Yoda says this quote

Stopped they must be; on this all depends. Only a fully-trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor.

But in the Jedi Purge, various Jedi Masters along with Knights and Padawans faced Vader in numbers and they couldn't best him, let alone him and the Emperor.

Was Yoda expecting a miracle, like Anakin coming back to the Light Side?

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    It reads more like a minimum requirement to me. A fully trained Jedi Knight might not be able to defeat them, but it would be impossible for someone without the force as their ally.
    – M_the_C
    Jan 9, 2017 at 13:32
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    Well, he was certainly very hopeful and possibly a bit delusional
    – Valorum
    Jan 9, 2017 at 13:34
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    Consider this analogy: "Only someone who has legs can run a marathon". This is quite logical and true. But that doesn't mean that everyone with legs can do it
    – Ivo
    Jan 9, 2017 at 13:45
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    @DTagliaferri It was Anakin who fulfilled the prophecy, not Luke.
    – Null
    Jan 9, 2017 at 14:56
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    Is anyone else reading this as Anakin being the Jedi Knight? Thus Luke's task is to redeem Vader, allowing Anakin to 'defeat' Vader and the Emperor? At this point he's (Anakin) the only fully trained Jedi Knight in the galaxy.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jan 9, 2017 at 18:00

2 Answers 2


Because of his own "meeting" with Palpatine Yoda knew just how strong in the force he was. For Vader he knew at least what Anakin was able to do (and very probably also that he was very diminished from what he could have been).

If we take all we know from the prequels and also Lucas own statements into account Anakin....fully trained as a jedi knight and without his injuries would have been stronger than the emperor (now he was only 75% of what the emperor was able to be).

With that taken into account Yodas statement that Luke who had the same potential as Anakin...fully trained should be able to beat the emperor.

What is more though is that Luke didn't have the disadvantages of the Jedi (being trained in the wrong way....aka getting too prideful and also his abilities diminished due to being the whole time just above a convergence of the dark side like the jedi temple). So that also works in Lukes advantage there.

And then there is one other point that Yoda has learned and which is speaking there

with the force as his ally

that is something Yoda learned the hard way too. IT had to be the will of the force that Luke wins. And of that he was sure as he had learned to listen to the force (aka loosing his Pride and understanding the true nature of things in Episode 3 and also learning to listen to force ghosts himself and how to become one with the force,...). Thus Yoda saw clearly now more than ever what the force REALLY wanted (although he still did not understand HOW it wanted things to happen....for example that it was Vader in the end and not Luke who destroyed the emperor).

So all in all he was right and did not lie.....at least when it comes to Luke. If he had said that to any other Jedi (with a less count of Midiclorians) he would have lied.


There is truth to Yoda's statement. Remember, the last time anyone really fought Vader or Palpatine was 30 years prior. And, when this was released, there was no Ep 1, 2, 3. We didn't even know what the Emperor was capable of until ROTJ. 30-40 years is long enough for humans(even force masters) to lose some of their power, to the point where a solid Jedi could stand a chance. "Your overconfidence is your weakness".

A fully-trained Jedi would have had a chance, though just a slim one of beating both Sith Lords. Still, it did feel more like a "Hope of a Jedi winning" than a concrete statement.

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    It wasn't 30-40 years since Luke's birth was around the same time that the Empire and Vader were born, it was around 18 years, given how strong Dooku was well above 80 years old, there's no doubt Sidious and Vader were still going strong. Jan 9, 2017 at 14:58
  • @NeoHerakles - that was changed with the prequel trilogy. In the original trilogy, the Empire had existed for longer than 20 years, Anakin & Obi-Wan were much closer in age, and the Clone Wars had occurred when they were young men.
    – Omegacron
    Nov 26, 2019 at 15:38

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