Fans boldly debate whether Yoda is the biggest coward in ‘Star Wars’

Yoda
Image via Lucasfilm

Everyone loves Yoda. The pint-sized Jedi master has been a hit with audiences since his debut in The Empire Strikes Back. Over the years, he’s become one of the icons of the Star Wars franchise, going on to play a major role in the prequel trilogy and continuing to give advice even after his death as a Force Ghost.

But could the arguably powerful, respected, and beloved hero in Star Wars actually be the biggest coward in the galaxy? A brave fan on r/StarWars has challenged orthodoxy and is judging the evidence, with the most incriminating factor his self-imposed exile on Dagobah in the wake of Revenge of the Sith.

The argument goes that Yoda skipped town at the first sign of trouble and didn’t lift a clawed finger to assist the Jedi fleeing from the Empire after Order 66. Wouldn’t a more heroic course of action have been to rally the remaining Jedi, directly assist the Rebel Alliance with his centuries of experience, and at least attempt to retake the galaxy?

There’s even a non-canon Star Wars Infinities comic that imagines a more active Yoda. Using Jedi mind tricks, Yoda infiltrates the Death Star, seizes the controls, and crashes it into the Emperor’s headquarters on Coruscant. Clone yourself out of that one, Sheev.

In summary:

Yoda was a terrible leader who led his people to ruin, then fled and hid with things fell apart because of him. Not sure if he ever owned up to his mistakes or not.

The replies point out that Yoda did play a huge role in the defeat of the Empire by completing Luke Skywalker’s Jedi training, giving him the skills he needed in order to triumph in Return of the Jedi. Perhaps he sensed that this was the most important thing he could do and that he just needed to wait for that X-Wing to land? Others say that at 900 years old, Yoda may have finally felt his age and that his fight with Palpatine made him realize he was very slowly dying.

But the most logical reply is that George Lucas wrote the Skywalker saga out of order over roughly 30 years, and some character logic had to go out of the window when figuring out how the prequels fit in with the originals.

Having said all that, we’ve just had a Disney Plus show in which a character we thought had spent 20 years as a desert hermit turned to be zipping around the galaxy getting into lightsaber fights, so perhaps one day we’ll learn that Yoda wasn’t quite as uninvolved with the Rebellion as we think.