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The Worst Things Yoda Has Ever Done

Who doesn't love Yoda? He's a little green mystical guru who rides around in a hover chair, beats robots with sticks, and offers their human pals soup. Oh yeah, and he's most likely the strongest Force user in the galaxy — a seasoned general, war hero, and font of wisdom whose serene visage and quotes litter many an inspirational website, workspace, and tattoos. Of the many creatures created for Star Wars, Yoda is unique in that neither his species nor his home planet have ever been revealed — and the fans aren't even mad about it.

But, like a lot of stuff related to Star Wars, once you dig deeper into the movies and broader canon, you start to realize stuff you might not have noticed at first — like that this miniature Jedi master can be kind of a huge jerk. Here's a look back at the worst things Yoda has ever done.

Yoda the quitter

One of the biggest controversies sparked among Star Wars fans by the prequel trilogy was its depiction of Yoda as a highly accomplished fighter, not just a wise old Jedi Master. But even fans who preferred the more sedate version of the little guy had to admit that Yoda's battle with Emperor Palpatine during Revenge of the Sith made for one of the most emotionally charged sequences in the prequels. On the other hand, the end of it all is unbelievably lame.

Having realized that they're evenly matched and he can't really win, Yoda makes an escape. But rather than making any sort of heroic last stand, Yoda simply says, "Into exile I must go. Failed, I have." For a guy who's supposed to be one of the most powerful wielders of the Force, that's pretty cowardly. Surely, even with all the self-doubt Yoda had to be feeling, he could've come up with a better idea than jaunting off to a swamp for a few decades?

Keeping Sith secrets

In the sixth season Clone Wars episode "The Lost One," Yoda, Mace Windu and Obi-Wan discover what happened to Sifo-Dyas, the Jedi Master who ordered the Clone Army's creation in Attack of the Clones. The episode shows that decades ago, while on a mission, Sifo-Dyas' ship was shot down by a crime syndicate paid by Count Dooku (then already a Sith). Dooku then impersonated Sifo-Dyas and ordered the creation of the clones. Faced with the obvious question of why an enemy (who used to be his own Padawan) would build an army for his opponent, Yoda decides that the only course of action is to "play his game."

Except that definitely isn't all they could've done. Exposing this betrayal could've resulted in the withdrawal of the Clone Army, the discovery of the inhibitor chip that enabled Order 66, and a better way out of the Clone Wars. Uncovering your enemy's plans, then re-covering them, is a pretty stupid thing to do.

A suicide mission

While there hasn't been much focus on Yoda in the new Star Wars canon outside of his traditional role, the old Expanded Universe/Legends continuity saw him take the spotlight a few times. Case in point: Sean Stewart's 2004 novel Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. In that book, set toward the end of the Clone Wars, Yoda receives a message from Count Dooku that he wants to sue for peace on the planet Vjun.

Despite knowing it's a trap, Yoda opts to meet Dooku, taking a pair of Knights and Padawans along with him. That's shortsighted at best, inconsiderate and foolish at worst. To make matters worse, Vjun itself turns out to be, per the Wookieepedia's description, "steeped in evil." Oh, and to cover for this meeting,  the Jedi hire an actor famous for his Yoda impression to go on a very public mission as Yoda elsewhere...and his ship gets blown up.

The Jedi, everyone! Guardians of peace and justice!

A push to the Dark Side

In Revenge of the Sith, as part of the final salvo of his plan, Chancellor Palpatine appointed Anakin as his special liaison to the Jedi High Council. Annoyed, but needing someone to spy on Palpatine for them, the Council agreed — but didn't grant Anakin the rank of Master, a first in the history of the Council.

Even with the rising Dark Side clouding his vision, Yoda could've seen that Anakin was at a breaking point. He was clearly being pulled apart by many things: his love for Padme, his anxiety over being a father, and whatever Palpatine and the Dark Side were awakening within him. Even if Yoda didn't know the details of Anakin's increasingly unbalanced private life, it was obvious that he was in crisis — and allowing the Council to make him a Master might have stalled his fall. In any event, it's awfully petty. And aren't Jedi above such things?

He almost mind-wiped someone

In the 1980s, the main source for Star Wars lore were the comics and the role-playing sourcebooks for West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. One of these sourcebooks revealed one of the worst things Yoda ever contemplated doing.

During his exile on Dagobah, Yoda was unexpectedly found by Rebel Alliance historian Arhul Hextrophon, who'd learned his whereabouts through digging in archival records. Playing up that he was a senile hermit at first (as he did to Luke when he first met him), Yoda eventually admitted the truth to Arhul and stated he'd wipe his mind because his existence being revealed could potentially endanger the whole galaxy. He relented when Arhul protested, admitting that it was "not the Jedi way" to cause pain to others. It's kinda hard to buy that someone's the greatest Jedi in the galaxy when they contemplate a Force lobotomy just because someone threatens to give away their secret hiding place.

Brave Sir Yoda ran away

While a deleted Revenge of the Sith scene showed Yoda simply arriving on Dagobah toward the end of the film and getting down to some good old-fashioned hermit living, the Extended Universe/Legends canon took a different tack. The Databank – what the official Star Wars website had as an encyclopedia before replacing it in 2011 — revealed Yoda stowed away on a famine relief barge that dropped out of hyperspace near Dagobah and shot off in an escape pod undetected. Setting aside the jerk move of using a relief ship as personal transport when he could've helped its recipients in secret, this also meant Yoda hid himself away from the Knights he led and who saw him as a hero during the Great Jedi Purge. It wouldn't have been easy to move around in secret bringing hope and keeping the Jedi alive, but Yoda should at least have tried. Other Jedi did, so why not the greatest one?

He hung Ahsoka out to dry

 In The Phantom Menace, one of Yoda's concerns about accepting Anakin Skywalker into the Jedi Order is that he's not only too old, but also too attached to his mother. Nevertheless, Obi-Wan is allowed to train Anakin.

The wider Star Wars canon saw Yoda still concerned about Anakin's tendency to become emotionally attached to people against all Jedi tradition. And in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie, Yoda evidently decided the best way to combat such a tendency was...by giving the still-Padawan a Padawan of his own in Ahsoka Tano, hoping that her eventual ascendancy to Jedi Knighthood would cure Anakin of this tendency. But why? There's no evidence that Anakin would accept Ahsoka leaving him just because he was told to.

Ahsoka is a seriously great character. But things might've been better for her if she'd had Plo Koon as her Master. And speaking of Ahsoka...

Doing Ahsoka wrong, part 2

Ahsoka mostly took Yoda's orders during the Clone Wars, but the final arc of the show's fifth season saw them at cross purposes. When the Jedi Temple was bombed, Anakin and Ahsoka were called to investigate. Although Ahsoka had nothing to do with the bomb, the true culprit, her friend and fellow Padawan Barriss Offee framed her for murder to draw suspicion away. After escaping and being recaptured, Ahsoka was expelled from the Jedi Order by the Council.

Except, as Yoda admitted at one point in the storyline, his ability to commune with the Force had become clouded due to the war. If that's the case, why was he put in charge of such a monumental decision? Given that Padme — as far from a Jedi as you can get — quickly deduced that Ahsoka couldn't have committed the crime, Yoda's fateful inability to see the truth should've, at the very least, led him to recuse himself.

Terrible at hide and seek

At the end of Revenge of the Sith, realizing that Anakin's twin children were strong in the Force, Yoda, Obi-Wan and Bail Organa determined it was best to split them up and hide them away. But while Bail opted to take the risk of raising Leia as his own daughter, Yoda decided that the best place to hide Luke was on...the same desert planet his dad had been found on by the Jedi in the first place. While it's true raising Luke among simple farmers was a smart move, Tattooine was the planet of Anakin's birth — even if he never seemed like the most sentimental guy as Darth Vader, the risk of him ending up back there for one reason or another should have been enough to convince Yoda to send the kid elsewhere.

Withholding crucial information

As The Last Jedi explicitly states, the Jedi Order was shortsighted and foolish in its last days. There's a quick exchange in Attack of the Clones that underscores this. After Obi-Wan tells them about the ready-and-waiting clone army, Yoda gravely intones to Mace Windu, "Blind we are, if creation of this clone army, we could not see."

"I think it is time," Mace replies, "we informed the Senate that our ability to use the Force has diminished." To which Yoda, in a damning decision for the ages, replies, "Only the Dark Lords of the Sith know of our weakness. If informed, the Senate is, multiply our enemies will." Admittedly, there's a lot of truth to that. Still, at the bare minimum, just confiding in a trusted Republic general or two would have allowed for a shift in tactics and maybe could've allowed for a reorientation of how they fought the war.