A new hope, you may have, if a Star Wars fan you are.
While The Force Awakens, the first Star Wars movie in 10 years (or 32, some might say), did an excellent job of marrying so many classic elements of the original trilogy with a new cast of young heroes, a handful of the more iconic aspects of the first three movies remain to make the jump over to Disney's sequel trilogy.
Obviously, we're never going to see Vader again, although having his number one fan Kylo Ren stomp around the galaxy trying his best to be evil is at least some consolation, but there remains the prospect that one day we could bump into other key players of old — Yoda, for instance.
Is Yoda Coming Back?
Disclaimer: The following rumor should be taken with a large bucket of salt. Whispers have been circling in fanboy circles for a little while now that Rian Johnson might use Star Wars 8 to reintroduce Yoda, and this week a Redditor who attended Star Wars Celebration in London back in July claimed that a conversation overheard during the event suggested Yoda would indeed feature in Episode VIII.
The Redditor, Skywalkergal, claims that she was waiting to have her photo taken with one of the original Yoda puppets at the Saving Yoda stall when the SWC employee on duty revealed that the team who originally performed Yoda had been called in to do so again with another of the original puppets in Star Wars 8.
Is that reliable gossip? Not really. It's essentially Chinese whispers, and anonymous Reddit users with "insider" intel often turn out to be talking out of their asses. But perhaps, given that this isn't the first time we've heard mention of a Yoda comeback, we should given Skywalkergal the benefit of the doubt — not least because Frank Oz himself was spotted on the set of Star Wars 8 earlier this year.
Where Does Luke Skywalker Fit In?
Sure, Yoda said goodbye to his physical self during Return of the Jedi, becoming one with the Force after 900 years of training Jedi and serving as Grand Master of the Jedi Order. He had a good life. But Star Wars has toyed with the idea of Force Ghosts ever since Obi-Wan Kenobi's death in A New Hope, and it's not technically impossible that Yoda's spirit could have lingered longer than the average one might (given that he lived way, way longer than the average Jedi lifespan).
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Perhaps a more pertinent question than whether Yoda could come back, though, is why he would. It goes without saying that he's an ancient creature of vast wisdom, but he has no direct ties to anybody in the cast beyond Luke Skywalker. Could it be, then, that Luke Skywalker once again seeks the counsel of his Force Ghost former mentor? Self-exiled after Kylo Ren turned to the dark side and slaughtered Luke's students at the new Jedi Order, Luke is clearly struggling with feelings of guilt. If the Resistance needs him, it could fall to Yoda to point him in the right direction.
Right now, that feels to me like the strongest theory. Equally likely is that this very tenuous rumor and the sighting of Frank Oz on set have combined to get people like me a little too excited about something that, in reality, probably won't happen. Time will tell, and until then we have Rogue One: A Star Wars story to tide us over to next December's Star Wars 8. Check out the trailer above.
Will Luke Skywalker seek Yoda's counsel in Star Wars 8?