In Return of the Jedi, as Yoda lies dying, he speaks to to Luke:
Soon will I rest. Yes, forever sleep. Earned it, I have.
Yoda sits himself on his bed, with great effort.
Master Yoda, you can't die.
Strong am I with the Force... but not that strong! Twilight is upon me and soon night must fall. That is the way of things ... the way of the Force.
I'm confused as to exactly what he meant by the bold text, mainly because of Yoda's, shall we say, unique speech constructs.
My confusion hinges on exactly what he is referring to the second time he says "strong". I can interpret this two different ways:
- He means "I am strong in the Force, but I am not strong enough in the Force to prevent my own natural death."
- He means "I am strong in the Force, but my body is not physically strong."
The way he pronounces it in the movie (putting the emphasis on "strong" rather than on "that") makes it sound overwhelmingly like it is his intention to convey the second meaning, but this seems very, very uncharacteristic for Yoda, as the whole point of his character is to demonstrate that the Force transcends physicality and that what we can accomplish is not constrained by our material bodies. However, he seems fully comfortable with his own death, implying that he might not be trying to use his force abilities to prolong his life, which would mean that his longevity would be dictated solely by his physical condition, which was "not that strong." This muddles the picture to the point where I am utterly confused.
Does anyone have any information regarding this that might clarify the quote? Am I just hearing it wrong when I think it sounds like he is referring to his physical strength? Is there perhaps a third interpretation I have missed?