The return of Yoda in the Star Wars franchise has long been rumored, but will it finally happen in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi? At SXSW, Frank Oz, the popular puppeteer finally answered whether the Jedi Master will be in the upcoming movie or not.
Yoda in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
Yoda is one of the most recognizable characters in sci-fi. The Jedi master who has trained Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Attack of the Clones, The Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Rebel.
He was also supposed to make a cameo in J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens. In a previous report, movie editor Maryann Brandon revealed that Oz came into the set to bring Yoda to life. Likely, he was planned to appear in Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) vision that also featured voices of Ewan McGregor and Sir Alec Guinnes as Obi-Way Kenobi. However, his scene was cut for unknown reasons.
Yoda in Star Wars: The Last Jedi?
But maybe his absence in The Force Awakens will give way to a larger role in The Last Jedi. During the premiere of his new documentary Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched, Variety asked Oz whether he will appear in Episode VIII. Here is what he revealed:
“I feel like I’m a prisoner at war here, and I can only give you my name, rank and serial number,” he joked. “To be true to the people who asked me, and they are kind of my family, I have to say I’ve been asked not to talk about it. I love Yoda. I would be happy to talk to you about it at the time they let me.”
He could not reveal whether he will be in the movie, but evading the question might be a clue that he has gone back to Pinewood Studio to deliver Yoda to the big screen. While Rey’s will likely be at the center of the movie, Yoda could appear briefly to offer his guidance. Luke also certainly needs him now that he has decided that it is finally time for the Jedi to end. Yoda might be of help to convince him that the galaxy needs more of them.
Months ago, a post on Reddit leaked information that the original team behind the Jedi Master has been called back to work on Episode VIII. If true, then it looks like Johnson will use the Yoda puppet from The Empire Strikes Back instead of CGI.
Oz Reacts To Rogue One and The Force Awakens
In the same interview, Oz was also asked about his reaction to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The former is being touted as the best Star Wars story since The Empire Strikes Back. It grossed a total of $1.056 billion at the worldwide box office.
However, the puppeteer has been quite so busy that he has not popped his copy of the movie into the television yet. “I have my Academy DVD,” he revealed. “Tell me something. How do people see everything?”
As for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Oz has nothing but praises for its director. “I thought J.J. Abrams did a great job of synthesizing all this information,” he commented. He added that the filmmaker had a tough task of introducing new heroes to the fandom as well as pay homage to the original trilogy.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi also stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Billie Lourd, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern and Carrie Fisher. The movie is set to hit the big screen on Dec. 15.
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