Talk like Yoda you can!

Yoda. The world’s most beloved warrior-monk-philosopher alien. A movie character so cool he doesn’t need a last name, an origin story, or a home planet. A guy who’s so in tune with the Force that he was able to survive the disastrous Star Wars prequel trilogy with his reputation intact. Yoda, the ultimate Jedi Master, the dispenser of wisdom and wit, and the lovable scourge of proper sentence structure.
On May 21 each year, Star Wars fans around the world celebrate their favorite funny-speaking character from the franchise. It’s a special day because that was the date when the movie that introduced us to the pointy-eared joy that is Yoda—The Empire Strikes Back—premiered in 1980. It was also the date the world first heard what is sometimes called Yodaspeak, the inverted sentence structure the character made famous.
Not that Yoda isn’t capable of using typical English subject-verb-object word order. He does it quite a lot. But the tough old sage sounds even wiser and more cryptic when he moves things around and starts his sentences with an object, followed by the subject and the verb. Or he might do it in another way, and start with the subject but switch the places of the verb and the object. This proclivity for using strange sentence structure is one of Yoda’s most recognizable character traits, which is why Yoda’s day is called Talk Like Yoda Day.
It’s easy to join the celebration; there’s no wrong way to go about it. You can try to watch all of the Star Wars movies in a single sitting, for example. You can wear T-shirts or even costumes, go to events, or host a Talk Like Yoda Day party. But whatever you do, it’s important to remember—speak like Yoda, you must. Easy to learn, it is. Help you, online tools will. Don’t use Yodaspeak to say trivial things—use it to convey only the thoughts that are worthy of Yodaspeak. Speak in imperatives when using Yodaspeak, and add an inquisitive “hmm?” at the end of your questions.
But then, forget the rule about not speaking trivial things. Go ahead and talk to the petshop clerk in Yodaspeak while you buy cat food. Talk Like Yoda Day is all about having fun with language and honoring a fictional character who managed to find a place in every sci-fi fan’s heart. So do what Yoda would do, and do it the way Yoda would do it—speak in a funny way, you must, if to honor Yoda you want.

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