Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi follow…
Unless you’d been paying very close attention to all of the rumours during the film’s production – or you happened to be watching the UK chat show This Morning last week – chances are you got quite the surprise in the cinema during Star Wars: The Last Jedi when Luke Skywalker got a visit from an old friend, with Master Yoda popping up to offer some advice to his former pupil.
Director Rian Johnson has been chatting to Entertainment Weekly about Yoda’s cameo, explaining why he was chosen over Obi-Wan Kenobi, and how they went about recreating The Empire Strikes Back puppet version of Yoda, down to the very finest detail.
“When I was thinking about what Luke’s arc is going to be, and realized that someone coming back and kicking his butt would be his final beat on the island, Yoda just made the most sense,” said Johnson. “If we had brought [Ewan McGregor] in, it would have been fun, but Mark as Luke has never had a relationship with the Ewan version of Obi-Wan.”
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“When I first pitched [Frank Oz] the scene, it’s like the Yoda from Empire is back because that’s the one Luke had the emotional connection with,” Johnson continued. “And that’s why we did the puppet and recreated the Empire puppet: Neal Scanlan and his team did a recreation of the Yoda puppet. It’s not only a puppet, it’s an exact replica of the Empire puppet. They found the original molds for it. They found the woman that painted the original eyes for Yoda. Then Frank came and worked with them for a few weeks to get the puppet right. He did a lot of testing and a lot of adjusting with the puppet creators. It was amazing to watch the process. The idea that the last time Luke saw Yoda was in Return of the Jedi and the notion of getting back to that version of Yoda to form the emotional connection with Luke – including a glimpse of the impishness, as part of their relationship. It made a lot of sense.”
What did you make of Yoda’s cameo in The Last Jedi? Are you disappointed we didn’t get to see any other Force Ghosts (i.e. Obi-Wan and Anakin)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi sees returning cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb) and Warwick Davis joined by new additions Jimmy Vee (Pan) as R2-D2, Kelly Marie Tran (Ladies Like Us) as Rose, Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of the Galaxy) as DJ and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) as Vice Admiral Holdo.