Skip to Content
May 4 Be With You is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more.

Can Yoda Use the Dark Side?

Can Yoda Use the Dark Side?

Yoda often warned others about the dangers of falling into the dark side. If a Jedi even implied emotion, Yoda tried to steer them toward emotional detachment, given his fear they could fall to the dark side. 

His tendency to avoid the dark side implies Yoda was so entrenched in the light side that he couldn’t channel darkness. But is there more to the story?

Like any Jedi, Yoda could have used the dark side if he wanted to. And for a moment, he did during Star Wars Legends when he met with Count Dooku. 

But Dooku saw something absolutely terrifying. So much so that had Yoda fallen to the dark side, it could have plunged the entire galaxy into centuries of darkness. Something neither Dooku nor Darth Sidious could do. 

Can Yoda Use the Dark Side?

Every Jedi felt a pull toward the dark side. Some, like Anakin Skywalker, felt the pull more than others, and it led to him becoming the notorious Sith Lord, Darth Vader. 

SHARE the post with your friends! Share on Facebook

Others, like Mace Windu, used the Vaapad fighting style, also known as Form VII, allowing him to channel his opponents’ dark side traits like rage before reflecting them with violent lightsaber blows. 

Even Obi-Wan Kenobi showed vulnerability to channeling the dark side after Darth Maul mortally wounded Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace. 

Then there is Yoda, arguably the staunchest light side user in Star Wars Canon and Legends history. One reason he does not use the dark side in the Skywalker Saga is that he never felt a pull toward it. 

This, along with intense meditation throughout his nine centuries of life, kept him entrenched in the light. But like any Jedi, even Yoda can use the dark side. But did he ever use it?

Star Wars Legends hold the answer. 

Did Yoda Ever Use the Dark Side?

When you think of Yoda, you think of a prototype Jedi embracing the light side of the Force. A Jedi warned others that, even if they display something seemingly minor, such as emotions, they could embark on a downward spiral toward the dark side. 

Yoda didn’t even want to allow Anakin Skywalker into the Jedi Order because, at age nine, he had built an emotional connection with his mother. 

So the thought of Yoda using the dark side is absurd, right?

Shifting gears into Star Wars Legends, the idea of a Sith Lord Yoda is not as farfetched as it seems. And judging from Count Dooku’s point-of-view in the Star Wars Legends book entitled Dark Rendezvous, nothing is more terrifying than a dark side Yoda. 

So what made Yoda temporarily shift to the dark side?

In the book, Count Dooku claimed he regretted falling to the dark side and wanted to return to the Jedi Order. Yoda knew Dooku was setting the Jedi up, but he still sat with the Sith Lord one-on-one. 

Dooku wanted to sway Yoda to the dark side, believing that if Yoda became a Sith Lord, the Sith would gain the ultimate advantage over the Jedi. He also believed Yoda to be more powerful in Force-sensitivity than even his master, Darth Sidious. 

During the meeting, Dooku told Yoda to embrace the dark side for just a moment, believing doing so would sway him. Curious, Yoda obliged. 

What Did Count Dooku See When Yoda Embraced the Dark Side?

Count Dooku saw Yoda’s face transform into something demonic. He described it as resembling Darth Sidious’, and that he felt similar vibes to what he got from his master, but to a greater extent. 

Dooku saw and felt something so terrible that he second-guessed himself for demanding Yoda feel the dark side’s pull. 

Yoda, having felt no pull before he obliged to Dooku’s order, returned to his usual self. He was still able to pull back to the light side because curiosity sparked his temporary shift to the dark side, and he had no real desire to embrace it. 

Why and How Yoda Almost Became a SITH LORD - Star Wars Explained

Is Yoda More Powerful than the Dark Side?

Yoda spent most of his free time meditating, something the Sith also used to derive power from the Force. 

A powerful Sith Lord, Darth Maul’s will to live after Obi-Wan sliced him stemmed from the rage and hatred he focused on while meditating, something that served as his favorite pastime. 

Well, when he wasn’t carrying out orders as a Jedi assassin, anyway. 

Suppose Yoda, a stronger Force-sensitive than Maul, did the same. Instead of augmenting his powers on the light side that made him arguably the most powerful Jedi, he would enhance his connection to the dark side. 

This means Yoda would learn dark-sided techniques like Force lightning that would eclipse Darth Sidious’ capability to use the maneuver if Count Dooku’s vision in Dark Rendezvous held water. 

It’s also important to remember how much control Yoda had over Darth Sidious’ Force lightning attacks in Revenge of the Sith. Through Tutaminis, Yoda caught and reflected Sidious’ attacks. 

Darth Sidious was also known to deepen his connection to the dark side through obsessive meditation. And if Yoda, at almost 900, easily fended off Sidious’ Force lightning, no one in the galaxy would come close to matching Yoda’s strength if he learned the maneuver. 

As brutal as Force lightning looks, it’s not the strongest dark side technique. Given Yoda’s ability to augment his powers through meditation, Force lightning would serve as a starting point had he succumbed to the dark side. 

Other Dark Side Techniques Yoda Would Learn

Force drain is another maneuver Yoda would pick up after learning Force lightning. The technique allows Sith Lords to drain an enemy’s life force while increasing their own power. 

Furthering his connection to the dark side, Yoda would have learned Force storms. The storms would allow him to strike down entire kingdoms and perhaps even planets with ease. Unlike Sidious, Yoda may not require a Death Star to destroy a world if they caused an issue. 

His own power would have sufficed. 

Given Yoda’s obsessive meditation and ability to retain nearly his entire self after his death at age 900, he almost became as powerful as the light side of the Force. 

Since Yoda did not transcend the light side, it’s safe to say he would not have grown so powerful to transcend the dark side. However, he would have become closer to doing so than any other Sith Lord. 

His potential to overcome the dark side’s power could have increased. Force drain may have allowed him to live beyond 900, and in the process, return to a more youthful appearance. 

This would have given Yoda more time to figure out how to become more powerful than the dark side. 

How Powerful Would Dark Side Yoda Be? Star Wars Explained

What if Yoda Fell to the Dark Side?

Yoda is clearly more Force-sensitive than Darth Sidious, whose reign of terror transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire from 19 BBY until 4 ABY. 

Given what Count Dooku saw, Yoda’s temporary jaunt into the dark side was more terrible than anything he witnessed regarding Sidious. 

If Yoda fell to the dark side instead of Darth Sidious, Luke Skywalker would never free the galaxy from the Sith. 

While Darth Vader killed Darth Sidious in Return of the Jedi before the latter returned with a clone body in the Sequel Trilogy, would he have overpowered Yoda in the same way?

Given Yoda’s great age and deepened Force connection, he probably would have seen through and ended Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi. Which means he would have killed Luke with Force lightning as Sidious intended. 

Not that someone wouldn’t have ultimately matched Yoda. But it’s possible the Galactic Empire would have reigned for centuries since his Sith powers like the Force drain would have prevented his death in 4 ABY. 


If he wanted, Yoda could have used the dark side. But he also saw the dark side for what it was: a way for a Force-sensitive to gain more power than they’d ever have imagined. 

But in the process, they would lose their sense of self and ultimately succumb to their own arrogance. 

Of course, Yoda was right. Darth Plagueis’ arrogance killed him when he thought himself to be the most powerful Sith Lord in the galaxy. So did Darth Sidious in Return of the Jedi, during the Battle of Endor. 

The wisest Jedi of them all, Yoda knew he’d exert more power over any other being in the galaxy at will. But he also knew he’d become so drunk on power that he’d lose his sense of self and, ultimately, his life.

SHARE the post with your friends! Share on Facebook