Inspired by the hit series The Mandalorian, which is about to air its second season as of this writing, I’ve begun to wonder whether Yoda lied about his age.
The Child, “Baby Yoda” to most people, is stated as being 50 years old in the first season of the show. Those who run across him – unfamiliar with his species – suppose that he’s just from a long-lived race.
“Of course,” we think. “Yoda was 900 in Return of the Jedi.”
But there’s a catch here. Presuming the rate of growth stays the same as it did in the first 50 years, which we don’t know for sure, Yoda also said he had trained Jedi for 800 years in The Empire Strikes Back. That means that, though The Child is 50 and has the size and maturity of a literal child, he’ll be matured enough to have become a Jedi Master in another fifty.
Given that we know that Jedi don’t usually train and pass the trials in a year, we’d have to presume he started training at most in another 40. Given everything we’ve seen from The Child so far, I’m highly skeptical he’d be ready to train to become a Jedi when he turned 90.
So it just doesn’t add up.
There are, however, some possible answers.
- The Client lied about the age of the bounty. This would make sense, as there may be prohibitions against hunting children in some places or it would thin the pool of potential hunters as there would undoubtedly be ones who blanched at the idea.
- Yoda started training other Jedi before he was officially a Master. It could make sense just because The Child shows how innately the Force comes to the species. You could say that the rules changed over time with regard to the training dynamic, and as a result what we see during the prequels is a reminder that we shouldn’t think the Jedi were stagnant in that whole time. Rules change. Yoda was old enough, likely, to have helped shepherd some of those rules through.
- The Child’s aging process was manipulated. We saw that happen with Jango Fett’s clones. We can’t dismiss the possibility.
- Yoda was exaggerating about this age. Maybe the little troll didn’t just cover up his role in Anakin’s life when with Luke, but also inflated numbers to make a point. After all, Luke wasn’t in a position to challenge him. If he rounded up to 800 years from 740…close enough.
As I stroke my beard and ponder this question over a bowl of rootleaf, I wonder which explanation will wind up being true?
“Thinking about this too much, this kesseljunkie is.”