Star Wars: Frank Oz Would Get "Bored" Of Yoda's Backwards Talking

His stature may be slight, but ever since his debut in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda has captivated audiences with his wisdom, humor and manner of speaking. The character delivered some of the saga's most iconic lines, yet not all of his dialogue easily rolls off the tongue. During an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, puppeteer and voice actor Frank Oz shared that, when overused, Yoda's unique speech patterns would make him "bored."

"Hello LA, I would get bored of what you called his backward talking if there was not a real, serious reason behind it," Oz told a user when they asked about varying frequencies of this specific speech pattern. "And there is a real, serious reason for his talking like that. But there are a lot of questions waiting."

The original question claimed that, at times, Yoda's unique manner of speaking came across as distracting as opposed to naturally suited to the character, who also sometimes spoke in perfect English. Throughout the online Q&A, Oz also regularly credited the films' writers with crafting Yoda's dialogue and, just as importantly, his scene partner, Mark Hamill.

"It was a joy and a challenge to come back to perform Yoda," Oz explained of his appearance in The Last Jedi. "As for Mark, I'll say it over and over if it wasn't for Mark, and his belief in the character, Yoda would not be the Yoda we know. I think Mark did a fantastic job in The Last Jedi. As for the pager-turner line, that was Rian, the director and writer. All the dialogue came from him. He is annoyingly talented."

Last December, language expert David Adger, from Queen Mary University of London, used "linguistic detective work" to determine that Yoda's speech patterns most closely echo the Hawaiian language.

"He’s speaking English but changed the structure of it to be like his native language," Adger points out. "We can find out something about Yoda’s native language by looking at how he speaks English, in the same way as I can find out about a French person’s native language by looking at how that French person speaks English."

"Yoda says things like 'the greatest teacher failure is'… If you were to say that in a language like Hawaiian … it would be almost exactly the same … putting the predicate before the subject," the professor used as an example.

It is worth noting, however, that Adger clarified that it's possible Yoda merely "grew up speaking" Hawaiian, even if he wasn't necessarily born there.

You can see Yoda in The Last Jedi, in theaters now.

[H/T Reddit]

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