The tragic fall of Anakin Skywalker from Jedi Knight to Sith Lord is well noted throughout Star Wars lore, and it all began with Anakin breaking the Jedi’s ban on attachment–however, he wasn’t the first Jedi to succumb to that particular brand of temptation as Yoda broke that same law long before Anakin Skywalker, yet did nothing to help him.
Anakin Skywalker was brought into the Jedi Order following the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace with Obi-Wan Kenobi as his master. After years of training, Anakin became a Jedi Knight and fought alongside Obi-Wan in the Clone Wars. However, even with all the positive influence in his life, the Dark Side grew heavy within Anakin as it was pushed upon him by his secret mentor, Sheev Palpatine aka Darth Sidious. Sidious had always planned to corrupt Anakin to the Dark Side, and he figured his best bet in succeeding was to use something, or someone, whom Anakin loved: Padmé Amidala. As a Jedi, Anakin was forbidden from creating emotional bonds of attachment to anything or anyone, but his love for Padmé outweighed his commitment to the Jedi, and Anakin married Padmé in secret. While this act of love wasn’t evil in any way, it was enough to create doubt in Anakin’s mind about the Jedi Order–which was more than enough space for Palpatine’s evil to slither in and corrupt him completely.
In Star Wars: Yoda #2 by Cavan Scott and Nico Leon, Yoda has taken up residence on a planet called Turrak in an effort to protect an alien race called the Scalvi from the raiding forces of the Crulkon. While Yoda’s motivations are noble and speak to the true nature of the Jedi way–which is to protect all life in the galaxy no matter how seemingly insignificant–his actions weren’t without consequences. By staying on Turrak, specifically with the Scalvi people, Yoda abandoned his post on Coruscant. Yoda is a Grandmaster on the Jedi High Council, so his absence is felt throughout the entire Jedi Order–yet Yoda chooses to stay on an outer rim planet, doing little more than fending off raiders from time to time and learning a musical instrument. While Yoda claims he is just there to ensure the safety of the Scalvi and create peace with the Crulkon, the reason is that he’s grown attached to these people–an attachment that inspires him to betray his duties as a Jedi Grandmaster.
Yoda Could Have Empathized with Anakin and Prevented Darth Vader
Not only did Yoda allow his emotional bond with the Scalvi cloud his judgment long before Anakin did the same thing with Padmé, but Yoda evidently learned nothing from the experience. Yoda knew firsthand how powerful the feeling of attachment was in his heart, and how he was so sure that he needed to follow that feeling in order to follow the way of the Force, yet when Anakin did it, he was wrong. Not only that, but the Jedi’s rule against close relationships was evidently so flawed, that even Yoda essentially broke it. One would think that Yoda would use his influence to perhaps change this ban or at the very least seek out other Jedi who are struggling like he did and offer them specific guidance, but in Anakin’s case, Yoda did absolutely nothing.
Yoda formed an emotional bond with the Scalvi people long before Anakin Skywalker was even born, let alone a Jedi who formed his own emotional bond with Padmé, yet instead of understanding Anakin’s plight, Yoda elected to ignore it, which only allowed Palpatine the room he needed to infiltrate Anakin’s mind and make him Darth Vader. All the pain and suffering endured by the Star Wars universe post-Clone Wars and throughout the Galactic Civil War could have been avoided, if only Yoda learned from his struggle with attachment and passed what he learned onto Anakin Skywalker.