Dear Walt Disney,
I’m writing to you specifically because, according to ridiculous urban legends, you still have some sway over the company that bears your name. At least enough sway to convince them to keep the emergency generator running to your refrigerator under the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World.
A rumor has been bouncing around the internet recently that Yoda, the little green muppet who’s appeared in six of the existing eight main series “Star Wars” movies, will be making a return in the last film in the current ongoing trilogy.
Apparently, according to the New York Daily News of all places:
“The success of the scenes featuring Yoda in The Last Jedi were huge. Yoda will again appear as a ghost as he acknowledges Rey’s success and growth as a Jedi. The scenes are due to be put together later this year.”
Now, I want to make it clear that I don’t for a second believe this rumor to be true. Or, at least, I don’t trust the news source. Even if the creative team at Lucasfilm intend to put Yoda into the movie, I can’t imagine this piece of trivia would have been leaked at this time.
That said, it is probably fair to assume that JJ Abrams, the master of copying other people’s good ideas, might be very keen to bring Yoda back – unless he can, instead, give all the character’s lines to the orange female Yoda that he came up with for “The Force Awakens”.
Please, Mr Disney, or whatever actual representative of your company that might be reading this, do not put Yoda in “Episode IX”.
We do not need more Yoda. I’d argue that the Yoda we got in “The Last Jedi” was superfluous enough as it was.
The Problem With Nostalgia
I am, unashamedly, not a fan of any of the new Disney “Star Wars” movies. I haven’t unashamedly enjoyed a new “Star Wars” since I was fifteen, in large part because the original trilogy of films are just so important to me that I can’t turn off my brain during these movies.
One thing I will say, though, is that of all the “Star Wars” movies that have been made under Disney’s rule, “The Last Jedi” is by far the most culturally important. It’s long, boring, and its moralizing is confused and often contradicts itself, but it sparked genuine discussion among the fan community, where “The Force Awakens” has languished in mediocrity.
The main problem with “The Force Awakens” is that it’s so unbelievably generic. It relies far too heavily on familiar plot beats, character archetypes, and existing visuals. Even some new characters, like Maz Kanata, end up falling into “Star Wars” clichés.
It’s clear that Yoda only shows up for “The Last Jedi” to give the fanboys a moment of euphoria.
“Look! Luke is talking to a puppet again! My childhood is validated!”
Nothing is added to the story; we merely have to pause for a moment to watch an uncomfortably off-model Yoda doll whack Mark Hamill with a stick.
Put Your Behind in Your Past
So what’s the big deal with bringing the character back for “Episode IX”?
Well, I think it somewhat contradicts the message of “The Last Jedi”. The whole point of that movie is that the characters must move on, and build their own new thing, rather than relying on the trappings of the past.
Luke’s dead. Han’s dead. Leia’s probably either dead or mysteriously absent from the script of the final movie due to a real life tragedy that I’m still not fully at peace with.
Rey, Finn, and a very charismatic/mutinous Poe (delete as appropriate) are forced to create their own new Resistance; their own Jedi order. Rey has a few books to guide her, but otherwise, she’s on her own, and that’s supposed to be a good thing.
Having Yoda show up to offer pearls of wisdom undermines the whole saga. How can we feel that Rey’s is struggling (and then succeeding) on her own if she’s getting advice from the same Jedi that failed to beat Darth Sidious over half a century ago?
Like or hate “The Last Jedi”, the “Star Wars” franchise is finally in a place where it can grow, free from the trappings of awkward nostalgia. Personally I’d have preferred if Luke’s character arc from the Original Trilogy hadn’t been completely undermined in order to get us here, but hey, what can you do?
So please, Mr Disney, don’t let childish fanboy compliments cloud your judgements. Yoda shouldn’t appear in “Episode IX”.
Instead, if you must bring back a familiar face from previous movies, give us what we all really want.
The new Disney “Star Wars” movies have been sorely lacking in appearances from Dexter Jettster.
An entitled fanboy who needs to stop whining so much.