learn your lesson when you make your own mistakes,maybe the whole Bespin thing could be considered a step toward the resolution.Darth Vader gets to actually see his son in action,feels pride in him and affection,emotions are stirred by watching him fall down the shaft,then he has time to ruminate on all this until,by the time he thinks he's going to have to watch his son "die" again,he can't bear the thought and rebels.
    And Luke is so disturbed by his loss of control when DV mentions "SISTER",that he vows never to let that happen again and becomes the confident,powerful and triumphant Jedi of ROTJ because he learns first hand the folly of giving in to hate instead of just taking Yoda's word for it.
    I'm just typing aloud here.
  15. JediSF Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2004
    star 4
    No doubt, Luke has to learn first hand about the Dark Side, but he obviously didn't fully comprehend the dangers. It has become clear in the PT, that A jedi cannot see the exact details of the future. Luke was reacting totally to one possible future timeline and threw caution to the wind. Did he turn to the Dark Side. Absolutely not. But, hew wasn't prepaered to confront the Dark Side head on. That was Yoda's warning.

    As for Yoda. For a failure, he has done pretty well preparing the last hope to face the Dark Side. Yoda was not asleep at the wheel any more than any other Jedi. Don't mistake imperfection and mortality with failure. No one in the Saga is able to accomplish what Anakin does because it is not their purpose.
  16. Wilhelm-Scream Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 3
    LOL,either way,It rocks that I'm getting paid right now to debate about The Empire Strikes Back.Please holy God let me never lose this job.
  17. JediSF Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2004
    star 4
    Dude, you've got all your info in your profile. be careful about such statements.
  18. Wilhelm-Scream Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 3
    Thanks for the concern but,no,...I'm a macrame-artist.It's my JOB to sit and wait unTIL millionaires need me to help them with something,...like weaving or macrame,at which point I hop to it maniacally.
    Like Wolverine,I'm the best at what I do,but while I wait for someone to call on me and my services,I'm free to pass the time in what ever way(as long as I've attended to the cleaning,dusting and administrative tasks(about which I'm obsessive)).
    That's why I said,"Dear holy God,please never let me lose this job!"

    Also,the chances of any of my superiors logging on to chat about Star Wars or review each of my keystrokes are about as likely as the chances that I might sprout bat-wings and fly in to the sun to start a family of panda bears.


    Thanks though.Good advice.
  19. Diogonese Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2002
    star 2
    ...oh, you guys left out a whole bunch of Yoda's "tests". There was the MOWING YODA'S LAWN TEST; to promote symetry between the force, and all living things. THE WASHING YODA'S LANDSPEEDER, and WEEDING YODA'S GARDEN TESTS; for manual dexterity skills needed to deflect blaster fire. THE PAINTING YODA'S HOUSE TEST; for good hand eye co-ordination, necessary in lightsaber combat. Unfortunatly, THE PATCHING YODA'S ROOF, and CLEANING YODA'S BASEMENT TESTS, were never completed, as Luke ended his training early. YODA: "My basement, you MUST clean out my basement", "only then, a jedi will you be!"
Moderators: Darth_Nub, MOC Yak Face
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.