- "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, to a class of Jedi Initiates
The Gathering was a part of the training process of the Jedi Order which also served as a rite of passage for Jedi Initiates prior to their beginning training as a Padawan learner. It was established at the beginning of the Jedi Order and was preserved into the time of the Clone Wars.
The Gathering was an exercise which took place on the ancient Jedi world Ilum. A group of Jedi Initiates would be transported to the frozen world to claim their lightsaber crystals for the first time. The process was a lesson to teach the young Jedi to overcome their own personal fears or failings. A Gathering was held around 20 BBY for a class of six younglings.
The Gathering began with a group of Jedi Initiates being transported to the ice world Ilum by a Jedi of a higher rank. Once on the world, the Jedi traveled together to the entrance of the ancient Jedi Temple located at the mouth of the Crystal Caves.
At the entrance to the Temple, the group of young Jedi would endure their first test of skill. Their guide would direct the group to focus their concentration on the Force, that only their combined efforts would be able to open the sealed entrance to the Temple. Once inside, the group was provided with guidance by an experienced Jedi Master.
Following this, the group of younglings were required to descend into the catacombs of the Crystal Caves in order to search out the lightsaber crystal which would become theirs. Before going inside they would be told that they only have a limited period of time in which to search, as the entrance to the caves would freeze shut with the setting of the planet's sun. As revealed by Yoda however, the wall is only frozen water and therefore simple to break through, if one has the will. The deception is simply part of the test.
Once inside the labyrinth the journey became more personalized to each individual initiate. Though some would require others by nature of their learning process, the quest to find one's crystal generally featured a test of character tailored to each individual trainee's fear or failing before being able to successfully claim their prize and exit the cave.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Gathering" (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "A Test of Strength" (Appears in flashback(s))