Revisiting a Jedi Master: RetroZap Artist Series

by Kendall Schroeder

Inspired by a pivotal moment in The Last Jedi, Kendall Schroeder illustrates the visage of a Jedi Master.

Dagobah is a mysterious place. It’s a forgotten planet covered with misty swamps, forests and bogs. Set apart in a remote corner of the galaxy, it’s a place with no evidence of advanced technology. Despite its desolate nature, its inhabited with many creatures indigenous to its climate. Dagobah is alive in the Force. It’s the home of a master. It’s a world not unlike a new one we have just come to know: Ahch-To.

Home of a Jedi Master

Much like Dagobah, Ahch-To is shrouded in mystery. It’s a planet covered in seas with island masses of green jutting out into the sky. Ahch-To is alive in the Force. Once the sight of the first Jedi Temple, Ahch-To is a sacred place. It’s a place where we once again, revisit a Jedi and his master.

Master Yoda Pencil Sketch

The Last Jedi

I love The Last Jedi! From the opening scene of war to the final moment of peace, the latest installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy is everything I could hope for and nothing that I expected. Rian Johnson has taken the world that George Lucas created, the story that J. J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasden began, and has made it come alive in a new yet familiar way. This story puts the characters we have come to love in The Force Awakens into dire situations, challenging them to the limits of their abilities. It’s a film that pits light against dark, pride against humility, hope against despair, failure against triumph. These themes are familiar to the Star Wars galaxy. These same themes were especially present in the second part of the original trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back, and arguably throughout all the films.

Master Yoda Ink Drawing

Pass on what you have learned

The Last Jedi features the Force-sensitive, scavenger Rey arriving on Ahch-To seeking help from the revered Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker. Rey hopes to learn more about the ways of the Jedi from the Master she only knew in stories. This image parallels events in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke travels to Dagobah seeking the Jedi Master Yoda’s guidance.

At the culmination of Luke’s training in The Return of the Jedi, in his last words, Yoda tells Luke to pass on what he has learned. In the newest story, we find that Luke did indeed begin training a new generation of Jedi, including the young Force-sensitive child of Han and Leia. However, we learn that Luke’s failure with Ben Solo has driven him to exile on the remote planet.

Hands of a Master

The greatest teacher, failure is

One of the most endearing parts of the Star Wars galaxy is the knowledge and wisdom Yoda shares in each sentence he speaks. There are many aspects of the original trilogy that resonate with me but some of the strongest are when Yoda is involved. Throughout the The Clone Wars and Rebels animated shows, much is learned from Yoda’s teachings. Imagine my joy when the great Jedi Master appears on screen alongside my hero, for the first time since 1983. Voiced by the amazingly talented Frank Oz, once again, Yoda returns to give a desperate Luke Skywalker another important lesson. It seems that the once confident Jedi, has struggled to forgive himself for his failures with training Ben Solo. Yoda explains to Luke that it’s just as important for masters to pass on their failures and weaknesses as well as their strengths in the training of others.

“Heeded my words not, did you? Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.” Yoda

This is the final catalyst that prompts the return of the lost Jedi. And, through his sacrifice, Luke becomes one with the Force like his master before him, finally finding purpose and achieving peace. Who knows, maybe Luke will return again to show his nephew, Ben Solo, the error of his ways.

Master Yoda Sideshow Collectible

Revisiting the Master

The overwhelming joy I feel after seeing two of my favorite characters on screen again after 34 years has sparked me to get out my pencil and paper and get to work. At the time of this article, I have only seen The Last Jedi three times so using the movie as reference material is difficult. Therefore, I capitalized on the most recent announcement from Sideshow Collectibles of the upcoming Yoda Legends figure. This figure has so much detail, it was a perfect model for my tribute.
I sketched the figure in pencil and then applied a black outline with ink. This is a special character to me so I wanted to bring it to life as best I could. I added as much detail as I felt necessary in ink and knew I needed to add more depth. I uploaded my drawing into the Procreate app on my iPad Pro to complete the piece.

Master Yoda Final

The Last Jedi is a visual masterpiece and I look forward to sharing my love for this movie and the Star Wars galaxy in the new year.

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