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Star Wars Finally Confirms Something We Suspected All Along

Over four decades have passed since George Lucas first took movie lovers to a galaxy far, far away for his operatic sci-fi opus Star Wars, and though recent additions to the franchise have proven divisive at best (see both the sequel trilogy and Lucas' own prequel films), the franchise continues to surprise, delight, and inspire fans of every generation. Those films also continue to inspire heated debate among fans, with Star Wars buffs ranking among the most fevered and knowledgeable in film history.

It's no surprise, then, that Star Wars creatives have continued fill narrative gaps and saga plotholes over the years. For a certain legion of fans, however, there remained a burning question regarding the Skywalker Saga that seemed to seriously undermine narrative continuity between Lucas' prequel films and the middle film of the original trilogy.

That film is 1980's landmark sequel Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, which is obviously best known for its iconic, rug-pulling twist about Luke Skywalker's lineage. It's also where fans got their first glimpse of franchise favorite Yoda. The Jedi master was introduced when Luke (Mark Hamill) set off to Dagobah to continue his training in the ways of the Force, doing so with his fateful droid R2-D2 in tow. After crash landing into a swamp, the duo meet a kooky old creature who turns out to be the wise old Jedi they are searching for. 

The problem, as some fans see it, is that Yoda doesn't seem to recognize the droid in the moment, which is odd because they definitely shared time fighting a common enemy in the Clone Wars of the prequels. Per a recently published book, however, it's finally been confirmed that Yoda actually did recognize R2-D2. 

Yes, Yoda actually recognized R2-D2 in The Empire Strikes Back

Said confirmation came in the recently published anthology From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back. Released in celebration of The Empire Strikes Back's 40th anniversary, From a Certain Point of View is essentially a retelling of the film's events as seen through the eyes of secondary characters. And yes, one of those stories, "The First Lesson" by Jim Zub, finds Yoda recounting his first meeting with the now-adult Luke Skywalker (having witnessed his birth in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith)

That meeting is initially played for laughs in The Empire Strikes Back, of course, with Yoda putting on the "crazy old alien" ruse to test the mettle of his would-be pupil. As seen through Yoda's eyes in this excerpt, the moment unfolds much differently, with the cunning Jedi watching Luke from afar before acknowledging he knew well the droid by young Skywalker's side. 

"Carefully moving through the swamp while staying beneath the fog, Yoda soon spotted the boy and his droid unpacking their supplies," Zub writes. "Even though the droid was caked with algae, dirt, and stomach fluid, its appearance and familiar blips were still quite recognizable. R2-D2. Of course the boy had Anakin's old droid with him. Such cycles of fate no longer surprised the nine-hundred-year-old Jedi."

So it seems Yoda's ruse indeed included not acknowledging R2, which puts to rest one of the more debated plot-holes in Star Wars lore. But those last two sentences are particularly astute too, with Yoda humbly recognizing the dramatic turns of fate that brought R2-D2 and Luke Skywalker together so many years after the droid had served the boy's father.  

Now, where's the book that explains why R2-D2 didn't fess up to serving the elder Skywalker after learning he'd become Darth Vader?