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Why Did Yoda Seem to Age So Quickly After Revenge of the Sith?

Why Did Yoda Seem to Age So Quickly After Revenge of the Sith?

Despite living for over 800 years and maintaining youthful athleticism in the Prequel Trilogy, Yoda looked as though he aged another century when The Empire Strikes Back rolled around. But did Yoda age quickly, or was age already catching up to him before Order 66?

Yoda’s species naturally live to an older age. His ability to engage in Force-healing also augmented his already-long lifespan, allowing him to live until age 900. Yoda died of old age in Return of the Jedi, but he also retained his powers when he became a Force ghost. 

How Could Yoda Live So Old?

Yoda belonged to a species that aged slower than most. Take Grogu, also known as Baby Yoda. In The Mandalorian, Grogu was 50 years old, but he still looked like an infant. 

It’s said that for the first 50 years of Yoda’s species’ lifespans, they age slowly before rapidly maturing. Yoda and Grogu are just two popular examples, with Yaddle serving as a third. 

Other than his slow-aging species, Yoda was also more gifted in the Force than most Jedi. Although Yaddle was nearly 500 by Order 66, Yoda was at least 877, assuming he was born in 896 BBY. 

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Yaddle’s fate is unknown. And while she was a decent Force-wielder herself, it’s unclear whether she was gifted in the Force to Yoda’s extent. It’s possible, she too, is only middle-aged. But The Phantom Menace shows a 477-year-old Yaddle as a frail-looking being. 

Did Yoda Prolong His Life?

While Yoda’s species lived long lives and aged slowly, he was still substantially older than the other known members of his species. 

While it’s unknown what the average life expectancy is for Yoda’s species, we know Yoda was proficient in Force healing.

This allowed him to heal himself at will. And since Yoda fought in many dangerous battles during his nine centuries, it makes sense that he used Force healing on multiple occasions to prolong his life. 

As Return of the Jedi showed, even Yoda could not prolong his life forever, and he accepted death. Yet his powers remained intact when he became one with the Force. 

How Old is Yoda in Human Years?

Yoda’s age varies according to the formula used to measure human years. As of 2022, the average human age in our world is 72 years. So assuming Yoda lived to be 900 and died at the equivalent of 72 human years, we would divide 900 by 72. 

This gives us 12.5. So for every 12.5 years of his life, Yoda would age the equivalent of one human year. 

It’s important to note this number isn’t exact, given Yoda’s species tendency to mature faster between the ages of 51 and 100. But it gives you a rough estimate of Yoda’s aging equivalent to human years if he died at the average age of human life expectancy. 

Others believe Yoda died at the equivalent of 90 human years. This formula assumes Yoda’s species ages 10 years for every one human year. The same source argues against this point since they also bring up Yaddle. 

A visibly aging Yaddle stepped down from the Jedi Council, retiring at age 477. This makes her just 47.7 years old in human years following the 10 human years for one Yoda’s species year formula. 

The best guess for Yoda’s age in human years is to use a range between multiple sources. Meaning Yoda died between age 72 and 90 in human years. 

Star Wars creator George Lucas could always tell us more about the species and provide an exact equivalent. But for now, we can only hypothesize Yoda’s human-equivalent age. 

Why Did Yoda Seem to Age so Quickly After Revenge of the Sith?

When you watched Yoda in his lightsaber duels with Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, he possessed sound athleticism. Yoda matched the galaxy’s most powerful Sith Lords blow for blow, eluding them with backflips and sheer speed. 

Come The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda looked like one of those people who “just aged fast.” We all know at least one individual who looked healthy and fit well into their 70s or 80s before they regressed into a shell of what they once were just a handful of years later. 

Unlike us non-Force-sensitives, Yoda was still proficient at wielding the Force to prolong his life following Revenge of the Sith. So how did he age so fast?

The truth is, Yoda didn’t age so quickly after Revenge of the Sith. During the Prequel Trilogy, Yoda may have looked athletic in battle, but he spent most of his time hunched over a walking stick. 

He was already aging, but he wielded the Force when he dueled Dooku and Sidious. Fast-forward to The Empire Strikes Back, and Yoda still wielded the Force well when he levitated Luke’s X-Wing out of a swamp. 

He was still climbing trees and outmaneuvering Luke upon their first encounter. He again hunched over his walking stick, when he told Luke to follow him. 

What was Yoda’s Exact Age When He Died?

In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda stated he was at least 800 years old. And since we know his species reaches full maturity at age 100, it’s safe to say Yoda died at 900. 

While we don’t know Yoda’s exact age for sure since he could have rounded to 800 in The Empire Strikes Back, popular fan sites like Wookieepedia labeled him as being born in 896 BBY and dying in 4 ABY. 

Unless George Lucas states otherwise, 900 is universally-accepted as Yoda’s age at the time of his death. 

How Did Yoda Die?

Yoda died midway through Return of the Jedi. And you can trace the beginning of his end when he heard Qui-Gon Jinn’s voice during The Clone Wars. 

Qui-Gon’s Force Ghost led Yoda to the swamp planet Dagobah. 

And while on the surface, the world looked like nothing more than a wasteland. However, it contained large quantities of the Force. 

He explored the world before stumbling on the Wellspring of Life, allowing him to confront his shortcomings and further deepen his connection to the Force. 

At this Wellspring, he learned how to continue living after death with most of his powers intact. 

When he fled Darth Sidious during the waning moments in Revenge of the Sith, Yoda knew where he was going. This retreat allowed him to go into exile, further deepen his connection to the Force, and await the new hope that would turn out to be Luke Skywalker. 

And thanks to Qui-Gon, Yoda’s death was only a physical one. He remained nearly whole when he became one with the Force. And it allowed him to continue mentoring Luke Skywalker even thirty years later during the events of The Last Jedi. 


Yoda did not age quickly following Revenge of the Sith. Since the Prequel Trilogy, he used his walking stick and walked around hunched over. He just used the Force to pull off highlight-reel moves during his duels with Count Dooku and Darth Sidious. 

While Yoda’s species ages slower than most in the galaxy, he was proficient in Force-healing, allowing him to prolong his already-long life to 900, matching the human equivalence between 72 and 90. Given his ability to prolong his life with the Force, he died of old age. 

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