In the Revenge of the Sith novelization, after Order 66, Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi are discussing who will confront which Sith Lord. Obi-Wan wants to go after Palpatine, since Anakin/Vader is his former Padawan and friend. And then, Yoda says :

Strong enough to face this Lord Sidious you will never be. You will die, horribly and painfully.

Note that Yoda doesn't say that Kenobi is simply not powerful enough now. He definitely and irrevocably states that Obi-Wan would never ever have a chance against Palpatine. Kenobi is younger than Palpatine and they are both humans, he became a Master relatively recently, he is capable of learning advanced techniques like Force Ghost, he displays great wisdom and calmness ... yet according to Yoda he will never be good enough .

This raises the question, what is Yoda's view on Force sensitivity and Force abilities? Does Yoda believe in midi-chlorian count? According to Yoda, is Force sensitivity simply innate, and you cannot go above your level no matter how much do you try or train?

Is that the reason that he does not train Force sensitive individuals after the Jedi Purge, but simply stays in exile and waits for a candidate with a high enough midi-chlorian count (i.e. Luke)?

  • There appears to be about six different questions here.
    – Valorum
    Mar 2, 2017 at 18:57
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    @Valorum I think that it is only one question, but OP is giving various possible answers. Mar 2, 2017 at 19:02
  • Yoda doesn't say Obi-Wan will never be good enough; he says he'll never be strong enough.
    – chepner
    Mar 2, 2017 at 21:23
  • Of course Yoda believes in midi-chlorians.
    – Adamant
    Mar 3, 2017 at 0:47
  • You should treat it as Yoda's grammatical mistake.
    – user931
    Apr 11, 2018 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


Up until Order 66, the prophecy related to balancing the force was frankly academic. Until The Phantom Menace, the Jedi council had no real reasons to believe the Sith were a menace; until the Jedi Purge, they weren't aware that Palpatine was a Sith.

A Jedi Master, even a Council Member, wasn't the equal of a Sith Lord.

The Rule of Two used attrition to promote only the most skilled, most powerful Sith to the role of Master; in order to get to the point where Sidious could turn the Chosen One, Sidious had to be incredibly powerful, probably even more powerful than Anakin.

Yoda believed in the prophecy and realized that only Anakin could actually defeat Sidious.

Yoda would have then spent time looking into the future. Yes, it's fuzzy, and not always accurate, but even it bows to the Monte Carlo simulation: seek the future many times, then find the commonalities.

Yoda realized that the only way to get rid of Sidious was to turn Vader, and he realized the only way to turn Vader was through Luke. Luke would need to be protected, guided, taught.

No, he didn't know the exact series of events that would lead Luke to confront Vader and Palpatine, but he knew it had to happen. And the best way to ensure that future was for Obi-Wan to take Luke somewhere safe and keep an eye on him, and for Yoda to go hide somewhere safe so he could prepare to train Luke.

If Obi-Wan confronts Palpatine, not only does he throw away a resource (himself), but he also endangers the whole long game to the real victory. It's vital that the Emperor and Vader think all the Jedi are extinct; giving them any reason to think otherwise jepordizes everything.

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    The irony being that Sidious killed his master in his sleep, thus ruining the entire point of the Rule of Two.
    – user40790
    Mar 2, 2017 at 19:18
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    In all honesty if yoda knew about luke being the only chance he wouldnt have went for palpaine himself. he thought HE could beat him.....alone even!
    – Thomas
    Mar 2, 2017 at 19:19
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    @Zoey Boles Even if prophecy was true (and not misunderstood ), how could they tell who is Chosen One . It doesn't have to be Anakin, it could be Yoda, Obi-Wan, Windu or any other Jedi, even some kid not born at the time :) This Jedi does not have to be equal (in power) to Sith Lord - Palpatine was essentially killed in sneak attack .
    – rs.29
    Mar 2, 2017 at 19:42
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    @rs.29 The only reason Palpatine was able to be killed in a sneak attack was specifically because Palpatine didn't see Anakin as a threat... any Jedi approaching him, even Luke, he had his guard up against. A little green muppet showing up would be an obvious threat. The only way an obvious threat could defeat Palpatine was by being overwelmingly more powerful than Palpatine, so it would need to be an attack from an unexpected quarter... and with Palpatine's power, there weren't may ways to approach him unawares.
    – Zoey Green
    Mar 3, 2017 at 16:19
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    @Terriblefan Actually, that would be well within the expectations of the Rule of Two. Sith Masters have to be experts in being paranoid; if Palpatine's master allowed himself to be killed in his sleep, then the master got what he deserved in the Rule of Two.
    – Zoey Green
    Mar 3, 2017 at 16:27

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