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Remember your failure at the cave?

Ok, folks.  Baby C had been on a Star Wars kick lately so we’ve been watching a TON of Star Wars.  I’m not complaining because, you know, Star Wars, but as soon as he comes into the house he points to the TV and says, “Star Wars!”  So in the past couple of weeks we’ve watched all six movies and all three seasons (that we have) of The Clone Wars.

When we were watching The Empire Strikes Back the other day it came toward the part where Yoda berates Luke for his “failure in the cave.”  As many times as I’ve seen this movie (it has to be over 1000 – seriously), I’ve never understood exactly how Luke failed in the cave.

The cave. Remember your failure at the cave? (Photo credit huffingtonpost.com)

Let’s analyze the facts.  Luke asks what it is.  Yoda says it’s strong with the dark side and that he must go in there.  Luke heads toward it and grabs his weapon belt.  Yoda says he doesn’t need them.  Luke puts it on anyway.  Then Luke gets into the cave and comes face to face with an apparition of Darth Vader.  Luke ignites his lightsaber, but doesn’t attack.  Vader makes the first move and attacks Luke.  Luke defends himself and beheads Vader.  The helmet rolls to the ground and the front of it explodes, revealing the face of Luke underneath.

Why didn’t someone tell me my nose was so big? (Photo credit galacticbinder.com)

Got all that?  Good.  Moving on.

Where precisely is the failure?  What did Luke do wrong?  Other than going against Yoda’s wishes and taking his weapons with him, he made no false moves.  He didn’t act aggressively.  He didn’t call upon the dark side.  He didn’t act selfishly.  In fact, when Vader appeared before him he looked like he was about to piss his pants.

So help me out, Stuph Maphia™.  My Unshitty™ brain cannot unravel this mystery.  What do you think Luke’s failure at the cave was?  Or do you not see it either?


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64 thoughts on “Remember your failure at the cave?

  1. I always took it as he had failed part of his Jedi Trials. He was supposed to be conquering his emotions/fear or something like that so he could avoid the path to the dark side. I also thought that perhaps he had failed to percieve what the trial was trying to tell him about the real enemy being within. I could be totally wrong. That was just my take on it.

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    Posted by stephrogers | April 19, 2013, 6:22 am
    • Could be. After I had written this last night I stumbled upon a message board where someone said that his failure was being afraid. You can tell how scared he was going in there. And, as you know, fear is the path to the dark side. Or something.

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      Posted by twindaddy | April 19, 2013, 8:14 am
  2. I never watched that episode and yes, his nose looks huge.

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    Posted by 1jaded1 | April 19, 2013, 6:25 am
  3. Failure not to shit his pants when he saw Vader? (It’s all in the sub-text.)
    Good question, actually. Looking forward to the flurry of well-researched and footnoted answers.

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    Posted by rossmurray1 | April 19, 2013, 6:43 am
  4. Perhaps he didn’t bring Yoda a souvenir.

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    Posted by merbear74 | April 19, 2013, 7:27 am
  5. Sometimes full of crap, Yoda is. Maybe it’s because Luke thought he could kill Vader with a lightsaber, but he was really killing himself so like he should not do that. Except later they say he has to kill Vader to become a Jedi. So then . . . sometimes I think Lucas just made a lot of this up as he went along.

    I will have to ask Thing Two for her thoughts. She’s watched those movies as much as Baby C, I’m sure.

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    Posted by aliceatwonderland | April 19, 2013, 7:40 am
  6. First thing, that is awesome that your son is interested in Star Wars right now. My two sons have just started asking and that is only on account of the ridiculous attire related to the movies that I wear. Second, dude, I really miss the darker more “under the surface” story tones that used to exist in the saga. I will be the first to say that there are parts of the prequels that I liked but the efforts and passion just is not there like it was in the first three.
    As for the failure part, Yoda knew that Luke’s greatest weakness at this stage was fear. He was afraid of losing the people he loved and he was afraid of failure (ironic). When Yoda told Luke to enter the cave the test was to face his fears unassisted. He did not need his weapons because it was fear which he faced not a physical enemy. When the figure of Vader appeared Luke defended himself and struck with fear, the result, he failed. “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the darkside.” We see this again when Luke leaves to confront Vader alone and surrenders himself willingly. Do I watch Star Wars too much? No! What a silly question…

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    Posted by Animockery | April 19, 2013, 8:28 am
  7. My grandson has just been introduced to Star Wars and he loves it. I always felt Luke had failed to overcome his fear.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

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    Posted by Katie | April 19, 2013, 9:38 am
  8. Yea…I was gonna say the fear thing but a billion people beat me too it :)

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    Posted by hastywords | April 19, 2013, 9:45 am
  9. Disobey his master, he did. That’s what I always figured. A trip in every film, Yoda was…

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    Posted by AR Neal | April 19, 2013, 10:51 am
  10. He failed to trust Yoda and therefore his own strength to fight the battle. He needed to learn in this case that he had what is took, but having the weapon, he didn’t trust?

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    Posted by behindthemaskofabuse | April 19, 2013, 5:58 pm
  11. I’m pretty sure that the failure involves thinking too much about a fun movie. Because it’s not deep, it’s just fun. Let it rest.

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    Posted by Elyse | April 19, 2013, 8:28 pm
  12. I was going to say the book was better… but the book came out after….

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    Posted by Not Quite Alice | April 19, 2013, 9:20 pm
  13. The failure was that he went into the cave and didn’t bring Yoda back a beer. Drunk, he can’t get when beer is not brought.

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    Posted by Revis Edgewater | April 19, 2013, 10:40 pm
  14. Luke reacted out of emotion, out of fear and fear leads to the Dark Side. The fact that he did bring his weapons was a way of showing that he did not fully embrace the Force and didn’t rely enough on his instincts.

    My two cents.

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    Posted by calahan | April 20, 2013, 2:18 pm
  15. Luke’s fear was what he allowed him to over come him. The fear showed the Dark Side that he was not ready for the Force. Not obeying Yoda about weapons was second thing. Perhaps listening and paying close attention was what the intention was.

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    Posted by TammyeHoney | April 21, 2013, 10:03 am
  16. It was totally a combination of disobedience and fear. Starting to take after dear old dad he was.

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    Posted by tgeorges1123 | April 21, 2013, 8:16 pm


  1. Pingback: There is no I in Team… | My Rabbit Hole Trips - April 21, 2013

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