Yoda's origins are a mystery; his species, as well as his species' home planet is unknown. At some point, he joined the Jedi Order, eventually obtaining the rank of Jedi Master and becoming a member of the Jedi High Council, despite his old age, he was still able to keep up and hold his own against opponents, even ones who were far younger than he was. He was one of the most powerful Force-users in the history of the galaxy; indeed, he was the second most powerful Jedi that had ever existed, second only to Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker respectively.
Shortly after the Clone Wars had begun, Yoda became the Grand Master and a Jedi General. About 20 years after he went into exile following his failed attempt to kill Palpatine, the Dark Lord of the Sith, he trained Luke in the ways of the Jedi and the Light side of the Force. Yoda eventually dies peacefully at the age of nine hundred, but not before he reveals to Luke that Leia Organa is his twin sister, and that Darth Vader is in fact, his father, Anakin.
30 years later, Rey found Luke's old lightsaber, which originally belonged to Anakin, in Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana. Upon touching it, she experienced a series of visions, including the voice of Yoda.
Days later, after having briefly trained Rey during his exile on Ahch-To (and Rey having subsequently left the planet) Luke decided to burn down the first Jedi temple housing the ancient Jedi texts. He was visited by the ghost of Yoda, who helped Luke forgive himself for Kylo Ren's rise to power. Luke hesitated to light the temple on fire, so Yoda manipulated a bolt of lightning to hit the temple and cause it to burst into flames. Yoda was not upset with the books being burned, joking that "page turners, they were not". What Luke did not realize was that Rey had taken the books with her before departing the planet. Yoda was aware that Rey had taken the books, but chose not to disclose this to Luke.
Yoda represents a highly mysterious and complex character; his intelligence, wisdom, and skills excel that of most Jedi Masters. His age and wisdom as well as his deep connection to the Force proved both enviable and formidable.
Throughout his long life, Yoda proved himself to be a wise and kind, albeit somewhat strict teacher; although quick to comfort and guide, he was equally quick to warn and to express disapproval in the face of wrongdoing. He served as somewhat of a grandfatherly-figure to younger generations of Jedi, testing their capabilities, both mental and physical in extreme settings one moment and showing warmth the next.
As a Jedi and being over eight hundred years old, Yoda was highly intelligent and wise, however, despite this, like most Jedi Masters, he was somewhat arrogant, short-sighted and self-righteous, as he focused almost entirely on the future, giving the present little to no thought. He also considered emotional attachments to be a sin and a path to the dark side, and had a tendency to see only the bad potential in younger Jedi; like those of Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker, both of whom he was apprehensive about accepting for Jedi training. In both cases, however, he reluctantly allowed Obi-Wan Kenobi to talk him into accepting them as trainees. Also Yoda did not realize that his occasional mistrust, lies, and deceit towards Anakin, as well as keeping secrets from him, was slowly turning his friend against the Jedi Order.
Yoda was known to have a penchant for mischief and practical jokes, and he bore a pleasant sense of humor. His humility was admirable and his kindness, exemplary. This selfless sage offered enlightened leadership and epitomized the ideals of the Jedi Order.
Yoda initially bore a deep residing belief that a Jedi seduced by the Dark side was not beyond redemption and forgiveness as exhibited in his encounters with two of his former apprentices; after Dooku betrayed the Republic and the Jedi by committing numerous atrocities as the Sith Lord Darth Tyranus, Yoda once tried to persuade his former apprentice to let go of the Dark side and return to the ways of the Jedi - He very nearly succeeded in redeeming Dooku. Even as Quinlan Vos slipped further into the dark side's embrace, Yoda had faith that the disturbed young Jedi Master would find his way back to the Light side of the Force; unlike Dooku, Quinlan affirmed Yoda's belief in redemption.
However, Yoda's failure to redeem Dooku, as well as his inability to prevent the rise of the Galactic Empire, left the Grand Master more jaded than ever. In addition to the fall of the Galactic Republic, the Jedi Order was pushed to the brink of extinction by the fallen Jedi Knight Anakin, whose embrace of the dark side, turned him into the ruthless Sith Lord Darth Vader. Having failed to protect all that he cared for, Yoda was disillusioned in many ways and sought to kill the two Sith at first; the chance at redemption for those who embraced the dark side was no longer an option as far as Yoda was concerned, as his experiences had altered his faith in redemption and he was left to feel that a Jedi who was seduced by the Dark side would be forever condemned to walk in darkness.
Throughout his exile on Dagobah, the tyranny of the Empire and the Sith hunt for the Jedi during the Jedi Purge further embittered Yoda and before his death, he warned Vader's son, Luke, that "when a person falls to the dark side, their destiny would forever be dominated by darkness"; this was disproved when Vader's son, Luke, was being tortured by Palpatine, and Vader broke away from the dark side, becoming the good person he once was, and sacrificed himself to save his son, thus redeemed by the love he had for his son; proving that Yoda was wrong and that anyone had the chance to redeem themselves from the Dark side.
Yoda's ears were expressive and would sometimes curl when he was expressing strong emotions like surprise. Like most of his kind, Yoda spoke in riddles, an unusual version of English, an example of Yoda's speech pattern; "When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not", which confused most of his comrades, like his Clone Troopers. He was also secretive as he never revealed his origins or species to anyone.
In Star Wars Rebels, it was revealed that the reason why Yoda did not join the Rebel Alliance wasn't because of his old age, but because he believed getting involved in the Galactic Civil War, would create more death, chaos, destruction, and more senseless violence; as Yoda acknowledges that the Jedi Order were too quick to join the Clone Wars, as many of his fellow Jedi were killed or turned to the dark side during the war, as he acknowledges that it was their arrogance that eventually led to the Jedi's downfall.
As Yoda neared his death before the Battle of Endor commenced, he accepted his own mortality and imminent demise, and died peacefully - becoming one with the Force.
Powers and Abilities
- Powers of the Force: Despite his small size and advanced age, Yoda was immensely powerful and had an amazingly strong connection to the Force. He was one of the most powerful Force-users in the history of the galaxy; indeed, he was the second most powerful Jedi that had ever existed; second only to Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker respectively at their peaks. Yoda's force powers was rivaled only by Palpatine at his peak.
- Telekinesis: Yoda was extremely skilled in the use of Telekinesis and utilized it either as offense or defense.
- Force Push: Yoda utilized Force Push to send his opponents flying through the air, causing them serious injury or temporarily incapacitating them/knocked them unconscious.
- Force Pull: Yoda utilized Force Pull to pull his opponents or objects towards him.
- Force Wave: Yoda utilized Force Wave to unleash a wave of pure Force-energy that knocked back and repelled anything within the power's blast radius or push multiple opponents at once.
- Force Grip: Yoda utilized Force Grip to lift his opponents off the ground and into the air to immobilize them. His telekinetic grip also allowed him to restrain others, as he was able to hold Asaaj Ventress in place as she attempted to cut down King Katuunko.
- Force Throw: Yoda utilized Force Throw to cause objects, and even individuals, to be hurled toward a target at an astounding velocity.
- Force Barrier: Yoda utilized Force Barrier to create a barrier or wall of Force energy in front of or surrounding himself or his allies, which could be strengthened with the help of other Force-sensitives.
- Saber Throw: Yoda utilized Saber Throw to telekinetically guide his lightsaber towards his opponent; similar to a boomerang or shuriken. He notably used this to send his ignited lightsaber into the chest of a clone trooper when attempting to retake the Jedi Temple after Order 66 was enacted.
- Tutaminis: Yoda utilized Tutaminis to dissipate concentrated energy, such as blasterbolts or Force lightning.
- Force Deflection: Yoda utilized Force Deflection to redirect incoming attacks, from blasterbolts to Force lightning, with or without his lightsaber.
- Telepathy: Yoda utilized Telepathy to mentally communicate over small or vast distances with other individuals. He managed to communicate with Ezra Bridger when the latter was experiencing visions within the Lothal Jedi Temple.
- Mind Trick: Yoda utilized Mind Trick to control the minds of other sentient beings, however, it did not work on individuals who have very strong wills.
- Force Vision: Yoda utilized Force Vision, to have visions of the past, the present, and the future; however, like all Force-users, his visions were not always clear or sometimes had visions even when he was not utilizing this power at will.
- Force Sense: Yoda utilized Force Sense to sense another sentient being's emotions, the future, ripples in the Force caused by momentous or traumatic events, impending danger, and the presence of the Dark side; his senses were so powerful, that he could sense the deaths of most of the ten thousand Jedi Knights that were killed in Order 66. However, despite this, Yoda was unable to sense that Palpatine was a Force-user, particularly a Dark side Force-user; even though he had been in close proximity to the latter on several occasions.
- Force Jump: Yoda utilized Force Jump to jump or leap at great distances.
- Force Dash: Yoda utilized Force Dash to move at amazing speeds.
- Force Spirit: Yoda learned from the Force Priestesses and Qui-Gon Jinn on how to preserve his identity through the Force, allowing him to become immortal when his body died. He would help teach this skill to Obi-Wan Kenobi and probably taught the secret to Luke Skywalker, after Luke became a Jedi Master.
- Telekinesis: Yoda was extremely skilled in the use of Telekinesis and utilized it either as offense or defense.
- Longevity: Like many of his kind, Yoda lived to be a great age; in his case, nine hundred years old.
- Lightsaber Skills: Despite his small size and advanced age, Yoda was extremely skilled in lightsaber combat and an extremely gifted duelist. He was one of the greatest lightsaber duelists in the history of the galaxy. The few known individuals who could fight Yoda as an equal; were Palpatine, Dooku, Mace Windu, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader respectively, however, according to Obi-Wan Kenobi; Anakin's skills in lightsaber combat surpassed that of even the Grand Master's. He was a master of all forms of lightsaber combat (except the particularly aggressive Form VII) despite Yoda's masterful dueling skills, he was ultimately unable to defeat Palpatine; as their duel ended in a draw and Yoda then fled, knowing it would be pointless to continue the fight.
- Form I: Yoda was highly skilled in Shii Cho.
- Form II: Yoda had some skills in Makashi.
- Form III: Yoda was highly skilled in Soresu.
- Form IV: Yoda was a master of Ataru; he was believed by many to be the most proficient practitioner of the form and it appeared to be his preferred and strongest style. When coupled with his incredible speed and smaller size, it left no part of his body undefended, giving him an advantage over other practitioners of the form.
- Form V: Yoda was skilled in Shien/Djem So.
- Form VI: Yoda was extremely skilled in Niman.
- Form VII: Yoda was knowledgeable of Juyo/Vaapad; but never used it.
- Genius-Level Intellect/Master Tactician/Leader: Being over eight hundred years old, Yoda was amazingly intelligent and wise; his intelligence and wisdom was rivaled only by Palpatine, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, and Luke Skywalker respectively. As a Jedi General and the last leader of the Old Jedi Order, Yoda was a highly skilled tactician and a very capable leader.
Weapons and Equipment
Yoda's valued weapon and possession was his green-bladed lightsaber. Yoda's shoto lightsaber is made out of Chrome metal and Black alloy.
- Shoto lightsaber: Yoda had built a green-bladed shoto-style lightsaber and used it throughout his Jedi career and the entirety of the Clone Wars. Yoda lost the weapon in his battle against Palpatine, where it was found afterwards and destroyed in a furnace along with dozens of other, valuable lightsabers by Palpatine's troops, as was revealed in Marvel Comics' Darth Vader Issue #1.
The Phantom Menace
Yoda is the Grandmaster of the Jedi Council at the time Qui-Gon Jinn reported that he encountered a Sith on Tatooine, and he also brought Anakin Skywalker to the Council because he wanted to train him as a Jedi. Yoda tested Anakin and, despite being impressed by his abilities, refused to allow him to be trained, believing he was dangerously full of fear and anger, and his future was clouded and uncertain, warning Anakin of how fear leads to the Dark side of the Force through anger and hate.
He later attended the funeral of Qui-Gon, who died at the hands of the Sith Darth Maul at the hanger's refinery complex chamber after Obi-Wan was separated from the duel due to one of the laser gate shields that leads to the chamber. He talked with Mace Windu about the return of the Sith, with Yoda saying that there are always a Sith master and a Sith apprentice. Mace agrees, but wonders which one Maul was and which one remains. Yoda was also present at the Naboo victory celebration.
Attack of the Clones
Ten years after Qui-Gon's death, Yoda is still Grandmaster of the Jedi Council and he and the Jedi are dealing with a Separatist movement led by Jedi turned Sith Count Dooku. Former Queen of Naboo Padmé Amidala has been the victim of many assassination attempts and the Council sends Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker to guard her. After a failed assassination attempt by Zam Wesell, Yoda and the Council send Obi-Wan to track down the mysterious killer of Wesell and sends Anakin to protect Senator Amidala on Naboo. Later on, he was in a private cell with Mace Windu when Obi-Wan contacted them from the planet Kamino, where he found that a dead Jedi named Sifo-Dyas had a Clone Army made and their genetic template was a man named Jango Fett, who lived there with his son Boba. They tell him to arrest Jango. When Anakin kills the entire Tusken Raider settlement who killed his mother, he feels it and explains it to Mace Windu. They are later contacted by Obi-Wan, who had landed on Geonosis and found that Jango was associated with Count Dooku and Viceroy Nute Gunray was behind the assassination attempts on Senator Amidala as part of his deal to join the Confederacy of Independent Systems, but he was captured before he could finish. Anakin got the message and asked if he could go to rescue him, but he was denied by Yoda and Mace Windu. Windu led a strike team of Jedi to rescue Obi-Wan while Yoda went to pick up the Clone Army.
At Geonosis, all of the Jedi (including Anakin and Padmé, who disobeyed their orders) are surrounded by droids when Yoda and the Clone Army arrive in gunships, saving the Jedi and Senator. Yoda is taken to the forward command center to oversee the Battle of Geonosis, at one point telling the clones to focus the fire of their SPHA-T artillery tanks on the nearest Lucrehulk-class Core Ship that was trying to escape back into space to rejoin the battleship proper, succeeding in bringing it down. He later senses trouble through the Force and requests a ship to go after Obi-Wan and Anakin, who were in pursuit of Count Dooku. Later, after Dooku defeats Obi-Wan and Anakin in a private hangar, Yoda arrives and Dooku telekinetically assaults him; however, Yoda deflects the attack. Dooku then begins to shoot Force lightning at him, but he utilizes tutaminis, allowing him to reflect it back at him. Too evenly matched to win with Force powers, the two turn to their lightsabers and begin to duel. Despite Dooku's Form II mastery, Yoda dodges his attacks and seizes the offensive, doing many flips as he spins and twists around his opponent. Yoda nearly wins, stating that Dooku has fought well, but Dooku causes a huge pillar to fall on Obi-Wan and Anakin, prompting Yoda to hold it up with the Force, which allows Dooku to barely escape with his life on his solar sailer as Yoda looks down solemnly at letting Dooku escape as Padmé arrives with clone reinforcements and discovers Anakin having been severely wounded by Dooku, having had his right arm cut off below the elbow. Back on Coruscant, he later converses with Obi-Wan and Mace, where he reveals the Clone Wars have officially begun. The Clone Army becomes soldiers for the Republic and Yoda becomes a general in the Clone Wars.
Revenge of the Sith
Three years after the start of the Clone Wars, Yoda remains the leader of the Jedi Order, and head of the Jedi Council. The Council has become suspicious of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who was captive on board General Grievous' ship. Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent to rescue him, and return after Anakin kills Dooku at Palpatine's urging. Palpatine then asks Anakin to be his representative on the Council. Anakin asks if he could be a Jedi Master, but they deny it and ask Anakin to spy on Palpatine. They send Obi-Wan to Utapau to apprehend Grievous and Yoda travels to Kashyyyk to assist the Wookiees in the war, joined later by Luminara and Quinlan Vos.
After Order 66 is initiated by Palpatine, Yoda finds himself clutching at his forehead and chest as he feels a disturbance in the Force as his fellow Jedi fall to their own clone troopers as part of the Great Jedi Purge. As two Clone Troopers sneak up behind him and prepare to shoot him as well, he senses their intent with the Force, causing him to jump up and decapitate them with his lightsaber before they even can fire - he and Chewbacca then travel into the forests, evading clone and droid patrols before Chewbacca and his fellow Wookiee Tarfful provide an escape pod for Yoda to flee Kashyyyk with so he could go meet Senator Bail Organa. They go to rescue Obi-Wan, who killed Grievous, but was also betrayed by his soldiers, including Clone Commander Cody. Yoda and Obi-Wan return to Coruscant and enter the Jedi Temple, where they find out that Anakin had turned to the Dark Side and become Darth Sidious's apprentice, Darth Vader. Obi-Wan asks if he could face Sidious so he would not have to kill Anakin, but Yoda says that he would be no match for the Emperor and goes to confront Sidious himself.
Yoda arrives at Sidious' throne room and knocks his guards out. Sidious zaps him with Force lightning, but Yoda gets up quickly and surprises him with a powerful Force push. With that, the two begin to duel. They battle in the Senate room, wrecking the entire room. During the battle, Yoda realizes Palpatine's power is growing, while his is leaving him. The fight ends in a stalemate and Yoda, realizing that he cannot win, flees into the vents and crawls through them. He leaves with Bail and they travel to Mustafar to pick up Obi-Wan, realizing he has to go into exile due to failing to kill the Emperor. They arrive and find Obi-Wan (who had supposedly killed Anakin) and Padmé (who was pregnant with Anakin's children) and take them off the planet. Padmé gives birth to twins who she names Luke and Leia just before dying. Yoda says that they would have to hide the twins from the Empire, so Obi-Wan takes Luke to his uncle and aunt on Tatooine, and would watch over him from afar, while Bail and his wife take Leia to Alderaan. Yoda goes into exile on the swamp planet Dagobah and adopts the planet as his home.
The Empire Strikes Back
Twenty-three years later, Yoda is the only Jedi Master left alive, as Obi-Wan Kenobi had been bodily killed three years prior by Darth Vader. Obi-Wan was training Anakin's son Luke Skywalker, but never told him that Vader is his father. Luke travels to Dagobah after the ghost of Obi-Wan visits him on Hoth, telling him to seek out Yoda to finish his training. When Luke arrives, Yoda pretends to be an uncivilized small creature who knows Yoda, and offers to take him to him. Later on, while they are in Yoda's hut, Luke snaps, saying that they were wasting time. Yoda begins to talk to Obi-Wan through the Force, saying that Luke is impatient, causing Luke to deduce him as Yoda. Luke convinces Yoda to train him, but Luke gets frustrated when he asks him to move his sunken ship, and furiously asks him to try. Yoda is able to do it, and says there is no try, you do or you do not, if you don't believe you can do it, that is where Luke failed while Yoda succeeded. Later on, Luke has a vision of his friends in pain and goes to rescue them while abandoning his training, to Yoda and Obi-Wan's disapproval, but promised to return to complete his training. When Luke leaves, Yoda and Obi-Wan talk, with Obi-Wan saying he is their only hope, but Yoda says there is another (referring to Leia).
Return of the Jedi
Three months after the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda has become gravely ill, and Luke returns to Dagobah while in his last moments. On his deathbed, he tells Luke that his Jedi training is nearly complete with only one last thing remaining: to confront Darth Vader, and that will make him a Jedi Knight. However, after learning that Vader is his father, Luke does not have the heart to kill him. As Yoda slowly loses the will to live, he gives him one last warning about the Dark Side and not to underestimate the powers of the Emperor, otherwise he would suffer the same fate as his father did. In his last words, he tries to tell Luke that there is another Skywalker (referring to Leia being his twin sister) before dying peacefully and becoming one with the Force. His death symbolically marks the end of the old Jedi Order that the Emperor had destroyed most of at the end of the Clone Wars.
Yoda is last seen in spirit at the end of the film alongside the spirits of Obi-Wan Kenobi and the reformed Anakin Skywalker, watching the Rebels celebrate their victory over the Empire. He was nine hundred years old when he passed away. As a spirit, he remains immortal and ever-present through the Force.
When Rey touches Anakin's lightsaber, the Force Spirit of Yoda contacts Rey, encouraging her to seek out Luke.
Yoda makes a vocal appearance in the episode "Path of the Jedi" where he, through the Force, guides Kanan's Padawan Ezra Bridger through the Jedi Temple on Lothal. In "Shroud of Darkness", Yoda makes a visual appearance. He tells Ezra to find Malachor.
Yoda appears in Disney INFINITY's third installment as a playable character.
Yoda is a playable character in Star Wars: Force Arena as a Legendary squad leader card.
- Yoda is not the only member of his kind to have appeared. A female of his kind, Master Yaddle, also once was part of the Jedi Council. Unlike Yoda, she had auburn, braided hair. She eventually passed away six years after the Battle of Naboo, and was well over 400 years old when she died.
- In E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, during the trick-or-treat scene, Yoda was included as a child's Halloween costume, whom E.T. thought was another alien.
- Yoda is also the second name of Gabe Duncan.
- Yoda was the second oldest character in the Star Wars universe; second only to Maz Kanata.
- It is unknown what type of alien species Yoda is and George Lucas himself has forbidden or discouraged anyone from naming his species or giving Yoda's race a homeworld.