I will spare you the doctoral dissertation-length essay I could write about the wisdom and lessons gleaned from the humble, tiny, muppetty Jedi master Yoda. But, oh what a masterpiece that would be… someday. Instead, we will look at one scene in particular that even the likes of superstar director, Taika Waititi, felt compelled to discuss on the Disney Gallery Star Wars: The Mandalorian roundtable. That scene, of course, is none other than the famous “Do or do not. There is no try.” scene — Luke’s attempt to lift his X-Wing from the Dagobah swamps. Where to begin…
Well, let’s start with the polarizing and widely discussed phrase itself. Yoda drops one of the most iconic quotes of all time known by Star Wars fans and non-Star Wars fans worldwide: “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” What? Yoda, are you telling me that the words of Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” mean nothing to you? What’s wrong with trying? Is Yoda telling us that there’s no point in trying unless you know you’ll succeed? I say nay nay (that one’s for you, Lou). Yoda is saying this in response to Luke’s attitude.
His attitude is reflected in his words, “we’ll never get it out now,” and “moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different.” And finally, the icing on the cake, “alright, I’ll give it a try.” Luke has no faith or belief that he will be able to succeed. He may well have said, “I’m not going to be able to, but since you’re telling me to do it, I’ll try to humor you.” So, Yoda tells him that he will either do it, or he will not do it. The result is based on more than just a physical attempt. It’s based on faith and belief that it is possible. When we are about to attempt something, we must face it with the attitude that we are going to do it. If we have the mentality of passively giving it a try, we’ll get the result we see in The Empire Strikes Back. That X-Wing stays put.
Our little green friend continues to say that “size matters not.” Our appearance and how we are perceived by others also does not dictate whether or not we can succeed. Again, it is our attitude toward the obstacle that matters. Alas, Luke still thinks it is impossible. So Yoda must put his faith in action and lift the X-Wing himself! And what does Luke say? “I don’t believe it.” No faith, no trust in himself or what he is capable of. The hard truth is then revealed in Yoda’s words, “That is why you fail.”
We do not want to get caught in the same trap as Luke. Believe in your abilities. Trust yourself to accomplish what you set out to complete. Do not let your perception of the obstacle, or others’ perception of you make you feel less than. Have the faith of Yoda, and lift that X-Wing out of the swamp.
BONUS LESSON FOR TEACHERS: Even with Luke’s poor attitude, when that X-Wing flinches, Yoda’s eyes widen and he perks up! He believes Luke is going to do it! Have that same belief in your students!
Okay, now I better get out of here or I’ll be writing about Yoda all day long. Let me know in the WDW Clubhouse on Facebook what you think of Yoda’s words or any other nuggets of wisdom you get from him! May the force be with you.
All photos courtesy of starwars.com.
My name is Tyler. I’m 24 years old and I live in Georgia with my wife, Ragan. I am a huge fan of the Disney parks after reigniting my childhood love of Disney on a trip in which I proposed! Since that 2017 trip, we have been back to our home away from home several times, and like many of you, we’re always in the pre-planning stage of a Disney vacation whether it happens or not. I have been a huge fan of Marvel and Star Wars my entire life on a very deep and highly invested level, and I hope my love and passion for these properties (as well as all Disney storytelling on and off the screen) comes through.