Who Trained Yoda To Be A Jedi?

Who trained Jedi Grand Master Yoda, one of Star Wars‘ most mysterious characters? Throughout almost every canonical Star Wars movie or series, there are reminders of how Yoda influenced the Jedi and the Sith, his legendary attunement with the Force, and his wisdom of 900 years. The Jedi Master who actually taught Yoda to understand the ways of the Force and become a Jedi himself has been named.

In the Disney-Lucasfilm Press book The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi, Yoda tells Luke a story handed down by his master – but the identity of the person is never revealed. The closest that Star Wars canon has come to naming who trained Yoda was revealing that Jedi Master Qui-Gon Ginn was the one who taught Yoda to become a Force Ghost and attain immortality. As Yoda tells Qui-Gonn in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, “A very great Jedi Master you have become, Qui-Gon Jinn. A very great Jedi Master you always were, but too blind I was to see it,” after which Yoda bows to Qui-Gon – the apprentice bowing to his master. Qui-Gon’s Force Ghost aside, Star Wars canon remains silent about the real identity of Yoda’s first Jedi Master.


The Star Wars Legends continuity, however, has actually named the person. Yoda’s Jedi Master was a Hysalrian named N’Kata Del Gormo. Although N’Kata is never mentioned in any of the canonical movies or shows, his backstory as Yoda’s teacher is now considered an in-universe legend. Here’s everything else audiences need to know about N’Kata Del Gormo.

Who Was Yoda’s Jedi Master In Star Wars Legends?

N’Kata Del Gormo was a Force-sensitive Hysalrian, a reptilian race who hailed from a swamp world in the Hysalria star system in the Outer Rims of the galaxy. Both the character and the race were created by Chuck Hamilton in 1995 for Star Wars Galaxy Magazine‘s “Design An Alien” contest. The Hysalrian race was Hamilton’s actual entry, and he created N’Kata Del Gormo and his backstory as Yoda’s teacher as part of Hysalrian history. Hysalrians are even less humanoid in appearance than Star Wars’ Trandoshans or the Aqualish. Instead of legs, Hysalrians have serpentine lower halves, white segmented underbellies, and muted green skin. They also have four humanoid arms, four eyes, and an elongated skull. Though not much is known about Hysalrian history and culture, N’Kata Del Gormo is depicted as being unclothed, wearing only leather harnesses that cross over his torso, protective bracers, and a belt with leather pouches. N’Kata’s weapon is not a lightsaber, but a long and twisted wooden staff, atop of which is a large crystal – likely used for Force attunement.

Star Wars in-universe legend states that N’Kata and Yoda met when Yoda and a human companion crash-landed on the Hysalrian swamp world. N’Kata then informed the aliens that they were Force-sensitive and then trained them as Padawans. Yoda’s time in N’Kata’s homeworld could be part of the reason why Yoda hid on Dagobah, which was also a swamp planet rich in the Force. Sometime after N’Kata trained Yoda, a Galactic Republic starship arrived to answer the distress call Yoda sent out before they crash-landed. The ship brought Yoda to Coruscant, where he continued his studies and eventually rose to the rank of Grand Master. Unfortunately, any existing records of Yoda’s life as a Padawan were lost during Emperor Palpatine’s Great Jedi Purge. That said, like the many Star WarsLegends characters who were later reincorporated into canon continuity, it might just be a matter of time before N’Kata Del Gormo enters the fray.

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