Tuesday's segment ended with Luke finally beginning to understand the ways of the Force, thanks to Yoda's teaching and training. But "he still has a long way to go before he can overcome the concentrated evil of the Emperor and Darth Vader." That's where we pick up the story …
Lucas emphasizes Luke's great susceptibility to evil in numerous instances where Luke's impatience and anger defy the wisdom of Yoda. As Yoda initially points out, Luke is impatient like his own father was, the Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker, who was seduced by the dark side and became Darth Vader (as we come to learn in The Empire Strikes Back). The most striking example of Luke's vulnerability comes in his imagined confrontation with Darth Vader, in which Luke lops off Vader's head but sees behind Vader's mask his own face. It is a potent reminder—and an uncharacteristic departure from the surface simplicities of melodrama—that the enemy lies as much within us as without, and that poses a daunting moral and spiritual challenge.
Luke's apprenticeship ends when he chooses to interrupt his training with Yoda to rescue his friends Leia, Chewbacca, and Han, who have fallen into Vader's clutches. The difficulty with this decision, which is opposed by both Yoda and Obi-Wan, is that, with his training only partially completed, Luke must confront Vader without being fully prepared. In fact, Darth Vader has captured Luke's friends for the very purpose of using them as bait to lure this young apprentice into an encounter; he knows that Luke is his son and is "strong with the Force," and he wants to interrupt Luke's apprenticeship before his power and skills increase. When their meeting finally takes place, the match between them is close, for ...1
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Star Wars Spirituality: Part 3
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