by LA Bourgeois
Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.
Perhaps the most often quoted line from the Star Wars saga, this moment sinks us into the ways of the Jedi. Jedi Master Yoda, voiced by the extraordinary Frank Oz, lectures Luke Skywalker on the mysterious power of the Force in this iconic scene on the swampy world of Dagobah.
This image captures what many would argue is the spiritual center of the Star Wars saga, the moment where Luke awakens to the true power of the light side of the Force. While “Do. Or do not. There is no try” is often quoted, many forget what happens after Yoda proves the power of the Force, floating the ship out of the water and onto solid ground.
“I don’t believe it.” Luke exclaims.
“That is why you fail.” Yoda replies.
I remember sitting in a cinema in a small town, absorbing Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and its mystical ideology. After this introduction, I talked my parents into renting Star Wars on one of our movie nights. Wow. Just Wow.
DID YOU KNOW? George Lucas originally wanted Jim Henson to voice Yoda. Since Henson’s schedule was full, he suggested Frank Oz.
Obi-Wan’s Final Battle
Through the original films, we watch Luke’s journey to become a Jedi knight. In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, his lessons begin with Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, even as he begins to feel the impact of the Force, we don’t see the full impact of the way of the Jedi until the moment that Obi-Wan battles Darth Vader.
Alerted by Luke’s cry, Obi-Wan realizes a lesson can be taught in the midst of the duel. He smiles at Vader, raises his light saber to a neutral position and closes his eyes. Darth Vader sweeps his weapon in a killing blow, and Obi-Wan’s clothing falls to the floor, empty of his body.
In this moment, the eternal life of the Jedi is revealed to Luke. The power of the Force is not ended with death, but merely transitioned to another existence.
DID YOU KNOW? Obi-Wan Kenobi was a master of Soresu, a traditional form of lightsaber combat designed to make the fighter an impenetrable defensive force.
A Son’s Destiny
During the summer of 1983, we watched Luke transition from student to a full Jedi knight in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. During his final battle with his father, Darth Vader, Luke fights ferociously, desperate to save his friends, the mission, the Resistance. His blows rain harder and harder until Darth Vader lies on the floor before him. With one final swing, his light saber removes Vader’s hand.
Emperor Palpatine laughs. “Your hate has made your powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny. Take your father’s place at my side.”
Luke realizes that his mechanical hand matches his father’s. He deactivates his light saber. “Never. I’ll never turn to the dark side. You’ve failed, your Highness. I am a Jedi like my father before me.”
YES!!! While there’s still a lot of movie left, this moment cemented the spiritual heart of these movies for me. No matter what happened next, good had triumphed over evil for young Luke Skywalker.
DO YOU REMEMBER? Darth Vader’s last words to Luke came after Luke removed his mask. Lying there on the ramp of the ship Luke will fly to escape the exploding Death Star, Darth Vader said “You were right” referring to Luke’s belief that his father wasn’t as evil as he seemed.
Luke Skywalker’s Legacy
The Resistance benefited from impact of Luke Skywalker and his devotion to the way of the Jedi through the final movies. His teaching of Rey gives her the tools to save the Rebel Forces as they battle the seemingly unbeatable Empire.
These beautiful renditions of iconic scenes remind me each day that the Force is my ally in all of my challenges.
“For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it. Makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the force around you. Between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.”
Can you guess who said this? Of course, Yoda!
Enjoy Star Wars Day!
May the Force Be With You!