I was watching The Empire Strikes Back on TV yesterday (yes, shocking isn’t it?) and I was struck with an insight. There is a scene “The Cave” where Luke senses something strange…evil.
Yoda: [points to a cave opening beneath a large tree] That place… is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go.
Luke: What’s in there?
Yoda: Only what you take with you.
So “the Cave” not only serves as a test for Luke to confront and learn to control his fears but also teach him…by embracing the Dark Side, he could follow the same fate and become a Sith, the same as Darth Vader (as well as foreshadow the relation between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker which we learn at the end of the movie).
I’ve watched this scene time and time again…and then I noticed something. As Luke is entering the Cave, it appears as he is entering a structure entrance…one that is overgrown with the local vegetation and plant life. If you look behind him as he enters, it looks like there is a smooth wall or pillar amongst the vegetation. If I can find a clip or photo, I will try to share to help illustrate.
This made me think…was the “Dark Side cave” actually the entrance to a buried or remains of a Sith Temple? A temple would stood in this place (hidden by the tree) and over time was abandoned and/or lost (and thus the tree and plant life buried it further). This would explain the presence of the dark side of the Force in the area. So then I asked myself, why would Yoda live in such a place? Well, my suspicions were validated by a blog article I found on a Star Wars wiki. In order to mask his location from the Empire (including Lord Vader & Darth Sidious), he traveled to a remote planet where his presence could be masked by the teaming wildlife and well as a place with a strong embodiment of the dark side of the Force.
“During the Great Jedi Purge, Yoda realized that proximity to the Dark Side Cave could help neutralize his strong light side Force signature—thus preventing his detection by the Sith—and took up residence near the cave, living there for the next two decades, through the reign of the Galactic Empire. ~http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_Side_Cave
According to the article though, the dark side cave was created when the Jedi Minch battled and killed a powerful Bpfasshi Dark Jedi leader hundreds of years before the Clone Wars, and his energies absorbed into its surroundings, first tainting the passage with the dark side. But I still think the thought of a Sith Temple is an interesting idea. Having a temple nearby possibly might help Yoda learn more about the dark side…but then again if so, would he risk the chance of becoming a Dark Jedi himself?
Who knows? JJ Abrams has already announced that he may not be following the Expanded University story lines so who knows what may be in store? Only time will tell…