Star Wars Insights | The Empire Strikes Back Cave

Yoda tells Luke the only thing that waits in the cave is what he takes in with him. For years I thought that meant hate or fear, but now I think it was something more personal, something revelatory, and something that pays off within the run time of The Empire Strikes back…

Ok this might not be much in the way of news for the super fan but I have to admit I have never really given Luke’s vision in the cave a lot of thought. I mean we get that he enters with fear, because he takes his weapons with him, and that fear manifests itself as a dark vision of Vader, but was it just a vision, or a very specific premonition? 

First lets deal with the big reveal from the force vision. 

Luke Is Vader

So the reveal that Luke is under Vader’s mask, deems like a nod toward a fate that awaits Luke is he is careless with his new found power, but we will shortly learn that the vision of Luke beneath the mask has more to do with his parentage than anything else. Is this Luke’s subconscious warning him of the possible future that awaits him or the fact that he will soon get news that will shake him to the core. 

Remember Your Failure At The Cave 

Yoda calls the setting for Luke’s Force Vision a cave, John Williams has referred to it as a magical tree, but there have been theories about the setting be an ancient temple, perhaps a Sith Temple. If you look at the header image, or indeed the image below you’ll see some very exact angles on the doorways.

The echoes between Luke’s vision and his confrontation with Vader at Cloud City and undeniable.

This Is No Cave

I would suggest that this isn’t a temple, that the cave is just a cave and the exacting formations we see are a part of Luke’s force vision, or to be more precise, his premonition. Check out the two images below.

There is no mistaking the similarities between the door ways in the cave and the doorways in Cloud City. Was Luke having an incredibly specific vision that detailed the location of the eventual duel? Did Luke even predict the third act reveal that Vader was Luke’s father? I’d argue yes.

So Yoda sent Luke into the cave to have a Force vision that detailed his eventual class with Vader, a clash that would reveal Luke’s true parentage. Was this a Jedi Trial? Is it similar to the visions we can assume Palpatine gave Anakin, visions of Padme’s death, that him to his fall to the Dark Side? Does this mean Anakin failed the Jedi Trials? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Thank you for reading,