Guest Post by Andrew, ENTJ
Introverted Intuition (Ni): Yoda is future-focused, and encourages everyone else to be the same way. He understands the consequences of failure in every circumstance (if Count Dooku is not apprehended, the Clone Wars will only be bloodier than they otherwise would, and his inability to kill Palpatine means that he has to go into hiding). Yoda is very wary of the Dark Side, and teaches his pupils to banish all fear (“the path to the Dark Side”) to avoid any anger and hatred (full-fledged Dark Side emotions) down the line. Since Anakin has already experienced a great deal of fear before the beginning of his training, Yoda is exceedingly cautious about granting him any status in the Jedi Order; he votes not to allow Anakin to be trained at all, and he seeks to mitigate any damage that Anakin could cause when Palpatine appoints him to the Jedi Council. Yoda is patient about making up his mind, but he doesn’t necessarily need much information to do so, and he can infer a lot of facts from limited evidence; he figures out the Sith practice of the Rule of Two from a couple of skirmishes between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul. After the sudden collapse of the Jedi Order, Yoda is content to rebuild it slowly, starting with Anakin’s children, who were born just after the Jedi were slaughtered en masse.
Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Yoda does not only transmit the teachings of the Jedi; he embodies them. While not a legalist (he does bend the rules sometimes), Yoda is totally committed to the Jedi principles of universal compassion, understanding of the galaxy as a whole, non-aggression, and the defense of the weak. In Yoda’s view, emotions are of the utmost importance, and the dark emotions of fear, anger, and hatred are to be avoided at all costs. Yoda has no problem expressing positive emotions (he smiles and laughs when appropriate), and he openly shows sorrow for those who have lost their lives. In his mission to kill Palpatine, Yoda fails to act decisively due to his heavy feelings about the many dead Jedi that he remembers, and he attempts to hide the identity of the Jedi Temple’s attacker from Obi-Wan to spare him the pain it would cause him.
Introverted Thinking (Ti): Yoda deals heavily in abstract thoughts; when Anakin asks him about the relevance of his fear, Yoda gives a philosophical answer about the progression of dark emotions (a classic slippery slope argument). He doesn’t need to have concrete facts in front of him to give advice; he tells Anakin how to deal with the fear of loss without actually finding out whom Anakin was afraid to lose. The uses of words are important to Yoda; he refuses to call Battle of Geonosis a victory, and when Luke finds him on Dagobah and proclaims his search for a “great warrior,” Yoda replies, “But it is not wars that make one great.” Rather than directly stating the solution to a problem, Yoda prefers to let others work it out for themselves; he has some of his youngest students solve the puzzle of Obi-Wan’s “lost planet.”
Extroverted Sensing (Se): Although Yoda does not particularly like to fight, his ability to do so is top-notch. His lightsaber technique is highly acrobatic, and he can make good use of his environment to aid him in battles. Although burdened by over-stimulation (he prefers to meditate alone),Yoda teaches a total awareness of one’s surroundings, and he expects Luke manipulate several objects simultaneously using the Force, all while standing on one hand with Yoda himself perched on Luke’s feet. Yoda senses the deaths of many Jedi in rapid succession, and this saves his life; he is able to discern that something is going very wrong (Se-Ni), and he can act as quickly as he must to kill his own would-be assassins.
Author’s Note: Yoda is more commonly typed as INTP; some think that his ability to think objectively marks Ti as his dominant function, while his exclusion of certain emotions from what is acceptable means that Fe is his inferior function. (This is false, as Yoda’s rejection of fear and anger are rooted in the morality of the Jedi; Yoda is simply accepting the value system of those around him.) Furthermore, certain statements of Yoda’s, like “Always in motion the future is,” are taken to indicate Ne (a consideration of multiple possibilities). This analysis falls apart when we realize that Yoda is not easily distracted from anything (like a high Ne-user would inevitably be), and that he can practically pull insights out of thin air rather than stringing together disparate pieces of information. Yoda is clearly an Ni user. Thus, if Yoda is a Ti-dom, he must be an ISTP, but his extreme patience and dislike of physical action rule that out. (His Se is reasonably well-developed, but still weaker than his other functions.) Ergo, Yoda is an INFJ.