Les’ Science Fiction Aliens Hall of Fame #24: Yoda

Greetings, Manic Fans.  Les here to continue my Science Fiction Aliens Hall of Fame.  As before, I will induct a different alien from film or a television show that made an impression with me. Let’s face it, half the fun of great science fiction is the wonderful characters who came from other worlds. For each alien, I’ll give a detailed bio about their species, who portrayed them, first appearances and abilities and why I think they’re amazing.


Today, I’m selecting:


Yoda(Frank Oz”The Empire Strikes Back”(1980), “Return of the Jedi”(1983), “The Phantom Menace”(1999), “Attack of the Clones(2002) and “Revenge of the Sith(2005))


Yoda’s species and homeworld are unknown and one of the greatest mysteries in the Galaxy.


Species Abilities

Yoda’s race are short(about 1 meter tall) bipeds with 3 fingered hands, 3 toed feet, grayish green skin, 2 eyes and long pointed ears.


Actor Portrayal

Yoda was realized as an intricate puppet designed by Stuart Freeborn and operated by Muppet Master Frank Oz.  He performed Yoda through 3 films, “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi” and “The Phantom Menace.”  For “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith,” Yoda was re-realized as a CGI character with Frank Oz supplying the voice again.


First Appearance

Yoda first appeared in the 1980 blockbuster “Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.”  In it, force ghost Obi Wan Kenobi(Sir Alec Guiness) appears to Luke Skywalker(Mark Hamill) and instructs him to seek out the old Jedi Master on the swamp planet of Dagobah to complete his Jedi training.


Luke and R2-D2 get marooned on Dagobah as Luke’s X-Wing sinks into the drink and they’re met by a curious swamp denizen who knows where Yoda is and takes Luke to a funny little house.  Impatient to meet the Jedi Master, Luke loses his temper at the creature, who turns out to be Yoda, himself, as ghost Obi Wan confirms.  Luke pleads with the Jedi Master to train him, and Yoda reluctantly agrees.


Over the course of the film, Yoda instructs and tests Luke in the ways of the force and Luke begins to learn.  As Luke’s X-Wing goes under the water, Luke is frustrated that they’ll never get it out.  Yoda implores him to not be fooled by size and appearances and to use the force to get his ship out.  Luke tries, and initially makes it rise a bit, but loses his concentration and it goes completely under.  Yoda, then uses the force and levitates the X-Wing completely out of the water and over to dry land.  Luke can’t believe it, and “that’s why you fail” is Yoda’s observation.


Yoda instructs Luke to use the force to see other places and people.  When Luke sees Han and Leia in trouble, Luke wants to take off to save them before he’s finished his training to the consternation of Yoda and Obi Wan.  With a promise to return to finish the training, Luke takes off.  Obi Wan is forlorn.  “That boy was our last hope.”  He laments.  Yoda answers him.  “No, there is another….”


And that ends his role in the film, but it’s not the last time we see the great Jedi Master.


Why I think he’s amazing

Yoda is a great example of never judge a book by its cover.  Wise in life and strong in the Force, Yoda is a sage who is also a complete bad ass with a lightsaber and the only Jedi capable of deflecting/absorbing Sith lightning with his bare hands.  He hobbles around on a cane, but in a fight, he’s acrobatic and agile as a cat.  Awsome and amazing, he is.


Did you see these films?  Did you like this character?  I’d love to hear your opinions, my friends.  Peace.

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