Wednesday, September 19, 2007

One of those things

Ok, so I have seen Return of the Jedi many times. Many. I can literally say the words along with the characters, for the entire duration of the movie, with about 80% accuracy. But tonight, in watching it again*, I stumbled across across a hidden surprise that I had heard many times but never understood.

As Yoda is about to die, he discusses Vader with Luke. The following conversation takes place between the two, but keep in mind that Yoda, at death's door, is speaking in muffled tones:

Master Yoda... is Darth Vader my father?

Mmm... rest I need. Yes... rest.

Yoda, I must know.

Your father he is.

Told you, did he?


Unexpected this is, and unfortunate...

Unfortunate that I know the truth?

YODA (gathering all his strength)
No. Unfortunate that you rushed to face
him... that incomplete was your training. Not
ready for the burden were you.

All my life, until about 20 minutes ago, I thought Yoda's explanation went like this (differences noted in boldface):

YODA (gathering all his strength)
No. Unfortunate that you have to face
him... that to complete with with your training. Not
ready for the burden for you.

Subtle, yes, but it entirely changes the meaning of the scene! Yoda is not speaking of what will happen, but what has happened--presumably what Luke has not even told him! Yoda is demonstrating not his ability to forsee the future, but his ability to observe the past, or, rather, observe events that happen when he himself is nowhere in the vicinity of them. He is not saying that it is unfortunate that Luke will face Vader. He is chastising Luke for rushing to face Vader, which he did years earlier before completing his training on Dagobah, when he saw a vision of his friends in the clutches of Vader's machinations on Cloud City. At the time, Luke only thought he was leaving to save his friends, but Yoda knew his confrontation with Vader was imminent. And it is all revealed when listening to the real dialog in the scene from Jedi.

Ain't it cool when stuff like that happens? :)

*I was viewing the unaltered original version, available on the bonus disc of the RotJ Special Edition DVD, with subtitles turned on


Thomas said...

Wow, your a nerd. But good call there on the tense in which he was talking. However, it got me to thinking about Yoda and his powers. What would his life had been like if he were not a Jedi? Would he have been nothing more then a 3 foot tall green dude living away his life in a hut unnoticed for 900 years? If so thats very lame and rather boring.. So I wonder what the rest of his race is doing?

gb said...

nerd. nerd. nerd.nerd.nerd

sj said...

well said, gb :)

Raleigh said...

Son of a.... You just opened my eyes. This whole time I had thought the same thing, that Luke is rushing to face his father and is not ready - which I always thought was a sign that Yoda had no confidence in his last pupil. But now that I read your comment I see that he is ready by ROTJ and had not been before. And here this whole time I thought that Luke was a sucky Jedi-wannabe who got lucky. Thanks!!