Yoda is known as one of the most powerful and oldest Star Wars characters. The Jedi Grandmaster was introduced as a frail old alien in the Original Trilogy, only for his story to be expanded in later movies and the extended fictional universe. Today, we are going to talk about Yoda’s death and tell you how and when it happened.
Yoda did die in the Star Wars universe. In Return of the Jedi, Yoda peacefully died at the age of 900, later becoming one with the Force.
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.
In a recent article, we talked about the ages of particular characters from the Star Wars universe. There, we mentioned that Yoda was the second-oldest character in the movie series, just behind Maz Kanata (1,008 years), but she was introduced in the Sequel Trilogy as a new character, meaning that Yoda was for a long time the oldest character in the movies. When he was first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda was revealed to be 900 years old.
In the movie The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Yoda was first introduced to the franchise. He was initially mentioned by Ben Kenobi as a powerful Jedi Master who taught him while they were younger. Ben Kenobi instructed Luke Skywalker to look for Yoda and his guidance, so Luke traveled to the swamp planet Dagobah, where he met a crazy old alien who scavenged through his stuff. Luke initially had no clue as to who Yoda was, so he asked the crazy alien for help, only to be shocked when he revealed himself to be Yoda. Although initially skeptical, Luke would soon see that the crazy-looking old alien was indeed Yoda, the famed Jedi Master.
Yoda was initially reluctant to take on Luke as his apprentice, sensing in him the same anger that led to Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father, becoming Darth Vader. After talking to Ben Kenobi, Yoda finally agreed to train Luke. He taught him the ways of the Force and how to face his biggest fear, Darth Vader, although the confrontations were initially unsuccessful.
At one point, the training is interrupted because Luke decides to leave Dagobah to save his friends from Darth Vader. Although both Kenobi and Yoda asked him to stay and finish his training, stating that it was certainly a trap, Luke – stubborn as he was – still left, leaving Yoda and Ben Kenobi’s ghost on Dagobah. He made a brief appearance in Return of the Jedi (1983), when Luke returned to Dabogah to complete his training.
Luke found Yoda in a very frail state. His age had already gotten to him and he was dying. Yoda confirmed that Luke’s training was done, but that he wouldn’t become a Jedi until he finally confronted and defeated Darth Vader. Soon after that, Yoda peacefully passed away at the age of 900 and became a Force Ghost. You can see the scene in the video:
Yoda returned as a Force Ghost at the end of Return of the Jedi, and made another appearance in The Last Jedi.
So, there you have it – Yoda did die in Return of the Jedi, at the age of 900. His death was a peaceful one, as he died from old age, and he later became a Force Ghost and returned on a couple of occasions. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!