Star Wars is packed full of iconic characters, settings, and sounds that tantalize every part of our imaginations. Top among them is the significantly vertically challenged mentor we all wish we had as a safety net for every life decision - Yoda.
This Jedi master has been around since first appearing as a wandering Muppet in The Empire Strikes Back that transforms into the wisest and most powerful Jedi perhaps to have ever lived. So what's this the story with the beloved long-eared character?
Where Does He Come From?
Little to nothing is ever discussed about the origins of Yoda in the main movie series. The mystery and mystique behind this Jedi was so protected that some fans began thinking he was the illegitimate love child of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.
The legend is far more regular than you would think. When the backward-talking Yoda was still a youngling, he encountered a human that crash-landed on his swamp world. Together, they found the Jedi Master N’Kata Del Gormo, a Hysalrian. He trained them as Padawans until Yoda ventured out to Coruscant, where he continued his training at the Jedi Temple under Huyang, a Mark IV architect. Unfortunately, the canon gets a little murky after that point in time between the Star Wars Legends information and what Disney wants to release.
Needless to say, Yoda attained his own mastership at the ripe young age of 100 years old. For 800 more years, he would train all kinds of apprentices, calculated to be somewhere around 20,000 younglings. This endured him to the Jedi Order and was a reason he was granted a seat on the Jedi High Council.
The actual name of Yoda’s species remains unknown. Even with the introduction of The Child - Grogu in The Mandalorian, we have not been told the origin of these fantastic creatures. There was only one other member of Yoda’s species to pop up in canon, and that was Yaddle, another member of the Jedi Council.
What Makes Yoda so very Yoda?
What we do know is this creature is hands down one of George Lucas’ most original ideas. Not only is Yoda a close friend with unique species like the Wookies, but he also has a captivating cadence and speaking pattern. Many fans have theorized that this is because the original Yoda language is so hard to translate that it turns English backward.
The other characteristics of Yoda include prolonged aging and a great deal of power, even from a young age. This has been more apparent with Grogu taking on giant creatures to save his silver armored friend.
It seems whatever species Yoda comes from, the secret will most likely remain protected for generations, even though they tend to be some of the most potent force-wielding beings to ever grace the Star Wars ecosystem. Not to mention the whole eating amphibians thing.
The Birth of a Master
The reality is Yoda is a true Jedi Master. From his acrobatic confrontation with his once Padawan Count Dooku, jumping through the air with a green lightsaber in hand, to his almost prophetic military strategy as General of the Galactic Republic pointing clone troopers to battle.
The idea of Yoda was born in the crazy mind of George Lucas after reconsidering having Obi Wan Kenobi train Luke. Instead, Lucas went to the famous puppeteer Jim Henson who recommended Frank Oz to voice the role. Yoda’s face was based on make-up artist Stuart Freeborn and Albert Einstein. Some equate this to more of a Tarsier look, the Southeast Asian nocturnal animal that loves to eat lizards and jump on elongated legs, but that is just a myth.
If you want a real mind trip, the original casting for Yoda was a monkey in a facemask of an old man. This truly terrifying idea was happily thrown out for the puppet we all grew up watching, but the fact that it existed is a fun reminder that even the great creators of Star Wars got a few things wrong every once and a while.
A Star Wars Legend
Yoda would eventually pass from old age while living on Dagobah. He successfully made the transfer to the Living Force and would make his final appearance in the film franchise The Last Jedi to council young Luke and set fire to the oldest Jedi Temple. There was also a voice in The Rise of Skywalker in Rey’s mind, but that was it. Hopefully, we will see more of this Star Wars legend in The Mandalorian or other Disney+ series, but for now, rest in peace, sweet Yoda.
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