I know a post was made a few months ago asking about who the other hope was, but those who believe Yoda was referring to Leia are forgetting some very important lines.

LUKE: And sacrifice Han and Leia?

YODA: If you honor what they fight for… yes.

How could Yoda consider Leia a "hope" if he suggested to Luke that she, along with Han, must be left to die?

Even if Yoda had a means of leaving Dagobah to seek out Leia, how would he get to her if she was in Darth Vader’s possession or bound to Cloud City?

VADER: Good. See to it that he finds his way here. Calrissian, take the princess and the Wookiee to my ship.

LANDO: You said they’d be left in the city under my supervision.

Either way, if Luke had been killed or turned to the Dark Side, Yoda would have to go through a lot of trouble to even reach Leia.

This is even ignoring the fact that he suggested she be left for dead as quoted above.

If you can soothe my confusion on this particular situation or provide any other in-universe explanations, please do so.

  • 11
    "Always in motion is the future". Yoda doesn't know that they'll die if Luke doesn't rescue them. They may, or Vader may just take them all as prisoners for use later. Yoda just clearly believes that it's the wrong tactical choice - which doesn't necessarily mean that he is perfectly ok with her being left for dead (tactically right, morally wrong).
    – phantom42
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 11:35
  • 10
    The phrase "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" comes to mind. Yoda may like to have Leia out of Vader's clutches, but not at the potential cost of losing Luke.
    – TZHX
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 18:50
  • 7
    Perhaps Yoda just stinks as a leader. He managed to get all the Jedi killed the first time around...
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jun 4, 2015 at 21:40

3 Answers 3


I’m not quite clear what exactly you’re confused about.

Yoda described Leia as another hope when Obi-wan’s Force ghost remarked that Luke was their last hope, as Luke left Dagobah to try to rescue Leia.

As things stand at that moment, it’s true. Luke’s leaving, but there is another potential Jedi out there. Sure, she’s currently in the hands of the Empire, but Luke’s going to try to fix that. He may succeed, even if he dies trying, leaving Leia free to find her way to Dagobah just like Luke did.

And even if Luke doesn’t succeed, it is possible that Leia could escape by other means. “Hope” doesn’t mean “certainty”. Luke wasn’t exactly a sure bet at the start of Empire — he was close to being eaten or freezing to death on Hoth, the night before an enormous Imperial squadron was due to descend on the planet, and the most Yoda did was send Obi-wan’s Force ghost to say “Hey bro, when you feel better, abandon all your friends and dodge the Empire to go to a remote swamp planet okay. Cool.”

This also doesn’t really conflict with Yoda earlier suggesting that Luke should stay on Dagobah and leave Leia to her fate. At that time, Luke is definitely the best hope, given that he’s already training with Yoda, and isn’t currently captured by the Empire. It does sound sensible to not send the best hope away from his training on a very risky mission to try to rescue the second-best hope from the clutches of the Empire.

  • Thanks. You answered my question perfectly despite not being too clear about what I was asking. Just to make sure I understand this correctly, in either case, there is still a chance of Leia escaping thus making her a "hope?" Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 11:27
  • 1
    @ChristopherHenderson: my dear chap, you’re too kind. I’m not sure whether Yoda is specifically thinking of Leia as a hope when Luke talks about wanting to rescue her (I think he’d only just learned from Luke that Leia in danger, and didn’t necessarily even know that she’d been captured by the Empire), but sure — until she’s actually dead, there’s always hope. Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 11:30
  • 3
    @ChristopherHenderson: (Han, for example, was frozen in carbonite and hanging on a wall in Jabba’s palace, and there was still hope then.) Also, don’t forget that gratitude is most elegantly expressed by clicking a big check mark. Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 11:33
  • I am relatively new to Stack Exchange and do not really know what the check mark means, but I clicked it anyway ;) Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 12:01
  • 1
    @ChristopherHenderson: Marvellous! It means that my answer worked for you (i.e. in this case, explained what you didn’t understand). If you think my answer’s good, you can also vote it up by clicking the “up” arrow above the check mark and reputation score. Welcome to Stack Exchange! Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 12:01

The line was vague as Lucas had not decided that Leia was Luke's sister and therefore a potential force user when The Empire Strikes Back was filmed.

There were potential ideas of another young (unknown) jedi in training as well as Lando becoming the last hope.

  • 2
    Can you add anything to support the statements: "The line was vague as Lucas had not decided..." and "There were potential ideas..." Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 9:05
  • 1
    Yes. Check out: spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2015/09/16/… and youtube.com/watch?v=FuVZUoNZoTw You could also read Rinzler's "The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film" which addresses some of the story changes made during the filming of the original trilogy.
    – John L.
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 12:37
  • And Rinzler's "The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back".
    – John L.
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 12:51

When the line "that boy is our last hope" is said, Yoda gets bathed in a greenish blue light, representing Luke. However, when Yoda says, "no, there is another," he gets bathed in a red light, representing Darth Vader.
You must remember that every element in a movie is an intentional choice, and that this isn't the only time that these colors are used to represent their affiliated characters, and let you know who is being discussed. The point here being that Darth Vader is the other. This makes sense since Darth Vader is actually the Hero of the story, in other words, it's about his journey and his path towards redemption. The story is merely being told through Luke's eyes.

This is why it is Darth Vader who finds his place among the Jedi Master by the end of the story. Furthermore, the thing people use to justify Leia as being the other hope is just Obi-Wan's quote, but as you'll recall, he didn't know who Yoda was referring to any more than the viewer did, and this is his own misconception, one which is used as a misdirect for the viewers. Luke is not present for all key elements of the story, which involve the struggle in the balance of the force, only Darth Vader is, because it's his story.

There is also Yoda’s last words, which echo his line in Empire, and which he says after Luke has learned that Vader is actually Anakin Skywalker:

YODA ... There is...another...Sky...Sky...walker.

The fact he says this after Vader acknowledges he is a Skywalker and not before, should also let you know he wasn't talking about Leia.

OBI-WAN: I will take the child and watch over him. Master Yoda, do you think Anakin's twins will be able to defeat Darth Sidious?

YODA: Strong the Force runs, in the Skywalker line. Hope, we can . . . Done, it is. Until the time is right, disappear we will.

This line doesn't mention Leia as an additional hope, it mentions BOTH TWINS as the original hope. Further proof that it is Darth Vader who is the other hope.

Leia wasn't the other hope.

Got to say, even when ben explains that he THINKS its Leia, he, himself, is unconvinced. He is like, you were our last hope. The other hope? He probably meant your sister and she's poop, so we are all doomed. Thanks Luke, way to blow it.

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