Rian Johnson Explains the Significance of The Last Jedi’s Black Cave

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in theaters now.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has likened his movie's Black Cave to the one from The Empire Strikes Back.

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"Well, the idea that this natural place reflected […] The idea that if there’s a Jedi Temple up top, the light, it has to be balanced by a place of great darkness. We’re drawing a very obvious connection to Luke’s training and to Dagobah here, obviously," Johnson said in an interview with SlashFilm.

In Empire, Luke entered a swamp-based cave during his training with Yoda on Dagobah. In investigating his destiny, Luke ended up killing a Darth Vader, only to see his own face beneath the mask. This alluded to Vader being Luke's father, Anakin. Now, in Johnson's movie, Rey enters an aquatic cave on Ahch-To to find out about her parents. When she asks who they are, all she sees is her own reflection.

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"And so the idea was if the up top is the light, down underneath is the darkness. And she descends down into there and has to see, just like Luke did in the cave, her greatest fear. And her greatest fear is [that], in the search for identity, she has nobody but herself to rely on," Johnson said.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux and Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma.

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