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From this article I read the following:

...right before the start of the Clone Wars, the Jedi High Council had hardly changed. Only Yaddle and Yarael Poof were no longer present, replaced by Shaak Ti and Coleman Trebor.

I recall seeing and reading about these members of the Jedi Council when The Phantom Menace came out, but I never noticed that they did not appear in later films, or that their seats on the Council had been taken by other Jedi. Unfortunately, I cannot find any further information as to what happened to them. Is there any in-universe information (whether Canon, or Legends, or Hidalgo-tweet) about where these Jedi went?

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Disney Canon

No explanation has been given for either Jedi Master's absence (although Yaddle's Databank entry confirms that she was no longer on the council). It is unlikely that we will ever get an explanation, since Disney does not seem interested in exploring things that happened pre-Clone Wars.

Legends

Yarael Poof

His final appearance was in the comic mini-series Zam Wessel, set in 27 BBY (5 years after The Phantom Menace, 5 years before Attack of the Clones).

The story involved the Infant of Shaa, an artifact that could store Force energy. A terrorist group tried to unleash that energy on Coruscant so that an enormous disturbance in the Force would eradicate life on Coruscant. After forming an uneasy alliance with bounty hunters Jango Fett and Zam Wessel, Yarael Poof was fatally stabbed with a vibroblade and, with the last of his effort, disarmed the artifact and saved the planet.

Yarael Poof's sacrifice

Coleman Trebor was selected as his replacement on the Jedi council.

Yaddle

Yaddle's fate is detailed in the book Jedi Quest: Shadow Trap. In the year 25 BBY (7 years after The Phantom Menace, 3 years before Attack of the Clones), Yaddle went on a diplomatic mission with Obi-Wan and Anakin to the war-torn world of Mawan. She sacrificed her life to save millions of people from being killed by a bioweapon.

Yaddle hung above [Anakin], above the tallest building of Naatan, the Force holding her temporarily aloft. She held a silver canister against her chest. [...]

"No!" he shouted. But he could already feel it. Yaddle was drawing in the great net of the Force she had created, drawing it around her so tightly and fiercely and strongly that Anakin fell to his knees. He had never felt the Force move like this. He couldn't speak or move. From far below, Granta detonated the explosives.

Anakin heard a sharp pop, nothing more. The Force grew until Anakin was dazzled. Instead of exploding, the canister imploded, and Yaddle drew the toxic gas and the explosive power in, absorbing it into her body.

Then she simply disappeared. A shower of light particles swirled, hung in the air, then evaporated.

Anakin's face was wet. Tears flowed and he did not feel them. The night sky was empty, and Jedi Master Yaddle was dead.

Yaddle's sacrifice

Yaddle was replaced by Shaak Ti on the Jedi Council.

Out of universe

It wasn't because they were puppets

One might think that because Yarael Poof and Yaddle were puppets in The Phantom Menace, they were replaced because using puppets would be impractical for the Battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones. Turning them into CGI, as they did with Yoda, would be costly, but that doesn't seem to have been an issue. Attack of the Clones animation director Rob Coleman talked about Yarael Poof's replacement, Coleman Trebor, and noted that he was a fully CGI character who was only on screen long enough to get killed by Jango Fett.

Coleman Trebor was named, the maquette was realized as a computer-generated character, the character was painstakingly animated and composited into the temple and arena scenes...

... and then Coleman Trebor was quickly iced by Jango Fett.

So they were definitely capable of keeping those two Jedi Masters, but chose not to.

George Lucas thought Yarael Poof would be confused with a Kaminoan

Rob Coleman recalls that George Lucas was concerned that Yarael Poof would be confused with the Kaminoans, the species that Obi-Wan discovered were creating the Clone Army.

"If you think back to the original Jedi Council there was a long-necked Jedi on the far side -- Yarael Poof -- he was a puppet. George was afraid that if we kept that guy in, people might confuse him with the Kaminoans."

It's not entirely clear why Yaddle was replaced

I have not been able to find any particular reason why Yaddle was killed off. However, I speculate that if the audience had already seen Yaddle jumping around in the Geonosian Arena, it would be less of a spectacle to see Yoda battle Count Dooku later in the film, and so she was removed for that reason.

  • Good finds on the Legends stuff. I've never been that strong on the non-canon side. – Valorum Jan 22 '17 at 23:14
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    @Valorum Well, I read lots of it while it was canon :-) – Thunderforge Jan 22 '17 at 23:16
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    <i>"Disney does not seem interested in exploring things that happened pre-Clone Wars."</i>... hmm, my reading is that Disney is interested in exploring every possible angle of the Star Wars universe that they possibly can milk money from. Give them long enough, and they'll produce a back-story movie for every minor character in the universe. /s – Simba Jan 23 '17 at 14:42
  • I absolutely confused Yarael Poof as a Kaminoan. When they talked about a Jedi having commissioned the Clones, I immediately assumed that was the Jedi that did so. I could not understand why the racial link was ignored. – Michael Richardson Jan 23 '17 at 19:07
  • @MichaelRichardson In early ATOC drafts, the clones ordered by a master "Sido-Dyas" and Obi-Wan and Mace Windu say there has never been a Jedi by that name (it was of course Darth Sidious). But in another draft a typo was made and Lucas liked "Sifo-Dyas" better, so the person who ordered the clones was changed to a dead Jedi with ties to Dooku. I guess that changing it to Yarael Poof means explaining why a Jedi Master's home planet was deleted from the Jedi Archives and that he knew nothing about his people's booming clone industry, which would distract from the story they wanted to tell. – Thunderforge Jan 23 '17 at 20:16
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Yaddle

According to Ultimate Star Wars (and the Star Wars Databank) some time after the Battle of Naboo, Yaddle stepped back from an active role within the Jedi and gave up her seat on the council. Presumably she was in the Jedi Temple when it was attacked by Darth Vader and died.

By the time of the Clone Wars, she was no longer on the Council.

Star Wars Databank - Yaddle


Yarael Poof

The 'Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded edition' factbook reports that he died at some point prior to the Battle of Geonosis. No specific are given as to the circumstance of his demise.


Out of universe

The decision to remove Poof from the film was taken because George Lucas was concerned that audiences would confuse him with a Kaminoan. When they recycled footage of the Jedi Council from the previous film, Poof was digitally removed and replaced with another character, Coleman Trebor.

In the same breath they also decided to axe Yaddle in order to show "the progress of time" (and presumably to prevent audiences from noticing that they'd used 100% recycled footage!).

In the case of Trebor, the horn-crested Jedi came about as a replacement to an Episode I Jedi Master removed from the Jedi Council. "If you think back to the original Jedi Council there was a long-necked Jedi on the far side -- Yarael Poof -- he was a puppet. George was afraid that if we kept that guy in, people might confuse him with the Kaminoans."

No new footage of the Jedi Council chambers was shot. Archival Episode I footage was reused, digitally modified to fit the appropriate time of day, and the offending Jedi Master was painted out and replaced with Coleman Trebor. To further suggest the progress of time, another Jedi Master got the digital axe. Green little Yaddle was replaced by Shaak Ti, an actress wearing elaborate makeup who was composited into the scene.

Starwars.com - Homing Beacon Newsletter #67

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    I constantly find it strange what things aren't covered in the expanded universe. Two Jedi Masters fall through the cracks of history, meanwhile some guy sitting in a bar on Tatooine becomes a recurring character. – DaaaahWhoosh Jan 22 '17 at 21:46
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    @DaaaahWhoosh Their fates were extensively covered in Legends. Check out my answer for more. – Thunderforge Jan 22 '17 at 23:12

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