News on #TheLastJedi is scarce on the ground at the moment, with #Disney keeping notoriously tight-lipped about Star Wars: Episode VIII. Footage for the painfully-anticipated sequel was recently revealed to studio shareholders, while the rest of us have to make do with a description of the opening moments of the film. In the absence of concrete information, fans have kept the rumor mill churning, with series veterans occasionally feeding the hungry fandom.
Frank Oz is the latest to do so. He's the incredible puppeteer known for his work on the Muppets, Little Shop Of Horrors and, of course, for acting the role of Yoda in the original #StarWars trilogy. In a recent interview with Variety about the legacy of the Muppets, he was asked about rumors that he might return to play Yoda in Episode XI. The English-born director had this to say:
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.
While that might seem like a cryptic answer worthy of the Jedi master himself, it might just be that Disney have been curtailing all eventualities, tying all potentially interested parties to silence.
Frank Oz has had a long legacy with Star Wars, appearing most recently as the voice of Yoda in #StarWarsRebels. The popular animated saga was recently renewed for a fourth season, and #RogueOne threaded the live-action Star Wars features to the animation more tightly than ever. Yet, the voice actor hasn't even had a chance to see this first installment of the Star Wars anthology series. When asked if he'd seen Rogue One, he replied:
I have not. I have my Academy DVD. Tell me something. How do people see everything?
He sung the praises of J.J. Abrams and The Force Awakens however, claiming that he was particularly fond of the way the old and the new were synthesized in Episode VII:
I thought J.J. Abrams did a great job of synthesizing all this information. It was a tough thing for J.J. to be asked to do—to transition to a new family of “Star Wars” and still pay homage and respect to the others. It’s different from the way that George Lucas would have done it. George would probably have had a more overall arch that would follow the other stories and have a moral depth. But, my gosh, what J.J. did was really entertaining. It was so much fun.
If Yoda does appear in Episode VIII, it could be during another flashback sequence, as The Force Awakens did shake up the story-telling order with a Rey's brief Force vision in the cellar of Maz Kanata's castle. He could also reappear as a ghost, as has become Star Wars tradition. Or, this could all be smoke and mirrors and Disney is merely playing mind-games with us on the level of a Sith Lord.
What do you think of Yoda returning in Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Let us know in the comments below.