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Yoda facts for kids

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Star Wars character
Yoda Empire Strikes Back.png
First appearance The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Created by George Lucas
Voiced by
Performed by
Frank Oz (lead puppeteer, Episodes I, V–VI, VIII)
Species Unknown
Gender Male
Occupation Jedi Master
Affiliation Jedi Order
Galactic Republic
Title Jedi Master (Episodes I–VI)

Grand Master of the Jedi High Council (Episodes I–III)

General in the Grand Army of the Republic (Episodes II–III)
Apprentices Count Dooku
Luke Skywalker
Numerous others

Yoda is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He first appeared in the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back. He is a small, green humanoid alien who is powerful with the Force and is a leading member of the Jedi Order until its near annihilation. Yoda was voiced and puppeteered by Frank Oz in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, the prequel trilogy, and the sequel trilogy. Outside of the films, the character has been mainly voiced by Tom Kane, starting with the 2003 Clone Wars animated television series. Yoda is an iconic figure in popular culture due to his distinct pattern of speech and role as a wise mentor.

In his first appearance in the original trilogy, Yoda is described as the mentor of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and lives in exile on the swamp planet of Dagobah. He trains Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Force until his death at the age of 900 in Return of the Jedi, though he later returns as a Force spirit. In the prequel trilogy, Yoda leads the Jedi High Council and trains the young generations of Jedi until they are assigned to a master. When the Clone Wars breaks out, he becomes a general in the Galactic Republic's army and leads several legions of clone troopers. Yoda is one of the few Jedi to survive the events of Order 66 at the end of the war, when he battles Emperor Palpatine and is forced to go into hiding. Yoda's spirit appears again in the sequel trilogy, advising an older Luke on his training of Rey.

Concept and creation

Franchise creator George Lucas has stated that he originally had Obi-Wan Kenobi training Luke Skywalker, but decided that it would not make sense to have him standing around watching Luke do all the fighting in the films and not help him, so he killed him off in the first film. He then created a new character, Yoda, to have someone train Luke. Lucas approached Jim Henson to voice the character; Henson was busy with other projects but recommended Frank Oz for the role. According to the make-up artist Stuart Freeborn, Yoda's face is based on his own and Albert Einstein's (particularly the eye wrinkles of the latter). For The Phantom Menace, he was redesigned to look younger. He was created using computer-generated imagery (CGI) for two distant shots in the 1999 release but remained mostly a puppet, with Stuart Freeborn's original design reinterpreted by Nick Dudman.

For some walking scenes in The Empire Strikes Back and The Phantom Menace, dwarf actors Deep Roy and Warwick Davis appeared in costume as Yoda (though neither was credited). While Oz served as the primary performer, over the years he had been assisted by a multitude of other puppeteers, including: Kathryn Mullen (Ep. V), Wendy Froud (Ep. V), David Barclay (Ep. V–VI), Mike Quinn (Ep. VI), David Greenaway (Ep. I & VI), Don Austen (Ep. I), Kathy Smee (Ep. I), Dave Chapman (Ep. VIII), Damian Farrell (Ep. VIII), and Colin Purves (Ep. VIII). For the radio dramatizations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Yoda was voiced by John Lithgow while Tom Kane voiced him in the Clone Wars animated series and several video games.

Character overview

Grand Master Yoda is among the oldest, most stoic, and most powerful Jedi Masters in the Star Wars universe. George Lucas opted to have many details of the character's life history remain unknown. Yoda's race and home world have not been named in any official media, canonical or otherwise, and he is merely said to be of a "species unknown" by the Star Wars Databank. Yoda's characteristic speech patterns were conceived by Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan, and developed by Oz. Academic syntacticians have found them somewhat inconsistent, but have suggested that they possess object–subject–verb (OSV) word order, making them anastrophic.

Yoda Attack of the Clones
Yoda's CGI appearance in Attack of the Clones

The films and Expanded Universe reveal that Yoda had a hand in training almost every Jedi Master in the galaxy. In the Star Wars prequel films, he instructs several younglings in the Jedi Temple before they are assigned to a master. In The Empire Strikes Back he mentions that he had been training Jedi "for 800 years", which means he must have been a Master Jedi for quite some time before that.


Yoda appears extensively in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, mostly in works set during or before the prequel trilogy, including Sean Stewart's 2004 novel Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, in which he sends an impersonator of himself to negotiate a potential treaty with Dooku, suspected his offer to be a feint. He also appears as a supporting character in Dark Horse Comics' Republic, and various other Clone Wars-related titles. In April 2014, following The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Lucasfilm, all of these works were rebranded as Star Wars Legends and declared non-canon to the rest of the franchise.

Since 2014, Yoda has also been featured in a number of canon books and other works, including Dooku: Jedi Lost and Master & Apprentice, which take place before The Phantom Menace. He is set to appear in the upcoming The High Republic Adventures, set 200 years before the prequel trilogy.

In popular culture

In 1980, American musician and parody artist "Weird Al" Yankovic wrote and recorded a parody of the Kinks' "Lola", called "Yoda". It was later rerecorded for his 1985 album Dare to Be Stupid, after Yankovic was able to obtain permission from both George Lucas and the Kinks.

Yoda Fountain
The Yoda Fountain at Industrial Light & Magic headquarters at the Letterman Digital Arts Center

In 2007, Yoda was selected by Empire magazine as the "25th greatest movie character of all time." On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, ranked Yoda at number 60.

Yoda also appears in Disney's Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction with his original voice actor, Frank Oz.

Linguistics professor David Ager from Queen Mary University of London says Yoda's language most closely resembles the Hawaiian language.

In 2017, a photoshopped image of Yoda seated next to King Faisal at the signing of the Charter of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945 was inadvertently printed in a social studies textbook. The textbook was withdrawn once the error was discovered.

In 2019, discount store Poundland used the voice of Yoda at its self-service checkouts in stores across the United Kingdom.


  • TomTom has included a "Yoda" voice as one of the Celebrity GPS voicings in their "Star Wars" voice series.



Quotes from Yoda that seem to echo Gnostic ideas in The Empire Strikes Back:

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter"
"A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack."


Mentorship tree

Jedi Order master-apprentice relationship
Grogu Leia
Ben Solo

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Yoda para niños

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