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We know that force training is supposed to begin at an early age. And we know that Yoda and Ben envision Padme's children as the only hope to bring balance back to the force.

Why then are baby Leia and baby Luke handed over to non-force sensitive households, and allowed to grow up without exposure to Yoda's teachings? After all, he was the one responsible of educating all younglings back at the Jedi Temple...

  • The Empire was hunting for Yoda specifically and other Force-sensitive Jedi, so putting Luke and Leia with them would make it easier for the Empire to find them. And I don't think Yoda was responsible for educating all the younglings. – Null Oct 20 '14 at 2:26
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    Living in the household of those of his blood allowed the blood protection spell that Dumbledore cast to function... errr... wrong canon. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 20 '14 at 2:52
  • Why the downvotes? It's a completely legitimate question: Yoda could have taken Luke and/or Leia to Dagobah with him. They'd be just as shielded as he was by dark cave energies. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 20 '14 at 2:55
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    @Null - of course, putting Obi-Wan within walking distance of Luke, and at a relative's house kind of interfered with this hiding stuff. – Oldcat Oct 20 '14 at 21:28
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We can definitively answer as to why Yoda didn't train them, from ROTS novelization by Matthew Stover - "because Yoda said so".

As Yoda, Organa and Kenobi are deciding what to do at the end, Yoda says about training both twins in the future:

"... Hidden, safe, the children must be kept. Foundation of the new Jedi Order, they will be."
"We should split them up," Obi-Wan said. "Even if the Sith find one, the other may survive. I can take the boy, Master Yoda, and you take the girl. We can hide them away, keep them safe— train them as Anakin should have been trained—"
"No." The ancient Master lowered his head again, closing his eyes, resting his chin on his hands that were folded over the head of his stick.
Obi-Wan looked uncertain. "But how are they to learn the self discipline a Jedi needs? How are they to master skills of the Force?"
"Jedi training, the sole source of self-discipline is not. When right is the time for skills to be taught, to us the living Force will bring them. Until then, wait we will, and watch, and learn."

Now, admittedly, as with many wise pronouncements from Yoda, he doesn't explain in detail WHY he made that decision (e.g. he says it's OK that he won't be training them... but not why it wouldn't be OK for him to do so).

In the absence of better detail, I'm going to speculate that he meditated on the Force and arrived at such a conclusion this way as opposed to having deep rational reasons.

  • That novel also explicitly states that Yoda got his butt whipped by Palpatine, instead of the draw that the film indicates. Yoda recognises that while the Jedi have been stagnant for a thousand years, "the Sith had changed." The Sith, forced underground, had spent a thousand years preparing for the showdown with the Jedi Order, whereas the Jedi believed the Sith were dead, and even those few who did not - such as Yoda - were prepared for the old Sith, not the new, improved version. To quote an old phrase, you always prepare for the last war. Yoda knew simple Jedi training wouldn't be enough. – James Sheridan Oct 20 '14 at 3:19
  • @JamesSheridan - while your facts are correct, I'm unsure of your conclusion. I don't see how "simple Jedi training" would differ between what Luke would have done with Yoda at young age vs. what he did post-Hoth... it's possible Yoda developed some new training in those 20 years but I don't recall a confirmation of that in canon. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 20 '14 at 3:21
  • I had to cut that comment short as I was running low on characters. You're right, there's no confirmation in canon, but it is implied that allowing Luke/ Leia to grow to maturity, then training them, will allow Yoda and Obi-Wan to detect possible character flaws (such as going crazy and slaughtering Sand People) before they have the Force backing them. This is, unfortunately, never really developed by later EU authors. There is a little bit about Luke in Darth Krayt's back-story which supports this. Mostly, my point was just that Yoda realised his previous methods were not successful. – James Sheridan Oct 20 '14 at 3:26
  • While this answer definitely cites a source that is valid at that canon level, it runs counter to Yoda's refusal to train Luke when he arrives on Dagobah. Unless he's simply being stubborn to test Luke's resolve. – Zibbobz Oct 20 '14 at 17:54
  • While it's further speculation, I would say Yoda didn't want to train them as Jedi because it may draw attention and allow the Empire to find the twins. That's why he advocates for other methods of training -- so they are disciplined and principled by the time they can be taught the Jedi way, but don't run the risk of being discovered as they grow up. – Fatbird3 Oct 20 '14 at 18:56

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