Dave Filoni Reveals Why Yoda Speaks Backwards

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Master Yoda on Dagobah

Credit: Lucasfilm

After Tales of the Jedi was released with Master Yaddle speaking like an average person, fans were confused, so Dave Filoni clarified why Yoda is so unique.

Dooku looking at a tree with Yaddle behind him
Credit: Lucasfilm

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In Episode 4: “The Sith Lord,” Master Yaddle struggles to decide which side she is on as she sees her friend Dooku and the Jedi Council slowly distancing away from each other. After Qui-Gon’s death, Dooku goes to the Dark Side, which is why Yaddle (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard) tries to reason with him.

Yoda has always spoken in riddles and confused those who listened to them, but Filoni shared that there was quite a lot of time spent thinking about how to represent Yaddle compared to Yoda. It was a big decision because sooner or later, Grogu would speak, and Filoni’s decision would determine how “Baby Yoda” would talk in The Mandalorian.

The Child in Mandalorian
Credit: Lucasfilm

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In an interview with Nerdist, Filoni revealed that he had to ask Howard to come and voice Yaddle and promised that it wouldn’t be a long commitment as he had to kill the character off — Yaddle was gone from the Jedi Order by the start of Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002):

“Bryce is a big fan of what we’ve done in animation over the years. I’d love to get her to direct something in animation. She loves Star Wars, she knows the world well. We’ve been in it together now for a while. I always see that first season of Mando with Bryce, Rick [Famuyiwa], Deb [Chow], and Taika [Waititi]—we were all working so much together simultaneously, and we have a first year bond. So, we’re always seeing each other and showing each other stuff. And I started working on these, and I thought, ‘Hey, you should do the voice of Yaddle. It’d be really fun. It’s not like a massive commitment, obviously, because I’ve got to kill her…’”

Dooku fighting Yaddle
Credit: Lucasfilm

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This led to Howard going all in on voicing the role, which led to them having long conversations about whether or not Yaddle would say things backward and made his decision based on what he remembered Frank Oz sharing his thoughts on Yoda a few years earlier:

 “Does she speak backwards? I’m like, ‘No, I don’t think so. I think that’s a Yoda thing. Frank Oz told me once that Yoda speaks that way specifically in honor of his own master. That was what he had thought about it. I try to keep moving forward [with] these thoughts. And Bryce on her own made a great Yaddle.”

Yaddle talking to Dooku and Palpatine
Credit: Lucasfilm

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This led Filoni to keep Yoda to only speak backwards because his master did, which makes sense for several reasons. His master could’ve spoken in riddles based on their species or the common language several centuries earlier spoke like that, leaving Yoda to speak like everyone else.

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Star Wars may be about a galaxy far, far away, but it’s full of amazing stories and characters. Fortunately, those stories continue to be made as Lucasfilm promises to tell character-driven stories in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor, Ahsoka, The Acolyte, and of course, The Mandalorian. While the Disney+ series has become the new norm for Star Wars, Taika Waititi is making a movie, and of course, Patty Jenkin’s Rogue Squadron is in the works.

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