The era of Disney has proven to be a fruitful one for Star Wars fans. The rebirth of the Star Wars saga, coupled with the positive reception for franchise "expansions" such as last year's spinoff film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, has gone over smoothly so far - and with writer/director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi on the horizon now, fans continue to look forward to more adventures in a galaxy far, far away.
One of the high points of the previous Star Wars mainline installment, J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, was the long-awaited return of main characters from the original Star Wars movie trilogy, including Luke (Mark Hamill), Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford). One of the characters that fans are hoping to see more of is Luke's Jedi mentor Yoda (Frank Oz) and a new interview may hint at a potential live-action return for the character.
Oz recently spoke to Variety about Jim Henson's legacy, and when questioned about a possible appearance of Yoda in The Last Jedi, he was (unexpectedly?) evasive:
"I feel like I’m a prisoner at war here, and I can only give you my name, rank and serial number. 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."
The rumor going around is that Oz has recorded some voice-over audio for a Yoda appearance in The Last Jedi, but hasn't as of yet been scheduled for any physical appearance on the film's set. This news, if it's true, could mean anything from a possible narration piece in the film to a vocal track for a CGI Yoda Force ghost. Fans are looking forward to the release of The Last Jedi's first teaser at the upcoming Star Wars Celebration 2017 this April, with hopes that it will offer more hints about the nature of Yoda's involvement (or lack thereof) in the movie.
Fans know the legendary Oz as the voice actor for Yoda in both the original and prequel Star Wars movie trilogies - though he has since reprised the character in animated form for the Disney XD TV series, Star Wars Rebels. While many fans would no doubt love to see the classic Yoda puppet appear in The Last Jedi, there aren't any signs of that happening right now. It's arguably more likely that Yoda would show up in either CGI form or as a body-less voice only (a la Ewan McGregor's "appearance" as Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Force Awakens), should he prove to be a part of Episode VIII at all.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019