STAR WARS: Frank Oz On How He Was Asked To Reprise The Role Of Yoda In THE LAST JEDI
Jedi Master Yoda's appearance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a welcome surprise, and legendary actor/puppeteer Frank Oz has now opened up on how his role in the film came to fruition. Read on for more.
In a recent interview with IGN, Yoda puppeteer and voice actor Frank Oz explained how his reprisal came about, and how surprised he was that he'd be puppeteering again. “Several years ago I had lunch with Rian [Johnson], and Rian asked if I could do Yoda in the next Star Wars, and I said ‘Sure,’ because I thought it was just CGI. And then [Lucasfilm president] Kathy Kennedy, who I’ve known for quite a while, who’s fantastic, she called me about it and then I realized that it wasn’t CGI, that it was actually the character,” Oz said.
“I said, ‘Kathy, do you have any idea what’s going to happen here? This is tough!’ and she said ‘That’s okay, let’s do it.’ So, you know, the workshop made him and everything, and did a fantastic job,” Oz continued.
Accepting the role meant keeping it a secret, and so Oz made sure to formulate a cover story as to why he was at Pinewood Studios during the shoot. “I was told that that was going to be the surprise of the movie, so when I went to Pinewood I had to be a secret there. Although if people saw me… people DID see me, but if they questioned me it would have been fine because I shot Little Shop of Horrors ... there, and could have just said I had some meetings for movies. But the idea was to keep me off the credits. I was asked, ‘Could you have your name off the poster?’ and I said ‘Sure.’ So the idea was that that would be the surprise.”
As for the possibility of a Yoda-centric spinoff film? “You know what, I keep hearing that and I know nothing about it,” Oz confirmed.
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