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Like Yoda talk on May 21, you must

"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not."

AP Photo/ Lucasfilm/Twentieth Century Fox

"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not."

If you know your Dagobah from your Endor, then surely you're ready to celebrate Talk Like Yoda Day.

Saturday marks the 31st anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the movie that introduced us to a little green friend who was strong with the force … but a little chippy in his use of English vernacular.

"When 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not," Yoda tells Luke Skywalker, proving that — in his parlance — not necessarily from wisdom, good grammar does come.

For help in celebrating Talk Like Yoda Day, we asked Star Wars fiction author Daniel Wallace for his expert help. The author of books such as Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons and The Jedi Path had plenty of tips.

What's the secret to talking like Yoda? It's basically putting the verb at the end of the sentence, right? So in other words, "Talk Like Yoda will you be doing?"

Yoda is more imperative — he'd probably say, "Talk like Yoda, you must." I think I'll be circumspect about it, and not order my barista "Leave room for cream, you will."

Of course, in the movies Yoda doesn't ALWAYS talk backward. "You must unlearn what you have learned" and "Will he finish what he begins?" would get passing marks from any grammar teacher, so it's definitely possible to overdo Yoda-speak.

Is that Yoda's full name? Just Yoda?

Yep, just Yoda. Even Star Wars superfans know next to nothing about Yoda's species, his home world, his childhood, or his love life. For whatever reason, Lucasfilm has erected a wall around Yoda but permitted most other movie characters to be scrutinized in spinoff books and comics.

Why is he the only Star Wars character to have a unique style of talking?

Meesa tinkin yousa never seen The Phantom Menace! Jar Jar Binks is enough evidence that Star Wars characters sometimes have odd speech affectations.

The great and lovable Frank Oz voices Yoda. Does Oz get the credit for Yoda's enduring charm?

Frank Oz also voiced Grover from Sesame Street, and I think that went a long way toward the acceptance of Yoda among audiences of the '80s. Who could possibly have a problem with lovable, furry old Grover? Modern viewers have lost that reference point, since Grover has been dethroned by Elmo.

Strong with the force, Yoda is, but not that strong. What might be some of his unique powers that he never got a chance to show off during the six movies?

Cooking! Yoda makes a mean rootleaf stew in The Empire Strikes Back, so I think we can honor the spirit of Talk Like Yoda Day by making similar dishes like gumbo, chowder, and jambalaya.

Are there any good Yoda lines you can use in real life without sounding like a complete geek?

Everybody gets a free pass on using "Do or do not, there is no try." Any other lines might get you flagged as a geek, but do it for Yoda! Might I suggest celebrating Talk Like Yoda Day by stealing the stapler off of your boss' desk and justifying it with, "Mine, or I will help you not"?

No need to travel to a galaxy far, far away to get in on the action of Star Wars. Disney's Hollywood Studios is celebrating its annual Star Wars Weekends on Fridays through Sundays until June 12.

Like Yoda talk on May 21, you must 05/19/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 20, 2011 9:02am]
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