Tue
Feb 5 2013 6:00pm

How Should We Feel About a Stand-Alone Yoda Star Wars Movie?

Update: The news of stand-alone Star Wars films has now been confirmed by CEO Bob Inger in an interview on CNBC.

News is coming today from Harry Knowles at Ain’t it Cool that, in addition to the Star Wars sequel trilogy, stand-alone character-centric Star Wars films are also in the works. Knowles is claiming the first of these stand-alone movies will focus on Yoda, with other character-specific movies to follow. No source is being specifically cited and even aside from that the news seems a little weird, seeing as a project like this would likely head into potential prequel territory, a sensibility the now Disney-owned Lucasfilm probably wants to avoid. What could this mean? Do we want this?

If a Yoda movie did tell the story of Yoda’s entire life, we might be dealing with some kind of weird biopic like Lincoln or Ray. Perhaps this movie would reveal the real story of Yoda’s life and why he made so many wacky decisions on the Jedi Council. Maybe he was addicted to a Star Wars space drug—like spice or death sticks—and actually wrote up all those prophecies about “balance to the force” when he was blasted out of his mind. In this scenario, a film called Yoda: A Life would also show that the Jedi Master had known Chewbacca for several, several years before Revenge of the Sith, and the Wookie was in fact his dealer. Also, Yoda once did talk normally, but after centuries of hitting the space drugs too hard he became a total weirdo. Maybe he didn’t even used to be green. You don’t know!

I’m kidding here, but the point is the desire to reveal things about Yoda, could easily ruin the character. Meanwhile, other articles are suggesting this Yoda movie might make way for a stand-alone Boba Fett movie, to which I say: the Boba Fett backstory has been messed up enough already, right? Let’s try to remember him at his best: when he was just an awesome cool guy with the slick helmet tricked-out jetpack, and very few lines of dialogue. This would be a similar challenge with Yoda. Sure we love him, but maybe we don’t want to know much more about than we already do.

While it seems possible these stand-alone movies could happen, I think it’s unlikely and Lucasfilm would be better off developing a sitcom about Dexter Jettster called You Wanna Cup of Jawa Juice?


Ryan Britt is a staff writer for Tor.com and worries everyone is getting delusions of grandeur.

31 comments
Tesh
1. Tesh
I blame the Jedi Council for a lot of the ills in the SW universe. I am curious how much of that is Yoda's fault. And hey, more Yoda lightsaber pinball can't be all bad.
Chris Nelly
2. Aeryl
The dude was 900 years old there is plenty to learn about him that doesn't even have to touch characters alive in the prequels.

If he is as awesome and badass as they made him for his solo episode in the first season of The Clone Wars, I'm in.
Tesh
3. Jeff R.
The fact that Lucas embargoed anything about Yoda's background or species (if he has one; if that's not what any humanoid Jedi ends up looking like when 900 years they have lived) in the entire EU created a really strange negative space in them. (The ban is so strong that, once you start thinking about it, the strange incuriosity of every character in the universe on that matter becomes really weird whenever their thoughts come anywhere near remembering the guy.) So just not having that strange hole in the DisnEU will probably be an improvement...
Alan Brown
4. AlanBrown
Shouldn't the title be: "About a Stand-Alone Yoda Star Wars Movie, How Feel We Should?"
Chris Nelly
5. Aeryl
My understanding that Lucas embargoed everything about the Before New Hope time period, and there is a mention in one of the Zahn books that Luke looked for what species Yoda was but could never learn.

Knights of the Old Republic video game made use of an NPC that was the same species as Yoda, but that was set 1o,ooo BNH so there was little it could do to conflict with the story Lucas wanted to tell in the prequels.

There was a comment here on another article, that posited we could get a gamut of new SW movies, made by all different directors, filling in the gaps of the story. This speculation could be the first step in that direction.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
6. AlirozTheConfused
In the second book of Thrawn
Proceeds the quote from Zahn
"Luke thought about that. It was possible, he knew. Yoda had certainly had a long life- a good 900 years- and as a general rule, smaller species usually had shorter life spans than larger ones. But usually didn't mean always; and after many hours of record searches, Luke still hadn't figured out just what species Yoda had belonged to."
Other Alias
7. ghostcrab311
Well, as I have pondered the whole Anakin turns to the dark side story line, Yoda is more of a villain than a hero (run the Jedi council for 800 years, and whine about Palpatine's length of term????). At the very least, he is utterly incompetent and inexcusably ignorant of human psychology, being in large part, the one responsible for destroying Anakin's life. (Yay for head canon that rejects the fall of Anakin!!! :D)

Without ranting more about Yoda, I have to say that I would be actively disinterested in learning more about him as a character.

Of course, my opinion on the matter is that every single major character needs to be put on the shelf for a very, very long time. The EU books are prime examples of how easy it is for Skywalker-fatigue to set in.

We need a fresh start. Millions of inhabited worlds, millions of potential force users, Jedi, soldiers, whatever - the universe is incredibly rich with untapped potential, and it would be a shame to see it squandered on more of what we already have.
Chris Nelly
8. Aeryl
I like your head canon, though I don't remember anything about Yoda being on the Council THAT long. But I completely hold the Jedi Council culpable in Anakin's fall. Everyone was so busy not trusting each other, they missed the threats.

Revenge of the Sith is nothing but a train wreck of tragedies. Because the Council was suspicious of Palpatine, they took out their mistrust on Anakin refusing to make him a Jedi Master. Anakin's jealousy of Obi Wan prevented him from turning to him for help. Windu's mistrust of Anakin caused him to turn down his help when apprehending Palpatine, when Anakin was the one thing that would have helped him succeed. Yoda was blinded by hubris. And I believe there is enough evidence, from the ADF novelization and the movie, to believe that Obi Wan knew the technique to bring back the recently dead, the very technique Anakin was desperate to learn from Palpatine that prompted his betrayal.
Tesh
9. Lsana
@8,

I can't see RotS as a tragedy of failing to trust: pretty much everyone who mistrusted someone else was right to do so (Anakin wasn't ready to be a master, and he would have been conflicted enough that it's hard to say how his presence would have affected the fight with Palpatine). I do, however, see it as a utter failure on Yoda's part. He is facing a powerful but emotionally somewhat unstable Jedi, and that Jedi has just shared his fears that he has had a prophetic dream that someone he loves is in danger. Yoda should say:

A) "Tell me more, you must. Look into this I will. Help you, I will try. But remember you should that self-fulfilling this prophesy may be. Procede with caution we must."

B) "Eh, people die. Get over it, kid."

After that, could Yoda really be surprised that Anakin decided to seek help elsewhere?

\offTopic
Tesh
10. jere7my
Aeryl, we already saw another Yoda-type in actual film canon: Yaddle, on the Jedi Council in Episode I.

I would recommend forgetting about the Zahn books (and the rest of the Expanded Universe). The upcoming films might draw inspiration from them, but Lucas has never shown any interest in maintaining continuity with the endless stream of novels and video games. I expect Disney to follow his lead (thank the Maker).
Chris Nelly
13. Aeryl
Lsana, I don't disagree that Anakin wasn't ready to be a Master, but in that case they shouldn't have acquisced to Palpatine by putting him on, all it did was create sour grapes.

And regardless of whether Anakin would have been focused on the fight, Palpatine would have held back because HE didn't want to kill Anakin.

That's actually the one thing I can't fault Yoda for, Anakin's whole problem was refusing to accept loss, but loss is a part of life, so if he was ever to grow, he had to learn to accept it. Did Yoda go about it the right way? Likely not, but the fault still lies with Anakin for being an entitled brat who thinks the universe should work the way he wants it to.

I always say Anakin turning to Palpatine more because he felt shunned and distrusted by the council, when at the beginning of Sith Anakin himself had done nothing wrong(leaving aside his actions on Tatooine). They refused to make him a Master as a snub to Palpatine, which was exactly what he wanted when he "appointed" Anakin to the council, to make the rift between Anakin and the council worse. That move was so immature and petty and it blew up in their face.

The Council's hidebound acceptance of old traditions and refusal to adapt to the future led them to play right into Palpatine's hands, and in many ways the destruction of the Council was necessary to bring balance to the Force, IMO, which is why in many ways Qui-Gon was not wrong, not matter what Obi-Wan felt about it.
Tesh
14. RobertX
The first three (last three) movies are a train wreck. There are so many failures of plot that it isn't even funny.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
15. Lisamarie
I beleive in the novelization for RotS, even Yoda thinks to himself that they had gone the wrong way witht he Jedi Council in keeping it so cloistered and forbidding any kind of attachment.

Definitely agree that the Jedi Council was not perfect and contributed to Anakin's fall (although, of course Anakin is still ultimately responsible and had is own issues with loss and possesiveness) - and Palpatine knew that and played them all like a fiddle.

Although...to be honest, a Yoda movie doesn't really intrigue me all that much, I agree that I'd rather see some movies that go in other directions or maybe cover some more minor characters (for example, I love the Rogue Squadron books) or things only briefly mentioned that add flavor to the universe.
Bryan Cogswell
16. shmoo
When $4 billion dollars you make -- care about your fan base -- you will not.
Tesh
17. Quentinkweek
Why does the interwebs seem to think it owns everything? I'm sure on some level we are more involved in the creation process than ever before because of our hightened connectivity, but still, the entertainment industry is not a democracy. Why can't we just try to appreciate the creative's offering "as is" without expectation or judgment? If you criticize a painting, the art community is like "Well you really don't seem to understand this piece." Why is that not true for movies? They're an expression, and expressions can't be wrong.
Dave Thompson
18. DKT
I love the idea of standalone films that aren't directly connected to the main episodes. I don't mind them being connected to characters in those episodes (or having those characters make cameo appearances, etc.) but I would really prefer the new stories (and specifically, the standalone films) to be about new characters in this very big galaxy.

Yoda in a cameo role? Sure, that's fine. Yoda, as the main character of a film, does nothing to interest me. (And I'm one of the people very optimistic about what JJ Abrams and Michael Arndt are cooking up.)

With all that said, I'm pretty sure nobody from Disney or Lucasfilm has actually stated that any of these standalone films will center around Yoda. Only that there will be standalone films.
Tesh
19. XenaCatolica
"NOOOOOOOOoooooooo!"
Ryan Britt
20. ryancbritt
@17 Because we do!
Um, I think Star Wars is one of those things in the science fiction/fan/geek/whatever world that is WAY beyond any objectivity. For whatever reason, a lot of us are interested in Star Wars on an unhealthy level .

For me, I think Star Wars is like that really great relationship we had in college/high school. And we should have probably left it at the break-up, but NOOOOOO we got back together with that person (Star Wars), and now we're constantly fighting! Because really, it was over in college. Our excuse is this: "Hey, Star Wars keeps showing up at my house! Or, "At this point, Star Wars has been around for so long that its like common law marriage. What can I do?"

None of these situations sounds like we're making rational choices, right? How can I write a rational article in an irrational relationship?
Tesh
21. Flocus Studios
Would LOVE for Star Wars to be in a comic!! :D I recently made a reivew on Star Wars as well! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk7zvAzFxQY
Alan Brown
22. AlanBrown
Ahem...Star Wars has appeared in comic form for years, first in Marvel Comics, and more recently in Dark Horse Comics.

Myself, I love the idea of standalone films, but lets not just revisit the same characters, and especially not explore their backstories (backstories are like backsides, because most are better left unseen). Instead, lets explore other corners of the Star Wars universe.
Other Alias
23. ghostcrab311
#13 Aeryl,

Re: "Likely not, but the fault still lies with Anakin for being an entitled brat who thinks the universe should work the way he wants it to."

A couple of things to remember: Anakin was raised a powerless slave on Tattooine, immersed in Hutt culture. Then at 8 years old, some strangers came, bought him, and took him away from his mother. Yes, to a better life, but still, an 8 year old losing a parent like that is nothing short of traumatic. Particularly when every lesson he ever heard at the temple was to let her go and stop being attached to her (whether explicitly stated or not). Pile on the shame for the perfectly human response of missing one's mother, how about.

The Jedi council did nothing for his mother, leaving her in slavery on a Hutt controlled world. No messages, no visits, not even setting her up in safety somewhere.

Raised as a Hutt slave, taken from his mother and denied contact with her, told that loving her was morally wrong and unworthy of a Jedi, and then treated with contempt and suspicion by most of the Jedi council, who then proceeded to lie to him and manipulate him as ruthlessly as Palpatine did, in order to preserve their own political power? Oh right, and he's also the Chosen One, destined to bring peace to the galaxy. No pressure there.

Seriously, the first 8 years of his life alone would need in depth counselling to overcome, never mind what happened afterwards. I am not and will never be of the opinion that what happened in ROTS was Anakin's choice. There are too many prior events that crippled his ability to choose freely. Never mind Sith mind control techniques that may or may not have been used.

That's how I see Anakin, anyway. (Hence my head canon that gives him a happy ending and does away with episodes 4-6. :D)
Chris Nelly
24. Aeryl
Let me start by stating that the fact that 4-6 are the ones you wish didn't exist makes me giggle.

I completely agree with you about his past and trauma, but he's had years to come to terms with these things. Did the council help? No, and that's why they are culpable. But by all indications Obi-Wan was a caring and attentive mentor, who tried to get Anakin to deal with this. Did he know the right thing to do, probably not, he himself had likely been within the Jedi order since early childhood and honestly couldn't relate to Anakin's pain.

Also his behavior after his mother's death should have been a huge warning to himself that he needed to face his issues with loss head on, instead of trying to cheat death so he never has to. Don't forget that just a few days later he demonstrates the ability to reason, by choosing that pursuing Dooku was more important than rescuing Padme, though he wasn't happy about it. He is still culpable for refusing to grow up, he still had the ability to choose to value the lives of others over the lives of those he loved. Regardless of how traumatized he was, he was capable of reason*, and he reasoned that what he wanted was more important than the lives of those who trusted him, and the security of the entire galaxy.

*It seems to me that you may be stating that he was so crippled by his traumas that he was incapable of reason, which I don't believe, see AotC reference above. Also, while it's never stated onscreen, if the Jedi Council didn't allow Force sensitives to remain outside the purview of the council, they sure as hell had a way of dealing with people who were not mentally or emotionally capable of being Jedi(like the Tranquil in Dragon Age). Anakin had apparently demonstrated all the necessary reasoning capacity to be a Jedi, he just reasoned immorally when it came to his desires vs the needs of others.
Tesh
25. killbot
I hate to pull the Godwin card, but I've been reading your comments and I have to say it sounds like no matter what Yoda tried to do to appease Anakin, he would have become Vader no matter what. He was that person, he was never going to have some great awakening. Were incompetent decisions made by Yoda? Sure, but I think they would be judged as incometent either way...its Star Wars, obviously no one could stand in the way of what was going to happen, and maybe Yoda knew that. A New Hope refers to Yoda's hope to end what had started.

Also, its difficult to acknowledge writing errors and character flaws in the prequels without placing judgment on the original films.

Out.
Matt London
26. MattLondon
Obviously the Han Solo movie is the one they're going to shoot first.
Tesh
27. SamuelChoy
As long as they don't make Yoda sing, I'll be happy.
Other Alias
28. ghostcrab311
"Let me start by stating that the fact that 4-6 are the ones you wish didn't exist makes me giggle."

:D The Clone Wars TV series did that, rather than the prequel movies.

"he's had years to come to terms with these things"

Well, there are things that you just aren't going to come to terms with on your own, especially when your community is giving the exact opposite of the advice you need. Childhood trauma certainly falls into that category.

"Also his behavior after his mother's death should have been a huge warning to himself that he needed to face his issues with loss head on, instead of trying to cheat death so he never has to."

Yes, should have been, but again, he's been specifically instructed NOT to face his issues. He is just supposed to stop caring entirely. That plus the social pressure to be the hero, to live up to his reputation as a prodigy, the fact that as a general, he is used to causing death on a huge scale on a regular basis. Perfect recipe for concealing his crimes.

"He is still culpable for refusing to grow up, he still had the ability to choose to value the lives of others over the lives of those he loved."

It wasn't about refusal to grow up, it was about being betrayed by every single person in a position of authority over him, with the sole exception of Obi-Wan.

"they sure as hell had a way of dealing with people who were not mentally or emotionally capable of being Jedi"

Like Dooku, Pong Krell, Depa Billaba, and others....... ;) Seems to me that the Jedi kept their heads in the sand when it came to the possibility of going rogue.

And the whole reason argument seems flawed to me. Many otherwise reasonable people have done extreme things in the right set of circumstances.

Now, had Yoda brought Anakin's mother to Coruscant, made exceptions in an already exceptional case, he probably would have been fine. Had Windu treated Anakin with less contempt and suspicion, things might have turned out differently. Had the Jedi Council been less hypocritically attached to their own political power, and not used Anakin as pawn in their games, things might have turned out differently. If Yoda had listened to Anakin when he talked about his visions instead of blowing him off with a stupid platitude about not mourning loved ones who die but celebrating their death instead, things might have been different.

Anakin's whole life was one of loss and utter powerlessness. You can't always just pull yourself up by the bootstraps, sorry to say. It could have all turned out differently, with even one, single different approach at one of the key points in his life. Just one.

Anakin certainly made choices and bears some responsibility, but my point is that those choices were heavily constrained by events entirely out of his control. The balance of failure is most certainly owned by Yoda and the Council.

Afraid we just might have to agree to disagree on this one. :)
Chris Nelly
29. Aeryl
Like I said I don't disagree with you when it comes to the culpability of the council, I completely agree with you about how Anakin had been betrayed. I'm one of the few hardcore fans of the originals who defends the prequels because of how tragic the final act is.

But the final arbiter of Anakin's actions is always going to be Anakin, IMO.
Alan Brown
30. AlanBrown
Good one, MattLondon! That made me chuckle.
Chris Nelly
31. Aeryl
@ MattLondon & AlanBrown, Oh shit I didn't even catch that. Too Funny!
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
32. Lisamarie
@29 - I have to agree with you, overall. On Anakin and the prequels (although some of their flaws are a little more glaring to me with age).

@26 - awesome :D
Tesh
33. David Clary
Difficult to read the script will be. Challenge the actors it will. Wonder, do I, if Galactic Common the aliens will speak, or subtitles under original languages will they have .

Speculated on future Star Wars films, did I. Blogged about it, eh? Hmm. Yes. I did. I did.

http://davidwclary.com/the-six-star-wars-movies-disney-will-make.aspx

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