The Star Wars saga is populated with tons of unforgettable characters, from heroes and villains like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader to supporting players like Boba Fett and Admiral Ackbar. However, by far one of the most popular characters is Yoda. The backwards-talking Jedi Master (voiced by Frank Oz) has been a mainstay of the series — appearing in five of the seven films to date — and very well may return for Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII. However, perhaps one of the character’s biggest trademarks has been his memorable words of wisdom. Taking into account his role throughout the saga as the deepest authority on the Force, we look back at some of his best quotes
6. “Twilight is upon me, and soon, night must fall. That is the way of things. The way of the Force.” – Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi
When Luke returns to Dagobah to complete his Jedi training with Yoda, he discovers that his diminutive master has grown ill. Luke’s insistence that Yoda cannot die prompts him to school Yoda in the fact that even the most powerful Jedi cannot escape death’s cold grasp. It’s a powerful moment that underscores Yoda’s status as an enduring mentor for generations of Jedi and his unyielding faith in its will. Moreover, it’s a hard lesson in the cyclical nature of life, a theme present throughout all three Star Wars trilogies.
5. “The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun the Clone War has.” – Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones
By the time the final moments of this middle chapter in the prequel trilogy roll around, the Republic is gearing up for war. Yet, such an epic galactic conflict doesn’t truly feel real until Jedi Master Yoda proclaims it himself. The manner in which he corrects Obi-Wan’s mention of victory conveys his own despair at the violence that lay ahead. Plus, his naming of the “clone war” hits home the realization of an event longtime fans have wondered about ever since its brief mention in A New Hope.
4. “Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force… Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” – Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith
Revenge of the Sith is by far the most underrated of the Star Wars films, a tale colored by an overwhelming sense of dread. However, it is this brief scene — in which Anakin attempts to turn to Yoda for guidance — that cements the dark path that will lead him to betray the Jedi Order. Yoda advises Anakin against attachment and to accept that death is inevitable, something that Anakin simply cannot do. It’s a chilling moment where Anakin’s needs and the dogma of the Jedi come into direct conflict, spelling doom for the Republic at large.
3. “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace
Another Anakin/Yoda scene, this one marks their first meeting during a session of the Jedi Council. While the puppet initially used to bring Yoda to life (as seen in the above clip) leaves much to be desired, the character’s sentiment rings remarkably true to Anakin’s arc over the course of the prequel trilogy. Ever the wise Jedi Master, Yoda essentially maps out the path that will lead to Anakin’s fall, calling out his fear of losing those he loves and cautioning him that such thoughts will lead him to suffer. Good call, Yoda. Good call.
2. “Size matters not… For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.” – Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back
Yoda’s debut appearance in this middle chapter of the original trilogy still stands as his most spiritually and philosophically satisfying. In an effort to get Luke to open his mind to the possibilities of the Force, Yoda lays out the underlying connection between all living things and ultimately proves his power by lifting Luke’s X-wing out of the swamp with the Force. As his young Padawan looks on in disbelief, Yoda explains that it is precisely this lack of faith in the Force that is holding him back.
1. “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back
Of course, this iconic line tops our list. Yoda’s most oft-quoted bit of dialogue has endured for a reason. Its spirit of confidence and determination serves as the perfect mantra for anything fans hope to accomplish in their lives, and in the context of the film itself, it expertly sets up the moment that lands in our runner-up slot. Powerful and wise, Yoda knows that all one needs is the will to succeed to make it so. In just a few seconds, a seemingly throwaway line inspired generations to pursue their own dreams.
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