• Aaron Fonseca

Star Wars Anatomy: The 5 Weirdest Things About Yoda's Body

For all that Jedi Master Yoda is one of the most familiar characters in all of the long history of Star Wars, he's also one weird little guy. The mystery of his origins has been maintained for over forty years, and even The Mandalorian's introduction of the galaxy's cutest orphan has been cagey about who or what these people really are. There's still no species name, and the number of canon representatives remains at three.

With Yaddle introduced in the prequels, there's enough to suggest that there's a fairly normal male and female dynamic, but that's about it for the hard facts about where Yoda came from. What fans do have are some of the weird quirks and physical oddities that outline what little is known. Here are the five weirdest things about Yoda's body.

Yoda Has Bird Feet


Yoda's feet has caused controversy in the Star Wars fandom for years, and all because nobody made up their mind for years. It's only in The Phantom Menace that he seems to have three front toes and a rounded heel. Action figures, absurdly, show three to five toes depending on the toy run. The 2006 New Essential Guide to Alien Species backed up the five-toe assertion, though there's still no primary source to confirm that. But for the bulk of his on-screen appearances, including his onscreen debut in The Empire Strikes Back, Master Yoda appears to have anisodactyl feet -- three toes in the front and one in the back, like a bird of prey.

It's a fact backed up in 2010 by Lucasfilm exec Leland Chee, who works with Pablo Hidalgo to ensure canon consistency. In Issue 122 of Star Wars Insider, Chee definitively answered the question of Yoda's toes for the Ask Lobot column. Not much else about Yoda suggests a bird, but his toes come straight from nature.


Yoda Loves His Gimer Stick


There's a theory that Yoda's kept his favorite walking stick by his side for centuries because it has mind-altering or meditative properties, but there's not much to confirm that. It's a signature item for the Jedi Master, though. The gimer bush is a common plant, native to several worlds. And according to The Star Wars: Complete Visual Dictionary edited by Pablo Hidalgo and David Reynolds, the stick was a gift to Yoda from the Wookies, as Kashykk is one of the worlds where the gimer thrives.


2015's Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know is a goofy take on some of the most obscure trivia in the franchise. But it's a mostly canon resource, and it's the primary source to claim that the stick could be nibbled on for painkiller purposes. It's possible Yoda is arthritic, especially once he's exiled himself to the humid swamps of Dagobah, and the stick is his helper in more ways than one.


Yoda Looks Like Einstein


British makeup artist Stuart Freeborn passed away in 2013, but for Star Wars fans, his legacy will be immortal. One of many who brought Yoda to life, Freeborn had a picture of Albert Einstein on the wall of his office while he worked on Yoda's concepts. According to an interview with effects artist Nick Maley, Yoda began to incorporate the visual elements of Einstein's famous face into the character's latest designs. The folds around the eyes and nose are similar, and, despite Yoda's more button nose, the similarities between the wise pair continue into the narrow mouth and the jawline.


Why Does Yoda Talk This Way?


There are two big theories about the way Yoda speaks. One suggests it's a deliberate affectation, a method to make his students listen closely to what he's saying instead of letting them glaze over when the old Jedi homilies are studied. And it's a theory that gets a one-off but poignant mention in the Star Wars Legends novel Fate of the Jedi: Backlash.

The other possibility is supported by Grogu's lack of verbalization during The Mandalorian. A fifty-year-old toddler who can so far only emote his concepts through Force communion suggests that an adult, speaking Grogu may wind up talking the same way he and Yoda perceive the Force. Yoda's language is outlined by linguists as "object-subject-verb," and it's rare to hear in the real world. But it makes sense if he learned to feel his way through the Force long before he learned to speak out loud.


Why Are Yoda's Teeth Sharp?


It's clearest in The Clone Wars animated series, but there's something unnerving about Yoda's teeth. They're pointy and wide-gapped, suggesting the potential for sharklike, but definitely carnivorous behavior. It's a trait that's also visible in the otherwise cuddly Grogu, who has teeny little shark nippers and can down a whole frog in a gulp. That's a deliberate choice from Jon Favreau, who wanted to make sure Grogu wasn't so cute he became strictly a comedy affair.

Yoda's teeth are seen clearly during his time training Luke Skywalker on Dagobah. Thrashing around briefly shows off those gnarly gnashers, and it's a jarring sight.



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