Study Guide

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Yoda (Frank Oz)

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Yoda (Frank Oz)

Oh, Yoda. After Return of the Jedi, we thought we'd never see you again, yet here you are: so wise, so tiny and green, and so backwards in your syntax. How we missed you.

Considering we last saw Yoda dying in a swamp hut, we've clearly got some catching up to do with the Jedi, and that's the role Yoda and his fellow Jedi play in The Phantom Menace. Whereas before we only had brief snippets of backstory, now we can see what the Jedi were like before the rise of the Empire (and their near extermination at the hands of the Emperor's cronies).

Yoda sits on the ruling body of the Jedi, called the Jedi Council. The council consists of the Jedi Masters, and they make all the decisions for the Jedi Order. They decide which Jedi Knights perform what peacekeeping tasks, who can be promoted up the ranks, and which wannabe Padawans get their training lightsaber.

The Jedi Council shows us what Obi-Wan meant in A New Hope when he said the Jedi were the guardians of peace in the Old Republic. Valorum requests their services for ambassadors in the blockade negotiations, and they use their resources to protect the galaxy from potential dangers, such as the resurgence of the Sith.

They also foreshadow Anakin's fate of becoming Darth Vader. Yoda sense "much fear in [him]" and portends "grave danger" in his training. Despite these misgivings, they agree to let Anakin train as a Jedi.

Wow, hindsight's 20/20.

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