Now I know "Origami Yoda" isn’t quite Star Wars per se, but it serves as the perfect example as to how to use copyrighted (that word sounds wrong) figures for creative uses. As we all know, Yoda is the all knowing little elf-like dude who trains Luke Skywalker in the art of the Force. In Angleberger’s work, an origami puppet version of the mentor teaches sixth grade students in lead character Tommy’s class as to how to navigate the nuances of the world, from relationships to pop quizzes. The twist? The puppet sits on the finger of, and is voiced by, Dwight, the weirdest kid in the class. Are the teachings coming from Dwight, or is Dwight actually the puppet for some cosmic Yoda?
The mystery that ensues pulls all readers into Tommy’s investigative journalist-style research on the issue (Barbara Walters would be proud). Even though the mystery is never quite solved, it’s that whole believing in the unlikely that makes all readers hope that Dwight really does have some psychic link to Yoda sitting in his swamp hole billions of intergalactic miles away.
Angleberger does a great job of giving us the wisdom of Yoda that we’ve come to know and love, but creating a unique twist in his story that no one ever saw coming. When Yoda can mentor Jedis in the art of saving the universe, who knew he’d ever take the time to help out a couple of middle schoolers.