We’ve had old Yoda. We’ve had slightly less old Yoda. We’ve had Baby Yoda, albeit that’s an entirely different character. Now, the time has come, for what might as well be the closest we’ll get to teen Yoda. Okay, maybe more of a middle-aged Yoda.
The upcoming Star Wars publishing initiative The High Republic is set 200 years before the events of the prequel trilogy, at the height of the Jedi’s power in the Old Republic. We’ve met new Jedi, from paragons of their Order, to bois both good and thicc. But now, we’re meeting a very familiar face, albeit one with a few less wrinkles.
StarWars.com has revealed the highly unsurprising news that, of course, Yoda will play a part across the High Republic storyline, being told in new books and comic series. Given that he’s a spry 700 or so during all this, it makes sense that he’s still an important part of the Jedi Order. At this point in his life, he’s still a Master on the Council and still a wise tutor of many of the Order’s younglings. He’ll play a prominent part in IDW’s The High Republic Adventures comic series, penned by Daniel José Older and a currently unannounced art team.
“While he’s already a respected member of the Jedi Council at this point, we meet Yoda in IDW’s The High Republic Adventures series doing what he loves best: looking out for the young folks—in this case, a group of Padawans traveling around the galaxy to learn the ways of the Jedi with a hands-on approach,” Older told StarWars.com. “The Force study abroad program, basically.”
Concept artist Ian McCaig—alongside Disney Publishing illustration manager Jeff R. Thomas and Star Wars: Dark Legends artist Grant Griffin—helped shape Yoda’s look for this new era of Star Wars storytelling, giving the venerable Jedi Master a familiar, yet younger look. Gone are quite so many of the wrinkles around his eyes, and there’s nary a whisper of those white tufts of hair. He’s still Yoda, just...smooth. Not bad for seven centuries, to be fair.
Yoda also gets a slight costume update reflecting the general design of the High Republic’s Jedi finery. His traditional mission gear looks very much in line with what we’ve previously seen Yoda wearing in the prequel trilogy (I like that this implies that Yoda either has a massive wardrobe filled with only one set of robes, or, woof, he smells so bad it’s no wonder he went into exile on a swamp planet). But he also has a more colorful, brighter set of robes for when he’s sitting on the Council, reflecting the Jedi’s presented image as the lofty guardians of peace and justice.
We’ll meet Younger Yoda when The High Republic kicks off next year, starting with Charles Soule’s novel Light of the Jedi, alongside Justina Ireland’s middle-grade novel A Test of Courage, on January 5, 2021.
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