The newest Stars War movie, The Last Jedi is finally, finally here, and — in my opinion — it was worth all the hype. As you might have predicted, quite a bit of the plot revolved around discussions of Jedis, flashbacks about Jedis, and Jedi training. One character in particular you think of when considering Jedis. STOP READING NOW if you don't want spoilers (and honestly if you didn't want spoilers, why did you click here in the first place?). Purist and casual Star Wars fans alike freaked out when Yoda showed up for scenes in The Last Jedi.
Yes, that's right: The Jedi Master of Jedi Masters made an appearance in the newest movie. True to unusually-sized form, Yoda showed up as a surprise and was there to cause some chaos. It was particularly surprising because, well, dead, Yoda is, last we checked. But even death was not enough to stop the master's wisdom from reaching Luke.
It all went down on the island planet of Ahch-To, where Rey found Luke Skywalker hiding from the galaxy. As it turns out, Ahch-To was home to the Jedi tree and texts, so it was a very important place to the order — which is partially why Luke chose there to hide out, so he could also low-key look over the tree and texts.
But some hard times Luke has been having. You see, we learn, he kinda accidentally created Kylo Ren by training him (along with a group of other Jedi kids) and being threatened by the darkness in him. So Luke's gone super emo and doesn't really believe in the Jedis anymore. As he tells Rey, who he begrudgingly sort of trained, what they did wrong was have too much hubris — pride — and that's what keeps getting them in all this trouble.
Midway through the movie, Rey leaves the planet to try and turn Kylo. That's when Luke decides that he might as well just burn it all down. Yup. So he brings a torch to burn down the Jedi tree. It's in that moment that Yoda shows up. Of course, it's not real Yoda — Yoda died of old age way back in The Return of the Jedi. But Jedis don't really die, they just become part of the Force. So Yoda appeared as a sort of vision.
Still, some much-needed wisdom Yoda gave to the worn out Luke. Luke had been so upset about his mega failure with Kylo (who also burned down the Jedi Temple, so, yeah, not a great job, teach), and Yoda was there to tell him that an important part of life, failure is.
Luke and Yoda also discuss the Jedi texts in the tree. Yoda makes some jokes, saying they're not exactly page-turners — and it's not like Luke ever read them anyways. Plus, Yoda says, there's nothing in the tree/texts that Rey doesn't already have (this is a significant line!).
Luke half-heartedly moves to burn the tree down, but then he stops. That's when Yoda jumps in, with his delightful madness, and blasts an explosion of fire onto the tree. Luke moves to run in and save the texts, but Yoda blasts out more fire so he can't get in.
Let's review this real quick. Although Yoda's appearance was short, it was significant for several reasons.
First of all, there's the line about Rey already having everything from the tree. Yoda apparently means this literally: At the end of the movie, we see a glimpse of the Jedi texts hidden with the survivors of the Resistance. That means that even though (SPOILER) Luke dies at the end of The Last Jedi, Rey still has the texts to learn from.
Second of all, we have the appearance of Yoda in the first place. His appearance indicates (as you probably already knew) that dead Jedis don't disappear — they like making cameo appearances. So don't think you've seen the last of Mark Hamill quite yet.
Third of all, there's the question of the burned down tree. A central theme in The Last Jedi was the destruction of the old to make new progress and move forward. This is discussed by everyone from Luke to Leia to Kylo. There was a pretty heavy emphasis on killing the past — literally or figuratively — to find a sort of new galaxy order and balance. Still, a long while we will have to wait to see what all this means for the Jedi order and the Star Wars universe at large.