In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda is initially reluctant to teach Luke, it takes the Ghost of Christmas Past Obi-Wan and Luke to convince him.

But in Revenge of the Sith it seems this is the plan, is there a reason for this seeming change of heart?

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    "It takes the Obi-Wan and Luke to convince him"?
    – Wolfie Inu
    Oct 29, 2015 at 12:44
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    @AncalagonTheBlack Dozens of times - I'm just making fun of your strikeout for starting at an odd place, with the result that Obi-Wan is referred to as "the Obi-Wan." My lame joke backfired :)
    – Wolfie Inu
    Oct 29, 2015 at 12:47
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    The marked duplicate is not correct. I'm not asking about Yoda pretending to be a fool, it does not address this issue
    – user46509
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:55
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    @AncalagonTheBlack we primarily judge duplicates based on whether the answers are the same. The answer to the duplicate question includes a whole paragraph that starts "He didn't want to teach Luke..." that we believe answers your question. If you don't feel that answer is sufficient, you should point out what you think it's lacking in your question and it will be automatically nominated for re-opening.
    – KutuluMike
    Oct 29, 2015 at 15:12
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    I disagree with the duplicate, as the answer in that question only has a single bullet point that deals with this question. Both of these answers go into much greater detail, thus providing a fuller answer to the question. Oct 29, 2015 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


I'm not aware of any canon answers, but it seems likely to be a combination of genuine doubts and Yoda exaggerating his reluctance.

The original plan was to train up one or both of the Skywalker twins as Jedi. But that was twenty years ago, when they had no way to predict Luke's adult character or personality.

It we take at face value Yoda's statement, "This one, a long time have I watched," he has been observing Luke using the Force and is not convinced he is good Jedi material. If all Luke does is fall to the Dark Side, and provide the Emperor or Vader with a young and powerful apprentice, it would be better not to train him at all.

When Yoda finally meets Luke, he at first pretends to be a simpleton. He then expresses his reluctance to teach Luke; this may be genuine, but it also helps to determine why and how badly Luke wants to be a Jedi. It has to be said, Luke does not distinguish himself in his interactions with Yoda, so it's understandable that Yoda continues to have doubts.

We don't know Yoda's exact state of mind, or how close he is to rejecting Luke as an apprentice. But in the end, Yoda overcomes his reluctance (real or feigned) and commits himself to training Luke.

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    The impression I get is "idiot" Yoda is the test, he then decides he doesn't want to teach Luke and has to be convinced.
    – user46509
    Oct 29, 2015 at 12:33
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    @AncalagonTheBlack: Good point. I've expanded my answer. Oct 29, 2015 at 12:43

My instinct is that Yoda's reluctance stems from two main areas;

  • His observations of Luke as being largely unsuitable for Jedi teaching:

Yoda: This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh! A Jedi craves not these things. (turning to Luke) You are reckless!

  • His worry that Luke will become like his father (and abuse his training) or even worse, join Vader and the Emperor:

Yoda: Hmmm. Much anger in him, like his father.

You may also want to take into account

  • Yoda is mere months from death
  • Yoda has already had one spectacular failure teaching a Skywalker.
  • Yoda considers Leia as a potential alternative candidate.
  • 8
    Where do we find he prefers Leia?
    – user46509
    Oct 29, 2015 at 12:54
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    @AncalagonTheBlack Who doesn't favour Leia?! She is a straight up BAMF.
    – Gusdor
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:09
  • I always assumed it was because of his father. After how bad that turned out, it's going to take a lot of faith to hand over the power of a Jedi to Vader's son.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:47
  • @AncalagonTheBlack - Fair point. I think that was my own headcanon.
    – Valorum
    Oct 29, 2015 at 15:06

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