In today’s article we are going to answer a very important question related to the Star Wars franchise – is Jedi Master Yoda stronger than Sith Lord Darth Vader?
Jedi Master Yoda is certainly stronger than Darth Vader. Although there is no official confirmation, as the two of them never clashed, based on what we know about them and their powers, Yoda would win in a direct confrontation.
When George Lucas launched the franchise in 1977, with the movie Star Wars (later titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope for continuity reasons), no one expected that it would become one of the biggest stories of the modern area. Star Wars wasn’t initially that successful, but as the years passed, the franchise became a cult classic, attracting generations of fans and now encompassing nine main continuity movies, video games, several TV shows, comic books and a variety of merchandise that made George Lucas famous. The franchise is today owned by Disney, but wherever it might go after the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars will undoubtedly remain one of the pivotal parts of modern culture.
Now, let us see the answer to the main question.
Who is Yoda?
Yoda is a Jedi from the Star Wars universe and one of the most recognisable characters of the whole franchise. He is a small, green creature of unknown origin; Yoda’s origin (his home planet and his race) are still one of the biggest mysteries in the Star Wars universe and Lucas never revealed any details that can be considered as canon.
He is a Jedi Grand Master and the leader of the Jedi Council. Yoda is both exceptionally old and exceptionally powerful, so powerful – in fact – that he could easily be given the title of the most powerful Jedi in the movie franchise (we’re not counting the expanded universe because, for one, it is truly enormous for such a brief analysis and, likewise, it changed a lot in the recent years so it’s not always easy to determine what’s canon or not). Although his forte is the Force – Yoda is by far the most powerful Force user in the series – Yoda is also an excellent Lightsaber user, as demonstrated on several occasions during the movies (specifically during his fights with Count Dooku and Darth Sidious). His Lightsaber skills are surpassed only by his friend and colleague, Mace Windu.
Aside from being powerful, Yoda has a lot of other qualities. He is a great tactician, as demonstrated during the Clone Wars, very knowledgeable (he can even manipulate the Force as to see the future) and very wise, surpassing all other Jedi in those aspects.
Yoda was first introduced in the second movie, The Empire Strikes Back (actually Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back), as a “crazy old guy” living in the swamps of Dagobah. He eventually revealed himself to be the great Jedi Master and taught young Luke Skywalker, before eventually passing away at the age of 900 and becoming a Force Ghost, just like his former friends. His story is further expanded in the prequel trilogy and the expanded universe, while he makes a brief appearance as a Force Ghost in the sequel trilogy, talking to his former Padawan, Luke Skywalker.
Yoda was initially a puppet controlled and voiced by the legendary Frank Oz, but was later created using CGI, for the prequel trilogy. The puppet version returned briefly in the sequel trilogy once more.
Who is Darth Vader?
The story of Darth Vader is even more complex. Darth Vader was actually born as Anakin Skywalker on the planet Tatooine, where his mother, Shmi, was a slave. As they were travelling across the galaxy, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi met young Anakin by accident and Qui-Gon quickly measured his midi-chlorian count, only to discover that it was larger than even that of Master Yoda. After Anakin won a race, Qui-Gon managed to liberate him and bring him in front of the Jedi Council. Unsure of his future, Yoda declined Qui-Gon’s request to train Anakin, but after Qui-Gon’s death and the promotion of Obi-Wan to the rank of Jedi Knight, Anakin became the latter’s Padawan.
Year later, Anakin fell in love with Padmé Amidala, although Jedi were prohibited to fall in love and exhibit such strong emotions. It was this relationship what would ultimately be his demise, as then-senator Palpatine (actually Darth Sidious) manipulated Anakin into betraying the Jedi and becoming his new apprentice, Darth Vader. Vader was responsible for the slaughter in the Jedi Temple, killing even the younglings in one of the most tragic events in the Star Wars franchise. Anakin Skywalker was supposed to bring the balance to the Force and end the war between the Light and the Dark Side, but he succumbed to the latter and created chaos that eventually led to the fall of the Republic and the creation of the Empire.
Darth Vader had one final clash with his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, but was almost killed by his more experienced master, before the Jedi went underground. Vader was saved by Darth Sidious and turned into a cyborg, taking on his most famous form, as seen in the original trilogy.
Vader is undoubtedly one of the most powerful Force users in the franchise. Although, being the ruthless tyrant he was, he used his powers for evil, you still cannot admire the abilities he possesses. He was great with the Lightsaber and has extraordinary abilities with the Force, some which were actually frightening. His legacy plays an important part in the nine films and his “I am your father!” scene with Luke Skywalker is one of the most iconic moments in the history of cinema.
Did Yoda ever fight against Darth Vader?
Technically no, Yoda never fought against Darth Vader, at least when the main continuity (i.e., movies) is concerned. There are alternative timelines and stories where the two of them actually do fight, but there was no clash between them in the main continuity.
While Vader was still Anakin, there was no direct need as Anakin was on the side of the Jedi. There was a possibility of a clash after Anakin’s betrayal, but Yoda declined Obi-Wan’s suggestion that he went after Palpatine, fearing that the Sith Lord would be too powerful for Obi-Wan. Thus, Yoda avoided a battle with Anakin and sent Obi-Wan instead.
Is Yoda Stronger Than Darth Vader?
Since there was no direct clash between them, we cannot officially state that one is stronger than the other, but based on what we know about the two character and what has been presented in the main continuity of films, we can safely state that Yoda is more powerful than Vader. This thesis might be questioned if we include the extended universe, which dwells deeper into the two characters, revealing more of their powers and abilities, but we firmly believe that in both cases – Yoda would beat Darth Vader.
When it comes to using the Lightsaber, the situation is a bit more unclear and we could deduce that Vader could be a bit more skilled with this weapon than Yoda, but only a bit. Namely, we’ve seen Yoda fight with the Lightsaber on only two occasions. The first time was against Count Dooku, where he proved to be a worthy opponent to the former-Jedi-turned -Sith-Lord, but the fight ultimately ended as a tie because Dooku ran away when Yoda went to save Obi-Wan and Anakin. Later, he used the Lightsaber to fight Palpatine, but had his weapon knocked out during the fight. Still, Yoda showed excellent skills and great agility with the Lightsaber, but we haven’t really seen everything he can do.
As far as Darth Vader goes, we’ve seen more of his skills. As Anakin, he was good, but was not match for Count Dooku, who easily beat him and cut off his hand; Anakin later got his revenge, which was one step towards him becoming Darth Vader. Anakin was later no match for Mace Windu, the best Lightsaber user in the franchise, but managed to beat him by using the element of surprise. After becoming Darth Vader, Anakin was able to defeat every Jedi within the Jedi Temple, but to be fair – most of the Jedi had been away, fighting with the clones before the execution of Order 66. When Vader fought against his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, he put up a good fight, but ultimately lost and was almost killed, which is more a demonstration of Obi-Wan’s great skills than Anakin’s lack thereof. We don’t know much about his later Lighsaber fights, except that he fought Ben Kenobi (ultimately killing him, but it is pretty certain that Ben Kenobi let him do it) and Luke Skywalker, the result of which was inconclusive. So, it might seem that Vader was a tad more skilled with the saber, but only because we never saw Yoda’s full potential.
As far as the Force is concerned, there really is no doubt that Yoda is the better used and a lot better. Although we really haven’t seen more than a fragment of their full powers – both of theirs – we can still deduce that the great Jedi Master is a better Force user. Yoda has studied the Force far longer and more in depth than Vader and he has knowledge of a lot of elements and aspects, certainly more than Vader. Vader’s advantage is that he knows both the Light and the Dark Side, but as we’ve seen in his duel against Palpatine, Yoda is not only able to counter the Dark Side, but also use it against his opponent. Vader’s skills are also great, we’ve seen the devastating power of his skills in Revenge of the Sith and the original trilogy, but we are certain that Yoda has a better idea about the more intricate elements of the Force and that his knowledge is both deeper and more sophisticated.
So, what does this all amount to?
Vader might be a better Lightsaber wielder, but even that is not certain because we haven’t really seen Yoda in action during the movies. As far as the Force is concerned, Yoda is without a doubt the better among the two. This all brings us to the conclusion that, in the case of a direct clash, Yoda would be able to beat Darth Vader, despite them both being very powerful and dangerous.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!