Ask Eric: His reply

by Darth Danno
on 2020-09-02, 08:11:57

Those who read last week's post know about the question I posed to Eric Pfeifer. Once again, here was the question:

How much time do you think Luke spent on Dagobah in "Episode V"?

Here is his response:

The simple answer to this question: Not long

"Training to become a Jedi is not an easy challenge and even if you succeed, it's a hard life". -- Qui-gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace

If you think about the events that take place during The Empire Strikes Back , Luke escapes the ice planet of Hoth with R2-D2 at the same time that Han, Leia, C-3PO, and Chewbacca do. Luke then sets out to find a great warrior named Yoda, while the rest of his Rebel friends try to survive by evading the Galactic Empire. While transporting four of the main Rebel Alliance characters, the Millennium Falcon narrowly escapes a Space Slug, a barrage of TIE Fighters, and even an asteroid field before finally locating Bespin - a gas planet in the Anoat System (no, not the Lando System). The film leads us to believe that the events of Episode V really don't extend over a lengthy period of time before Luke arrives at Cloud City to save his friends. Luke Skywalker is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy. How is it that he's so strong with the Force without much time training with Yoda on Dagobah? Well, here are my thoughts:

We know the Force works in mysterious ways. Some Force-users are able to levitate objects across the room as toddlers, while characters like Luke Skywalker struggle to pull his lightsaber out of a snowbank at the age of twenty-two (as Empire takes place about three years after A New Hope ). Midi-chlorians aid in your overall potential in the Force, but (obviously) training plays a role as well. Luke Skywalker was "woke" to the Force later than most other Force-users before him, but we see Luke training in the ways of the Force in Jason Fry's The Weapon of a Jedi book (which takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back ). This would explain Luke's ability to pull his saber out of the snow (that's not something farmboy Luke would've been able to do). Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne is also a canon book that follows Luke Skywalker shortly following the destruction of the Death Star. I'm sure Luke's time with the Force was not limited to what we see on screen.

Despite Luke having trained in the ways of the Force beyond what was shown on screen, it seems as though Luke still needed a lot of training upon his arrival on Dagobah. Luke needed to see his failure in the Dark Side Cave. He needed to learn control and to work on his connection to the Force. A single-arm handstand doesn't come easily to most folks, I'll have you know. Luke was drawn away from his training with the tiny, green, Jedi Master by a vision of his friends in pain in a city in the clouds. In Return of the Jedi , Yoda tells Luke, "No more training do you require. Already know you, that what you need". How is it that Luke already knows everything he needs to know to be a Jedi with the exception of facing Vader with such little time training with Yoda on Dagobah? There's about one year between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and there's no evidence that Luke returns to Dagobah to train with Yoda during that time.

I truly believe that Yoda knew what Luke would become. The Jedi Master is extremely wise and Luke's battle with Vader securing his title as a Jedi was just the beginning. We see that Rey did a lot of studying on her own with the Jedi Texts, and that these texts were in Luke's possession in The Last Jedi . Sure, Rey trained a bit with Leia and even less with Luke, but in The Rise of Skywalker novelization by Rae Carson, Leia describes feeling comfortable with passing on the leadership roles to Rey, Poe, and Finn. I don't think she felt as though they knew everything they needed to know, but I believe Leia knew that she had worked with that trio enough and that the Resistance and the galaxy was in good hands. So, to me, when Yoda tells Luke that he knows everything he needs to know, I take that as Yoda saying a similar thing. It's not long after that that Yoda tells Luke to pass on what he's learned. Luke may not know everything, but he knows enough to lead the future of the Jedi as well as the Rebel Alliance against the Empire.

So how long was Luke on Dagobah training with Yoda? Maybe a few days. A week at most, but that didn't stop him from becoming one of the greatest Jedi Masters in the history of the Order!

Thank you very much, Eric! We will pose another question to him at the end of Sept.





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