From the script of The Empire Strikes Back :

Ready, are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained! A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind.

(to the invisible Ben, indicating Luke)

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!

When Luke and Obi-Wan implore Yoda to train Luke, Yoda says that he has been watching Luke as he grew up. Yoda is a great and powerful Jedi, but there is no way he was physically watching Luke. Is there ever any explanation given as to just how Yoda had been keeping tabs on him?

5 Answers 5


It was always my impression that Yoda, being as powerful with the Force as he was, used the Force as his means of watching Luke. We know the Jedi have the power of farsight and we see Yoda using it in Episode Two when discussing their limited ability to peer into the future (and presumably far-away locations as well) with Mace Windu. The presence of the Sith, most likely by active deception, limited the use of the Jedi's powers, but to keep tabs on a single individual (who is strong in the force, and as Yoda knows, very important) should be within Yoda's grasp.

  • Not to mention he was one of the last Jedi remaining in the Galaxy. AND he was very near the other one...Hmm...maybe it wasn't Luke who was the impetuous one...
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 16:28

There really is no canon answer to what happened to Yoda during his exile years. Yoda was well connected during his years on the Jedi Council. I would not be surprised to learn that he had occasional contact with the galaxy through these contacts.

In addition Yoda may have been the most knowledgeable force user on the council. He knew where Luke was and watching him through the force would have been a way to pass the time while in exile.

It also could have been a bluff. It would not take much to cold read that he had adventure in mind. Luke basically said as much to Yoda before he knew who the creature before him was. Yoda wanted to see the desire to be taught demonstrated. Luke had already underestimated Yoda and now Yoda had need of humbling Luke to begin remolding the boy farmer into a Jedi. The scene was largely a Good Cop - Bad Cop scenerio where Luke needed to humble himself to the tiny creature and commit himself to the training.


As far as I recall, both Yoda and Obi-Wan communicated with Jedi Ghost of Qui-Gon Gin. If that's the case, he could have passed on information about Luke from Obi-Wan to Yoda. I don't think this is explicitly discussed in canon though

  • According to Wookieepedia, Force Ghosts have some sort of limited timeframe where they can exist and communicate, though it does not give any indication if that is weeks, years or what. Good thought though.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 18:42
  • @phantom42 - QGJ existed as a ghost long enough to teach the techniqie to BOTH Yoda and Obi-Wan, at least Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 20:25
  • True, so that's about 13 years of proven ability to communicate.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 23:42
  • "Yoda will always be with you." - Ben, ROTJ Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 23:35

As Zoneman correctly stated, the power called "Farsight" is basically how Yoda accomplished this.

Yoda told Luke when Luke was using the force to do a one handed handstand "Through the force, things you will see other places, the future, the past, old friends long gone". Right then it when Luke had his vision of Han and Leia on Cloud City.

But of course for Yoda to be able to literally pick out on person hundreds of light yearsa away and watch him at will is quick incredible and amazing and it really shows the incredible power and skill of Yoda.

Even more than that, Yoda was not only watching Luke from that distance, he was even able to read his mind and know his heart. This is even more revealing about how powerful Yoda really was. When Luke went back to Dagobah after rescuing Han from Jabba the Hutt, Yoda told him to beware of the dark side and seeking revenge. Yoda said "When rescue your friends you did, anger and revenge you had in your heart". Thus Yoda not only saw Luke take out Jabba the Hutt (which is why Yoda knew that Luke didn't require anymore training), but he was even able to read his mind and know what was in his heart too.

There is another thing that happened to Yoda on Dagobah when a Jedi historian actually came to Dagobah. He had tracked Yoda down through obscure archive records and sumized that Yoda might have fled to Dagobah. Yoda apologized to him and told him that he would have to erase his memory of ever finding him there, for the safety of the galaxy.

Yoda then seemed to increase in stature and power as he approached and the historian began to be terrified having no doubt that Yoda could accomplish exactly what he said he could do. But Yoda didn't want to hurt the man, so he made him promise to tell no one after explaining whhy it was SO critical that the galaxy think that Yoda was dead & never find him. The historian agreed to keep his secret and obviously did since the Emperor never did find out where Yoda was hding, though he knew that he was still alive.


Yoda is not talking about Luke. He is talking about Anakin Skywalker (Luke's father) who went into darkness because he became lost, seeking adventure and was reckless. He warns Luke about falling into darkness and teach him about having honorable values, worrying that Luke may have "too much of his father in him" as Obi Wan mentions....

  • 3
    the script excerpt makes it clear Yoda was talking about Luke
    – HorusKol
    Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 1:15

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