Before the prequel trilogy we understood that Yoda was "the Jedi master who instructed" Obi-Wan. That Luke understood (or was told) that he was a "great warrior". Also that "for 800 years" he had trained Jedi. From Luke's conversations with him, it was clear that Yoda had known Anakin, and had a lot of knowledge about how potential Jedi should and shouldn't be trained. I note, that we didn't know about the Jedi council, anything about the nature of the order (such as how many, how it was organised, where it was based etc.) or Yoda's position within it. Now, onto the subject of my thread. I wondered for the first time yesterday (whilst watching Yoda fight Palpatine in ROTS) whether Lucas could have achieved something more powerful with Yoda if he had not been the head of the council. I wondered what effect it would have if Yoda had been one of the least significant members of the order. Go with me for a moment. Imagine that the council comprised a group of very arrogant politician-like Jedi who could not see what was going on. Imagine that Yoda was the strange old Jedi who trained the kids and wasn't respected by the counci. Imagine that the council approved Anakin's training whilst Yoda warned them against it. Then when it came to Palpatine's turn, instead of Yoda fighting him directly, he could have watched as the arrogant elders were obliterated. Yoda would have known that he shouldn't even try to fight him, and the explanation for his hiding would have been more obvious. Imagine now the weight of the line "Do not underestimate the power of the Emperor or suffer your father's fate you will". Lucas has many morals running through SW, one of which is that small people can be as important or powerful as big people. By making Yoda the biggest and most powerful person on the council, I think that his effectiveness was undermined. Further, I found that Yoda's warnings about Anakin and the emperor in TPM, AOTC and ROTS were entirey diminished by the fact that he had the power to do something about his feelings - but he did not. If he'd been a lowly unrespected Jedi master whose sole job was to "train the kids", he could have been as forthright with his warnings as he'd liked, and the plot point about the arrogance of the Jedi order would have been much stronger.