One of the most iconic characters from the “Star Wars” universe may make an appearance in Rian Johnson’s forthcoming “Star Wars” Episode VIII and it is none other than Luke Skywalker’s trainer, Yoda himself. Making Star Wars says they have received reports that puppeteer and filmmaker Frank Oz, who operated and voiced Yoda in both the original and the prequel “Star Wars” trilogy, is in the UK or will be there soon at Pinewood Studios for Star Wars Episode VIII. The site claims they were able to verify that Oz will visit the country for work and not for social or leisure purposes.
As the site rightly speculates, Oz could be headed to Pinewood to be just a consultant for some new puppet characters that will be featured in Episode VIII. It’s also likely that Oz may indeed record some dialogue as Yoda who might be a CGI character, like in the prequels directed by George Lucas. However, J.J. Abrams went back to relying a lot more on practical effects for “The Force Awakens.” Rian Johnson is also using practical alien masks rather than CGI, as is evident from leaked shots from the shooting locations. So, Johnson might be enlisting Oz’s services as a puppeteer once again for Yoda.
If Yoda appears in Episode VIII, he’ll most likely be a Force ghost as the character died in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.” He appeared as a Force ghost at the very end of the film, along with the Force ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. As there are strong rumours that Luke will be training Rey as a Jedi, Yoda’s ghost can make a cameo appearance to offer some wise counsel to her. Such a scene, if filmed, will be similar to Luke’s training by Yoda in “The Empire Strikes Back” where Obi-Wan appears as a Force ghost, offering wisdom to Mark Hamill’s character. None of this is confirmed yet. More details are expected to emerge.