Yoda is an interesting character. He used this cane called a gimer stick, yet when he engaged in lightsaber combat, he was capable of performing acrobatic maneuvers like front flips. Following lightsaber duels, he reverted back to his feeble movements while leaning over the stick.
Yoda received the gimer stick as a gift from the Wookiees. It contained nutritious qualities that Yoda used to his advantage. He used the stick to move instead of the Force because he did not believe in wielding the Force unless necessary.
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About Yoda’s Gimer Stick
We know little about the gimer stick, but popular fan site Wookieepedia provided a basic outline.
The Wookiees gifted Yoda his gimer stick some time during the Galactic Republic’s waning decades. More than just your average cane, the gimer stick was a natural painkiller and thirst quencher.
Yoda chewed on the bark to access the gimer juice, something he used to his advantage when forced to go long periods without food.
Gimer bush, the natural material the gimer stick was made from, grew on both Dagobah, where Yoda spent his exile, and Kashyyyk, the Wookiees’ homeworld.
The gimer stick fit Yoda’s persona well, as many believed them to symbolize a Jedi’s wisdom.
Per Star Wars Legends, Yoda left his original gimer stick behind following his duel with Darth Sidious and retrieved a new one during his exile on Dagobah.
Why Does Yoda Use a Cane?
The Phantom Menace takes place in 32 BBY. And Yoda, born in 896 BBY, was 864 years old during the movie. Come Attack of the Clones, he was 874. And finally, in Revenge of the Sith, Yoda was 877.
You may have noticed Yoda moved slowly during The Prequel Trilogy, always hunched over a gimer stick. While Yoda could use the Force to heal himself and to engage in lightsaber combat, it’s clear he did not use it to keep himself moving like he did in his younger days.
Enter the term ascetic, which describes individuals who practice severe self-discipline. The word also states that ascetic individuals further refrain from indulgence of any kind for religious reasons.
Yoda’s even quoted in The Empire Strikes Back, saying, “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never attack.”
We know the Jedi are at their core, a group of monks that will fight when necessary. But when they see no need to wield the Force, they don’t. Therefore, to abstain from indulging in the Force unless he needs to use it, Yoda walks with a gimer stick.
While we’ve seen Jedi use the Force for mundane things, like when Anakin Skywalker used it to summon food in Attack of the Clones, Yoda, the Light Side Avatar, had more respect for the Force than to abuse his power to wield it.
Why Does Yoda Need a Cane to Walk, But Does Back and Front Flips with Ease?
Yoda mastered all seven forms of lightsaber combat even if he didn’t use them all. For example, it’s hard to see Yoda using Form VII, also known as Juyo and Vaapad. He also didn’t care for Form II, or Makashi, evidenced from his dislike of Count Dooku’s lightsaber hilt.
Form IV, or Ataru, became Yoda’s go-to, allowing him to perform acrobatic movements when in lightsaber combat. Using Ataru, Yoda also gained the upper-hand in open-space combat, but he also excelled in close quarters.
Ataru focused on speed and an all-out offensive style. This also allowed Ataru’s users to end duels quickly, something Yoda showed off during his fights against Count Dooku and Darth Sidious.
The style suited Yoda well, since it demanded its practitioners to have a deeper understanding of the Force.
Yoda, one of the most powerful Force-sensitives in the galaxy, had no problem wielding the Force, allowing him to perform front flips as though he’s centuries younger.
Besides front flips, Ataru also required its practitioners to attack their opponent from all, preferably unexpected, directions. This further required users like Yoda to perform somersaults and leaps, focusing on their speed and agility.
Why Does Yoda Need a Cane to Walk, but Can Move Extremely Fast in His Fight?
Yoda’s use of a gimer stick tells us he was long past his prime. However, he was still one of the galaxy’s most powerful Force-wielders.
Wielding the Force allowed him to become a blur on the screen during his duels with Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones and Darth Sidious in Revenge of the Sith, even well into his 800s.
Yoda’s Ataru fighting form also helped him move fast, since one of the form’s distinguishing traits required the practitioner to use Force speed, allowing them to accelerate to a super-human capacity.
In Attack of the Clones, Yoda’s use of the form forced Dooku to flee. As Yoda increased his speed and use of offensives, Dooku realized he did not wield the Force as well as Yoda.
Before the duel, Dooku believed that with his new Sith powers that he could outlast his former Master. The Jedi Grand Master proved his old Padawan wrong after their lightsaber duel barely lasted over a minute.
In Revenge of the Sith, Yoda’s duel with Darth Sidious was also short-lived. Yoda moved so fast despite his old age that Sidious realized the same thing as Dooku: It was pointless to try and defeat Yoda with lightsabers, prompting him to use his Force powers.
When Yoda stopped dueling, he did not use the Force to enhance himself physically. This forced him to return to his aging self, walking with the use of a cane.
Yoda used the gimer stick to walk and even supplement his nutrition. This gift from the Wookiees also symbolized Yoda’s Jedi wisdom, so it fit his persona.
When in battle, Yoda used the Force to perform acrobatic maneuvers with his Ataru fighting style, also known as Form IV. He only used the Force to move when he deemed it necessary, and never used it out of vanity, explaining his use of the gimer stick.