Yoda from Star Wars

Since the alphabet is the building block of our language, the Powet Alphabet is the building block of what makes us geeks.

Yoda is a pretty cool guy. At first look he’s a gross looking green 900 year old hermit but in reality he’s a gross looking green 900 year old Jedi Master hermit! He is kind of the extreme personification of a wise old man in that his wisdom and age are both beyond anything a human could conceivably achieve. I guess this happens when you teach Jedi for 800 years.

Yoda on Luke's back in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Let’s take a look at Yoda throughout history as we follow him through his various appearances first in the real movies, then in the shitty movies. First let’s look a bit behind the scenes at how he works and what he’s about.

Frank Oz with the Yoda Puppet filming Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Yoda is a puppet controlled by the great Frank Oz. Check out this outtake of Frank fubbing a line:

Frank Oz has achieved great success as a puppeteer so Yoda may sound a bit familiar when compare to some of his other characters. He sounds a hell of a lot like Grover from Sessame Street. Just watch Grover with your eyes closed and picture Yoda.

The only thing missing is his weird talking! Yoda is renowned for his backwards sentence structure. For whatever reason he just puts words in the wrong order though he still manages to get the point across quite well. The fine people at TomTom don’t quite agree with this. They offer a GPS voice that sounds like Yoda and put together this funny mock making of video which highlights Yoda’s unique way of speaking:

Now how about we look at Yoda throughout the ages. First there’s Yoda’s involvements in the first film. Back in 1977 Yoda was … non existent! His first appearance is in Empire Strikes Back. This sequel is a favourite of many fans and no doubt Yoda is a major part of that. I don’t think the movie is popular for the boring snow fight or the Falcon getting eaten by a big worm …

Yoda in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

We learn of Yoda first from Obiwan who instructs Luke to go learn from him, since Yoda was the Jedi Master that trained him. Let’s ignore the retcon for a moment and assume that within the scope of the original trilogy this is simply true. More on that later if you want to argue…

Yoda going through Luke's stuff in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

So Luke flies off to this swap planet Dagobah and runs into this creepy little hermit guy who messes with him and eats his dinner. This leads to the ultimate battle when incognito Yoda steals a lamp from Luke and then has an epic fight with R2D2 over it.

When sharing some of what Yoda considers “good food” in his hut, Luke becomes aware that he’s being dicked around by this guy and instantly gives him the respect he deserves. No this does not follow with Yoda cursing him to look like a Beast until he can find true love for shunning him like maybe Luke deserves but he does bicker a bit about how he shouldn’t be trained because he’s impatient, too old, too fucking blond or whatever.

Yoda eating Luke's food in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

So yeah… as the story goes, Yoda trains Luke and teaches him all about The Secret, or so he explains that to be about how The Force works. Of course this is total fiction much like the world Oprah thinks she lives in. But Luke’s a dick, doesn’t listen to Yoda and runs off to get the beat down from the guy who it would turn out is his father. Oops!

Luke and Yoda training in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Luke really should listen to Yoda since he’s way better than he is. He can pull really heavy X Wings out of bogs and make nice soup. Yoda teaches us many great things about how to treat this thing that’s not real and how a person who masters this power that doesn’t exist should act. I’ve tried to apply these lessons to all facets of my life.

Yoda using the Force in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Great quotables include “Do or do not, there is no try.” and “Size matters not.” This has taught me to always assume I can do anything I attempt to do no matter how untrained I am at doing so and that I can park a minivan into a compact parking spot through sheer force of will.

Luke meets Yoda in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

As Luke leaves Yoda he says “And I’ll return, I promise”… and as promised Yoda returns in “Return of the Jedi”. Luke goes back to Dagobah where he doesn’t really learn anything from Yoda because I guess at this point Luke learned enough in the field that Yoda can’t do much else. Makes sense when you consider that Yoda normally just taught children in certain continuity I don’t consider canon.

Yoda in his hut in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Luke has this retarded moment where Yoda reiterates that “Your father he is” (Vader, that is) which is something we totally already know but the reveal is still set to eery music… kind of lame.

Yoda dying in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Yoda, now 900 years old, is sick and … well he dies. “Twilight is upon me, and so light must fall.” Though we love Yoda this whole thing doesn’t do much to advance the story except tell Luke that “There is another Skywalker”. And that would be… that bitch you made out with in the first two films!

Leia kissing Luke in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

So that’s all for the real movies. Bear with me as I talk a bit about the prequels that I’m so hostile towards at this point my life that I don’t feel they fit together with the continuity of the first films at all. Feel free to stop reading…

In “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace” we see that Obiwan is being trained by one Gui-Gon Jinn. He is not being trained by Yoda. The appologist retcon excuse for this is probably something like Yoda used to train him when he was a “Youngling” in a relationship more akin to a kindergarden teacher than what is obviously insinuated in the real movies but hey… these movies shit on a lot worse than that. Frankly the only way I can make sense of the prequel trilogy is that everyone involved was heavily intoxicated throughout the process.

When we discuss such awesome things as Midi-chlorians we learn to quantify Yoda’s power level quite well in a statement indicating that it’s just amazing that Jake Lloyd has an even higher level than Master Yoda!

Yoda’s main involvement in the film is to throw out the line that was heavily popularized in the trailer “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.” Of course Jake Lloyd show little fear, anger or hate in this movie. I guess the idea was that just by having a character state that he “sensed fear” in him that we would just believe it and acting and dialogue did not need to actually present this the hard way.

Ugly Yoda in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace

So Yoda was really disgusting looking in this movie. They made a puppet of him but they made it look younger. This seems fairly nonsensical to me. Yoda is some 900 years in “Return of the Jedi”. This movie takes place 37 years before his age is mentioned putting Yoda at about 863. The difference in his appearance should be about the same as the difference between an 86 year old and a 90 year old, if even. We’re talking drops in a bucket here. Of course we can represent this with more hair and a drastically different looking face… fucking lame.

Yoda in Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clone

Then there was “Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones”. Yoda is back with a vengeance in this movie and now he’s full on CG! This concept isn’t necessarily bad especially considering the shitty puppet from the last movie. In fact in a documentary on the DVD for this film titled “From Puppets to Pixels: Digital Characters in Episode II” we see some test shots of Yoda redoing scenes from “The Empire Strikes Back” that, though unfinished, look quite good.

Of course the Yoda in this movie needs to look like an in between of nice looking Yoda and ugly as balls Episode I puppet Yoda so he is mildly ugly.

Yoda fight with a light saber in Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones

And ugly Yoda kicks ass in this movie! He whips out a light saber, fights Count Dooku and generally war mongers. In a commercial for the DVD Yoda is mentioned to be a “Great Warrior”. I suppose we’re just completely ignoring the line in “The Empire Strikes Back” where Yoda straight up says “War does not make one great.” after being referenced as a warrior. Oh and of course we have this awesome “Yoda Da Man” ad campaign where Yoda sucks and uses force powers on a DVD.

Yoda beating Siddious in Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

The final insult is in “Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”. This movie is a horribly put together bridge between two mediocre movies and three good movies that have nothing to do with them. Yoda fights Siddious and really has him on the ropes. He somehow decides he’s been defeated and runs away like a little bitch. He doesn’t go back for a rematch but instead goes into hiding. This makes no logical sense but like anything in this movie it’s just a contrived way to set things up so that they lead to the events of the real movies.

Yoda sulking like a bitch in Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Yoda is also included in a lot of other Star Wars fiction. He is prominently featured in the Clone Wars animated series and CG series… or so I assume he is. I don’t watch that shit. He’s also all over all the other variously contradicting non canon expanded universe. If you’re into that then good for you but it’s just fan fiction to me regardless of what relevance Lucas agrees to give it in order to get a cut. If you actually care about that shit just read about it on Wookiepedia.

Yoda fighting R2D2 in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Yoda is a pretty awesome guy who’s in two good movies and a lot of other crap. He teaches fictional characters valuable lessons which when used as real world life lessons can range from mildly useful to completely inconsistent with the rules of our physical universe. Like with anything Star Wars, Yoda is best appreciated by pretending nothing happened after 1983.

Yoda along with aDam dressed as Luke from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Yoda along with aDam dressed as Luke from The Empire Strikes Back