Feb 12

master yoda

If there is any one character in the entire Star Wars universe more disappointing to me it’s Master Yoda everyone’s beloved little Lannik. Yoda is brought across as the epitome of everything good yet as a leader he was nothing more than a fat coward who got extremely comfortable in his position as grandmaster.

Men should try NOT to be like Master Yoda as opposed to emulating him for many reasons. Sure he gave great anecdotes, had inherently good intentions, but when it came time to act he chose instead to run even after his order was wiped out.

A Captain always goes down with the ship, a God King rides at the forefront of the cavalry, and Samurai Lords fall on their swords rather than be disgracefully taken captive by their rivals. Even in old kung fu movies the master Abbots of the Shaolin would put aside peace, kill the venomous bad guys and then pray for forgiveness once the deed is done.

What does Yoda do when Order 66 is issued? He didn’t rally the remaining troops, he didn’t pool his resources to rebuild, no he did what a coward does when the threat seems too great… he runs to another star system to hide.

The Ways in which Obi Wan was greater than Yoda

If there was a man to look up to in the entire saga of Star Wars it would be Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi. The reason I picked him over so many others was due to the cleverness that Obi Wan used to win his battles and his unwavering ability to be a soldier when it counted.

fearless obi wan kenobi

Seeing his master die in battle to a superior warrior did not make Obi Wan run like Yoda would have; no it made him channel a bit of the dark side (through anger) and cut the bastard in half. When his own student turned rogue and wiped out his peers Obi Wan took him out and then walked off leaving him to burn to his death.

When it came to compassion the complicated Kenobi doled out enough to be considered a good guy but when it came time to dance he was Fred Astaire with a lightsaber.

What’s the point in all of this?

Star Wars leadership principles can be applied to your everyday life as a fan. I think it is a flawed notion to fear something so much that you completely turn a blind eye on it until it’s able to surface strong and declare an Order 66 on you.

Many of us have our strong beliefs but refuse to study why our beliefs are in place, why the other side is wrong, and why our belief structure came about in the first place. We excuse our fear of scholarship by using words like “blind faith”, and choose to parrot logic from smarter men rather than figuring out things on our own.

If you operate in a state of fear for corruption, being persuaded otherwise, or learning too much then you are very much a coward like Master Yoda. The best defenders of any religion, stance, or creed are those who are well versed in their own logic as well as that of the people who are against you.

We should all be more like Master Kenobi… Now remember all of this the next time someone tells you to be wise and patient like the almighty coward Yoda.

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  • Force Focus

    “When his own student turned rogue and wiped out his peers Obi Wan took
    him out and then walked off leaving him to burn to his death.”

    …like a pimp

  • Oh wow! I didn’t know Jim Rome had already talked about Yoda’s cowardice in length already. For anyone interested, here is Rome’s take on that coward Yoda: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g95anDHVsV0

  • McThick

    Outstanding article Greg. Valid criticism of a LOT of things


    • If you mean hiding away until his death out of fear on a swamp planet after losing then I’m not sure where in my article I disputed this. My question remains – why not rally the remaining survivors for a possible coup like any strong leader would have done instead of retiring oneself to a life of solitude and eating worms on Dagobah?

      Trust me I know more about this than I probably should and I believe my stance on Yoda’s cowardice to have merit. You may not like it because you think Yoda is cool but if you disagree then pose a counter that will make me rethink my position instead of yelling at me through text.

      • Forcemaster

        there really weren’t any survivors left to rally and If Yoda tried to face Emperor again he would have lost because he (the Emperor) would have Darth Vader at his side before yoda even got his lightsaber out.

      • I guess if it’s we go off of the Expanded Universe or not the survivors vary. The movies were extremely limited in their information and while the New Hope indicated that all of the Jedis (except Obi Wan and Yoda) were indeed wiped out, the books approved by GL say differently. In any event, the only person who can truly answer this is Lucas and he never will. Yoda had Obi Wan… I am still of the mind that the two of them could have taken on the old man and the robot to save the Republic instead of exile.

    • BLah

      calm down!

  • Pingback: The Power of Doing Instead of Trying | From Ashy to Classy()

  • onyoriqui

    While I don’t necessarily agree that he exited out of cowardice….I do admit that it
    made your stomach drop to your feet when you see Yoda crawling through that pipe and squealing, “hurry!” to his rescuer.
    That was like seeing all your hopes and dreams being annihilated all at once.
    That being said the Prequals ‘killed’ Vader for us…and Yoda.
    The Worst part about the Palpatine/Yoda fight is, at least for me is that common sense was thrown out the window:

    Think about…all of the arguments that I have I have read and heard about, never…..never…never…make mention of the most ‘obvious’, it would seem, problem with the fight, this being Yoda is like ‘nearly’ 1,000yrs old. (He never gets to that age but he gets pretty close at about 800 – 900yrs)
    Anyway, Yoda is like 900yrs old, so sometime in that time he had a ‘force-calling’ on his life. So what if he started his training at say 300 yrs…or, even worse, what if he was force sensitive from the cradle…….even still, this little dude has….what,…like ‘SEVERAL centuries’ of training over the Emperor’s ‘DECADES of training’…..(remember…and I checked it out myself, the Emperor is, outside his skills with the dark arts, still ‘only’ a normal human….with normal aging and everything…..but the point is that the Emperor, with say ‘roughly’ 40/50 yrs of training BESTS Yoda, with roughly ‘600yrs’ under his belt?????????
    I’m sorry but no matter how voraciously one may try to ‘defend’ this fight and it’s ‘outcome’….(even George Lucas, the friggin creator came up with some lame excuse that the force had to ‘balance out it self’ so thats why Yoda was ‘barely’ holding his own)…..there is just no ‘good’ argument for this travesty. Okay, I can understand ‘child prodigys’ and all….like Mozart giving much older and accomplished artists a challenge, as the Emperor ‘compared to Yoda….if anything is just as much a ‘child’ prodigy as was Anakin…….but even still!!
    Yoda should have been waving his little pinky finger at the Emperor and making him
    do friggin gymnastics….for what it’s worth.
    The Emperor should have been a stain on the council floor. There shouldnt have even been a ‘duel’. Yoda, as many centuries as he had should have been able to absorb the force lightning and redirect it at the Emperor.
    I hate to say it but out of millions of people that saw that fight, I am the ONLY one that sees that the outcome of the fight JUST DOES NOT COMPUTE with both combatants’ ‘time in service’. Maybe, it’s because of my martial arts background….but I don’t care how good a martial artist progeny is, a GrandMaster will and ‘should’ be able to ,because of his superior number of years of training compared to that of the meager sum of years of the progeny/upstart, drop a hammer sized whipping on him.
    I know, I know…but what about the sequals(the emperor has to survive) and the ‘prophesy’ that ‘The One’ is the only one that can ‘bring balance to the force’……..That’s just it, the prophesy never said anything about Anakin actually having to kill the Emperor to bring balance back. In
    fact Anakin, as Vader, even after he throws the Emperor’s body down the reactor shaft never truly extinguishes the emperor – His redemption, his taking the attributes of the darkside within himself and conquering over that aspect/expelling it from himself, ‘marrying’ thus doing away with the ‘old order ways of ‘celibate priest warriors’, effectively ‘cutting off the head'(the Emperor) of and thereby, temporarily(as the Emperor’s essence is still very much alive after ROTJ) throwing the empire into disaray, and finally marshalling in a new era of Jedi through his progenies:Luke and Lea, are all, ultimately, what brings balance back to the force…..so, Yoda could have very much ‘killed’ the emperor.
    Post ROTJ graphic novels show that the Emperor, the clever tactician that he is with the ability to see several ‘moves’ down the chessboard, has wisely planned that should he, in some unforseen time happen to get bumped off, he has had a myriad of clones made for just such an occasion. His ghost will merely inhabit a new and younger body, along with his powers and abilities…..so the good ole………errrrrr………’bad ole Emperor’ could have gotten his clock cleaned by Yoda, keeping our pride in the little green man intact, and he could have stayed around, in secret and in ‘hiding’, rebuilding while Yoda,
    although still feeling that something is still not quite right, is left in ignorance that the Emperor has actually survived his mother-of-all butt kickings and death, and the Emperor still……gets to survive into the sequals and make Luke’s life miserable.
    Finally and to summarize, Yoda should have kicked the crap out of the Emperor. It should’t have even been a contest. Even if, the Emperor had ‘clone warriors’ coming to aid him, Yoda shouldn’t have broken a sweat beating the Emperor, stumping the clone troopers and making the whole senate building his toybox. And this wouldn’t be arrogance on the little Jedi’s part……..what it all boils down to is ‘HARD CORE NUMERICALLY SUPERIOR yrs in training trumps far, far, far fewer years: Yoda should have took a crap on him.
    Nuff said

    • I wholeheartedly agree on the level of skill that Yoda had being underplayed but whenever I present this question someone brings up an idea (not sure where it came from) about Palpatine being a Sith that had used cloning and the Force in order to change bodies throughout the centuries. Supposedly Palp is pretty damn old and was Darth Plagus’s assistant way back in The Old Republic. If this is truly canon then it would account for why he was able to mop up Yoda the way he did.

      As a martial artist myself I will say that you are overlooking one big factor in any discipline and that is potential. You and I can train the same amount but if I have a bigger potential whether it be physical or mental and I realize this, I will be able to defeat you easily. Yoda’s potential may not be anything like Palp’s plus when you think about it Yoda is so frightened by the Dark side that he was probably afraid during their fight. Someone who is so scared of an aspect of the Force could be easily manipulated and beaten due to it because he would not allow himself to “think like the bad guy” in order to open up an advantage. This is mainly why I think he is a huge coward, his fear of the dark side became his undoing and it is why Luke Skywalker with his naivete in that aspect was able to defeat evil.

      Thanks for laying out your opinion about this.

      • onyoriqui

        Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. The whole cloning thing is from these graphic novels that came out post-ROTJ, I believe sometime in the early 90’s. I never got a chance myself to read them in entirety, but I did learn that the Emperor had, indeed survived. Ultimately, also, the Emperor has been using clones to survive….BUT….something happens to the clones and what this is, I cannot say but I will have you know, it is extremely ironic, in that a guy who seems always to be 10 paces ahead of the game…..misses this one little thing, which proves that even the Emperor’s fabulous oversight, while seemingly godlike, ultimately had a weakness. Also after the ‘issue’ with his clones he is extinguished by none other than………..ha ha, Hopefully, you’ll read the novels….or, to make it easier on you, you can read the summarized version of the Emperor’s fall and demise in Wikipedia.
        I don’t want to give you spoilers off hand and ruin it for you.
        Anyway, I never thought about that – the possibility that, despite his human limitations, he could have utilized the dark side of the force to sustain himself for centuries…possibly making him equal in age to that of Yoda or even older, thus making him an equal combatant to that of even Yoda!!
        Very good point. Very good point!
        Another interesting tidbit that I had read about is Anakin himself, had been planned and concocted by the Sith, long ago…..if true, luckily for the Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn got to him first.
        Finally, I have to agree with you – Yoda was indeed, though it pains me to write it, a big dissapointment and coward. Another good point that you made is that Yoda just lived to careful a life and was afraid of exploring all aspects of the force, thus hindering how truly powerful, he could have been……I guess you could say, he was too much the purist.

  • onyoriqui

    Sorry, Greg Dragon, for all of the mistakes in my ‘response’. I had been speeding through and should have taken my time.
    Hopefully you can still understand what it is that I am trying to get across and hopefully I have covered all ‘would be’ holes and inconsistencies to the integrity of the SW’s epic, that may have arisen, had the trilogy went the way of my opinion.

    • No worries, I hold a few badges but Grammar Nazi isn’t one of them. I appreciate your contribution here.

  • onyoriqui

    Last post from me, for today.
    Also, you are so right that if anyone was the star and role model of the epic, it was without a doubt ‘old Ben’.
    Obi-Wan was the man. He got his butt kicked at times but like a true rugged soldier, he would dust himself off and get back in the ring for more. He was the ‘everyman’ of the series: he took his lumps, he made his mistakes, but he also kicked a lot of butt and maintained a graceful humour about himself. He was the most unconventional out of the surviving members of the council, ironically, as his own master had been: This guys having a little drink in a tavern, getting info off the streets in some unsavory areas and taking young Luke into dangerous bars, trading insults and blows with the best of them even in his advanced years.
    He is the Jedi who could be living the nice cozy and plush life of the elder council members but no……Obi-Wan is out and about, kicking down doors, hunting bounty hunters, protecting empresses, enforcing law, avenging masters, and reigning in a young Anakin.
    I just cannot stand these ‘The One’ tropes where the elder mentor whom we all come to love and respect ultimately gets their butts kicked or barely hold their own against the main bad guy….while the upstart snott-nosed ‘punk kid’ is an equal and more than enough to defeat the main baddie…..meanwhile ‘the One’s’ master, whom seems godlike initially,whom because of their years and dedication to the craft has more than earned his right to deal the final blow,….instead they are cheated with humiliating defeats and ‘stand offs’:
    This figures in Yoda vs. Palpatine,

    (Yu Yu Hakesho) Yuseke Yuremeshi, whom, has latent abilities but whom is still wet behind the ears……always gets to defeat the biggest/baddest bad guy while his team mates, whom have been demons far longer, put in eons of blood, tears and sweat, whom are both far more worthy, time and time again ends up taking on seconds.

    (Willow) where not only is the ‘old, wizened,and ‘powerful’ sage has been living in humiliating exile but as an animal, which the main baddie transformed her into. If that isn’t bad enough, she has another dual with the wicked sorcerous who transformed her and forced her into exile,…..and gets her butt kicked in a wand duel-turned catfight. Knocked unconscious, it is the upstart who finally saves her, from possibly an even more humiliating fate.

    (Harry Potter) Voldemort vs Dumbledore
    Now Dumbledore did fine…..but this fight was just fought to a stand still…..and I was even more dissapointed once I, not a reader of Potter books, learned about the ‘Elder Wand’ and whomever bears it is nearly invincible, so now I find that Dumbledore had the ‘aid’ of the Elder Wand, a ‘trump card’, a ‘cheat sheet’. So now the question would be ‘would Dumbledore had fared any better without the wand??’

    In the Matrix…..only ‘The One’ not Morbius, or his other knowlegeable/capable mentors, can stop the big baddie.

    When are we going to get a story where these annoying tropes are finally turned on their heads, where the aged mentor or the more capable, more deserving and powerful ‘mentor-team mate’ gets the spotlight which they deserve??

    • Ciscostudent561

      Good stuff. My only hole I can pick in your argument is in many cases like “Neo”, the upstart has a ton of more innate ability so it’s believable. It’s like the athlete who wasn’t born with elite athleticism being passed on by the elite athlete born with off the incredible talent. Happens all the time.

  • Diane Perry

    Hi, Greg – after responding to your reply, I clicked to read other things you’ve written and saw this article. I share this with Star Wars fans of every stripe.


  • vangpo


  • Netties_Kid

    Ultimately Obi-Wan ran and hid too. Neither he nor Yoda is a shining example of fighting for one’s beliefs and safeguarding one’s loved ones. Funny enough, that would be Anakin/Darth Vader.

    • Touche! Based on Episode IV, you’re right… though I will give Kenobi more credit for hiding on a planet where he could be found versus random swamp planet #15. Anakin was all warrior though, and even moreso if we go off of what was said about hi during the Clone Wars period prior to Episode III. Thanks for you comment.

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