Yoda -- Out of the Closet
May 28, 2002
Get your minds out of gutter!
This isn't an story about the short, green Jedi
homosexuality, although in any such discussion
I'd be forced to mention
that Yoda is voiced by Frank Oz, director of
In & Out and also the
voice behind Sesame's Street's Bert, who has
been living with his
"friend" Ernie for almost 25 years now. It's
widely whispered, that
that Ernie's missing rubber ducky was found
only with the help of an
emergency room doctor and surgical tools, but
the thought of puppets
engaging in that kind of sexual tomfoolery both
terrifies and excites
me, so I'll choose not to believe it. Yoda,
however is far too dirty and
poorly dressed to be gay and I have a hunch
that it does more than his
heart good to know that Amidala is in
Courascant, if you know what I
mean, so we can finally put those "Yoda/Mace
Windu love story" internet
rumors to rest. It's not happening, people!
(Yoda: "Big are you in the
ways of the... force, Mace." Mace: "This party's
just gettin' started!")
The only light saber Yoda will be whipping out
any time soon is the one
he uses to give evil Count Dookie a
But I digress...
This is about a love story of a different kind-
a boy and his full-scale
cardboard cut-out of Yoda. You see this
character was his favorite
since he was a kid. He was Yoda for Halloween,
had a Yoda-shaped
birthday cake for his eighth birthday and was a
longtime president of
the Yoda club, a second grade "Dead Poet's
Society"-like club where
like-minded geeks would meet in dark corners
during recess and mimic
Yoda's speech and his gait. He even convinced
his P.E. teacher to allow
the class to compete in a Yoda relay race,
where all competitors would
run-squat across the cafeteria, which, of
course, I won --
Oops, did I say me? I meant he. He won.
So it wasn't much of a surprise, that as a gift
during one of those
drunken college birthday parties, one of my
friends got me a full-sized
cardboard cut-out of Yoda that I placed proudly
in my room next to my
bed. After a few scary mornings waking up next
to that homely green
face, I finally got used to it.
You see, Yoda was funny. He would tell jokes
at parties when I got
drunk, wowing the crowd with dead-on
impressions of himself. During any
prolonged make-out session, I would turn Yoda
around, because I
understand it can be a little creepy to feel
"like we're being watched,"
as Luke put it, by the wisest Jedi in the
universe. I recall it as a
charming moment, but that may be selective
memory. It was probably
tantamount to tattooing "lame-ass geek" on my
"Why doesn't she call me? Hmmm. Funny, it
But things change, after a few months of
spending time in the room with
my new wife and I, my bride got to thinking...
"Honey, I don't think Yoda looks good there."
"Really? Where would he look better?"
"How about in the closet?"
"But no one would see him in the... oh."
You lose the little battles to win the big
ones, I told myself. And she
did have a point, that between our, newer, more
Yoda was starting to look a little out of
place. So off he went to
start his exile on a distant, smelly planet
also known as my closet,
buried somewhere between old baseball cards and
my wife's musical
And I realized, while watching Episode II,
that part of the
disappointment with the new films has to do
with the fact that nothing
will be as magical to me as the originals were
to me as a kid. Episode
II was good -- I enjoyed the midnight showing,
being part of the
atmosphere -- but I was thinking about two thirds
through that it could
never be the same, it could never match my
expectations, even if the
acting and dialogue were a bit better.
But I go, and I'll go to the next one for
moments like Episode II's
climax, where my old hero whips out his light
saber and busts ass just
like he always did when we would play with the
old Star Wars action
figures. It was almost Lucas was doing the
same thing when he was
writing the script.
"And here comes Yoda around the corner... and
Dooku is all like... 'I'm
not afraid of you,' and then Yoda is
just a theory.
And I'm so proud of him, I've decided it's time
to drag his tired, old
ass out of the closet and put him back in his
room where he rightfully belongs.
Did I mention that my wife is leaving town for a few months?