“The Empire Strikes Back” starts with the snow white planet of Hoth. It is a surreal notion of extreme cold, desolation, isolation and loneliness that the Rebel Alliance finds itself in.
Han and Luke split up on their tauntauns, a horse like snow lizard, and Luke is ambushed by a Wampa, a native snow beast predator at the top of the food chain. This forces Luke’s hand at survival by using the all encompassing and all powerful force. After a harrowing escape from the Wampa and a tauntaun stuffed rescue by his closest friend Han, who is in love with Leia, Luke sets off to the planet Dagobah to learn the ways of the force from Master Yoda.
Little does he know the little green creature he finds is a Jedi Master.
“Judge me by my size do you?” Yoda blurts out, “For my ally is the force. And a powerful ally it is.”
The Jedi Master stands faithful in his assertion and faith. And Yoda’s faith is a faith that can only be learned from the beginning. “You must unlearn what you have learned.” Such an important mental mindset to have when beginning anything new and challenging.
The beginner’s mind is most open to new information. It is the one that will take in all ideas without prejudice and without judgment.
With this beginner’s mind Luke is able to open his own mind and see things in a different way. He is able to understand that “the force” binds us all. It is the life force that connects everything.
“Between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes, even between the land and the ship.”
The last part of this statement being foreshadow for what is to take place next. Luke is stunned. He cannot believe it. “That is why you fail,” Yoda states.
Luke also learns that everything has a light and dark side. For true change is hard and requires work while the seduction of the dark side seems to yield its instant gratification. Instant relief from our suffering. Instant relief from what digs at our very being sometimes. It seems we could only know how Vader was seduced.
What Luke does not know is that life has a way of smacking you in the face, or in this case, cutting your hand off with a light saber (at least it was cauterized). While Vader is the embodiment of the dark side it is impossible to conceive Luke could come from such a vile and refutable source. But it is true.
“Luke, I am your father.” Vader bellows, “Join me and we can rule the galaxy as father and son.” Something Luke immediately bails on hard core.
He manages to escape Vader’s grasp, again by using the force and calling on Leia, whom we see for the first time has a touch of the force too. Another great foreshadowing moment where we are hopeful and confident things will get better? You better believe it because the crew is able to make the jump to light speed in the iconic Millennium Falcon and piss Darth Vader off just one more time. Be sure to check out the second greatest movie ever made “Return of the Jedi.”