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- "You have proved to be the top of your class, and so now is the time of The Gathering. For a Jedi, there is no greater challenge or honor."
- ―Ahsoka Tano
The Gathering was a rite of passage of the Jedi Order meant as a lesson to teach the young Jedi to overcome their own personal fears or failings to find a kyber crystal attuned to their Force presence in the Crystal Caves of Ilum. Upon retrieving the crystal, a Jedi initiate began the process of constructing his or her lightsaber, under the guidance of Professor Huyang. Part of the training process of a Jedi, it signified a youngling's readiness to be selected by a Jedi Master and begin training as a Padawan learner.
Dated to the very dawn of the Jedi Order and passed down over centuries until the Clone Wars, the Gathering was performed in the Jedi Temple of Ilum. The ritual required Jedi younglings to trust their instincts, overcome inner obstacles, and find an unique kyber crystal attuned to their Force presence in the Crystal Cave of Ilum. For a thousand years, those who would take part in the Gathering would be ferried to and from Ilum on the Crucible, a starship from the era of the Old Republic.
Escorted by a Jedi of a higher rank, such as a Jedi Master or Padawan, a small group of Younglings would endure their first test of skill, where their guide would direct them to focus their concentration on the Force, as only their combined efforts would be able to open the sealed entrance to the Temple. Once inside, the Younglings were required to descend into the catacombs of the Crystal Caves on their own, being told that they only had a limited period of time for their search as the entrance to the caves would freeze shut with the setting of the planet's sun, thereby trapping any laggard Younglings. In reality, it was a deception meant to further challenge the young Jedi, as the wall was only frozen water and therefore easy to break through.
Once inside the labyrinth, the journey became more personalized to each individual Youngling. Though some would require others by nature of their learning process, the quest to find one's kyber crystal generally featured a test of character tailored to their fears or failings, which they had to surpass to claim their prize and exit the cave. The kyber crystal would be attuned to the Youngling through the Force so that when they became the heart of their lightsaber, the weapon would be an extension of their Force awareness. Before being gathered, the crystals would be colorless until first attuned and connected to the Youngling, at which point it glowed either blue or green―or in some rare instances, another shade―and would retain that hue from then on.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gathering" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Test of Strength" (Appears in flashback(s))
- Ahsoka (Indirect mention only)
- ; image #4 (of 13)