Ermagoshhh we are on the second-to-last episode of TCW now… feels unreal, doesn’t it? It’s a whole lot of intensity, mystery, and real real deepness we’re getting in this one! So hopefully this time I’ll have something useful to say and give all of us something to think about this time around as we uncover the depths of Destiny!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode VI and TCW Episodes Brothers, The Wrong Jedi, The Lost One, Voices, and Destiny.
So yes, amazing what one can uncover in a short period of time… in what seems to be a few days, Yoda’s found out that a) the bad guys may be responsible for the Clone Army and b) that Qui-Gon Jinn has uncovered a way to stay yourself after death. So now Yoda’s letting the Force be his GPS to guide him to the next step on his crazy journey that will help him figure out what Qui-Gon’s figured out. At the moment, Yoda and R2-D2 are parked right outside this crazy mass of gas and star stuff. Yoda knows that somewhere in that mass is his new Force-training ground, so he just keeps on driving. On the other hand, Artoo is clearly questioning his sanity. “LOOK, MAY I REMIND YOU THAT MY HEAD IS STICKING OUTSIDE? I WOULD LIKE TO LIVE THROUGH THIS IF THAT’S POSSIBLE! ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THIS??? YOU CAN SLOW DOWN ANY TIME, MAN! ARE YOU SURE THAT MASTER JINN WASN’T JUST TALKING ABOUT A COFFEE SHOP OR SOMETHING?” and so on. Hehe poor guy’s screaming his dome off! But Yoda has a tendency to be right, because there it is — a planet! And clearly the right planet, because it’s covered in glowy sparkly stuff! As well as, of course, being Force-heavy. So thus, our heroes land right next to a giant crater flowing with strands of glowy sparkly stuff. Well, actually that glowy sparkly stuff is pure Force… or life… or something… please bear with me as I understand the Force as much as I understand underwater agriculture. Yoda knows where he’s going, and he gives Artoo his lightsaber for safekeeping. I admittedly get a little choked up that Artoo is clearly worried for his friend :3 But Yoda’s gotta do it alone… and off he goes, flying the ship down the glowy crater into the unknown!
Once the crater lets out, we find ourselves in a cavernous world that can hardly be done justice by mere description. It’s got some of those glowy strands going on and it has these floating islands or whatever and tons of bizarre-ish but cool foliage. And evidently, there’s some pretty cool wildlife around here too. But just then, out of nowhere comes an eerie voice, apparently female. And she shows herself first by floating in a sparkly ball… to which all of us said “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” 😆 And then she reveals herself as this ghost-faced, black-cloaked biped who fits into the “bizarre-ish but cool” category as well. She’s all “Yoda! Where’ve you been man?” which in turn gives us this Wonderland vibe. Yoda’s all “How would you know that…?” and she’s all “Dude. I’m kinda part of the living Force durrr.” and in turn leads him off. Now, I have to say, as unreal as these ghostly guardians seem to be, they have it pretty good. They barely have to walk! This girl just floats on! And on top of that, the foliage just curls itself out of her way! Wouldn’t that be great, especially since I have a tendency to get hit with branches when I’m walking through foliage myself. Luckyyy. On top of that, doors just open for her! Technically tunnels, I guess, but still! I sorta kept expecting Yoda to get hit with all the foliage that missed her or that the door might close on Yoda before he could get in, but he’s a VIP guest here… none of that expected comic humor for this guy! So once through the door, the girl announces to her cousins that their guest has arrived. And the room immediately becomes all cool and glowy and in comes one-by-one all of these nearly identical spirit cousins. They’re identical, except that each one’s mask evokes a different emotion. Soooo that kind of makes them like the Seven Dwarves of the Force. *Armada of Star Wars fans drop a brick on my head* The first one’s a bit of a jerk, the next one is the walking (er… floating?) manifestation of a familiar Pharrell song, there’s a depressed one, and a confused one on top of that. They all want to know why Yoda’s here though (guess the first cousin didn’t let them know about this guest beforehand? Manners!). He tells them the simple fact that he’s interested in the whole immortality thing, and the Worrier doubts, the Optimist is all for it, the Confused shrugs and is all “whatever I guess”. Fact is, as far as their calm leader’s concerned, he’s kinda going to train a hero someday who will save the universe (you all know who they’re talking about!). The rather… grumpy one is all “Psh dude you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into!”, but Yoda’s cool with being the student this time around. Soooo the cousins seem to accept his request, after a bout of slightly disturbing girlish laughter. Obviouslyyy they know what Yoda’s going to face… and it can’t be quite as humorous as they’re letting on. But all the same, Yoda’s been accepted into the school of Force-ghost-ness!
So after the initiation, Yoda’s poofed back to where he last was, where the lead spirit girl fills him in on the locale’s background. Long story short — this is the where midichlorians are made and where all life originates. Which would explain the amount of glowy Force stuff. She leads him to this pathway of floaty island-things that in turn leads to this spooky-looking island/mountain. Apparently, Yoda needs to get in touch with himself a bit if he’s going to hang around after death, so he’ll take a couple of challenges in that very island/mountain to beat out his underlying dark side. Yoda’s like “Wait… I’m a Jedi! There’s no fear or darksidery going on in me!” and she’s all “Ha. Sure… prove it then.”. Yoda doesn’t get the deal with that, but off he goes, island-hopping his way over to the spooky mountainous island. Yes indeedy the teacher is about to get schooled!
So Yoda literally can’t take a step into these dark caves without hearing another creepy disembodied voice. And it’s much much much creepier than the last. And it kinda sounds like… him. Yes friends, Shadow Yoda will haunt my dreams for a while. I’ve heard Maul in his insane state compared to Gollum, but that’s nothing comparatively… Shadow Yoda here could probably scare the real Gollum and Darth Maul both. And sorry I’ll stop talking about Middle Earth lore in the middle of a Star Wars blog, but seriously! I did not know Tom Kane’s voice was capable of all this creepy. He’s talking almost exactly like Gollum! And sorry I did it again! So yes it’s both exciting and terrifying watching Yoda fight his darksidery self. Yup… just the facts, everyone’s got something they have to overcome, no matter how seemingly big or small it may be. Even if it’s just his being mad at Quinlan Vos for cutting in front of him in the cafeteria line. Or maybe the fact that he’s too short for most Disney Parks rides (sorry). Either way, Yoda has to come to grips that he’s not perfect, but he can choose to make the right decisions and face his “dark side” head-on when he needs to. In fact, it’s his choosing to face Shadow Yoda and saying “OK yeah you’re there, but you don’t control me.” that defeats this creepy guy in the end. You go, Master Yoda! He gets an “A” on this assignment, but he’s still got some more tests to go through. Bet he’s wishing now he hadn’t worn himself out physically fighting the guy for so long. Again, it feels very unusual to see Yoda realizing all he doesn’t know, but yet, it also makes him more relatable. So now that Yoda’s truly willing to take this schooling seriously, the guardians send him off once more to his next lesson… and it’s not exactly a simple true-or-false quiz. They called it… “temptations”. Oooh heavy…
You’d think getting through some ascending valley and coming through without attachment would be easy, right? Well this is Star Wars… most things aren’t that easy. Though weird thought: if these girls are the utmost in the Force… do they know what we now know about the “Jedi vs. Attachment” issue? We know that the Jedi were taking some of all this too far, even if it was partially rooted in truth. From an interview with Dave Filoni on starwars.com, he pointed out that it was their legit love for each other that saved Vader and Luke in Episode VI, something the Jedi didn’t totally get until then. The Jedi are right for the most part regarding attachment; holding on to someone or something so viciously that it makes you make bad decisions can be a straight path down the hill to Dark Side Land, but loving someone, but being willing to let go? That’s different. Now, from Yoda experiences in the valley, it honestly seems that the spirits might only be half-right on all this… honestly, this test leaves me with lots and lots and lots of questions that I can only hope with my own discussion may help answer.
Yeahhhh you know you’re in for a pretty terrifying test when you suddenly walk into a room full of dead Jedi. Everyone from adorable Jedi kids to the great and awesome Mace Windu lie scattered on these floors, including one who looks awfully familiar… OHMYGOSH AHSOKA TANO??! And she’s kinda still alive to boot! So as you can imagine, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Yoda look so sad… I can’t help but shed some tears in this part. And yeah, it’s a bit of a surreal moment to see Ahsoka again after all this time… especially since she’s… sorta just barely hanging on to life. Ahsoka tells him that this was all the Sith’s doing, but quickly turns the conversation around to her being kicked out of the Order. This does make me ask some questions, as Ahsoka almost got back in, but she turned down their offer and chose to leave the Jedi Order. Either Yoda just feels stupid guilty about the whole debacle or else he wasn’t fully informed of what went down. I’m thinking it’s the first one; Yoda does care about her, and probably feels like he might’ve been responsible for what went down. I mean, either way, Ahsoka’s trial and junk did leave an indelible mark on her and made her question the Jedi Order herself. Aww Yoda you can’t blame yourself…! Ahsoka then moves on to worrying about her future… she’s not a full Jedi, so when she dies, does she just… die? I’ve always believed that if you’re strong with the Force, you’ll end up in the soup either way, so I’m not really worried for whatever ultimately does become of Ahsoka, whether she’s hanging with the bounty hunters (something I picked up from a sketch of Mr. Filoni’s that was meant for an unmade TCW episode), joining the Rebel Alliance, or working a desk job somewhere. But clearly Yoda is worried for her, because he doesn’t know. Aughhh so many tears…! 😥 Seriously though the shot was angled pretty far from him, I have no doubt Yoda was tearing up, man… and IDK about you but when the Jedi actually let loose the waterworks on the rare occasion, I get gut-punched in the feels. But in the midst of his sadness, comes in one of those adorable Padawans from Season 5, inviting him to come with her to someplace far away from all this tragedy and fear. I mean, at first glance, you kinda can’t deny an adorable little girl’s offer of paradise, but then we remember “oh hey, isn’t this the ‘temptation’ part of this?” and then we start yelling “NO YODA DON’T DO IT!!! IT’S A TRAP!”, but of course, Yoda’s just been through all this hurt so of course he does it anyway. He’s only human, I suppose (or um… not human… whatever he is…). And suddenly, they’re outside the temple where the birds are singing and the trees are blooming and alllllll the Jedi who are and whoever were are hanging out together. And honestly, my first reaction is “Well, what could possibly be wrong with this?”. My weird theories have always imagined the Force-Spirit realm as something akin to a fancy retirement village where all the Jedi hang out together and sing songs around the campfire and go golfing (well, what did Anakin, Yoda, and Obi-Wan do after they left the Ewok party? I can’t imagine just floating around and giving Luke advice take up that much time in a day!). Of course, I’m aware that this may be an incorrect theory, but it just seems right. Perhaps the only difference is that those who keep their identity get to talk to the living on the occasion or something, IDK. Sooo how can this Jedi Temple barbecue be a bad thing, right? The padawan tells him that there’s no war out here, and Yoda pretty quickly puts on his “skepticles” on the whole thing. Especially as he finds Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon chatting about funny anecdotes with Master Dooku. I get that it feels weird… I mean, Dooku’s legitimately smiling and being a good guy! I’ve always wondered what kind of guy he was before he went all dark side on us, but this leaves me with mixed feelings. It does kinda make me feel all happy and gooey inside seeing this legacy of Jedi together… Dooku, who trained Qui-Gon, Qui-Gon, who trained Obi-Wan, and Yoda, who trained them all! D’aww feels! Yoda’s kinda becoming cool with it, but he’s not taking a hot dog off the grill yet. Pretty quickly Yoda just stops and says “Whoa whoa whoa something’s not right here!”. I guess seeing a few Jedi who are either dead (Adi Gallia and Qui-Gon and even Tiplar) or ex-Jedi (Dooku and Barriss Offee) is a little weird. Yeah figures I’d probably have failed this test big-time… isn’t that the point of this paradise? Everyone being together? I’m still confused, but this is a test. Maybe in twenty years they’re all be roasting marshmallows on Endor, but not today. This is the whole “temptation” deal. The rest of the Jedi are like “Dude. Total faux pas!” and Dooku’s like “Bros let me handle this” and pulls out his red lightsaber. But Yoda just looks him in the creepy red eyes and shrugs “This is all fake, you know.” and poof Yoda’s back to solid ground. It’s so confusing…! Perhaps someday it will all make sense. Anyway, the lead spirit shows up and slaps a big A+ on that paper (so to speak), but yeah he’s got finals coming up… the rest of the girls tells him his next and final test awaits him on the Sith homeworld and face a bucketload of fear. Ohhh wonderful. But Yoda do what Yoda do.
So by the time Yoda flew out of that Force-y glowy mess, Artoo was so happy to see him again he was doing a little dance! But he probably wasn’t in a dancing mood when Yoda told him that they’re going on the road again… but evidently, he does have some good words of wisdom, as the little droid seems to say “We have to be brave, Master,”. And don’t we, though, as we head into whatever ultimate destiny lies ahead.
Daaaaang… that’s all that I think I’m able to put into words on this one! And soon we’ll see the finale to end all finales… and boy I hope I can get all those thoughts translated to text within just one blog! Until then…
Keep The Peace,