Yoda’s strange backward speech pattern helped to make the character instantly iconic. But why does he talk that way in the first place? There are plenty of explanations, but one Reddit user had an interesting theory, posting, Yoda speaks the way he does because he is so old that the rules of grammar are different from when he was younger.”
Yoda Is So Old Language Has Evolved Around Him
Yoda is 900 years old when we meet him, so it would certainly make sense that things were a bit different back in the day. After all, the little green Jedi is easily the oldest character we meet in the trilogy. And as good as this theory is, there are actually some different explanations from the people who brought the character to life.
No Subtitles Needed For Yoda
George Lucas once provided an explanation for Yoda’s speech patterns in the book Star Wars Archives. 1977-1983, saying, “ I had to come up with a language that was alien but still understandable, so I reversed everything around.” Lucas further explained that he didn’t want Yoda to have an alien language that required a bunch of subtitles since he had a lot of dialogue in the film. So, he instead gave the master a way of speaking that made him seem more alien while still making it easy for fans to understand him.
Still No Explanation For Yaddle
This would be a pretty good explanation, but then you have to consider that we’ve met another member of Yoda’s species – Yaddle. Yaddle didn’t speak when we met her in the prequel trilogy, but she did get a speaking role in the recent animated series Tales of the Jedi, where Bryce Dallas Howard voices her. The only problem is that Yaddle spoke completely normally and didn’t have a backward speech pattern at all.
Yoda Is Paying Tribute
To explain this decision, Tales of the Jedi creator Dave Filoni explained that Yoda’s voice actor and puppeteer, Frank Oz, had an explanation for his speech patterns. According to Filoni, Oz told him, “Yoda speaks that way specifically in honor of his own master.” George Lucas is known to change his mind about his lore, so Oz’s explanation might be more accurate.
Yoda Honoring His Master Supports The Fan Theory
Oz’s explanation would also support the fan theory from the Reddit user, as Yoda’s master spoke in a unique way. Presumably, his master would have also lived hundreds of years ago, so the way of speaking could have easily changed in the Star Wars universe since then. Or, like Yoda himself, maybe his master was just a weirdo.
Iconic, Yoda Is
Yoda’s speech patterns make the character so endearing, quotable, and instantly iconic. No matter the original reason for making him speak the way he did, it was the right decision, and it paid off in the long run. Ultimately, we probably won’t get a definitive answer as to why Yoda talks backward, so you might as well choose the explanation that makes you the happiest.