In Episode 5.06 “The Gathering,” Ahsoka Tano escorts a group of Jedi younglings to Ilum where they go through a crucial rite of passage. In this edition of Expanding the Clone Wars, a series of articles where we take existing Star Wars canon and fit it in with The Clone Wars TV show, we explore the sacred world of Ilum, the Jedi rite of passage, Wookiee Jedi throughout history and much more!
Look for EUCantina’s review of “The Gathering” on We Talk Clones later this week.
First appearing in Jedi Quest: Path to Truth, Ilum was an ice planet in the Unknown Regions that was the Jedi Order’s main source for Adegan crystals used in the construction of lightsabers. Adegan crystals first appeared in the Episode VI: Return of the Jedi radio drama.
In Clone Wars: Chapters 14-16, Count Dooku led a battalion of droids to the planet to damage the Crystal Caves and destroy the main source of Jedi lightsaber crystals. Yoda, Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee, and Padme Amidala led the defense of the caves.
The Crystal Caves on Ilum were discovered 22,800 BBY by the Jedi Order and a temple was formed at the entrance of the cave. In this episode we only saw blue Adegan crystals but the Ilum crystals could produce green, blue, red, yellow, and violet colored crystal variants. The most common found on that world were crystals that produced blue or green blades.
Interesting to note, there was another Crystal Cave in the Expanded Universe first appearing in Knights of the Old Republic near the Jedi Enclave on the planet Dantooine that was discovered by the Jedi 4,000 years before the Clone Wars. In Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight Jax Pavan journeyed to this Crystal Cave on Datooine to obtain his lightsaber crystal. Other known locations of Adegan crystals were in the Adega system, Mygeeto, and parts of the Cularin system asteroid belt.
Left out of these episodes was the Gorgodons, large creatures nested near the entrance or inside the halls of the Illum Jedi temple. Jedi would run into Gorgodons and face several of these beasts in order to get into the caves.
Jedi Rite of Passage
The Jedi younglings Katooni, Gunji, Petro, Zatt, Ganodi, and Byph all went to Ilum to learn from Yoda and explore the Crystal Caves to find the crystal for their lightsabers but what also turned out to be a lesson in courage, selfishness and several other Jedi traits for the Initiates.
In Jedi Quest: Path to Truth, Anakin Skywalker constructed his first lightsaber in the caves of Ilum. Anakin had already built the parts to the hilt prior to traveling to Ilum and took the pieces with him as he entered the cave. All he needed was a crystal and complete the lightsaber in the Crystal Caves. While he was constructing it, however, he had a dark vision of Darth Maul yet Skywalker managed to defeat this specter and he awoke to find he had finished construction on his lightsaber. Obi-Wan Kenobi also traveled with Qui-Gon Jinn to Ilum many years before to construct his lightsaber as explained in The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
It is interesting to note that the younglings in this episode didn’t have Masters or begun their padawan training but were already collecting the crystals for their lightsabers as a clan. In existing Expanded Universe sources Jedi would normally go through the lightsaber rite of passage on their own after they were chosen by a Jedi master and begun their training. This makes us wonder, are these Jedi younglings gathering crystals for their lightsabers with Master Yoda because most Jedi Knights or Masters are probably not available to train padawans during this time of war, or was this just a simple training exercise away from the temple in order for the initiates to discover aspects of the Jedi Code?
The Gathering, the title of this episode of The Clone Wars, was also the name given to the assemblage of the full Jedi Council as we saw in Republic 13: Emissaries to Malastare Part 1.
Gungi, the Wookiee Jedi Initiate in this episode of the Clone Wars, is not the first Wookiee Jedi from the Expanded Universe. Tyvokka, who first appeared in Republic 36: The Stark Hyperspace War, was a member of the Jedi Council and master to Plo Koon. Lowbacca who first appeared in Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force was Chewbacca’s nephew and one of the first Jedi Knights from Luke Skywalker’s New Jedi Order and finally Kirlocca, from the roleplaying-game Living Force, was a Jedi Battlemaster at the Almas Academy during the Clone Wars. Other Wookiee Jedi include Ruhr in the Dawn of the Jedi comics and an unnamed Wookiee student in Edge of Victory: Conquest.
After the release of The Dark Nest Trilogy, George Lucas declared that there can be no more Wookiee Jedi in the Expanded Universe and Obsidian Entertainement was forbidden to make Hanharr a Dark Jedi in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, because of this restriction. Yet as we have seen in recent media, this rule hasn’t been followed that closely.
Thanks for joining this week on Expanding the Clone Wars and make sure you join us next time when we continue to explore how the Clone Wars TV show fits in with current Star Wars history!
Jedi Quest: Path to Truth, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi radio drama, Clone Wars: Chapters 14-16, Knights of the Old Republic, Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight, The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Republic 13: Emissaries to Malastare Part 1, Republic 36: The Stark Hyperspace War, Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force, Living Force, Dawn of the Jedi, Edge of Victory: Conquest, The Dark Nest Trilogy, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
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