by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief
Typically, I don’t run Star Wars information that I haven’t vetted through two sources, but since there have been rumbles elsewhere about this already and it’s not spoilery I thought I’d share a potentially cool piece of info that was floated my way recently. A source tells me that Frank Oz has been in to record new audio as Yoda for Rian Johnson’s currently in production Star Wars: Episode VIII in England. The source also says that (to their knowledge) Oz is there only to lend his voice and is not on hand for anything visual.
Anything could change, though. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to see Yoda in the flesh again, (Preferably via an OZ operated puppet). It seems this might not be completely out of the question as our friend Jason at Making Star Wars shared a rumor that there were “Ahch-To recreations made to accommodate a puppet,” last month when they also reported that they had heard that Oz was headed to the Episode VIII set.
This wouldn’t be Oz’s first brush with the Sequel Trilogy. You might recall that Anthony Breznican at Entertainment Weekly reported that Oz was called in for voice work along with Ewan McGregor, by J.J. Abrams for The Force Awakens for Rey’s force vision. While McGregor’s audio was ultimately used in the final cut, Oz’s new Yoda vocals were not. Instead, Abrams opted to use vintage Yoda audio from his previous work in the Star Wars universe. The resulting scene was one of the most talked about moments of The Force Awakens thanks to its cryptic mashup of familiar visuals from the Original Trilogy as well as cryptic looks at what’s happened in the years (presumably) since Return of the Jedi. Most impressive to the scene was a repurposed bit of vintage Alec Guinness dialogue allowing his presence to be felt sixteen years after his death.
I’m told that a Yoda puppet had even been built for The Force Awakens in the event that they opted to use him onscreen and that special care had gone into making sure he looked right, just as they had done with Chewbacca and Admiral Ackbar. It’s not clear if this Yoda had actually gone in front of cameras or if he’d just been constructed in the event that they decided to use him.
I’d prefer to see Yoda pop his crazy green head up in the next installment, but I’d be pleased just hearing Frank Oz’s Yoda giving Luke or Rey words of wisdom from the ether in Episode VIII.
What do you think? Does Yoda have a part to play in the Sequel Trilogy in your opinion?