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The Dark Cave on Dagobah
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The Dark Cave on Dagobah
 PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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This is a topic that I don't think I've seen discussed much. What really happened in the cave on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back? What did it symbolize?


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Re: The Dark Cave on Dagobah
 PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:26 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Crash Override wrote:
This is a topic that I don't think I've seen discussed much. What really happened in the cave on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back? What did it symbolize?


"Don't fight Vader, or you'll fall to the Dark Side."
"Don't be aggressive, or you'll fall to the Dark Side."
"You're at risk of becoming the next Vader; be wary."

Alternatively, I'm thinking that maybe since the tree/cave is a domain of evil, that it might've just been messing with Luke's head (and by extension Yoda's) by showing him things that would frighten the two Jedi. Luke falling to the Dark Side and becoming the next Vader is probably Yoda's greatest fear (if he can be ever called afraid; concern might be a more apt word).
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-Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear


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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:50 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I always thought of it as foreshadowing for the famous reveal at the end of ESB. Darth Vader is a faceless, simple evil until he reveals that he is Luke's father. The reveal makes Vader a lot more complicated and also gives him a direct connection with Luke (hence Vader having Luke's face). And then it also ties in with what Taral said about the danger of Luke falling to the Dark Side - it's in his blood.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:34 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Remember when Luke is leaving to go to Bespin, Yoda reminds him of his failure in the cave, so that may play into Luke facing Vader or displaying aggression -- though since this argument doesn't sway Luke it may mean that the lesson was not about facing Vader specifically.

I have some ideas about what the scene was about in terms of the mono myth but I want to check my annotated screenplay to see if Kershner, Kasdan, or Lucas say anything about it.

It definitely served a dual purpose in terms of foreshadowing as well.


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 PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:30 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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It was also, I imagine part of the OT's attempts at making the audience fear Luke might fall to the dark side, much like the Vader reveal, Luke choking Gammorreans and wearing black in RotJ.
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 PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:08 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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http://mythinspace.wordpress.com/category/the-original-trilogy/the-empire-strikes-back/

I found this, which does a good job of articulating something along the lines of that which I was going to say about the scene.


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 PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:00 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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^ Yeah that makes sense. Like I said earlier, up to this point evil is portrayed very simplistically in Star Wars, but the Vader reveal makes it a lot more complicated. Vader isn't just an evil robot, programmed for death and destruction; he used to be a hero. Like the article siad, it shifts the dakness from being an external force to being an internal force.
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 PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:06 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I was going to say that Luke is facing his Jungian archetypal shadow self. But that describes it better.

I think that the way that the Force is depicted in the films is eastern mysticism (Taoism, Buddhism, Zen) with Freudian/Jungian/Campbellian symbolism. The duality between light and dark is not a Manichean duality, but the duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.

A lot of commentary on the Eastern influences on the Force note that it departs from Taoism or Buddhism with its depiction of a malignant dark side, whereas in Eastern philosophy the two sides don't correspond with good and evil. But instead of looking at it as Manichean dualism, but looking at it as Jungian dualism, I think it meshes rather well.


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 PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:22 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Aww, too bad that article was Jungian rather than empirical. I have long wanted to know how SW affects the human psyche.


I'm also too much of a Lucas basher to let slide comments suggesting the OT was as deep in regard to myth and morality as it is presented. The reason the Vader reveal undercut the moral and thematic simplicity of ANH was because it really was a complete 180, never intended for SW. A neat idea born from a desire for narrative tightness, by turning Father Skywalker and Darth Vader into one and the same character. The sort of thing EU fanatics would call total disrespect for the established tone of the universe - a sort of continuity error.

The ESB script was pretty much done before Campbell even released his book. Which makes it unlikely in the extreme he was any sort of creative influence on Lucas.
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 PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:46 am Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Joseph Campbell published The Hero With a Thousand Faces in 1949 so idk how you came up with it being released after Lucas wrote his scripts. On the contrary, Lucas wrote a third draft of the Star Wars script after reading Campbell's book in 1975.

As for ESB, Lucas rewrote Leigh Brackett's first draft after she died of cancer. Kirshner came on board late in the scripting process and did not have significant input because he didn't know the lore. This is by Kirshner's own admission to Film.com's Jordan Hoffman when Kirshner was doing press for Darling Companion.

Here is a link to the Leigh Brackett draft of ESB. http://www.starwarz.com/tbone/wp-content/uploads/Star-Wars-Sequel-Brackett.pdf

Here's the Wiki link for Campbell's book with year of publication. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_With_A_Thousand_Faces
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 PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:21 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Crash Override wrote:
I was going to say that Luke is facing his Jungian archetypal shadow self. But that describes it better.

I think that the way that the Force is depicted in the films is eastern mysticism (Taoism, Buddhism, Zen) with Freudian/Jungian/Campbellian symbolism. The duality between light and dark is not a Manichean duality, but the duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.

A lot of commentary on the Eastern influences on the Force note that it departs from Taoism or Buddhism with its depiction of a malignant dark side, whereas in Eastern philosophy the two sides don't correspond with good and evil. But instead of looking at it as Manichean dualism, but looking at it as Jungian dualism, I think it meshes rather well.


Interesting. I'm not sure I get how the two relate to each other though. Is the Star Wars universe split between a Taoist duality (without a malignant dark side), while sentient beings are split between a Jungian duality (with a malignant dark side)? Or is it mostly Jungian, but looks Taoist/Buddhist on the surface?

My main problem with Mortis is the seeming inconsistency between the two duaities. For me, balancing Light and Dark goes against the core of Star Wars (i.e the Orignal Trilogy).
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 PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:58 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Reepicheep wrote:
Crash Override wrote:
I was going to say that Luke is facing his Jungian archetypal shadow self. But that describes it better.

I think that the way that the Force is depicted in the films is eastern mysticism (Taoism, Buddhism, Zen) with Freudian/Jungian/Campbellian symbolism. The duality between light and dark is not a Manichean duality, but the duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.

A lot of commentary on the Eastern influences on the Force note that it departs from Taoism or Buddhism with its depiction of a malignant dark side, whereas in Eastern philosophy the two sides don't correspond with good and evil. But instead of looking at it as Manichean dualism, but looking at it as Jungian dualism, I think it meshes rather well.


Interesting. I'm not sure I get how the two relate to each other though. Is the Star Wars universe split between a Taoist duality (without a malignant dark side), while sentient beings are split between a Jungian duality (with a malignant dark side)? Or is it mostly Jungian, but looks Taoist/Buddhist on the surface?

My main problem with Mortis is the seeming inconsistency between the two duaities. For me, balancing Light and Dark goes against the core of Star Wars (i.e the Orignal Trilogy).


Did you not have a problem with it in the prequels? I think the problem most people have with their interpretation of balance is a correlation between balancing the Force and the people that use the Force. Jedi and Sith don't correspond to light and dark when it comes to balancing the Force. They're more like order and chaos, since Jedi seek to preserve balance while the Sith disrupt it.

This is why destroying the Sith restores balance. There's two dualities going on: between the two sides of the Force, which need to be balanced, and the duality of man, in which the shadow needs to be integrated, rather than denied and projected onto the other. And that means acknowledging your negative emotional traits like anger and greed so you don't act on them, rather than denying them and projecting them onto others. That's why Luke fails again in The Empire Strikes Back. He tells Yoda and himself that he's going to save his friends, but when he finds Leia and she warns him that it's a trap, he doesn't pursue her, but makes a beeline to Vader to seek revenge for his father.

I really enjoyed the way that Episode I and the associated literature expanded upon the Force with regard to balance and the Jedi view of the Force presented in the early works like the Episode I novelization and Cloak of Deception.

With regard to Mortis, if we look at the planet itself when Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan first arrive, it goes through cycles where during daytime the life blooms and then at night the life is destroyed and dies, only to repeat. This was supposed to represent balance, and it's the natural order of life. Killing the Son while keeping the Daughter alive would have been just as disruptive to the planet as the Daughter dying.


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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:27 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I guess the problem I have is how inseparable the two dualities seem. The Force is divided into light and dark, not in a good vs. evil way but in a yin and yang, push/pull, creation/destruction way. That I get.

But then the Jedi use the light side of the Force and the Sith use the dark side of the Force and the dualty between Jedi and Sith is good vs. evil... but in the previous duality goodness meant balancing the Force, not having a surplus of light. Wouldn't a truly good Force user, then, use both sides of the Force, thus balancing it? I don't see how the Jedi preserve the balance of the Force any more than the Sith, much less how Anakin brought balance to the Force.

If the Force is divided in a yin and yang way, why do the two sects that use each side of that same Force separate into good and evil?

It seems like Lucas wants to have his cake and eat it to.

EDIT: This topic is interesting me. I might just read the Episode I novel and Cloak of Deception since I never have.
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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:38 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I don't think the Jedi are wholly representative of the light -- the Fallanassi are a better example, and they do nothing. Also remember that Daughter has no aspirations of greater proportion like Son: the Force generally doesn't disbalance in favor of light on its own. But she was also in denial about Son at first. Complacency?

Back when Mortis aired, Sam Witwer did an interview with TOS where he said the Jedi use *some* dark side, insofar as that they use violence in defense, perhaps even preemptively so.

I think ideally the Jedi are supposed to act in unison with the Force. They're concerned with the will of the Force, not the will of the light side. There's a Taoist concept called wei wu wei, or just wu wei, which describes it well. I'll write a bit more about it later.


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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:48 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Crash Override wrote:
I don't think the Jedi are wholly representative of the light -- the Fallanassi are a better example, and they do nothing.

I can't really agree there. The impression I, and I think most people, get from the movies (disregarding the "fanfiction") is that the Jedi use the light side and the Sith use the dark side. The light side wasn't mentioned in the OT, but the dark side was always associated with Darth Vader and regarded as an evil.

Hence:

"Master Yoda... is the dark side stronger?"

"He was seduced by the dark side of the Force."

etc.

EDIT: This quote is from the Wookieepedia article on "Light side of the Force":

Wookieepedia wrote:
The largest group of proponents and teachers of the light side were the Jedi Order, who strove to maintain peace and justice throughout the galaxy. The Jedi were well aware of the dangers of the dark side of the Force and were dedicated opponents of its use, as it represented corruption and a disregard for the natural order of the universe. The dark side was considered the domain of the Sith, whom the Jedi attempted to destroy in order to keep the Force in balance.

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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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