The rich mythology of the Star Wars universe has not provided us with a character more wise and powerful as Master Yoda. The tiny green Buddha was first introduced in 1980’s Empire Strikes Back, and since then he’s been the voice of wisdom and a symbol of the proud Jedi traditions, dating back to the final days of the Republic. In the original trilogy, Yoda was a swamp-dwelling, mischievous teacher, but when the prequel trilogy started in 1999, we saw a different side to the 900 year old Master: a younger, more sober Jedi who wasn’t afraid of an epic lightsaber battle.
Whichever trilogy you watch, right up to the modern movies, the wisdom and legacy of Master Yoda is never far away. The popular character also played a major role in the 2008 Clone Wars animated series, where we got to see more of the Jedi Master in his prime, dispensing helpful advice and proving he’s useful with a lightsaber when it counts. Some people get hung up on his unique speech patterns (voiced by the legendary Frank Oz) or the way he beats on Luke with his walking cane, but Master Yoda is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy far, far away!
15 THE WORST FRIEND
Star Wars spoilers are real, and they’re everywhere. Now that we’re used to the annual tradition of a new movie set in the Galaxy far, far away, it’s become a regular danger from around mid-November that you have to work hard to avoid. From interviews, promos and trailers on TV, to news, reviews and previews on all your favorite sites, avoiding Star Wars spoilers is a full-time job.
What you don’t need, on top of all of the press coverage, is some smug friend who’s lucky enough to see the movie before you ruining one of the best cinematic experiences of the year. If someone you know is committed to spoiling the latest Star Wars movie for you, just unfriend them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
14 SLEEPY JEDI
By the time we meet Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, the littlest Jedi is over 900 years old, so you’ll have to forgive him if he’s a little sleepy. It’s actually one of the best mini twists from that movie. It’s a twist you kind of forget about after years of rewatches, but when Luke first meets Yoda, we’re meant to think this funny little imp is nothing but a distraction from the grand Jedi Master Luke is on the hunt for.
The fun bait and switch is hidden by the fact that Yoda is such a household name at this point, that it seems hard to believe that no one knows who Yoda is. Yet the original idea of a powerful Jedi being this funny little creature was the opposite of everything we’d come to expect from the myths established in the Star Wars universe.
" is full of epic moments and unexpected twists, involving characters old and new, so there’s plenty of spoilerific facts to avoid if you’re yet to see the movie. The hype for this movie has been so huge, however, that the spoilers have felt even more unavoidable than usual. The last movie, Rogue One, still had its moments, but the fact that it was a prequel meant that we sort of knew where it was heading. Here though, we’re in uncharted territory.
If you do have something major spoiled for you however, how do you react? You can try and put the spoilers out of your mind to go in as fresh as possible. It’s no use though, spoilers cannot be unheard, and once you know something you shouldn’t, you’re just not the same.
12 JEDI MANTRA
Yoda’s unique way of talking has provided some of the most entertaining facets of his character, and adds a fun quirk to his personality in a way that makes the Jedi Master instantly iconic. By now we’re used to hearing his wisdom in his own manner so much than it’s easy to emulate, making anything we say a “Yoda-ism.”
“Do or do not. There is no try” are perhaps his wisest words, but in recent years YOLO has become its own sort of wisdom. Sure, it’s a little trashy but You Only Live Once are words we can all live by. Left in Yoda’s hands though, the order would be a little jumbled, but the message would still be the same. Plus, there’s something about hearing it from a Jedi that makes it cooler.
11 CARLY RAE JEDI
What kind of music does a Jedi listen to? It’s not exactly something that’s explored in the Star Wars movies, and besides Yoda would find it tricky to listen to the uplifting pop anthems of Canadian superstar Carly Rae Jepson in the swamps of Dagobah. If he could though, then "Call Me Maybe" would almost certainly be his jam.
Okay, that may be a stretch, but what else would a 900 year old Jedi Master enjoy listening to, Cantina music? Something a bit more classical, or maybe even death metal? There is music in Star Wars, but nothing that feels appropriately Jedi-like. Who knows what he’d enjoy, but it’s something to have fun thinking about, especially when it comes to finding that perfect tune to get little Yoda dancing, something we’d all like to see.
10 MASTER OF THE PUNS
When we think of Yoda in the prequel trilogy, or even in the Clone Wars series, it’s hard to imagine him cracking jokes or making puns. The seriousness of the Republic and the nature of the storylines makes a wisecracking Jedi seem a little inappropriate. When we meet him on Dagobah, however, all bets are off.
The years have not been kind to Yoda’s mind, and when he first meets Luke, he’s talking to himself, beating up R2-D2 with his cane and poking fun at young Skywalker. That Yoda is definitely the kind of Jedi that would make a pun or two, and seeing as we meet him pretty soon after the scenes on Hoth, this pun might as well have been lifted from an early draft of the script.
9 THE FORCE IS STRONG
When Disney first acquired the Lucasfilm empire, the crossovers and mash-ups flooded the internet in some hilarious ways. Suddenly Darth Goofy was fighting Mickey Skywalker in a Death Star shaped like the famous Mouse’s head. It was huge news, but for comic book fans the biggest news had already happened.
Back in 2009, Disney purchased the rights to Marvel comics, and when they also owned Star Wars, the fates aligned, making something like Hulk Yoda more possible than ever. Sure, it’ll never happen, but we got a comic this year co-starring Batman and Elmer Fudd, so maybe it’s not as impossible as it first appears. The Star Wars comics coming from Marvel have been consistently great, but maybe they need to start having some fun with the crossover possibilities.
8 JEDI INNUENDO
Now, we can accept a lot of things about Yoda. We can believe that the little swamp-dweller we first met in The Empire Strikes Back used to be a powerful Jedi capable of going toe-to-toe with Christopher Lee in a back-flipping Lightsaber duel. What we can’t quite believe though, is a Yoda that makes dirty jokes for fun.
“That’s what she said” is more Michael Scott than Master Yoda, but it’s not unlike the tiny green Jedi to poke fun at Luke’s expense. Aside from beating R2-D2 with his cane, you’d often find him chuckling at young Skywalker’s misfortune, especially in those early moments where a clueless Luke had no idea who he was talking to. Even with all that said, even crazy old Yoda wouldn’t be found making a dirty innuendo, after all he’s a Jedi master.
7 JEDI GANGSTER
There’s no denying that Yoda is the most powerful Jedi we see in the movies. We first see him in The Empire Strikes Back using the Force to raise an X-Wing from the depths of the Dagobah swamp, a feat the scale of which we’d not seen before. In the prequel trilogy, we see him engage Count Dooku in a mind-blowing lightsaber duel, where he’s doing mad flips and tricks around the deadly Sith.
Don’t let his stature fool you; Yoda is as gangster as a Jedi can get. In fact, his appearance is what allows him to be so formidable. Everyone expects someone who looks as awesome as Mace Windu to be dangerous, but that little green guy who fights droids over scraps of food in a swamp, surely he can’t lead the Republic to victory in the Clone Wars? Oh that’s right, he totally did.
6 HOW IT'S DONE
There are two types of 900 year old space-fantasy hero: those who switch to a different actor every couple of years in order to remain relevant and “cool,” and those who let the years define their craggy, muppet features and own their age like a badge of honor. Yes, technically Yoda had a little CGI work done in the prequel trilogy, but everyone knows him best as a puppet that looks every minute of 900 years old.
Doctor Who has the luxury of regeneration embedded into his character, which allows for significantly younger actors like David Tennant to play the near-thousand year old Timelord. The Jedi master Yoda, however, isn’t so lucky. He looked younger in the Clone Wars, but there’s no getting around how old he looks by the time Luke comes to him for advice on Dagobah.
One of the criticisms of the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, is that there are too many jokes in its run-time, something used against Thor: Ragnarok this year too. Many fans find that the lighthearted tone established in the movies detracts from the dramatic impact of the franchise, turning one of their favorite universes into something of a joke.
While it’s true that The Last Jedi does have some silly jokes, the Star Wars movies are predominantly kids movies, or at least kid-friendly, and it doesn’t feel as though this latest instalment is any more light-hearted than any that came before. Humor has been a staple of Star Wars since Leia called Han a scruffy-looking Nerf Herder, so a few jokes in the Last Jedi don’t seem out of place.
4 POOP WARS
For years now, geeks everywhere have delighted in including their pets in their cosplaying escapades. Despite the fact that Jedi Master Yoda is nobody’s pet, his stature (not to mention cute factor) make him an ideal choice of character for your beloved pooch.
Based on the fact that we see Yoda riding on Luke’s back in those training montages on Dagobah, if you’re going to choose a Star Wars cosplay for you and your dog, what better pairing than Luke and Yoda? Your pooch could walk alongside you for the most part, but when his little legs get tired he can ride on your back. Unless your dog is a Great Dane, in which case maybe Scooby Doo is a better cosplay choice for you and your unfeasibly huge canine friend.
3 GRANDMA YODA
Yoda’s early appearances in the original trilogy depict him as a Jedi past his prime and in the twilight years of his life, so when we see him walking with a cane and struggling to get about that makes perfect sense. We find out he’s the former Jedi Master of the grand Republic, and imagine that back in the day he was an imposing physical specimen, despite his size.
Cut to 1999, however, and the prequel trilogy shows Yoda many years younger, but still... walking with a cane? In the grand scheme of things, 40 odd years is nothing to a 900 year-old, but then we see him spinning and flipping and bouncing around in Attack of the Clones, so what gives? Straight after that fight, he picks up his cane and goes back to limping like it never happened?! There’s a disturbance in the force here.
We’ve only ever seen Yoda as an aged Jedi, so it’s hard to imagine him in his younger days, but who knows? Maybe he did look like Gizmo from the Gremlins movies. It sort of makes sense, seeing as Gizmo’s “evolved” form from those films looks like a pointy-eared green alien.
Would fans be interested in a prequel movie looking at Yoda’s past as a young padawan? We’ve no doubt that he’d look as cute as can be as a youngling, but Yoda’s role in the Star Wars franchise is as a mentor and authority figure, and that’s probably how he should stay. He’s the one that younger characters, lost and afraid of their destiny turn to when they need training and some sage wisdom, so flipping those roles in a prequel wouldn’t really make sense.
It’s become an important question in modern geekdom: when you’re introducing new viewers to your beloved Star Wars franchise, in what order do you tell them to watch them? Even older fans struggle with this dilemma, when it comes to maximizing the impact of the movies, do you watch them in release order or chronologically?
The commonly accepted preference is in release order: watch the best and then go back for the rest. When Rogue One was released in 2016, however, suddenly that pattern didn’t seem quite right. Rogue One transitions so seamlessly into A New Hope that it seems like a shame to put at least three movies between them, so maybe watching them chronologically is best. That way though you have the epic “I am your father” twist spoiled for you at the end of Revenge of the Sith, so both options present their problems.