Luke Skywalker founded the New Jedi Order. And in doing so, he retrieved a set of texts that held wisdom and scriptures he thought would provide valuable information to future Jedi. However, a former Jedi Master showed Luke just how wrong he was.
Luke stored the Sacred Jedi Texts in the Force tree. When he wanted the Jedi Order to end, he tried to burn the tree only for Yoda’s Force ghost to summon lightning that lit the tree on fire.
Angry, Luke demanded an explanation before Yoda admitted the texts held no vital information that Rey would have needed. Instead, he reminded Luke to pass on what he knew to Rey.
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What Did Luke Store in the Force Tree?
Following Return of the Jedi in 4 ABY, Luke traveled across the galaxy to salvage any remnants of the Jedi Order. By 34 ABY, he collected eight pieces of literature, collectively known as the Sacred Jedi Texts.
These texts contained scriptures that dated back to the Jedi Order’s founding in 25,000 BBY (Canon). Some of the texts contained lost abilities like Force healing and Force projection.
They outlined the Jedi’s history guidance to studying the light side, and they even explained why the Jedi chose to embrace the light side of the Force.
The texts also contained the interesting Chain Worlds Theorem, which theorized the World Between Worlds. Something Ezra Bridger accessed during the Galactic Civil War.
Luke believed he understood the importance of the Sacred Jedi Texts and the value they would grant to new students. This prompted him to store them in the Force-sensitive Uneti tree located near the First Jedi Temple on the planet Ach-To.
Did Yoda Appear in The Last Jedi?
In Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker wanted the Jedi Order to end. During the Original Trilogy, the Jedi had been all but vanquished, but Luke, the new hope, prevented this.
Fast forward to The Last Jedi, and Luke regretted playing a key role in reviving the Jedi Order. Much of his regrets stemmed from his failure to keep his nephew, Ben Solo, from falling to the dark side.
Just when he tried to burn a set of ancient Jedi texts and other artifacts, Yoda appeared as a Force ghost, surprising Luke.
Having retained much of himself following his death during Return of the Jedi in 4 ABY, Yoda caused lightning to strike the tree that started the fire.
Despite intending to burn the tree, Luke grew angry at Yoda’s actions, in pure disbelief the former Jedi Grand Master would commit such an act.
Why Was Luke Angry That Yoda Burned Down the Tree?
It seems hypocritical that Luke grew angry when Yoda burned the Force tree. Luke didn’t just state he wanted the tree to burn. He approached it with a flaming torch before Yoda interfered.
But when he believed Yoda’s actions destroyed the Jedi’s remaining artifacts, he appeared to have second thoughts. It was as though Luke believed Yoda’s actions would irreversibly erase the Jedi’s history from the galaxy.
When Luke confronted Yoda, the former Jedi Grand Master knew that a set of ancient books did not preserve the Jedi.
Why Did Yoda Burn the Force Tree?
The wise Force-sensitive as he was, Yoda burned the tree down as a lesson to Luke. He realized the Sacred Jedi Texts “were not page-turners.” They held wisdom, but Yoda did not see them as informative.
He further reinforced his viewpoint when he told Luke they didn’t contain anything Rey didn’t already possess. Thanks to Luke and her grit, Rey had enough knowledge that went beyond the texts’ teachings.
Having become self-loathing given his failures with Ben Solo and the fall of the New Jedi Order, Luke stated he was weak and unwise before further telling Yoda he could not be the same Master to her that Yoda was to him.
Yoda disagreed, as when he died in Return of the Jedi, he told Luke to pass on what he learned. In The Last Jedi, he reinforced the notion to Luke. Further, Yoda reminded Luke that he learned both strength and mastery, and that there is no greater teacher than failure.
Yoda’s lesson to Luke parallelled the former Grand Master’s own failure in Revenge of the Sith when he failed to save the Jedi Order from falling.
Like Luke, Yoda felt regret, remorse, and lived with the thought that he could, or should have done more. But when Luke sought Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda did not run away, but passed on what he learned to Luke.
Yoda then said, “Repass what they grow beyond.” This gives us the closure that Yoda was telling Luke that the continuation of the Jedi Order never rested in a set of texts, as Luke believed.
Instead, continuing the Order rested in Jedi Masters. No one knew this better than Yoda, who trained Jedi for over eight centuries. Since continuation rested in the Masters and not books, Yoda knew the texts didn’t ensure the Jedi’s survival.
By burning the Force tree, Yoda encouraged Luke to learn from his failures.
Did Luke Learn from His Failures?
Nothing gives us more insight than the climax of The Last Jedi. During the scene, Luke’s actions mirror that of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s from A New Hope. He confronts the First Order during a siege of the Resistance’s fortress, giving them a chance to escape.
However, Luke was not physically present. Instead, he projected an image of himself through the Force while Rey led the escape efforts. Once the Millennium Falcon took off, Luke died from exhaustion.
In the end, Luke passed on what he knew to Rey. And he also atoned his failures by confronting the First Order that gave the Resistance one last hope.
Luke Skywalker traveled the galaxy and found the Sacred Jedi Texts and other artifacts. He stored them in a Force tree, believing the wisdom the books held, ensured the continuation of the Jedi Order.
Following Ben Solo’s fall to the dark side, Luke had second thoughts about the Jedi Order’s survival and intended to burn down the tree with the artifacts inside.
After another round of second thoughts, Yoda burned the tree for him, stating the texts did not contain relevant information for Rey. He reminded Luke that only Jedi Masters could ensure the Order’s survival.
When Luke claimed he failed, Yoda further reminded Luke that failure is the greatest teacher. Learn from failure, and success will arise.
Sion Fawkes has been covering Star Wars since January 2022, expanding his expertise in both Star Wars Canon and Legends. When not writing, you can find Sion in the gym or running trails. He also likes watching sports and listening to audiobooks.