“There is no try”: The wisest quotes from our mentor, dear old Yoda
“Do or do not, there is no try.” This is one of many pearls of wisdom from our favorite little green Jedi master. Since his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda (Frank Oz) has captured our hearts as a mysterious, whimsical, and wise old master.
Yoda is over 900 years old when Luke Skywalker first meets him. Yoda is in hiding in the Dagobah system so Darth Vader and the Empire can’t find him. From the time Luke crashes his ship into the swampy planet that’s Yoda’s home, we’re treated to classic Yoda quotes galore. Here are some of our favorites.
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Sometimes, learning is like that. We can’t be right all the time, nor can we learn the right thing every time. Yoda drops this quote when he’s teaching Luke how to raise his sunken ship out of the swamp with The Force. Luke thinks it’s impossible, but Yoda tells him otherwise.
“So certain are you?”
Yoda also drops this quote in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke laments that he can never get his ship out of the mire. Yoda challenges Luke to rethink his assumptions.
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?”
In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke makes a comment about Yoda’s size. Amused and a little miffed, Yoda throws this quote at Luke. If you’ve watched the prequels, you know that although Yoda is little, he is fierce.
“The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the light, the future is.”
From Attack of the Clones, Yoda says this in response to not being able to sense who is behind the unraveling Clone Wars. In-universe, the Dark Side is clouding the Jedi’s minds. In the real world, Yoda’s quote reminds us that we can’t always anticipate what’s up ahead.
“Named must be your fear before banish it you can.”
While this Yoda quote isn’t from the films, it appears in the Star Wars novelizations. It’s still a great reminder from our favorite Jedi master that in order to solve a problem, you have to acknowledge what it is.
“The greatest teacher, failure is.”
A Yoda quote from the sequel trilogy, Yoda imparts this wisdom on Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, who wonders where he went wrong when training Ben Solo/Kylo Ren. Yoda comes back in Force-Ghost to remind Luke that as a teacher, he’s not perfect and he shouldn’t blame himself this much for Ben’s turn to the dark side.
“Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.”
Yoda says this quote twice, once in the original trilogy and once in the prequels. In the original trilogy, he’s pointing out that he can’t see how Luke’s upcoming battle with Darth Vader will go. In the prequels, it’s a callback to the original and referencing the uncertainty Yoda feels. It’s a big reminder that we can never 100% predict the future.
“Wars not make one great.”
This is one of the first gems we hear from Yoda. This quote comes from the first conversation Luke Skywalker has with the Jedi master. Luke proclaims he’s looking for a great warrior. Laughing, Yoda replies with this pearl of wisdom. Someone’s greatness doesn’t come from the destruction they leave, rather, the strength of their own spirit.
“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”
As Yoda explains the light side of The Force to Luke, he describes it as creation. The Force is the cosmic energy in Star Wars that gives life and is the reason that we’re more than flesh and bones. In our world, this Yoda quote can reaffirm that we matter.
“In the end, cowards are those who follow the dark side.”
Yoda declares this after Asajj Ventress’ escape in The Clone Wars to Count Dooku’s hologram. The Yoda quote shows that good people take accountability and don’t run from their problems.