Friday, November 22, 2013

5 On 5 Roundtable: Yoda

By: Peter Miller

Once again we our proud to host the latest 5 on 5 roundtable, courtesy of our friends at Star Wars Geeks Of The World Unite! This week our 5 panelists gave their thoughts on 5 questions about the Grand master of the Jedi Order, Yoda.

Our panelists are:

David Gremillion - Author of two fan novels and host of the Star Wars Geeks Unite Podcast
Lizzi Kartay-Dod - Admin on the Star Wars Species Geeks, Unite and Star Wars Queen pages
Raymond Hess - Admin on the Star Wars Tech Geeks, Unite page
Robin Glader - Member of the Star Wars Geeks 'share for share' team
Andy Peachey - Admin for the Jedi Unite page

1. True or False: Yoda acts like a Sith in some ways...

David: False: I didn’t see Yoda chop someone’s head off for fun, Force Choke them for giggles, or try to rule the galaxy. I know I didn’t follow all that EU stuff, but I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen. He never ruled the Jedi Order with an Iron Fist, he didn’t even laugh maniacally. Still checking...nope, he didn’t kill a bunch of kids either.

Lzzi: False. For the most part. For me, Yoda is a very good, very pure, and almost childlike entity, despite his age and venerability... That is not to say, however, that he was not prone to dogma like the rest of the Jedi Council, especially near the end of the war. He allies himself completely with the light side, and let’s not forget his trademark line “Do or do not. There is no try.”, which is very much an extreme – something, according to Obi-Wan, only Sith deal in.

Raymond: False. It was Mace Windu that acted like a Sith at times, at least in his fighting skills. Yoda is always reiterating that the Jedi need to be careful that they don't do anything that would lead them over to the Dark side. In TPM, he said that, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” In AOTC, he made it clear with Count Dooku, that the Dark Side isn't all powerful. In ROTS, we see just how evil the Dark side is, and how Yoda is trying to halt the agenda of the Sith. In TESB, and ROTJ, he is still advocating the Light Side.

Robin: Definitely false. I don’t know who said that. Yoda is so idealist and stubborn about his beliefs that it almost makes him arrogant. In fact he kind of is. He never saw Palpatine's betrayal coming. Other Jedi like Pong Krell saw it clearly but he fell so I guess that means you have to embrace the dark side to see the truth. I don’t know but what I do know is that Yoda is as far from a Sith as you can get.

Andy: False. I’m assuming this is in reference to the “Only a Sith deals in absolutes” VS the “No! Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” philosophies. What I believe Yoda is saying with his philosophy to trying and doing, is he’s getting Luke to overcome hardships by attempting to change Luke’s approach to overcoming hardships; to put all of yourself or effort into achieving a particular goal, whereas Obi-Wan is telling Anakin that to see the universe in black and white with no grey, can be used as a way of self justification for doing evil things, which Yoda has certainly never done.

2. Fact or Fiction: Yoda has the best quotes EVER!!

David: Fact, outside of Malcolm Reynolds or Jack Burton, Yoda is a walking (limping) quote machine. 

Lizzi: Fiction. Very subjective. I think his quotes, in many ways, best exemplify what Star Wars, and the Force, really is, and are certainly some of the most quoted. That’s not to say that his lines AREN’T some of the best lines in the saga. For me, however, the best line is the often overlooked “You are going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view,” said not by Yoda, but by Obi-Wan in ROTJ.

Raymond: Meh, that's true and false. I mean, I love a lot of his quotes, like the ever famous, “Do or do not, there is no try.” one. But I can't say that he has the best quotes ever. Where would we be without the snazzy, “IT'S A TRAP!” by Admiral Ackbar? Alright, maybe not too snazzy, but it's still a good quote. And if you know me, then you know that my own catchphrase ("It's NOT a trap!") comes from Ackbar. And Starkiller, oh yes, he has some very nice quotes. But I won't get into those now.

Robin: Nope, Darth Vader does.

Andy: Easily fact. Though, my absolute favourite quote is one we never hear Yoda say in person. It’s from "The Clone Wars" movie, and is actually spoken by Ahsoka, when she asks Anakin what it means.

Ahsoka: “Master Yoda has a saying: Old sins cast long shadows. Do you...know what he means by that?”
Anakin: “It means your past can ruin your future if you allow it.”

3. What makes Yoda so different from other Jedi, and why?

David: This is (kind of) a two-part question. In the Original Trilogy, Yoda was different because…well…he was different in every way possible. Very short, pointy eared, green, talks weird, limps on a cane, is a little crazy, he’s the polar opposite of the only other Jedi we knew at the time (Obi-Wan). In the Prequels…he’s no different at all. He sits on the Council, slings around a saber, and…that’s just about it. You could sub in any other Master and nothing changes. Mace could duel Dooku, Plo Koon could lead the armies on Geonosis, Ki-Adi-Mundi could go to Kashyyyk.

Lizzi: Certainly his age – How many other Jedi are “900 years old"? And I think through that, comes his experience and wisdom. At the same time, though, he is not a hardened warrior or a strict elder, but a very kind and gentle, and as I said before, almost childlike soul. This is certainly seen through his interaction with the Younglings in AOTC, and, arguably, in ESB with Luke.

Raymond: You mean, asides from the fact that he's short, green, and talks funny? You do? Alright then, he's the Grand Jedi Master of the time, he actually fights more often then Mace Windu does, and his seat in the Jedi High Council room looks cushier then the rest. Other then that, I really cannot say...

Robin: He’s a bit wiser although as I said earlier, apparently not wise enough. And of course, he is little and green, talks backwards and jumps around a lot when he fights.

Andy: I think it’s his visual appearance to his character and the way he speaks. He encompasses the "Old Samurai Teacher" character with his philosophies towards life and The Force, but he’s also not infallible as we see during the Prequel era, which adds even more depth to his character in "The Empire Strikes Back" as we learn. He himself has had to unlearn what he had learned in his own exile.

4. What do you think inspired George Lucas to create Yoda?

David: Honestly, I’m not sure. The inspiration seemed to come from eastern philosophies, which Lucas subscribed to in Star Wars overall. The inspiration for the Yoda creature morphed and evolved over time. Some people believe that Stuart Freeborn modeled the final version of Yoda after himself...

Lizzi: From what I’ve read, he was inspired by Einstein and Ghandi, men renowned for ingenuity and intelligence, and wisdom and pacifism, respectively, and that certainly comes across in Yoda. I can’t say what inspired him, but it seems like Yoda, in the midst of all this chaos and war, is a single point or pillar of peace and light, and a memory of the old days. He dies on the eve of the Empire’s destruction, after which the new Republic and New Jedi Order are born, thus symbolically allowing the galaxy to be reborn.

Raymond: I honestly think it was for comical relief. I mean, here's a short, green dude that used to be a Grand Jedi Master, hiding out in a swamp, playing games with Luke. I don't know about you, but I literally laughed out loud while watching that scene. I also think it was because he wanted someone different, not just another human, (of which we see plenty of in Star Wars); someone really unique. He's also pretty much the only person in the Star Wars movies, (Asides from Jar-Jar) that can't speak right. Not that I don't like the way that he speaks, mind you.

Robin: Well I don’t think I know that George Lucas has said that he’s the fairytale archetype of “The strange Frog at the side of the road that gives the hero advice on his journey.” I think the design can be entirely credited to Ralph Mcquarrie, Stuart Freeborn and those guys who contributed to his creation.

Andy: I think it was just to have a different character to Obi-Wan that was not originally meant to die in the original film, but when it came to a sequel, there was no one to carry on Luke’s training, and so they needed a character that was very different to Obi-Wan in appearance and character.

5. Why was Yoda blind to Sidious' Grand Plan?

David: Mostly because the Prequels wouldn’t work if the Jedi exercised an ounce of common sense. However, the best answer might be because there were so many distractions going on all at once. Anakin, the war, the Republic, the clones, training younglings, there was a lot for Yoda to keep track of. With so much going on, Yoda was pulled off-world, and away from Palpatine, more than he should have.-69

Lizzi: I want to say it was for the same reason as the rest of the Jedi: they became arrogant in their ways. They relied entirely on the Light Side, and frowned upon anything that even looked like the Dark Side. Ironically, they deal in an extreme, with no grey area. It’s possible that, because of this, they did not know what or who to look for. Furthermore, let’s not forget they ended up becoming tools of the Republic whom they were sworn to serve and protect. This, I believe, would have certainly distracted them, if not outright blinded them.

Raymond: I think it was because the Jedi were distracted by the war that was currently waging through the galaxy. And the fact that ol' Palpy was good at concealing the fact that he was one with the Force. And since there were other Sith out there, such as Dooku, Maul, Savage and Ventress, Yoda probably thought that those were the only Sith left.

Robin: As I said, I think it was because he was too focused on his ideals and that made him narrow minded. Maybe if he opened himself up to the Living Force like Qui-Gon he could have seen through the shroud of the Dark Side and the future.

Andy: Going into the Prequel era with the foreknowledge of the Original movies, it seems pretty obvious what Sidious was up to, but when you put yourself in the Jedi’s shoes without that foreknowledge, Sidious’s plan was nothing short of a downright genius. He created the perfect trap for the Jedi in the Clone Wars, along with casting the shroud of the Dark Side to blind the Jedi when sensing the future. To me, it’s no surprise that Yoda didn’t see what was coming.

Brought to you by the Star Wars Geeks Of The World Unite, this feature was. Explore their various pages and groups, you should.


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