Yoda died in 4 ABY during Return of the Jedi. Before his death, he handed Luke Skywalker a few words of wisdom. A few of which he repeated to a disgruntled Luke during The Last Jedi when he returned to Ach-To as a Force ghost.
Yoda died on Dagobah in 4 ABY. Many believe Yoda died of old age and that he could not withstand the darkness plaguing the galaxy. But he died as a lesson to Luke that death isn’t the end, but the beginning. While he truly died, he retained much of his living self.
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Where did Yoda Die?
Yoda engaged in an unforgettable duel with Darth Sidious following Order 66. He won the lightsaber duel, but Sidious forced him to retreat and flee the Senate with Bail Organa. Believing he failed the Jedi, Yoda stated he must go into exile.
Following the events seen in Revenge of the Sith, Yoda went into exile on Dagobah. He chose this planet because former Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn’s voice led him to the desolate world near the end of the Clone Wars.
Here, he taught Yoda how to connect between the Living and Cosmic Force after death, allowing him to communicate with the living. It was something that would come in handy after Yoda died in Return of the Jedi.
This was the same planet where he trained Luke Skywalker during The Empire Strikes Back. Having failed to complete his Jedi training to save his friends, Luke returned to Dagobah to find Yoda on his deathbed.
Minutes later, Yoda died in the hut he made into a home during his exile on the swamp planet.
How Did Yoda Die?
Yoda died at age 900 in 4 ABY, leading many to believe old age played its part. However, fans could not help but notice Yoda’s physical state appeared to have diminished during his exile that began in 19 BBY.
Yoda was so gifted in the Force that he healed his wounds via a Force heal, which helped him prolong his life. But did Yoda lose the will to live when the galaxy needed who was arguably the most powerful Jedi ever?
While it’s true old age contributed to Yoda’s death, something deeper and more enlightening really killed him.
What Really Killed Yoda?
Star Wars fans refer to Yoda as the “purest avatar of the light side of the Force.” And he was so ingrained in the light side it’s theorized he had a hard time coping with the state of the Galaxy following the Jedi’s fall.
When the Sith took over in 19 BBY and continued their reign of terror before the events of A New Hope, and The Empire Strikes Back, the galaxy plunged deeper into a state of darkness.
Did the State of the Galaxy Kill Yoda?
Some fans state that this caused Yoda to age quickly and deteriorate. But it’s important to remember Yoda was hobbling around on a cane and traveling through the Jedi Temple on levitating pods during the Prequel Trilogy.
Yoda also retained his powers, as seen during The Empire Strikes Back when he used the Force to levitate Luke’s starship.
Not that the dark side didn’t play a role, but it didn’t kill Yoda, a Jedi who made a living keeping the dark side at bay. He was too powerful to succumb to the dark side.
What killed Yoda was Luke Skywalker. That might sound crazy on the surface, but Luke was a lot like Anakin. Yoda knew Anakin held two things that led to the dark side:
- Emotional attachments.
Yoda also knew that his failure to properly deal with Anakin’s emotions during the Prequel Trilogy contributed to the rise of the Galactic Empire. And he wasn’t making the same mistake twice.
When Luke went to rescue his friends before completing his Jedi training in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda realized Luke, like Anakin, feared death. Not just for himself, but the deaths of his friends.
Yoda needed Luke to embrace death. And to show Luke that death is not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter. Yoda had to die and return as a Force ghost To do this.
What were Yoda’s Last Words?
We all have friends and family who remained sharp until their dying day. Yoda was no different and it allowed him to offer Luke words of wisdom that, fortunately, Luke took to heart to defeat Darth Sidious and redeem Darth Vader.
Unfortunately, Luke failed to take Yoda’s last words to heart come to 34 ABY when Yoda burned down the Force tree in The Last Jedi.
So what were these last words?
“Remember, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. Everywhere. Anger, fear, aggression, the dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Do not underestimate the powers of the Emperor, or suffer your father’s fate you will.
“When gone am I, the last of the Jedi you will be. Luke, the Force runs strong in your family, passing on what you have learned. There is another Skywalker.”
Did Yoda Die?
Yoda claimed he was strong in the Force, but not strong enough to overcome death. He was right. Yoda died and his body disappeared to become one with the Force.
However, Yoda’s spirit lived on and he became a Force ghost. A powerful one, as shown in The Last Jedi when he summoned lightning to burn down the Force tree that Luke thought contained the Sacred Jedi Texts.
Yoda also appeared to be solid, showing just how much of himself and his powers he retained, even after death.
One of the most accomplished Jedi Masters ever, Yoda died to show Luke’s death was the beginning of a new adventure, not the end. His final words to Luke were his classic words of wisdom, most notably his warning to Luke about the dark side.
Yoda made his home on Dagobah during the last years, and he died on the swamp planet in 4 ABY. While Yoda died, he retained much of his living self into the next life. So much that even as a Force ghost, he could still use his Jedi powers at will.
Sion Fawkes has been covering Star Wars since January 2022, expanding his expertise in both Star Wars Canon and Legends. When not writing, you can find Sion in the gym or running trails. He also likes watching sports and listening to audiobooks.