Little-known sci-fi fact: Yoda's original name was something...familiar

After 38 years of Star Wars fandom, we thought we had heard it all. The original name of the Millennium Falcon. The fact that George Lucas had planned a low-budget sequel. The first appearance of Boba Fett. But we hadn't heard this one until published it.

Although deeply geeky fans know Yoda’s original name was Minch Yoda, it turns out he had an even earlier name. And that name was ... Buffy.

According to, the 900-year-old Jedi Master was named Buffy in George Lucas’ outline of The Empire Strikes Back. Leigh Brackett, who wrote the screenplay, wisely changed the name to Minch Yoda, which was later shortened to Yoda.

Minch later spun off into his own character, in the Star Wars comic book Heart of Darkness. He is a member of Yoda’s unnamed race.

Another fact from the Star Wars article is a little better known: The original actor for Yoda was going to be a monkey dressed in a costume. Luckily for us, "a crew member who’d been involved in 2001: A Space Odyssey, specifically the famous opening scene with the apes, remarked that a monkey would essentially be more trouble than it's worth." 

“Buffy” is considered by most Americans in the latter 20th century to be a name of a rich and/or air-headed woman, or as put it, “a name reserved strictly for the country-club set.” It’s a name so ridiculous that Joss Whedon used it for his vapid teenage cheerleader—who has a killer secret. Her name never stopped being a punchline: In Season 7 episode, “End of Days,” when Buffy revealed her name to the Guardian, the older woman responded, “No, really.”


More from around the web