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Luke’s Test

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But... he did face Vader


I've never heard this spoken about or written about anywhere else and it's always bothered me. Stay with me, okay?

Not long before the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke feels that his friends are in trouble on Bespin, and he wants to go help them. Yoda says he's not ready to face Vader, that he has to finish his training. Luke goes anyway and faces Vader, and we all know what loss of appendages and revelations about family history ensue.

So in Return of the Jedi Luke goes back to Dagobah to find Yoda old and sick and says he's returned to complete his training as he promised. 'No more training do you require', Yoda tells him, 'only one thing remains'. Luke must face Vader.

So am I wrong, or do we have Luke cutting short his training to face Vader then returning to complete his training to be told he was finished, he only had to face Vader, which he went and did, even though he wasn't ready?? If the reason was because Yoda and Ben wanted to break the news about Luke's true identity gently, surely they had plenty of time to do it.

Here's what I think happened; When it came time to write Jedi, Lucas (as he seems to have done with a lot of characterisation and drama) glossed over the error. He knew he couldn't have any more jumping somersaults through the swamps because Yoda was sick, and the most dramatic thing he could think of to be Luke's final test was to face Vader.

It's just another example of how we were hoodwinked by spectacle into thinking we were watching deep, emotional drama when it as really every old good and evil mythology you've ever heard... with spaceships.

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