What is Yoda up to during the High Republic era?

With The High Republic era set 200 years before the Skywalker Saga, there aren’t too many familiar faces that could show up. But one of those few who has shown up is a beloved fan-favorite: Yoda.

And this makes sense, as he’s nearly 900 years old by the time of his death in Return of the Jedi! That means he’s around 700 years old during the High Republic era, and is thus obviously already an influential member of the Jedi Order. It seems that the High Republic storytellers are using Yoda carefully and sparingly, but they nonetheless have given us a picture of what the wise Jedi is up to during this era.

Though it is never explicitly said, the impression that is given is that Yoda has been a high-ranking member of the Order for a long, long time, and it is very apparent from the way that others talk and think about him that he is one of the most respected Jedi of them all. By the events of these stories, Yoda was already the Grand Master of the Order, alongside Vetar and Lahru (there were three Grand Masters during this time), and it doesn’t seem to be a recent promotion either.

What is recent is that Yoda has taken a leave from the Jedi High Council, described as a sabbatical. He chose the Mon Calamari Jedi Master Ephru Shinn to take his seat on the Council while he recused himself from Council matters, and the implication is that this has only been the case for a matter of months. It seems that the reason for this leave was so that Yoda could take a more vested interest in training Padawans (including Lula Talisola), which he does aboard the Star Hopper, a Jedi training ship.

When the Great Disaster strikes, Yoda is with the Padawans and Master Torban Buck aboard the Star Hopper, and they receive a distress signal from the Trymant System. The Jedi head off to help there, but that is not the only aid Yoda lends during the crisis. As explained in Light of the Jedi, while Avar Kriss coordinates the many Jedi lending aid at Hetzal, Jedi from all across the galaxy use the Force to help – including Yoda:

“Not only that, but she sensed that other Jedi had brought their focus to bear as well – from Coruscant, from across the galaxy. Even Yoda, wherever he was with his little crew of younglings – his great, wise mind sang its own part of the chorus, heartbreakingly beautiful, a voice of pure light betraying his physical appearance. Not this crude matter indeed.”

In the aftermath of the Great Disaster, the Starlight Beacon is set to be dedicated, an outpost of the Republic as the government seeks to expand its borders, and a beacon of hope and light to those in the Outer Rim. Yoda and Vetar arrive at the Beacon early, before the ceremony, as they have a meeting with Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh to discuss the progress in Bacta manufacturing. While there, they also appoint Avar Kriss as the marshal of the station. Later, with the most influential members of the Republic and the Jedi in attendance, the Starlight Beacon is dedicated. As Light of the Jedi puts it,

“Every prominent Jedi in the galaxy was aboard the station, even Yoda, which surprised some. Ordinarily, the ancient master avoided non-essential social gatherings with determined glee, but here he was with the class of younglings he had taken under his tutelage in recent months. His reasons for attending the dedication of the Starlight Beacon were his own. Yoda kept his own counsel.”

So there you go: in the High Republic, Yoda was one of three Grand Masters of the Jedi Order and had served on hte Jedi Council, but was currently on a sabbatical to train Padawans. And while he seemed to have recused himself of Council matters, that wasn’t entirely the case (given his meeting with the Chancellor about Bacta). Regardless of his official position and involvement, however, it is clear that Yoda by this time was already one of the wisest and most respected members of the Order.

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