It was previously known to the Republic (and, therefore, it stands to reason, the Empire) that Dagobah was one of several major unexplored Force-sensitive planets.

Once Yoda and Obi-Wan went into hiding, why didn't Palpatine send thousands of probe droids to scour those planets? He was meticulous about cataloging dead Jedi from Order 66, plus he knew personally that Yoda and Obi-Wan had survived based on personal interaction as well as the story from Vader.

Wouldn't he have realized the threat that Yoda posed as a teacher to any other survivors and wanted to find him at all costs?

Was it simply a matter of Yoda's being able to mask his Force signature with the dark side cave?

  • 1
    He hid his power level like Goku.
    – Liesmith
    Jun 26, 2015 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


I'm not aware of a canon explanation, but Wookieepedia's article on Yoda cites the Legends novel Heir to the Empire in noting that Yoda's Force presence was masked both by the proximity of the dark side cave as well as the significant number of living creatures. The Emperor undoubtedly attempted to find Yoda, but he didn't know which planet Yoda was on and, even if he did, he (or a probe droid) would have had difficulty locating Yoda on Dagobah because of his masked Force presence.

  • And even if an Imperial probe droid did visit Dagobah, based on how Yoda overpowered & guided Luke Skywalker's X-wing down to the planet, surely he'd do the same with the probe to ensure it landed far from his home.
    – RobertF
    Jun 25, 2015 at 17:14
  • Nevermind that the galaxy is very big, it probably has more planets than there are people on earth. In episode 5 the probes succeed in finding the rebel base because they were not randomly looking for them
    – Hoffmann
    Jun 25, 2015 at 17:25
  • @Hoffmann, Exactly. In EP 4, Vader and Tarkin attached a tracker to the Millenium Falcon and "allowed" it to escape. Even Leia remarked how "it had been too easy". Eventually they went to Hoth and the Empire pursued.
    – Spandan
    Sep 25, 2015 at 7:18

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