Yoda died almost alone, next to his last, conflicted trainee Luke Skywalker, in a mud hut buried deep in the swamps of Dagobah. But before the generations-long struggle with the Galactic Empire and forces of the Dark Side, it turns out he was a pretty happy little green dude.
Fortunately, we’re about to get a look at the days when Yoda was still happy and surrounded by friends who hadn’t turned to the dark side of the Force, thanks to the next three-issue arc in Marvel’s officially canon Star Wars comic book series.
“I’m always struck, when you go back and watch Empire, by just how funny Yoda is,” comic writer Jason Aaron told Star Wars.com. “I like that playfulness to Yoda. So I’m trying to find a balance between the wise, serious Jedi Master and that sort of sense of playfulness.”
The story itself is framed inside of the journals of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which Luke Skywalker has access to in the current Star Wars comics. Previously, these diary flashbacks have depicted just exactly how Obi-Wan and Luke met in the desert of Tatooine prior to the event of A New Hope and why Obi-Wan’s relationship with Uncle Owen became so strained. Since January of 2015, all Star Wars comics published by Marvel are considered canon, meaning all of this counts.
Set before the events of The Phantom Menace, the new Yoda story will see appearances from a young Obi-Wan, as well as an alive Qui-Gon Jinn. Now, because in the continuity of the comics, Luke is reading these diary entries before the events of Empire, this now asserts that Luke Skywalker is vaguely aware of Yoda prior to meeting him. As Jason Aaron puts it: “Luke will read without knowing who Yoda is or that it’s actually about him.” For the comic reader, Yoda will appear as his diminutive, green-skinned self. Only our imaginations can tell us how Luke will imagine Yoda in his mind’s eye.
Star Wars Issue #26 — which will begin the Yoda arc — will be released sometime late this year.