WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Tales of the Jedi
Yoda and to a lesser extent, Grogu have become massive powerhouses inside of the Star Wars Galaxy. Yoda was the wise and curiously speaking Grand Master of the Jedi order and Grogu was the as-of-yet silent companion to Din Djarin. Tales of the Jedi has brought up the only other member of Yoda’s species (and yes that is the official name) who appeared in The Phantom Menace, Yaddle.
Who is Yaddle and why is Bryce Dallas Howard voicing her?
Yaddle was born in 509 BBY which was 477 years before the events of The Phantom Menace. During her time as a Jedi, she attained the rank of Jedi Master and had a seat on the council while Qui-Jon Jinn reported his encounter with Darth Maul. Previous to Tales of the Jedi this was her only appearance on-screen, and one of her few appearances in all of canon. The character was actually not even identified at all in the movie, with her name only appearing in the credits. With the rise of the High Republic era and the recent books published we recently found out that she had an appearance by the name of Oppo Rancisis.
Yaddle is being voiced by Star Wars and Jurrasic Park veteran Bryce Dallas Howard. According to an interview conducted by the Nerdist, Dave Filoni described Bryce as “a big fan of what we’ve done in animation over the years. I’d love to get her to direct something in animation.” Dave Filoni goes on to talk about how Yaddle’s compassionate nature reminds him of Bryce. Once he started working on Tales of the Jedi Filoni said that
"I started working on these, and I thought, ‘Hey, you should do the voice of Yaddle. It’d be really fun. It’s not like a massive commitment, obviously, because I’ve got to kill her…’"
So it seems that Bryce’s first foray into the animated Star Wars universe was as a doomed compassionate soul.
So why does Yoda talk backward and Yaddle normally?
To fully answer this question we have to first answer the question “Why doesn’t Yoda speak normally?” According to Dave Filoni’s recollection of Frank Oz “Yoda speaks that way specifically in honor of his own master.” That bit of information has some fun consequences but the most immediate is that Yaddle doesn’t have to speak at all like Yoda. She can speak normally and it not breaks any rules of the canon. And if the speech pattern isn’t based on species then Grogu (if we even hear him speak) could also speak normally instead of like Yoda.
Another explanation for the difference could be that Yoda has some sort of speech impediment or physical disability that prevents him from speaking. If that is the case, Star Wars has been hiding an amazing inclusive storyline for decades.
Tales of the Jedi is now streaming exclusively on Disney+. Be sure to check out all of our coverage of the series, including episode recaps, reviews, and more.