George Lucas has given us so much. As the genius behind the Star Wars universe, he gave us some classic sci-fi movies and a storytelling canvas on which so many people have been able to paint, from Dave Filoni to Rian Johnson via the likes of Thrawn creator Timothy Zahn. But some of Lucas’s ideas have been truly awful, like his original suggestion for Yoda’s name.
The first Star Wars movie blew the doors off of Hollywood in 1977, soaring to the top of the box office. And when Lucas started work on the sequel, he invented several new Star Wars characters, including the stoic Jedi master who would become Yoda. As for the name Lucas chose for the little green fella: he went for Buffy.
It’s easy to forget when you sit down to watch the Star Wars movies in order today that these rich worlds were once just a twinkle in Lucas’s eye. But we can say conclusively that the twinkle wasn’t twinkling on the day he came up with Buffy.
Buffy appears in George Lucas’s initial outline for Empire Strikes Back (via Den of Geek), but he had been renamed to Minch Yoda by the time sci-fi specialist Leigh Brackett took a go at a draft before her passing in 1978.
With the greatest of respect to Brackett, Minch isn’t much of an improvement on Buffy. But the Yoda part stuck, and proved to be the perfect name for one of the best Star Wars aliens.
It just goes to show how fine a line you walk with the best movies in sci-fi worlds, with some made-up words sounding perfect and others sounding absurd. Lucas hasn’t always got it right. After all, this is a world in which Star Wars villains can be called Elan Sleazebaggano and there’s a whole style of music called Jizz.
However, neither Buffy or Minch disappeared completely from the Star Wars canon. Buffy is the name of a window cleaner droid in Attack of the Clones and a Jedi of Yoda’s species called Minch appeared in the 2003 comic Heart of Darkness.
Of course, we can now add The Mandalorian breakout star Grogu to the members of Yoda’s species, along with The Phantom Menace’s Yaddle. This group just keeps growing. The Star Wars cast should get used to there being plenty of green puppets around.
For further reading, learn about the secret Yoda reference hidden in Ahsoka and find out why Yoda’s most mysterious line was actually about Luke Skywalker’s other sister.
You can also look ahead to the new Star Wars movies on the way. For more sci-fi fun, find out about the best Star Wars series that are new on Disney Plus, or leave the galaxy behind to explore blue instead of green with Avatar 3.