WARNING: This post contains PROBABLE SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Thanks to a questionable decision by Digital Sputnik's social media team, fans may have just gotten confirmation the one and only Yoda will appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, the character helped broaden Luke Skywalker's understanding of the ways of the Force, teaching the young hero (and the audience) several important lessons along the way. Yoda returned briefly in Return of the Jedi for his death scene and was later a supporting player in George Lucas' prequel trilogy. In the years since, the wise Jedi has showed up in various pieces of Star Wars canon, including The Clone Wars animated series and novel From A Certain Point of View, where it was revealed Yoda wanted to train Leia, not Luke.
Given Yoda's importance to the Skywalker storyline, many had wondered if he would be featured in the new sequel trilogy. His voice was heard during Rey's Forceback vision during The Force Awakens (repeating old dialogue from Empire), and there has been mounting evidence director Rian Johnson has bigger plans in store for Yoda in The Last Jedi. While the highly-anticipated sequel was in production, rumors suggested sets were being constructed to allow for a puppet to move around and Frank Oz was in London to record audio. In the original trilogy, of course, Yoda was a revolutionary practical effect operated by the legendary Oz, so many presumed the technique was being revived for Last Jedi. As it turns out, those inclinations could be correct.
On Digital Sputnik's official Facebook page is a post sharing the theatrical trailer for the upcoming Biblical epic Mary Magdalene, which the company supplied lighting equipment for. Curiously, the text has been edited to include the humble brag, "We've just realized we have illuminated Jesus AND Yoda," potentially spoiling what was meant to be a major reveal for the film. Yoda has not been shown in any official marketing materials, with only his voice being heard in the background of Celebration Orlando's teaser trailer. The original post has been deleted, but you can see a screenshot of it in the space below.
It's worth pointing out that Digital Sputnik is very much a real lighting company, having worked on multiple major Hollywood blockbusters in the past. Included on their résumé are the likes of Independence Day: Resurgence, Rogue One, and the upcoming Pacific Rim Uprising. It is possible that the person who edited this post is a casual follower of the Star Wars films and mistakingly believed Yoda was in Rogue One, not knowing which characters are in what movie. However, seeing that the post stayed up for (as of this writing) at least 15 hours, apparently nobody at Digital Sputnik sees it as a big enough problem to take down. There's no way of knowing if this has made it back to Lucasfilm brass, who would surely request it be deleted regardless of validity. For now, fans will likely take this at face value - but with grains of salt very handy.
Several viewers have been predicting a Yoda cameo for months, so this would not be the biggest surprise if true. The Last Jedi is poised to challenge our perception of the Jedi Order and the Force itself, so there would be space for one of Luke's old teachers in the narrative. Skywalker is also quite damaged from his failure with Ben Solo, so he could seek advice when it comes time to train Rey. Perhaps Yoda and Obi-Wan see Rey as a (ahem) new hope following Kylo Ren's emergence, but Luke is too scared and tortured to go through with it. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out, and it would be fascinating to see Luke and Yoda together again after all these years.
Source: Digital Sputnik
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018