The Early Life of Master Yoda
Yoda was born in the year 896 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) on an unknown planet. Not much is known about Yoda’s life as a youngling or padawan learner. However, we do know that Yoda was training Jedi by the age of 100, meaning he must have progressed through Jedi training at a rapid pace. This demonstrates that even from a young age, Yoda possessed extraordinary sensitivity to the Force.
Yoda’s Age During the Events of the Prequel Trilogy
The prequel trilogy is set between 32 BBY and 19 BBY. During The Phantom Menace in 32 BBY, Yoda was about 864 years old. He was nearing 900 years old by the time of Attack of the Clones in 22 BBY. By Revenge of the Sith in 19 BBY, Yoda was approximately 877 years old. So Yoda was alive for the entirety of the prequel trilogy era, training young Jedi and serving on the Jedi High Council. He had reached the advanced age of nearly 900 years old but still possessed his full mental and physical faculties.
Yoda During the Original Trilogy Era
When the events of the original Star Wars film begin in 0 BBY (the Battle of Yavin being the reference point), Yoda is living in exile on Dagobah at the age of about 896 years old. Luke Skywalker meets Yoda on Dagobah in 3 ABY, when Yoda is around 899 years old. Soon after starting to train Luke, Yoda dies of old age in 4 ABY at the estimated age of 900 years old.
The Significance of Yoda Living to 900 Years Old
For most species, living to the age of 900 would be extraordinary. But for Yoda’s mysterious species, living to 900 years is typical. In legends and canon, there are a few key facts that highlight the significance of Yoda’s long lifespan:
- Yoda’s species ages at a different biological rate, allowing much longer lifespans.
- At age 100, Yoda was considered ready to train Jedi, indicating he had reached young adulthood.
- By age 900, Yoda was elderly and dying of natural causes, but still very capable and wise.
- Other members of Yoda’s species, such as Yaddle, also lived around 700-900 years.
So for Yoda’s species, living approximately 900 years is normal. Their bodies and minds age differently from humans and most humanoid species. Their lengthy lifespans allow them to develop wisdom over centuries of experience.
Yoda’s Species Lifespan Compared to Humans
To better understand just how long Yoda lived, it is illustrative to scale his lifespan against that of a human:
|Yoda (in human years)
|Dying of old age
|Over 100 years
As this table illustrates, 100 years for Yoda’s species is like 18-25 years for a human. And 900 years for Yoda is equivalent to well over 100 years for a human, an exceptionally long life.
Yoda’s Life Span as a Jedi Master
Not only did Yoda live an exceptionally long life, but he had an extraordinarily long career as a revered Jedi Master on the High Council:
- Trained Jedi for over 800 years, from age 100 to 900.
- Served on Jedi Council for centuries, acquiring exceptional wisdom.
- Played a pivotal role from the last decades of the Republic through the reign of the Empire.
- Taught generations of padawan learners the ways of the Force.
Very few Jedi Masters in galactic history ever achieved the centuries of continuous service to the Jedi Order that Grand Master Yoda did. His life spanned eras from the Republic to the Empire and Rebellion. For over 800 years he trained Jedi Knights and served the Republic. Yoda’s longevity allowed him to gain insights into the Force and wisdom that few others could match. He played a pivotal role in galactic history for centuries.
Notable Events Yoda Witnessed
To put Yoda’s exceptionally long life in perspective, he witnessed some of the most notable events in galactic history firsthand over his 900 years:
- The Stark Hyperspace War (44 BBY)
- The Invasion of Naboo (32 BBY)
- The Clone Wars (22-19 BBY)
- The Great Jedi Purge and rise of the Empire (19 BBY)
- The Galactic Civil War and fall of the Empire (0-4 ABY)
Very few individuals in galactic history can claim to have witnessed such pivotal events spanning nearly a millennium. Yoda’s longevity gave him an unprecedented perspective on the galaxy.
In conclusion, Master Yoda lived to the exceptionally long lifespan of around 900 years. For his mysterious alien species, this was a normal lifespan, though Yoda’s wisdom and Force capabilities were unmatched. When scaled to human aging, Yoda’s 900 years would be the equivalent of living well over 100 years. This allowed Yoda to serve the Jedi Order for over 800 years and play a pivotal role in galactic history from the Republic to the Empire. So while 900 years may seem extraordinary compared to humans, for the wise Jedi Master Yoda, it represented a full life rich with experience and insight into the Force.