Aug 24, 2023
"Play With Your Toys": Yoda Knows the Jedi Were Wrong to Recruit Children
During his Dagobah exile, Yoda is confronted with the darkness of his past, including the fact that the Jedi Order was wrong to indoctrinate children. Warning! This article contains spoilers for Star
During his Dagobah exile, Yoda is confronted with the darkness of his past, including the fact that the Jedi Order was wrong to indoctrinate children.
Warning! This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: Yoda #10 Following its downfall, it became apparent to Yoda that there were many problems with the Jedi Order. The Jedi grew militaristic, arrogant in their perceived knowledge of the universe, and utterly unwilling to accept any form of criticism to their established ways. The Jedi were doomed to fall when they refused to change, and one of the most glaring things the Order should have changed was the recruitment and indoctrination of children, especially since that practice called for isolating these children from their families for their entire lives. And now, it’s finally revealed that Yoda knew the Jedi were wrong to recruit children the way they did, and the one line, “play with your toys”, proves it.
Yoda’s life was recently explored in much greater detail in the comic series Star Wars: Yoda, in which fans get to see missions, relationships, and other pivotal moments in Yoda’s life they wouldn’t otherwise know about. The series shows Yoda forming a relationship with an entire civilization of alien lifeforms he helped free from violent aggressors, Yoda’s time as a teacher to the younglings of the Jedi Order, and even Yoda’s final days of exile on Dagobah before the arrival of Luke Skywalker. And it was that final one that really stands out, in this case, as it actually showed Yoda coming to terms with the error of his ways. During those last days of exile on Dagobah, Yoda experienced a sinister series of visions that exposed his greatest faults, anxieties, and darkness, including the aforementioned indoctrination of children - something that was subtly brought up to him by none other than Anakin Skywalker.
In Star Wars: Yoda #10 by Cavan Scott and Ibraim Roberson, Yoda is currently residing on Dagobah following the fall of the Jedi Order. This is perhaps the lowest point in Yoda’s life, as he is riddled with guilt over everything that happened, and he blames himself for all of it. This issue opens with Yoda experiencing a nightmare, one where he is visited by Anakin Skywalker as a child, back when Anakin first joined the Jedi Order. In the dream, Yoda is playing with a musical instrument known as a taratti, but when he gets distracted by a vision of the Death Star, the young Anakin appears out of nowhere and essentially tells Yoda to ignore the incoming Imperial threat, and to, “play with your toys”.
As the vision plays out, it becomes increasingly apparent that the young Anakin Skywalker wasn’t referring to Yoda learning an instrument (something he actually did earlier in the series), but was actually a stand-in for Yoda’s own subconscious guilt over indoctrinating younglings into the Jedi Order, and then playing with their lives as if they were his ‘toys’. This is why Anakin appears to him at such a young age, because Anakin was perhaps Yoda’s greatest failure as a teacher. Yoda played with Anakin’s life by the rules set by the Jedi Order and primarily carried out by Yoda as a Grand Master, and as a result, the Jedi Order fell, and the Sith rose to conquer the galaxy under the guise of the Empire.
While Anakin was the greatest example of why it is wrong to isolate people (especially children) from the ones they love and the ones who love them due to fear of what dark emotions may follow, Yoda was guilty of doing this with countless Jedi over the course of his long life. Anakin simply showed him how wrong he had been to do so for so long, both in this vision and in real life. So, with the simple yet profound line of dialogue, “play with your toys”, Yoda is confronted head-on with his own guilt, proving that he knew the Jedi were wrong to recruit children.
Star Wars: Yoda #10 by Marvel Comics is available now.
Spencer Connolly is a Staff Writer for Screen Rant. With years of writing and journalism experience under his belt, Spencer joined Screen Rant in 2020. Prior to writing for Screen Rant, Spencer was a Photojournalist and News Producer. Throughout his career as a journalist and even his entire life, Spencer always had a deep love for comics and is now applying everything he has learned throughout his career to the fun and informative articles he writes for Screen Rant. You can follow Spencer on Twitter: @TheSpencerVerse.YodaYodaStar Wars: Yoda #10