In Tales of the Jedi, we finally got to hear another member of Yoda’s species talk on-screen. And to the surprise of many, Yaddle actually sounds normal!
That was actually the case in Legends, and in the High Republic as well, but we’d never heard her on-screen before. She showed up just briefly sitting on the Jedi Council in The Phantom Menace, and that was it. So when Grogu showed up in The Mandalorian, not yet able to talk, fans have waited to hear what he sounds like. Yoda, of course, has a very distinct way of talking, often phrasing things backwards. Was that something particular to that species, or to Yoda individually?
The answer is that it’s just Yoda. Yaddle talks normal. So why does Yoda talk so differently?
Tales of the Jedi showrunner Dave Filoni spoke with Nerdist about how he and voice actress Bryce Dallas Howard approached it, and the reason why they made this decision with Yaddle.
“Does she speak backwards? I’m like, ‘No, I don’t think so. I think that’s a Yoda thing. Frank Oz told me once that Yoda speaks that way specifically in honor of his own master. That was what he had thought about it. I try to keep moving forward these thoughts. And Bryce on her own made a great Yaddle.”
So there’s the reason why Yoda talks differently, and I like it. There are a couple of reasons why I really like that, and the first is that it honors Frank Oz’s own backstory that he came up with about the character. These actors very frequently will create additional details about their character’s history to help them give a better performance, and though there are plenty of times where that story won’t match up to what later becomes canon (and that’s ok!), it’s cool to honor it when reasonable.
And this certainly does seem reasonable, particularly since previous stories also established this is how Yaddle talks too. So for an in-universe reason, it’s a cool nod that Yoda wants to honor his master. In fact, with how Jedi train from such an early age, it makes even more sense that Yoda’s speech patterns would have been impacted by his master. Maybe that’s the way more Jedi spoke when Yoda first joined the Order? Maybe that was just unique to this Master? Maybe it was a particular dialect of this Master’s species? Whatever the reason, I like that Yoda has kept it going as a way of honoring his own master.