And if he is… will he be a puppet or CGI?
With the release of the poster and the final trailer, the Star Wars rumor mill has been working overtime the last week. First, we heard that Luke was Kylo Ren, which became Luke is evil, but now entirely new rumblings are surfacing. The first of which pertains to the return of a beloved and wise figure from the first two trilogies: Jedi Master Yoda.
The report comes from starwarsnews.net, so like any rumor take it with a sprinkle of the white stuff.
How could Yoda return?
Well, that part is pretty easy to figure out thankfully. At the end of Clone Wars, Yoda began training himself to retain his consciousness in the Force after death. That training, which he must have passed down to Obi-Wan Kenobi, culminated in him becoming a Force ghost. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Yoda is shown hanging out on Endor with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Presumably, the disembodied voice of Qui-Gon Jinn was hanging out in the background like a creepy uncle.
Unlike the expanded universe, which established that those ghosts lost their ability to return to the physical world for unexplained reasons, the new canon hasn’t touched on Force ghosts yet… so it could very well be that Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Anakin are all still hanging around talking to Luke.
How would they use him in the film?
Well, we think it’s pretty safe to say he won’t be jumping around getting into lightsaber duels. And, frankly, we wouldn’t want him to. The gravitas of the character came from his wise dialogue and world weary presence… not to mention his amusingly backwards use of grammar.
We imagine he’ll probably show up with Luke at some point, but we think it might be more poignant to have him appear to the Force sensitive among the new characters in their time of need just like he spoke to Ezra and Kanan in Star Wars: Rebels.
Will Frank Oz return to voice him if that’s the case?
We don’t see why not. He returned to voice the character in Star Wars: Rebels and it was fantastic. In that same schedule block he could have recorded lines for The Force Awakens.
Will he be a puppet or CGI?
We absolutely believe he will be a puppet for a majority, if not all of his hypothetical screen time. J.J. Abrams has shown a hard commitment to using as many practical effects as possible, which includes a lot of puppets and animatronics on set.
If Yoda isn’t in The Force Awakens, is there a chance we might see him in Episode VIII?
Absolutely. We honestly don’t think they’d pass up an opportunity to use him if the story allowed it. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon.