Luke Skywalker's failure in the cave

Yoda calls Luke’s encounter with a phantom Vader a “failure.” Why was that?

Because he was supposed to leave his weapons behind and thus, by connection, his aggression and hate. He brought all of that baggage along and thus when he went into the cave, he met the personification of that hate, Vader…and saw that he could become just as bad as Vader if he let his aggression and hate control him.
At least, that was Lucas’ psychobabble reasoning.

He took a weapon when he didn’t need one. He attacked when he didn’t need to. In the end, the only person he fought, and the only person he hurt, was himself. Yoda was trying to show him that you can’t defeat the Dark Side by fighting it. More specifically, but probably outside of Yoda’s knowledge of what was going to happen, Luke couldn’t defeat Vader by fighting him.

Yeah … what they said. :slight_smile: Usually, I have something to add that’s at least a little helpful, but Ethilrist nailed it. I think more important than the weapons was the second point–Luke attacked without provocation. (I can’t remember right now and I don’t have the DVDs here with me at work, but didn’t Luke ignite his lightsaber first?) Yoda said it himself–the Force is used for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

Sure he could. He defeated Vader handily by fighting him in RoTJ. You’re right that he couldn’t defeat the Dark Side by fighting Vader though - killing Vader was the Emperor’s planned mechanism for bringing Luke to the Dark Side.

Yes, Luke lit up first. And I believe he struck first as well. I had an idea that was what he did wrong but it took watching the whole series a few times to get the feel for “WWJD” and then work backwards. I didn’t know he was supposed to leave his weapon behind–is that detail from the book?

and one assumes his fear as well.


Another piggyback:

At the end of “The Return of The Jedi” DVD set I have, we see a ghostly Obiwan, Qwaigon (I think) and Anakin waving to Luke. Does this imply a late salvation for Anakin? Why wasn’t Yoda there?

And why did Yoda and Obiwan disappear when they died, but no other Jedi do that?

… wha? Why, then, did Luke have to appeal to Vader’s good side, verbally, to get him to save his son’s life?

Vader wasn’t beaten, he was just beaten up. Big difference. You don’t use the Force to beat people up.

So was Yoda in error when he fought Dooku? or Palpatine?

From the movie.
Yoda: Your weapons… you will not need them…

Oh, ick. Did they really ret-con Qwaigon-jinn into the ending of ROTJ?

I gotta go watch my tapes again. Han shot first, dammit. Which is kind of ironic, given the OP…

IIRC Yoda lit up early but allowed Dooku to agress first. I’m not so clear on the Palpatine fight because the fall of Anakin is just too painful to allow me to watch the Revenge ‘o’ the Sith.

Egad, more piggyback question, Palpatine orders Anakin to kill a literally unarmed Doku because “He’s too dangerous to let live.” Yet (Can’t remember his name) is ready to fry an apparently defeated Palpatine for exactly the same stated reason–was he screwing up too? Could it be that the Jedi order really was becoming corrupt?

As I recall, the original version had Ben, Yoda, and Old Anakin. The new DVDs have Ben, Yoda, and Young Anakin. I don’t recall ever seeing Qui-Gon in there. There’s no reason for it–Luke never knew him.

I think this one’s more subtle. Palpatine tells Anakin to kill Dooku. This is bad because Palpatine does not have anyone’s interests in mind but his own, and Dooku is already defeated and more or less helpless. Mace Windu almost killing Palpatine is different, I believe, because Mace knows that killing Palpatine is best for the galaxy, and Palpatine was still fighting back.

Ok, that trio makes more sense. Probably I was misremembering it…or maybe I have an extra special collector’s edition!

Well, as far as Mace knew Paplaptine was done for–otherwise how could he have gotten surprised like that? But I might have to concede that motivation is everything in the grey area that is the Jedi territory.

I mean, apart from the obvious inconvenience and distraction visited upon him by Anakin.

How I remember it:

Palpy and Vader are trying to turn Luke to the dark side. Some fighting occurs. Luke’s hiding in the shadows under a platform, Vader’s reading his thoughts and taunting him. Vader says something like “A sister! You have a twin sister! If one won’t join us, perhaps the other will!” Luke, terrified that Vader will go after Leia, and furious that he’s the one who gave her up, (driven by fear and anger notice) starts a very strong attack against Vader. Pounds the holy hell out of him, cuts his saber hand off. Vader is on his back, defenseless, Luke standing over him with a lit saber. Palpy comes over, says something like, “Kill him, and take his place at my side.”

At that point, I’d consider Vader beaten. His fate is totally out of his hands. There’s nothing he can do to save himself. However, Luke is now on the verge of being taken over by the Dark Side. Your original post said “Luke couldn’t defeat Vader by fighting him.” I disagree - I think it was amply shown the Luke could defeat Vader by fighting him, but he’d lose the fight against the Dark Side by doing so.

Luke however, resists temptation, throws his saber away, and says “I’ll never join you.” Palpy stars the Force lightning attack. Then, Luke begs Vader to help him, there’s still good left in him etc., resulting in Vader tossing Palpy down the chute.

My own theory was that they both used the Force to live beyond their natural life-span, whereas the others were killed early.

I’d say the use of violence was acceptable to Jedi, it was the anger and aggression that was the problem.

So, it’s all in the timing. In my opinion, I feel that Vader was defeated when Anakin tossed the Emperor down the shaft. Without using the Force.

Or, there’s this theory–the only way to get a ghost body is to die in front of Luke. :smiley:

Actually, it was because

The secret to doing the ghost thing wasn’t revealed until Yoda and Kenobi were the only Jedi left.

Yes, very good point. Luke beat Vader up by using anger, but he wasn’t defeated until Luke appealed to his good side.

Actually, that link raises the question of why Anakin didn’t fade out the way Yoda did.