Yoda Grew An Extra Toe Over The Course Of The Star Wars Movies

Yoda has a different number of toes in the Star Wars movies, from three in Phantom Menace to four in Return of the Jedi, how did this happen?

By TeeJay Small | Updated

Since its arrival in theaters in 1977, the Star Wars franchise has served as one of the most massive and profitable intellectual properties in the world. With all nine of the Star Wars films streaming on Disney+, plus a series of spinoff shows and films such as Andor and The Mandalorian, fans have instant access to the entire catalog of the galaxy far, far away. Due to the many changes and adjustments made by the various behind-the-scenes departments on the expansive film universe, some fans, such as those over at Mashable, have found some inconsistencies, such as Yoda having a differing number of toes across the films.

The listicle has dozens of fun facts and behind-the-scenes trivia, including information regarding famous lines of dialogue, props, and even sound design for lightsabers. One of the most bizarre pieces of Star Wars trivia, or lore, depending on how you look at it, is the changing number of toes on the Yoda puppet’s foot. The puppet has three toes on each foot in 1999’s The Phantom Menace but four toes in 1983’s Return of the Jedi and 2005’s Revenge of the Sith.

Due to the prequel films rolling out years after the original Star Wars trilogy had closed its final chapter, there are several questions regarding the official continuity of the films, especially when taking other media into consideration, such as spinoff films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special. Yoda’s differing digits could be an oversight by the prop department which handles the Jim Henson-crafted space puppet, but it could mean something significantly deeper for the lore of the Star Wars universe.

Yaddle in The Phantom Menace

If we’re taking the films in chronological order, this would mean that Yoda had three toes on each foot while serving on the Jedi council during the events of The Phantom Menace, which serves as the first film in the Star Wars anthology. Then, sometime following the Clone Wars, Yoda generated a fourth toe, which he managed to keep until the events of Return of the Jedi, in which the Luke Skywalker mentor succumbs to a peaceful death, becoming one with the Force at the tender age of 900 years old. Since so little is known about Yoda’s unnamed species, this could imply that the green creatures have a healing and regenerating ability similar to that of Marvel’s Deadpool.

If this is indeed the case, and not simply a matter of studio oversight, that could have massive implications for the future of Grogu in The Mandalorian. At this time, only three of Yoda’s species committed to the Star Wars canon, including Yoda himself and the so-called “Baby Yoda” Grogu, seen traversing the galaxy alongside Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin. The third creature, Yaddle, joined Yoda on the Jedi council during the events of The Phantom Menace and also had an acute sensitivity to the force.

Yaddle also sports three toes on each foot, meaning that could be the default state of the mysterious alien creatures. Of course, with the many creative departments working together to produce these massively budgeted films, it seems likely that Star Wars production teams largely overlooked the number of toes Yoda has on each foot. Though we have seen the series take small items such as this and retrofit them to be major plot points, so one can never be too observant when it comes to George Lucas’ magnum opus.

This is the way.

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