Yoda: A Star Wars Story kinda’ rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
For the purpose of this article, let’s assume Lucasfilm sticks to its current Star Wars anthology template (see: Rogue One, Solo) and issues the green light on the rumored Yoda spinoff – what would the end product look like?
Well, according to Frank Oz, the titular Jedi Master would be rendered entirely through CGI, as orchestrating Yoda’s nuanced movements through puppeteering would prove too difficult when spread out across an entire feature film. Speaking to IGN, here’s what the Star Wars legend had to share:
Believe me. That’s way too difficult for me. I rehearse a long time just to do one line of dialogue [as a puppeteer]. It would have to be [CGI], yeah. It would have to be. It’s far, far too difficult because I’m doing it with three other people. So it’s four people and you can’t just wing it. You’ve got to study every single word with four people.
Yoda has now been lumped into an exclusive pool of Star Wars characters who are still waiting to receive the go-ahead for their own standalone stories – namely Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett, even if the latter was once courting Josh Trank of Fantastic Four.
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. 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.
Next up for Lucasfilm’s far-away galaxy is the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25th, before the current trilogy reaches its own conclusion via Episode IX late next year.