From Academic Kids

Template:SW Character The Jedi Master known as Yoda (896 BBY4 ABY), voiced by Frank Oz, is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He appears in all of the franchise's installments except for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Like many names in Star Wars, the name "Yoda" may be etymologically derived from the Sanskrit yoddha ("warrior") and/or the Hebrew yodea ("one who knows").



Yoda, standing only 2' 2" (0.66 m) tall, is one of the members of the Jedi Council and arguably the wisest and most powerful Jedi Master in the Star Wars universe, even toward his demise, though the toll of his great age is noticeable. Over his lifetime, Yoda trains several notable Jedi, including Count Dooku, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi (partially, before Qui-Gon Jinn took over with Obi-Wan's training), Ki-Adi-Mundi and Luke Skywalker.

George Lucas has intentionally kept the name of Yoda's race a secret. (Yoda, Yaddle, and Vandar Tokare are sometimes erroneously referred to as Whills, despite Lucas' insistence that they are not). In fact, very little is reported of Yoda's life before the events of The Phantom Menace. It is speculated from the Expanded Universe that he achieved the status of Jedi Knight at the age of 50 and the rank of Jedi Master at 100. Following his training, Yoda is said to have spent 100 years in self-imposed solitude, attempting to attain a higher level of understanding of The Force. He was one of the Jedi Masters who ran the mobile academy aboard the starship Chu'unthor about 200 years before A New Hope, leaving the ship's data tapes in the care of one of the natives when the vessel crashes on Dathomir.

In 32 BBY (The Phantom Menace), Qui-Gon Jinn brings a young Anakin Skywalker to the Jedi Council, requesting to train him once Obi-Wan Kenobi has completed the trials necessary to become a Jedi Knight (Jedi can only have one apprentice at a time). Yoda, as the teacher of many of those on the Council, and its most venerable and respected member, plays a key role in that body's initial decision to deny the request. Yoda believes that the boy is clearly affected by his years as a slave and that he still clings too tightly to the memory of his mother to be trained safely. His future, Yoda thinks, is clouded.

After Qui-Gon Jinn's death at the hands of Darth Maul, however, the Council rescinds its previous decision, though the reasons for this are unclear. Personally, Yoda somewhat disagrees with the decision. One possible explanation for this retraction is that Yoda trusts Kenobi more than his notoriously unorthodox teacher. Another reason suggested is that, with Anakin showing such strength in the Force by destroying the droid control ship, the Council feels that it would be a shame and a waste (perhaps also a danger) to not train someone so strong in the Force. Also, they are probably trying to do the right thing in honoring Qui-Gon's dying request that Obi-Wan train the boy.

In 22 BBY (Attack of the Clones), Yoda is a key Republic general at the Battle of Geonosis, when the clone trooper Army of the Republic is first deployed. He leads the group which rescues the surrounded Jedi in the execution arena. At the climax of the Battle of Geonosis, Yoda duels with Count Dooku and saves Kenobi and his Padawan Skywalker. Though seemingly frail, the ancient Yoda demonstrates a legendary mastery of lightsaber combat (Form IV lightsaber combat, known for using the Force to achieve extreme acrobatics - see the seven forms of lightsaber combat).

In 19 BBY (Revenge of the Sith), Chancellor Palpatine appoints Skywalker to the Jedi Council as his own representative. Again, the Council is hesitant about Skywalker's temperament but acquiesces to the request. Yoda and Mace Windu continue to be powerful forces in the young Jedi's ascension in the order, as they deny him the rank of Jedi Master. They know that to give him the rank of Master will also give him a vote in all Council matters, and would be the same as giving Palpatine a vote in the Council - something they were not willing to allow.

When Order 66 is implemented, Yoda is on Kashyyyk, overseeing the battle between the Separatist forces and a combined command of clone troopers and Wookies. He feels the deaths of each of the Jedi as they are cut down by the very troops they led. This gives him ample warning and allows him to swiftly kill the clone troopers sent to dispatch him (with the skill only a Jedi Master could possess), escape with the help of Wookie leaders Tarfful and Chewbacca, and return to Coruscant, where he and Obi-Wan Kenobi fight their way into the Jedi Temple to stop a trap for any Jedi who also survived Order 66. Yoda then sends Kenobi to kill Skywalker, who is now corrupted into Darth Vader. Kenobi wants to switch opponents, as he would rather not have to fight with his beloved pupil. To this Yoda says, "Powerful enough to defeat Sidious, you are not." Subsequently, Yoda battles Darth Sidious in a titanic battle that wrecks the Senate building, but is forced to retreat when an explosion of force powers hurls Sidious and him apart, flinging the aged Jedi Master to the floor of the senate. Sidious is left dangling from a senate pod, giving him the high ground. Yoda, being weakened by using most of his powers to repulse Sidious' force lighting and unable to deal with both the Sith Lord and arriving Clone Troopers, makes the decision to go into exile, realizing his failure.

At the end, it is revealed that Yoda has been in contact with Qui-Gon Jinn's spirit. Although this is given little attention in the film, in the novelization it is revealed that Yoda actually becomes Padawan to the deceased Jedi Master's spirit, learning the secret of immortality from him and passing it onto Obi-Wan.

He is also instrumental in deciding the fate of the Skywalker children, recommending that Luke and Leia be hidden from Darth Vader and his Emperor in unsuspecting and remote locations. Other than the ancient Jedi Master, only the Organas, the Lars, and Kenobi know of their placement (it is unlikely that the Lars were fully aware of Leia's existence, however). Originally Obi-Wan wants to have both Yoda and himself take one child each to separate spots and train the children in the ways of the Force, but Yoda realizes that there are other ways to learn discipline than just Jedi training, and that Luke and Leia will need to be trained differently if they are going to defeat Palpatine and Vader. In addition, the twins' anonymity would be more difficult to protect if the Sith were to discover the remaining Jedi Knights before Luke and/or Leia were ready. As we know from Return of the Jedi, this strategy certainly pays off.

During the Great Jedi Purge, Yoda eludes detection and eventually escapes to Dagobah, where he awaits the arrival of Luke Skywalker. When Luke arrives more than twenty years later (in The Empire Strikes Back), Yoda agrees to teach him in the ways of the Force after initial reluctance. Prior to finishing his instruction, however, Luke chooses to leave Dagobah in order to confront Darth Vader and save his friends. Luke promises to return to complete his training, but on his arrival (in Return of the Jedi), Yoda, greatly weakened by old age and having become sick, informs Luke that he has completed his training but will not be a Jedi until he defeats his father, Darth Vader. Yoda then dies at the age of 900 and becomes "one with the Force."

Personality and traits

To his students, the elfin Yoda can appear as either very strict or like a grandfather, testing them to mental and physical extremes one moment and showing warmth the next. (In the beginning of their training, students may not see eye-to-eye with him, but eventually come to see the significance of his teachings.) Among his colleagues on the Jedi Council, he is known to have a penchant for mischief and practical jokes. To all of them, the humble Yoda epitomizes the ideals of the Jedi Order; the grandmaster of that august body is widely known as a sage instructor.

Yoda speaks "Galactic Basic" in a distinctive manner by placing verbs (and more frequently, auxiliary verbs) after the object and subject. In linguistic typology this is the "Object Subject Verb" format. A typical example of Yoda's speech pattern is from the Return of the Jedi: "When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not." This speech pattern has been the source of much parody.

When not actively using the Force, the elderly Yoda walks with a cane.

Bringing the character to life

Yoda is voiced by Frank Oz. In the original Star Wars trilogy and The Phantom Menace, he is realized as a puppet, (controlled by Oz). Yoda's appearance was originally designed by British makeup artist Stuart Freeborn, who based Yoda's face partly on his own and partly on Albert Einstein's.

Rendered with computer animation in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Yoda appeared in ways not previously possible, including his participation in elaborate fight scenes. In Revenge of the Sith his face appears in several big close-ups, demanding highly detailed CGI work.

Parody songs

The comedy musician "Weird Al" Yankovic parodied the song "Lola" by the Kinks with a remake titled "Yoda", included on the album Dare To Be Stupid (1985). More recently, "The Great Luke Ski" parodied the song "YMCA" by the Village People with a version titled "Y.O.D.A." included on the albums Fanboys ‘n Da Hood (1996) and Carpe Dementia (1999). Template:Wikiquote

See Also

External links

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