Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.
When it comes to the ancient and wise Master Yoda, what’s not to love? Whether he’s in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, the battlefield of Geonosis, or the swamps of Dagobah, Yoda warms the heart and anchors Star Wars fans young and old to an unflinching foundation of light. He serves as a guide to our heroes across the timeline, from pre-Episode I all the way to his recent appearances in Rebels and the Last Jedi. With his idiosyncratic speech pattern to his almost-menacing grin as seen in his introduction in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda is just weird enough to keep us on our toes. We come to Yoda to be inspired, to be challenged, to be nurtured. Yoda is as iconic as Star Wars itself.
Informed fans know that the magic that makes Yoda is a remarkable combination of the stars truly aligning. He is a product of George Lucas’s visionary mind, Ralph McQuarrie’s original sketches, Stuart Freeborn’s masterful molding (not to mention his face which was used for the sculpt!), Frank Oz’s legendary puppeteering and vocal performance, Mark Hamill’s spectacular ability to commit to the performance on the Dagobah stage that made us all truly believe that Yoda lived, and last but not least the love and imagination of millions of fans and creators across almost four decades that have made the character endure the test of time. Yoda is complex in the most wonderful ways. Clone Wars explored his leadership, fallibility, and darker corners. And still now there is so much we don’t know about his origins! He has been remarkably underutilized in Star Wars publishing, which leads us to believe that the future is bright for Yoda fans. The films barely scratch the surface with such a rich character. Here are some of his highlights across the publishing landscape, showing off his commitment to his Jedi students, his mischievous side seen only briefly in Empire, and, of course, many wonderful inspiring words of wisdom.
This is a story arc in the ongoing Marvel Star Wars series written by Jason Aaron with art by Salvador Larroca, in which Luke finds himself in the middle of a conflict intertwined with an adventure of Yoda from long ago. Stranded in his X-Wing, Luke reads a story from the journal of Ben Kenobi about a time that Master Yoda was on a mission to a planet with an apparent population entirely made up of children who wield a mysterious “stonepower.” To get to the heart of the mystery of the children and their obsession, Yoda must delve deep into the heart of the mountain. The story pays off in the present timeline as Luke must take his knowledge of Yoda’s mission to defeat the great evil unveiled in Yoda’s journey.
Yoda’s Secret War was first published as Star Wars #s 26–30 in 2017.
Yoda, Grand Master of the Jedi Order, carries the weight of the Clone Wars on his shoulders. When his former Padawan and leader of the Separatist movement, Count Dooku, reaches out and asks to meet for a truce, that burden becomes heavier still. Knowing that Dooku is likely laying a trap, Yoda places the needs of the galaxy before his own and ventures forth to the mysterious world of Vjun to face his old apprentice for perhaps the final time.
Author Sean Stewart clearly loves Christopher Lee’s background in monster movies and writes Dooku as a sympathetic villain reminiscent of the golden age of Hammer Films. He both heightens Dooku as a villain and humanizes him as a sympathetic character through his exploration of the novel's central question: is Count Dooku redeemable?
Few know much about Count Dooku or his past that led him from the highest ranks of the Jedi Order to the knee of Darth Sidious. But when he charges his new assassin, Asajj Ventress, with her first mission, he also opens a window into his past. That past, riddled with dark prophecies and broken relationships is the key to Ventress understanding her new master…and his weaknesses.
Cavan Scott, bolstered by a whole host of voice actors, delivers one of the most engaging, immersive stories in all of the Expanded Universe with Dooku: Jedi Lost. This origin story enriches Dooku’s character so much that it even manages to elevate his on-screen appearances in the films.
A truly unique and heroic feat in Star Wars publishing, From a Certain Point of View is a compilation of forty short stories by more than forty incredible authors to retell the story of A New Hope in celebration of its fortieth anniversary. Not only did Del Rey assemble a massive team consisting of their catalog of regular Star Wars writers such as Chuck Wendig, John Jackson Miller, and Claudia Gray, they managed to rope in many award-winning authors to pen their first stories in a galaxy far, far away. Such authors include Ken Liu, Sabaa Tahir, Zoraida Córdova, and Rae Carson. All of the book’s authors donated their pay to First Book, a nonprofit dedicated to improving literacy.
The stories represent the points of view of many of the notable side characters from A New Hope, such as Wedge Antilles, Greedo, and Grand Moff Tarkin. But they don’t stop there. The book benefits from forty years of expanding the Star Wars universe, and as such many characters not originally in the original film provide perspective in creative ways–Lando Calrissian, Yoda, Breha Organa, and even Qui-Gon Jinn! It is a compilation not only of characters and authors, but also styles and tones. At times heartbreaking, hilarious, and head-scratching. Some stories will connect differently with different readers. It certainly has something for everyone and is a remarkable read.
This issue is a compilation of three separate stories about IG-88, Yoda, and X-Wing pilots Biggs and Porkins, written by Simon Spurrier, Marc Guggenheim, and Jon Adams, respectively.
IG-88’s story, “The Long Game,” is a rare chance to get a closer look at one of the iconic bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. We see him in action like never before, but we also get a chance to learn what makes him tick. Art by Caspar Wijngaard.
Yoda takes the spotlight in “The Trial of Dagobah.” We check in with the Jedi Master after Order 66 has forced him into seclusion.
“Stolen Valor” focuses specifically on Red Squadron pilots Biggs Darklighter and Jek Porkins as they attempt to take a day off from fighting the Galactic Empire. Art by Andrea Broccardo.
Every Star Wars movie has an accompanying novelization, but none so impressive as Revenge of the Sith. While it expertly tells the story of the film, it also manages to add to it in unexpected ways. Not only is it the best novelization, it’s a fantastic work of fiction in and of itself.
Matthew Stover outdoes himself in this novelization by painting Obi Wan, Anakin, and the rest of the Jedi as glorified super heroes in the eyes of the common man in the Star Wars universe. Somehow, this raises the stakes of one of the most intense episodes of the saga and makes Anakin’s ultimate fate even more impactful.
Jason Fry gets the honor of continuing Star Wars’s rich history with novel adaptation. In particular, his novelization shines in adding additional material to enhance the story in written form, such as Luke’s Force vision introduction and re-insterting deleted scenes from the film–even Rey’s third lesson! The novel allows us to get an inside look at certain characters such as BB-8 during the space battle over D’qar. Reading the novel of Episode Eight will allow you to soak up the story like never before, taking your time with the characters and getting the story from all-new perspectives.
Darth Sidious has expertly hidden his existence from the Jedi for many years. In Labyrinth of Evil, his elusiveness shines towards the end of the Clone Wars as his identity is being chased by Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.
While Anakin and Obi Wan are occupied with their intense mission, Count Dooku and General Grievous work on setting their master's next plans into motion. Author James Luceno uses this opportunity to offer us the backstories of these two villains before foreshadowing Anakin's fall to the dark side.