In the movie Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Rey fights the Dark Side version of herself inside the wreckage of the Death Star. This fight is similar to how Luke Skywalker fought the Dark Side version of himself inside the cave on the planet Dagobah in the movie Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

I am wondering if there is an in-canon explanation as to why Rey did not encounter the Dark Side version of herself while she was inside the cave on the planet Ahch-To. Since the cave was a place that was very strong with the Dark Side of the Force, it should have shown her what she was capable of becoming which would be a Sith Lord like her grandfather Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious, and she should have had a lightsaber battle with Dark Side Rey inside the cave.

Why didn't Rey encounter Dark Side Rey inside the cave on the planet Ahch-To?

  • 1
    Didn't Yoda say that the cave on Dagobah only holds what you bring in it? (fear, for example)
    – Mixxiphoid
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 19:00
  • @Mixxiphoid, yes, when Luke asked Yoda what was in the cave, Yoda responds "Only what you take with you".
    – user126715
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 19:02
  • 1
    Rey went in looking for answers. She found answers (of a sort).
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 19:14
  • 1
    Out of universe reason, I believe that Lawrence Kasdan who co-wrote Empire didn't want to repeat himself in The Last Jedi. Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 21:09

2 Answers 2


Let's contrast the two Dark Side caves


Yoda is actively training Luke and leads them to the cave. Yoda then tells Luke he has to go in. Yoda tries to warn Luke he doesn't need weapons, but Luke doesn't listen and goes in anyways. Luke then encounters Vader, which he fights and defeats, only to see Vader's mask shatter and reveal Luke's face beneath. This is foreshadowing that Palpatine wants Luke to replace Vader.

Luke finally gets it when, in ROTJ, he stands over a beaten Vader and Palpatine directly makes the offer. Luke realizes he's already gone down the path since he has a robotic hand, and he's just removed Vader's in a fit of rage. Luke realizes he has a choice, and thus his failure in the cave comes full circle when he rejects the offer to become a Sith lord.


Rey isn't really being trained by Luke. It's more of a do-it-yourself Jedi training, with random snark added for amusement. Rey recoiled from the cave when, in her "Force vision", she is drawn to it, and Luke freaks out. If Luke's not going to train her, why not check it out? The cave hints at showing Rey her parents, but never gets around to doing so. Where that ties in for Rey is that Kylo Ren later tells her her parents were nobody. It more or less confirms Rey's fears, and, just like Luke, she finds herself standing at a crossroads when Kylo Ren offers to make her his #2. And, like Luke, she has to choose a different path.


Both Dark Side caves are about preparing the person to join the Sith, not about having a duel. In Luke's case, he wanted a fight and the cave obliged.


As an answer to compliment Machavity's answer, you can see that each of these locations that are strong in the dark-side of the force can be seen as the first step towards the dark side by showing them their deepest fears. Luke's biggest fear was that he would fall to the dark side, while Rey's was that she would never know who her parents were (but don't quote me on that!)

As Yoda once said:

“Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.” Yoda, The Phantom Menace

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