‘Star Wars’ fans debate if Yoda really went crazy, or if it was all an act to encourage Luke

Yoda Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Image via Lucasfilm

An expression of compassion caused a lively discussion about Yoda’s mental health among Star Wars fans.

Redditor ItsAllJustASickGame broached the topic in the r/StarWars subreddit with a post that juxtaposed a dignified portrait of a pensive Yoda with a still image of the Jedi Master losing his trademark composure while training Luke on Dagobah.

They wrote, “Can we take a moment to appreciate that Yoda went from hundreds of years being his Jedi highest self, having seen all kinds of atrocities, to a crazed goblin in like ~20 years. Goes to show how much PTSD, enflamed by isolation, he endured from Order 66.”

OP is referring to Yoda’s famously eccentric behavior during his first encounter with Luke in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.

However, not everyone agreed with the view that Yoga’s peculiar demeanor was the result of post-traumatic stress. A user called Graven_Raven argued that the green guy was feigning madness to test his soon-to-be Padawan’s character was suitable for Jedi training. In their view, it had nothing to do with how Order 66 had affected him.

Invincidude was surprised that Yoda’s strategy went over some viewers’ heads. They made the point that the veteran warrior went from acting the fool to stoic in seconds, “How do people not get this? He instantly goes from acting the fool to deadpan serious, ‘I cannot train this boy. He has no patience.'”

Another Redditor VDyrus agreed with the idea that Yoda was testing Luke, and suggested it was necessary to ascertain that the young man had the patience that father Anakin lacked. They wrote, “He was testing Luke’s patience, which makes sense as his father was very impatient.”

Snarkhunter offered another theory about Yoda’s quirky behavior on Dagobah, suggesting that the Jedi Master may have consumed hallucinatory flora and fauna native to the planet: “I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Dagobah is home to some powerfully psychedelic plants, fungi, and animals.”

Jewstin1717 opined that Yoda dropped the kooky behavior once he was sure that Luke was teachable. They pointed out that he never behaved that way again and reverted to his true persona.

They also took issue with the photo OP used to depict Yoda as crazed, pointing out that he was in the midst of falling, which explained his fearful expression. They wrote, “The picture you chose to represent the ‘crazed goblin’ is of him falling suddenly […] Anyone’s eyes would bug out for a sec if you were instantly falling from 3 times your height.”

The general consensus among fans is that Yoda’s mental health was intact when he met Luke on Dagobah. His wacky behavior was merely a ruse to see if the youngster would make a worthy Padawan. Judging by the millions of Star Wars fans who remain captivated by Luke’s compelling story, Yoda’s judgement was spot on.