• Yoda doesn't fear the dark side openly during the High Republic era, even when facing dangerous adversaries like the Nihil and the Nameless. He doesn't believe it will consume someone to the point of no return, unlike his later belief.
  • Yoda works with a former Jedi Knight who fell to the dark side in investigating the Nameless. This shows that Yoda was not as fearful during this time.
  • The High Republic Phase III has the opportunity to explain Yoda's fear of the dark side and his character change. It could be influenced by the Jedi's fight against the Nameless and a betrayal in Yoda's partnership with Rell.

Star Wars: The High Republic Phase III can explain why Yoda came to fear the dark side. The High Republic era takes place approximately 200 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. During this period, Yoda is 700 years old, a Jedi Grand Master, and a prominent member of the Jedi Council. High Republic-era Yoda is every bit as strong and wise as audiences have come to expect from his previous appearances in the prequel trilogy, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the original Star Wars trilogy, but there’s one hugely important difference.

During the Clone Wars, Yoda and the rest of the Jedi feared the dark side to such a degree that it affected their decision-making and trust in the Force. When Anakin arrived, heralded as the so-called “Chosen One,” Yoda recognized Anakin’s fear and said: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” In the aftermath of the Clone Wars, once Anakin turned and the Jedi lost, Yoda came to fear the dark side’s power even more. In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda tells Luke Skywalker that once one turns to the dark side, it will “dominate their destiny” and consume them. Yoda’s fear was understandable – but he had a different outlook during the High Republic era.

Related: Star Wars' High Republic Explained & Release Guide (Books, Comics & Show

Yoda Isn't Afraid Of The Dark Side In The High Republic

Yoda Star Wars High Republic design featured

Remarkably, Yoda does not seem to fear the dark side as openly during the High Republic era. This is interesting when considering the numerous dangerous adversaries the Jedi faced – the marauders known as the Nihil and the dark, Force-consuming creature known as the Nameless. While Yoda is wary of the dark side, as anyone affiliated with the light is bound to be, he does not yet seem to believe that it will consume someone to the point of no return, as he later tells Luke.

For instance, in Star Wars: The High Republic – Shadows of Starlight #1 by Charles Soule and Ibraim Roberson, Yoda works side by side with Azlin Rell, a former Jedi Knight who fell to the dark side. Together, they began an investigation into the Nameless, the creatures capable of turning a Jedi’s body into a shriveled husk. When Yoda and Azlin meet with some other Jedi, they immediately pull out their lightsabers, but Yoda tells them to stand down and says: “In Azlin’s fear, the dark side took him. His mind is fractured, the secrets he has found hidden… but through the Force, he and I will discover them… together.” Yoda being willing to work with someone who has fallen to the dark side proves that, back then, he was nowhere near as fearful as he was centuries later.

The High Republic Phase III Must Explain This Massive Yoda Character Change

Yoda in Star Wars The Phantom Menace

So, what changed for Yoda? The High Republic Phase III has a perfect opportunity to explain what made Yoda so afraid of the dark side. During the prequel era, the Jedi were being led by their fear – even Yoda succumbed to his fear of the unknown, and this allowed Palpatine to manipulate the Jedi and pull them into an unwinnable conflict. Such a massive character change should be explored. Explaining Yoda’s changing temperament will provide a better understanding of the Jedi’s beliefs and a better understanding of the mysteries of the dark side as a whole.

Related: Evidence The Jedi Fell To The Dark Side 200 Years Before The Star Wars Prequels

As the Nameless are bound to play a pivotal role in the events of The High Republic Phase III, there’s a good chance Yoda’s character shift will happen as a result of the Jedi’s fight against them. Yoda and a few other Jedi failed to keep a specific artifact safe, allowing the Nihil’s leader, Marchion Ro, to control these creatures. Equally, his partnership with Rell takes a harrowing turn in that same comic, and Yoda’s fear of the dark could manifest because of that betrayal. Yoda’s sadness over his fellow Jedi’s deaths might not be enough to push someone as strong and wise as him to the dark side, but it might just be enough to push his fear of the unknown to new heights in Star Wars: The High Republic Phase III.