The green skin, the weird way of speaking, the words of wisdom throughout the entire Star Wars saga. Besides our main cast of heroes, there might not be any creature in the Star Wars galaxy more popular or widely known as the Jedi Master Yoda. Debuting in The Empire Strikes Back, the Jedi Master has captivated the imagination of fans since the instant he started whacking R2–D2 with his cane. He is seemingly nothing more than comic relief until he reveals himself. From that moment on, he becomes the archetypal wise old teacher to Luke’s impetuous student.
By George Lucas’ design, very little was revealed about Yoda during any of the films he was a part of. But the Expanded Universe has opened up the Jedi Archives to showcase the Grand Master a little more. However, a lot about him is still a mystery. But these are some of the items that are known to some fans but not to all. Here are 20 Secrets About Yoda Even Die-Hard Star Wars Fans Didn't Know About.
20 Lucas Didn’t Have The Name
Like a lot of other aspects of the films, Yoda wasn’t fully formed when Lucas started creating the character. For example, his skin color was different, and he wasn’t even named Yoda. One of the suggested names for the Master was Minch. But even more confusing to the pop-culture lexicon would’ve been if Lucas stuck with Buffy, although it would have made for some pretty cool fan fiction.
19 He Created The Cave On Dagobah
The cave on Dagobah is one of the more memorable sequences in Empire. Luke heads into it to confront the darkness within him. According to Canon, it was Yoda himself who inadvertently created the cave. He visited Dagobah during the Clone Wars and encountered a dark version of himself. The Dark Side he saw in himself latched onto the cave and kept lurking in the shadows for decades.
18 Wanted To Train Leia
After begrudgingly agreeing to train Luke, the ungrateful brat runs off to Bespin to try and save his friends! After Luke leaves, Yoda tells Ben that there is another. Originally, fans had to wait three years to figure out what he was talking about. But nowadays, we all know he was speaking about Leia.
17 Qui-Gon Showed Him How To Be A Ghost
Qui-Gon Jinn didn’t always follow the rules of the Jedi Council. But he did do his best to follow the Will Of The Force. It was that staunch following to the Force that helped him learn how to communicate with his friends after he perished. Thanks to being taught by Force Priestesses, Jinn learned how to do this, and was able to teach Yoda as well.
16 His Species Doesn’t Have A Name
Despite what he might tell you, George Lucas didn’t have a lot of the grandiose Star Wars backstories mapped out. Yoda was no different. There is nowhere, anywhere in Star Wars is there a name for Yoda’s species, or his homeworld. Just stick “Yoda’s” in front of both species and homeworld and you’ll have your answer. It sure helps with the mystic feeling of the ancient Jedi. But it would be nice if there was a storyline reason for this (like just about everything else in Star Wars).
15 Sanskrit For Warrior
Most names in Star Wars seem to be completely made up. Who has the surname, Skywalker, or even Organa? Obi-Wan sounds more like a type of food than a Jedi Master. On the other hand; once Lucas settled on Yoda, he actually had a name based on an old language. In ancient Sanskrit “Yodha” meant (what else?) Warrior.
14 Lucas Wasn’t Happy With A Puppet
It has been known for a long time that George Lucas wasn’t happy about how the original trilogy turned out, effects-wise. Lucas and his team pushed the boundaries of what the technology could do, but CGI was nowhere near where it needed to be. It wasn’t even there yet for Yoda in 1999 when Episode I came out.
Lucas had always intended for the Jedi Master to more maneuverable than a puppet could allow. But he had to begrudgingly settle on it instead essentially creating CGI over a decade before the technology was truly ready.
13 Almost A Monkey
Fans from all over occasionally make their preference known for either puppet Yoda or digitized. Thankfully, Capuchins were left out of the argument before it could even start. There was, for a brief moment, the very real possibility that Yoda would have been portrayed by a monkey in a costume. The reason it wasn’t working was the monkey kept ripping the mask off.
12 Ataru Fighting Form
For most fans, the Jedi look pretty cool swinging their lightsabers in combat. Especially Yoda. Thanks to his height; he looks like a glowing green ball hoping around. Like everything else in Star Wars, there is a name for Yoda’s fighting style, as well as the six other types of known Lightsaber techniques. Yoda’s was called Ataru, or Way Of The Hawk-Bat.
11 Didn’t Want Skywalkers
For a wise old sage and Jedi Master, no one seemed to really care what Yoda had to say in the way of training Skywalkers. He flat out refused to teach Anakin due to his age and attachments to his mother. But Qui-Gon perishing somehow overrode that decision. Then Luke was too old to finish, but Luke telling him he wasn’t afraid somehow changed Yoda’s mind. Had anyone actually listened to the HEAD JEDI, the galaxy might have been better off.
10 Honorary Wookie
In Revenge Of The Sith, we finally got to see what a bunch of Wookies in battle could do. Yoda tells the council that he is going to head to Kashyyyk to help his giant furry friends in the fight. That’s because Yoda is an honorary Wookie. The Wookies even gave Yoda the nickname, Defender Of The Home Tree.
9 How He Found Dooku
Darth Tyranus was once a great Jedi, Count Dooku. Under the tutelage of Master Yoda, he was able to become so. But his fall to the Dark Side was cemented long before Yoda found him. Dooku was chosen to be trained by Jedi Master Thame. Barely after beginning training, Thame left him to go on a long mission. Once it was realized that he was abandoned, Yoda took him in and trained him.
8 Yoda Vs. The Mountain
Somewhere in the fandom cosmos, there is someone currently writing fan fiction between Star Wars and Games Of Thrones based on the title of this entry. But in truth, Yoda did actually fight off a living mountain! Yoda found a tribal planet where the tribe of kids were being driven insane by the mountain, which he faces and defeats.
7 Seldom Takes Off His Robe
Throughout the original prequel trilogy, every single Jedi takes off their robe before a fight. Most of the time, there’s even a big hullabaloo made about it. But Yoda is so cool that he doesn’t feel the need to. Even from a behind-the-scenes standpoint, it doesn’t seem to make sense. After all, it would be harder to animate him with the robe than without. There is no storyline reason for this, other than the rare occasion happens that Yoda does take off his robe, he looks silly.
6 Frank Oz Almost Wasn’t Cast
Thanks to director and puppeteer, Frank Oz, Yoda has one of the most recognizable voices in film history. But there was some dissension in the ranks as far as Oz being cast. Even though Oz was also set to puppeteer him, Lucas had been auditioning plenty of actors for the role, since he initially rejected Oz’s interpretation. But similar to Harrison Ford always being around for Star Wars auditions, Oz was always around for Yoda. Lucas finally acquiesced, and Oz got the voice role.
5 He Taught A LOT Of Jedi
“When 900 years you reach, look as good, you will not,” Yoda tells Luke on his deathbed. In those 900 years, the little green guy was able to teach over 20,000 Jedi between the ones that were his personal Padawan and the younglings that he taught at the temple. When you realize this fact, it makes the fall of the Jedi all the more heartbreaking for the viewer and for Yoda.
4 Took A While To Become A Master
Anakin whined and bemoaned that he had come a long way. He believed he was even better than his master and friend, Obi-Wan. Despite all of this, the Jedi Council still didn’t give him the rank of Master. It certainly stuck in his craw a little bit. Imagine if he had to wait as long as Yoda did – he probably would have perished. Yoda was 100 years old when he became a master, the man was very patient.
Blink and you might have missed her – but there was a female Yoda sitting on the Council during Episode I. Named Yaddle, she had a full head of hair and sort of looked like the female Gremlin. But don’t let the look fool you. She, like Yoda, is extremely powerful and used the practice of morichro, which could slow an opponent’s body functions to near demise.
2 The Last Padawan
Yoda not only was able to find Dooku and train him, but the future Darth Tyranus was actually Yoda’s last official Padawan. Yoda took him on a few adventures, as any good teacher would do, one of which was to Kashyyyk. He left the Jedi Order, at first because the Counts of his homeworld, Serenno felt he should reclaim his birthright. He would soon swear his allegiance to the Dark Side.
1 Worm Tribute
Yoda is one of the biggest pop culture icons of the past forty years. It is only fitting that researchers would name a species after the Jedi Master. The Yoda Purpurata is a species of seaworm that live in the North Atlantic. When a bunch of Marine Biologists discovered it, they thought its shape looked like Yoda’s head.