A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there existed a unique fixer-upper opportunity for home buyers: the house that once belonged to legendary Jedi Master Yoda.
You already know that we’ve got a wide range of interests outside of real estate here at the Movoto blog, (just watch us geek out on Doctor Who or Harry Potter and you’ll see what I mean) but you probably don’t know that at least two us us—myself and designer Megan Radich—are bonafide Star Wars superfans. The amount of time we spend talking about the films, books, games, and countless other things that bind and hold the franchise together would make a Wookiee say “rrrrrrrowwwwwwrrrrr!” in disbelief. (David likes Star Trek more. Boo! Hiss!)
So, in honor of the upcoming international celebration of Star Wars Day—“May the 4th be with you!”—I joined forces with my fellow bloggers to do our first evaluation of a property from the world George Lucas first brought to life on movie screens in 1977. Yes, Movoto has visited the universe before to discover how many houses would fit inside the Death Star, but I decided to go much, much smaller in scale this time around.
After doing my best Bothan spy impression, I came back with the results: If you could buy Yoda’s house (okay, so it’s technically a hut) here in the U.S., it’d cost you a mere $7,762. Inexpensive, it is.
Keep reading, young padawan, to learn how I came up with that very Yoda-sized figure.
Calculating the Jump to Hyperspace
I knew that in order to put a figure on Yoda’s abode, I’d need to track down a few crucial pieces of data first. Like the majority of our previous evaluations, these include:
- The location of the property
- Comparable properties
- The size of the property
Figuring out that first one would require a trip to the South.
“You will Go to the Dagobah System…”
If you’ve seen “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” (or the deleted scene on the DVD version of “Revenge of the Sith”), you know that Yoda lives on Dagobah, which he called home ever since his exile following the downfall of the Jedi in the prequel trilogy. It’s in what are called the Outer Rim Territories, and sits 50,250 light years from the core of the galaxy (40,250 light years from the destroyed Jedi temple on Coruscant, just to be safe).
Dagobah, as you’ll recall, is one wet world. In fact, most of its surface is covered in bayous and dark, dank swamps like the one in which Yoda lived. For the films, it was shot entirely on a soundstage at Elstree Studios in London, so I had to find a real-world location as a stand-in.
Now, when I hear “bayous” and “swamps,” I immediately think of one place: Louisiana. As it turns out, Louisiana is actually home to one of the world’s largest swamps and the biggest in the U.S. It’s called the Atchafalaya Basin and it sits to the west of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Once I pegged this region as the most Dagobah-like in America, I went searching for a specific city nearest the swamp in which us humans could buy property. I decided on Morgan City, a small town of 12,404 people situated in the Atchafalaya Basin near Lake Palourde.
With a location nailed down, my next step was to find some comparable properties and get a price per square foot.
“Mud hole? Slimy? My home this is!”
None of the houses in Morgan City are like Yoda’s hut—and that’s very good news for the town’s residents. That’s because Yoda lives in what is basically a shanty built primarily out of mud and pieces salvaged from the escape pod he originally traveled to Dagobah in.
Not only that, his hut is actually held together using the Force. That’s right: Yoda spends all day every day basically keeping his roof from falling in by concentrating on it. Sure, this isn’t a really big whoop for a Jedi Master of his caliber, but anyone not Force attuned is looking at a pretty big repair bill. That’s because after his death the hut literally fell apart. Hey, we did say it was a fixer-upper.
Anyway, back to my point. Morgan City has some small houses I could use to determine a price per square foot, but nothing nearly as small as his abode. Thankfully, we have data on the average price per square foot in Morgan City, which happens to be $86.
With a price per square foot in hand, I could finally get down to the trickiest part of the evaluation: figuring out just how big (or small) Yoda’s house is.
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you?”
Yoda is well known as a small Jedi that kicks a disproportionate amount of Sith butt. But have you ever considered just how small Yoda is? He’s really small. Like, 2.16 feet tall. Yeah.
It stands to reason that someone that small wouldn’t need a very large house to live in. My challenge was to find out exactly how tiny his hut was in the films. I knew it was so small that Luke could barely sit up in it and famously hits his head on the ceiling (something “Empire Strikes Back” director Irvin Kershner had Mark Hamill repeat 16 times to get right). I thought I had a pretty great idea for determining the size, but it turned out that my Force vision was a little cloudy.
You see, there’s a really awesome-looking book I’ve always wanted called “Star Wars: The Blueprints,” which includes—as its name suggests—blueprints of locations and vehicles from the Lucas’s universe, including Yoda’s house. The only problem: it’s been out of print until just recently, so copies were running upwards of $500. I have my (much cheaper) reissue on order, but it hadn’t arrived yet as of this writing, so I had to take another approach.
I ended up basing my figures on this exquisitely detailed 1/6 scale replica of Yoda’s hut released in 2011 by Sideshow Collectibles. It’s designed for the company’s equally amazing 12-inch Star Wars figures. Seriously, they’re awesome. Anyway, it’s easily the best recreation of Yoda’s crib you can find and way more accurate than past toys based on the films.
The living space as portrayed by the collectible amounts to 19 inches by 19 inches at 1/6 scale. Converting that to actual size, the hut’s floorspace came out to just over 90 square feet—small to you and me (and Luke), but nice and cozy for Master Yoda.
A Deal Even Greedo Would Take
With the square footage at 90.25 and the price per square foot in Morgan City averaging $86, I ended up with a very small home that would set you back a mere $7,762 (tiny amenities not included). Of course, there’s that whole matter of keeping it in habitable shape and some pretty sketchy nearby property (on Dagobah, not Morgan City), but those are just part of the trial you have to pass if you want to live like one of the greatest Jedi Masters ever.
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