1. George Lucas opted to have many details of Yoda's life history remain unknown. His race and home world have not been named in any media, canonical or otherwise, and he is merely said to be of a "species unknown". From what knowledge we do have we can gather that 'Grand Jedi Master Yoda' is among the oldest and most powerful known Jedi Masters in the whole Star Wars universe, and that during 800 years he has had a hand in training almost every Jedi, including many of the most powerful Jedi such as Count Dooku, who is identified in Attack of the Clones as Yoda's old Padawan Learner.
2. When it came to developing the character, Yoda's name was chosen because it is the Sanskrit word for 'warrior'. Although most hardcore Star Wars fans will be able to tell you that in George Lucas' early treatment he originally went by the name of 'Minch' (which is in fact still officially his first name - Minch Yoda).
3. One of the early plans to bring Yoda to the screen was for him to be played by a trained monkey wearing a mask and carrying a cane. No, honestly...
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: (No joke) The Empire team initially hired a trainer and a MONKEY to hold a cane & play YODA. pic.twitter.com/tQPt5Jebqp
— will mccrabb (@mccrabb_will) November 18, 2013
4. After the move was made to switch from primate to puppet, make-up artist Stuart Freeborn based Yoda's face on his own face and partly on Albert Einstein's, particularly his "wise eyes".
5. Yoda's iconic manner of speech has the parts of speech in Object Subject Verb order. Very few languages on Earth use this, and most of the ones that do are based in the Amazon river basin.
6. George Lucas was so impressed by Frank Oz's performance as Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back that he spent thousands of dollars on an advertising campaign to try and get him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The campaign ultimately failed because the Academy felt that a puppeteer wasn't an actor.
7. Although Frank Oz provided Yoda's voice in all the Star Wars movies (to date), for the radio dramatisations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Yoda was voiced by John Lithgow! I challenge you not to laugh as Lithgow screams "Ohhhh! Don't shoot!"...
8. In some of the walking shots of Yoda featured in The Empire Strikes Back you're not actual seeing the puppet, instead Deep Roy doubles as Yoda. A similar technique was used for The Phantom Menace, this time it was Warwick Davis posing as Yoda.
EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: DEEP ROY wears a YODA costume for the one long shot of the Jedi Master walking. pic.twitter.com/Sft8mWkXOI @natmetcalfe
— Mick Heim (@TheNickHelm) December 4, 2013
9. Originally, Yoda was only going to appear in one single Star Wars movie - The Empire Strikes Back. George Lucas' first draft of, what would become, Return of the Jedi did not include Yoda at all. But during pre-production of Episode VI Lucas consulted with a child psychologist who advised him that unless it was unequivocally stated that Darth Vader was Luke's father, moviegoers age 12 and under would dismiss Vader's claim to be Luke's father as a lie. So Yoda was added when Lucas determined him the best character to properly confirm to Luke as to whether Vader was his father or not.
10. And finally, there is a species of ocean-dwelling acorn worm that lives a full mile below the surface, which is called Yoda Purpurata, named specifically after Yoda. The scientists who discovered it named it so because its floppy appendages reminded them of Yoda’s ears...
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