Yoda has been a fan favourite Star Wars character since his first appearance in 1980. After hearing about a great Jedi master earlier in the film, audiences were surprised to learn that the small, old creature was actually the great Jedi master Obi-Wan had mentioned earlier in the film (a twist that would quickly be surpassed by an even bigger twist later in the movie).
Yoda’s character has retained an air of mystery even as the Star Wars universe has grown over the years. We still don’t know what Yoda’s homeworld is called, or even what species he belongs to. Only a few other members of his species have appeared in all the years since, including Yaddle as well as Grogu in the recent Mandalorian TV series. One of the few things we do know about this enigmatic species is that they appear to have extremely long life spans.
When we first met Grogu in The Mandalorian (then simply The Child), we were told he was 50 years old, despite the fact that he was clearly still a very young child. Yoda has also made several references to living for hundreds of years throughout the series. But, in Return of the Jedi, how old was Yoda when he died?
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How old was Yoda in Episode VI?
Yoda makes several references to the length of his life in the original trilogy. The first is when Luke first meets Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda claims to have been training Jedi for 800 years. The second time Yoda mentions his long life is in Return of the Jedi, when he tells Luke, “When you reach 900 years old, you will not look as good as you will.” If we take Yoda at his word, that means the Jedi Master died at the ripe old age of 900. Of course, Yoda could have been rounding when he mentioned either of these two numbers.
It’s worth mentioning that looking deeper into Yoda and his few references to his age reveals some interesting tidbits of information. After all, if Yoda is 900 years old by the time we see him in the original trilogy, and he’s trained Jedi for 800 years by that point, we can assume that he began training his first Jedi when he was around 100 years old. If Grogu is in fact 50 years old, then he is already halfway to being old enough to start training Jedi himself.
Of course, we don’t know how Yoda’s species ages, and we don’t have enough comparisons to know if Yoda himself is an especially gifted member of his species or not. But hopefully, this means that if we end up getting 50 seasons of The Mandalorian, by the time the show is over, we’ll get to meet Grogu’s first padawan!
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