Debate has raged for years with respect to which Star Wars character has the most tragic story. Even we weighed in with our list of the top five most tragic characters in the franchise. In hindsight, however, we might have been too quick to enumerate our choices. In making the determination, most fans (including us) focus on the personal effects each character faced. However, tragedy takes many forms. When you get right down to it, perhaps the most tragic Star Wars character is not Leia, after all. There’s a strong argument that the dubious honor belongs not to her, but to Yoda.
When 900 years old you reach, the greater the likelihood you will have made plenty of mistakes along the way. Despite being one of the oldest and wisest Jedi in the entire Jedi Order, Yoda nonetheless still erred in his ways. Unfortunately, for the Jedi Order and for the galaxy, two of his errors were most egregious. Ultimately, a series of Yoda’s mistakes led to the Clone Wars, the Jedi Order’s collapse, and even the rise of the Empire. As Star Wars tragedy goes, it’s hard to beat that.
Yoda failures may be the most tragic in Star Wars
It really boils down to two errors in judgment in particular that highlight the Jedi Master’s failure. First, Yoda dismissed another Jedi’s premonitions about the return and rise of the Sith. Jedi Master Lene Kostana’s primary mission was to learn about the Sith so as to prepare the Jedi Order for the Sith’s return. Yet, when she informed Yoda of her vision of the darkness returning much sooner than later, he recommended that the Jedi Council take no action on Kostana’s prophesizing. Had he taken her more seriously, perhaps the galaxy’s fate would have followed a different path.
When another revelation of dire consequence came to light, however, Yoda still didn’t heed the warnings it brought. Thanks to Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi knew that the clone army, supposedly commissioned by long-dead Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, was created under suspect circumstances at best. Still, Yoda and the Council accepted and activated the clone army on behalf of the Republic. Even worse, as the Clone Wars raged on, they learned Sifo-Dyas’s true fate. And yet, Yoda still, inexplicably ignores the dangers of the army they’ve employed and covers the matter up. The decision was meant to conceal their knowledge from the enemy…. And we all know how that turned out.
Was Luke Skywalker his redemption?
Having so many years to contemplate his failures on Dagobah, it’s no surprise Yoda was initially reluctant to train Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back. Thankfully, he did. With Luke’s help, the Alliance ultimately, finally, defeated the Empire that the aged Jedi Master helped to create.
What do you think? Were Yoda’s failures more, or less, tragic than others in Star Wars?
(Thanks to CBR for the inspiration)