Yoda’s Darkest Murder Reveals a Huge Flaw in His Jedi Philosophy


There is not a single character in Star Wars who embodies the ideals of the Jedi better than Yoda. But back in 2004, these ideals were tested in a one-off comic book “Legends” starring a Jedi master. War is a mess, and when Yoda tries to negotiate with an old friend who wants to secede from the Republic, it leads to his darkest murder, which in turn leaves holes in his Jedi philosophy.

“Star Wars: Jedi — Yoda” is part of the canon of “Legend” and tells about the main general of the Republic, who is directly involved in a war that has already claimed countless lives. The comic tells the untold story of Yoda’s journey to the planet Sustra, where the forces of the Republic are fighting with the native of the planet Sefi. There, Yoda tries to diplomatically convince his friend Alaric, the ruler of the planet, not to leave the Republic.

While Yoda is sorting things out with Alaric, readers learn that the Republic and Tustra are riddled with corruption, and in the end Yoda and his accompanying padawan are captured. Yoda’s fans are well aware of his laissez-faire philosophy; he is more than capable of taking a direct hand, but he would prefer Force to determine the course of events. Unfortunately, Padawan Cal does not appreciate this and argues with the wise Jedi because of his inaction. Many would side with Cal, arguing that Yoda’s philosophy holds back the Jedi, and when things eventually get worse, it’s hard to disagree. Under the aegis of Yoda, Cal is killed, the Republic is tricked into attacking, and Alaric forces his old friend to kill him, ensuring that the influential planet will continue to fight for independence. The problem comes from writer Jeremy Barlow and artist HOON.

The amazing thing is that, although Yoda supposedly leads all the forces of the Republic, he takes the position of an adviser, not a general, so in the end everyone goes against his “advice”. He also doesn’t want to make difficult choices. His initial diplomatic response is commendable, but Alaric quickly makes it clear that nothing will change his decision by imprisoning the Jedi who came to him of their own free will. Although this is Alaric’s son, who then leads to tragedy, Yoda takes almost no action, preferring to remain in captivity and giving the Republic the impression that he was killed. Similarly, the impulsive Cal is very direct in his intentions, but although Yoda warns him not to act rashly, he ends up chasing the padawan to his death like a ghost instead of using his power. Yoda clearly hopes that everyone will behave in a balanced and careful manner, but when they decide to do otherwise, he looks at it with passive regret.

Cal even points it out as he takes his last breath. “It’s all your fault. If you had taken the king when you had the chance…” There are so many things that could have been changed if they weren’t just “if.” If Yoda had pulled out his lightsaber, Cal wouldn’t have died. If Yoda had been firm with Alaric instead of giving up, Alaric might have survived to see the fallacy of his path. But instead, Yoda failed to act and caused two deaths that could otherwise have been prevented. “Star Wars” confirmed that Yoda was a warrior during the time of the Supreme Republic, but by this point in his life he had adopted a more passive way of thinking.

Yoda is a truly wise and kind being, but in Star Wars: Jedi—Yoda, he is so passive that his only meaningful action is to get him to finally kill his old friend and turn him into a martyr. Laissez-faire may work, but the conflict on Sustra proves that when others are actively working to the detriment, they will get what they want if they are not properly countered. Yoda’s influence on the Jedi ultimately led to disaster, and this dark chapter in the history of “Star Wars” shows how poorly his ideals are suited to fighting enemies (and allies) who actually want conflict.