Another “quiet” scene brimming with brilliance is this one from AOTC. We see Yoda doing what he’s does best, training future Jedi. But instead of 20-something-year-old Luke Skywalker on some swamp planet, it’s a class full of cute Jedi kids on Coruscant. One gets the feeling that even with Yoda’s status on the Jedi Council and his abilities as a fighter, this is his element. He clearly enjoys being with the children, not only because they’re his height (ha!) but also because of their open minds, as we’ll see demonstrated after Obi-Wan enters the room.
Obi-Wan asks for Yoda’s help in trying to find Kamino, which we know has been erased from the galaxy’s map. Yoda’s line, “Lost a planet Master Obi-Wan has…how embarrassing, how embarrassing” as the kids giggle in the background is pure gold: it’s the mischievous Yoda seen in TESB. Why they didn’t make a bunch of t-shirts with that line is baffling to me. As they shut down the lights and Obi-Wan turns on the 3D map, enveloping the room with “stars,” it’s accompanied by John Williams’s hauntingly beautiful score. It gives the scene a mystical quality as Yoda and the younglings try to solve Obi-Wan’s mystery. Which they do thanks to the common sense displayed by one of the tykes. “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is,” Yoda says. A child who hasn’t yet adopted the feeling of invincibility his older Jedi counterparts take for granted. It’s what Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Mace Windu discussed at another point in the film about the Jedi becoming too arrogant and sure of themselves. It’s the librarian sniffing that if it’s not in the archive, it didn’t exist. Kids do have a very straightforward way of looking at things because it hasn’t been “educated” out of them yet. Lucas celebrates this simplicity with this scene.
In retrospect, the scene is poignant because we see in ROTS younglings just like them aren’t spared in the attack on the Jedi Temple.