In ESB, Luke is injured by a wampa and taken to its cave.

After managing to force-pull his lightsaber and seriously injuring the wampa, such that it escapes, why does Luke run out of the cave straight into the lethal snow storm? He picks certain death (if not Han came for the rescue) over the chance to tough it out in a more protected environment. Is there any reason for this?

As far as I remember the novelization, it is even stated, that not only his lightsaber, but also his other equipment was present in the cave. So he could have even used his com-link to contact the rebellion. Shouldn't he have acted more wisely in this situation?

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    One of the symptoms of hypothermia is impaired judgement. Apr 6, 2016 at 21:23
  • 1
    Presumably his comms device may not have been working. He also probably didn't want to be stuck there, not knowing that his best move should have been to wait it out.
    – Möoz
    Apr 6, 2016 at 21:54
  • 1
    Also, nice username!
    – Möoz
    Apr 6, 2016 at 21:54
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    Perhaps he was afraid more Wampas would come to the cave.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Apr 6, 2016 at 22:25

2 Answers 2


The film's new (Disney-canon) Junior novelisation "So You Want to be a Jedi?" strongly indicates that Luke was reluctant to kill the wampa, he merely wished to escape from it. Having wounded the beast and released himself, Luke left the cave in a somewhat foolhardy attempt to get back to Echo Base.

The wampa staggers back, staring. The lightsaber is so sharp, so hot, that it has cauterized the wound. There is no blood. But there is no arm either. The great beast is in pain. And now it is afraid of you. Very afraid.
Keeping your eyes trained on the savage ice beast, your lightsaber raised high, you slowly back out of the cave.

The earlier Junior novelisation gives us a bit more info about Luke's mental state. He was keen to evade the Wampa as well as being dazed and confused, evidently suffering the early stages of hypothermia and, presumably a low-level concussion

The lightsaber sliced through the ice, and Luke kept the weapon activated as he tumbled to the cave’s floor. He sprang to his feet just as the wampa was about to pounce, and swung the lightsaber hard. In a single motion, he cut off the monster’s right arm. The severed limb landed on the snow with a muffled thud. Howling in pain, the wampa clutched at its open wound.
Not wasting a precious second, Luke deactivated the lightsaber and scurried away from the wailing beast. He moved by instinct, pushing his way through snow and ice until he tumbled out through the mouth of the cave and into …
A blizzard.
When I wanted to leave Tatooine, I never bargained for this.
Dazed and lost, Luke pressed on, leaving the cave far behind as he moved deeper into the storm.

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    Strange, it's written in second person? What if I wanna be Han?
    – Mazura
    Apr 7, 2016 at 2:57
  • @mazura - Then tough. Only Luke's bit is 2nd person narrative. The rest is 3rd person
    – Valorum
    Apr 7, 2016 at 6:29
  • @Richard The quoted section only stated the very visible in-movie effects though. Can you quote something that more accurately describes what was going on in Luke's mind? Striking fear is so not the Jedi way. It's easy to mistaken that as the desired effect here. Apr 7, 2016 at 8:45
  • @thegreatjedi - There isn't any additional (relevant) info in the newer novel, but I've supplemented with a quote from the older junior novel.
    – Valorum
    Apr 7, 2016 at 8:52
  • From your quotes, it seems that the Junior Novelizations do not explicitly state that the wampa runs away and is no threat anymore. This makes Luke's action more reasonable, since even with only one arm, Luke might not want to deal with the wampa again (Note that Luke is not a trained Jedi at this point, i.e. there is a chance he might lose the next lightsaber-vs-wampa-battle, which a trained Jedi would definitely not do). If I remember correctly, the "usual" novelization (by Donald F. Glut) explicitly states that the wampa will probably not return. That is what brought up this question to me.
    – MooS
    Apr 7, 2016 at 9:31

He probably wasn't thinking about that since he had just woken up after being knocked out and he may of thought it could still attack him and eat him or attract other wampas.

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