WATCH: What George Lucas Revealed About Yoda’s Species & Origin


With the introduction of Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian, fans are still wondering about the history of Yoda’s species in the Star Wars universe. What is his species’ name? Where are they from? Do they all have a special relationship with the Force? George Lucas once addressed some questions about Yoda’s background and what he envisioned when he created the first trilogy.

Yoda is a powerful Jedi master whose race has never been discussed and is still one of the biggest mysteries in the Star Wars universe. They’re supposedly very rare, their true name was never recorded in official Star Wars lore, and many have a strong connection to the Force. The name of their homeworld also isn’t known.

Lucas Revealed He Created Yoda After Deciding to Kill Obi-Wan Kenobi

Lucas sat down with Hayden Christensen and answered questions from fans about the Star Wars universe in 2005. One of those questions centered around Yoda’s species.


Lucas said:

The truth about Yoda is, that, in the original movie, Obi-Wan went to the very end of the film, and Yoda didn’t exist. As I got through starting to shoot the movie…I realized when I came to the end battle that Obi-Wan had nothing to do but sit around and watch the battle like Princess Leia. And then in the next film, he basically sat around and taught Luke how to use the Force and things. I felt that his character had become so strongly — Alec Guiness had presented it — that I really couldn’t do that. He was too noble. So I had to kill him off.

So when I killed him off, I had to replace him, when I got to the second movie. And I could do certain things by having him come back as a ghost from the Force, because I had decided to kill him off in a metaphysical way rather than a physical way… But I couldn’t do everything. We needed a physical body there to do things. And so I needed something, and I created Yoda, who was two feet tall, large, with green ears. But to be really honest with you, I never really figured out where he came from, what his species is called. He doesn’t even have a name. Maybe it’s somewhere, but I don’t know what it is. So he’s a mystery character. He’s a magical character. He has no background. He comes and goes. He’s the subversive, secret, mysterious stranger that enters the film and then exits at the end.

With so many people after Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian, we can assume that the species is pretty scarce. Star Wars Fandom notes that Yoda’s species resembles the Lannik species and Yoda has, in fact, been mistaken for that species. It’s not known if they’re related (although it’s unlikely.)

What else do we know?

What We Know About Yoda’s Species

We know that Yodas’ species can live a long time and ages slowly. Yoda has said that he trained Jedi for more than 800 years. He was about 900 when he died in Return of the Jedi.

Stars Wars Fandom notes that other known members of Yoda’s species include Vandar Tokare (on the Jedi Council of Dantooine) and Oteg, who served in the Cold War. There’s also Minch, who served the Jedi Order in 700 BBY. And of course, there’s Yaddle, the only other member of Yoda’s species who was seen on screen.

The information about Yoda’s species is scarce. But that makes it all the more intriguing. Although Lucas didn’t have plans for Yoda’s species back during the first trilogy, there are surely plans now. Just knowing that Baby Yoda is 50 years old, which puts him being born in the same year as Anakin, points to an intriguing backstory we have yet to learn.

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