Original Yoda puppeteer and voice actor Frank Oz is rumoured to be recording new audio for a juicer role for the Jedi Master in Episode 8. Read more after the jump.
There was no shortage of cheeky cameos in Star Wars The Force Awakens. At the top of the list has to be the faint but distinctive voice-overs of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda during Rey’s vision. These voice credits go to Ewan McGregor and the legendary Frank Oz respectively, but that was the limit of their use in Force Awakens. That being said, it’s a new year and a new episode, with all sorts of new rumours. One such rumour is that a certain Jedi master could e playing a more substantial role in Rian Johnson‘s Episode 8.
The news from Indie Revolver is that the great and powerful Frank Oz is rumoured to be bringing Yoda back to the Star Wars franchise in a big way. This ties in with recent reports from Screenrant that Oz had travelled to England (where Episode 8 is being filmed) for work purposes. Not only that, but Oz has already recorded Yoda material for a scene in Force Awakens that never took place. Therefore, an extended Yoda presence was always on the cards for the new trilogy.
Frank Oz played a pivotal role in the original Star Wars trilogy, lending both his voice and his puppeteer skills to the role of Yoda. While he is also known for his other puppetry work on The Muppets and Sesame Street, his work on Yoda is perhaps his most famous. Oz has worked on all six original Star Wars movies, as a voice actor and puppeteer in the first four releases and a voice actor in the final two.
The fact that Frank Oz is rumoured to only be doing voice work this time around could mean a lot of different things. On one hand it could mean that Johnson would be using a CGI Yoda for his movie instead of the original puppet. This would be in line with the prequel trilogy which doesn’t seem too likely, given the very public decision to move the latest trilogy away from Episodes I, II and III. On the other hand, it could just mean that they are using a puppet and Oz is just leaving the work to someone else. Given that Oz is 71 years old this isn’t beyond the realms of possibility since he hasn’t done puppeteer work since The Phantom Menace in 1999.
There’s no limit to the number of reasons Yoda could appear in Episode 8. Given Luke Skywalker’s recent bad luck with apprentices and a brand new Padawan in Rey, he might need a bit of guidance before things start getting Force-y. Either that or he could interact directly with Rey, following on from their all to brief chat during her vision in Force Awakens.
Much like rumours of Darth Vader turning up in Rogue One, there’s some evidence for a bigger Frank Oz Yoda role in Episode 8. However, there is still very little tangible evidence. So for the moment, this can be left in the rumour stack.
Star Wars: Episode 8 arrives in theatres December 15th 2017. Watch this space for all the latest Star Wars movie news.