Feel the Force Friday: Andy Serkis Clears Up Rumors, Frank Oz Returns and Chewie Thanks the Fans!


Well, it’s certainly been a memorable week for Star Wars fans! With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens now officially less than a year away, the news and rumors are sure to heat up! It’s gonna be tough to keep up with all of the goings on within Star Wars fandom but fear not, Dork Siders! We’re here to help you make it through all of the crazy.

Let’s get into what you might have missed out on this week, shall we? It’s Feel the Force Friday!!!

Puppeteer Frank Oz on the set of The Empire Strikes Back in 1979.

Earlier this week, TV Guide released a story which confirmed that the famous puppeteer and voice actor Frank Oz would be reprising his role as the venerable Jedi Master Yoda in an upcoming episode of Star Wars Rebels!

From the TV Guide report:

"Though Rebels takes place between the two Star Wars movie trilogies — a time when the few surviving Jedis are in hiding from the Empire — the 800-plus-year-old icon is drawn from hiding to offer counsel to fledgling Jedi knight Kanan and his new padawan, Ezra, on the remote planet of Lothal. The twist: He only “appears” as a disembodied voice.But what a voice it is. Frank Oz, who famously starred as Yoda in five of the Star Wars films, returns to the franchise for this episode. “I felt personally to keep Yoda as this disembodied thing it would confuse the audience less”, says executive producer Dave Filoni, who also directed the installment. “I didn’t want you to think Yoda could be teleporting from planet to planet.”"

Longtime fans of the Star Wars saga may know that Frank Oz has kept himself somewhat distant from Star Wars projects and rarely does he return to voice the Yoda that we all know and love. There’s no other actor who truly encapsulates the spirit of the little green alien quite like Frank Oz, and Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni knows it.

More from the TV Guide report:

"It helped that Filoni was directing an actor so closely associated with one sci-fi’s most beloved characters. “What’s great about Frank, by keeping the voice very present and active, you do feel that it’s a watchfulness and that he’s speaking to you from afar”, he says. “And I didn’t want anyone to think that he had left Dagobah. It was on the outer rim of what we do, but I think we were able to pull it off.”Star Wars fans will notice several homages to the lore, including The Empire Strikes Back and the final episodes of The Clone Wars. “This is show is meant to fit in with everything that’s going on: Clone Wars, features, novels”, Filoni says. “We do a lot of work to make sure there’s continuity between these things now.”"

You can read the entire article covering Frank Oz’s return in Star Wars Rebels, here.

To learn a bit more about the legendary Frank Oz, check out this television interview from 1976 in which the skilled puppeteer talks about his experiences working on the popular children’s program Sesame Street. Enjoy Frank Oz and his infamous friend Cookie Monster in the video below:


In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly released this past Wednesday, British star Andy Serkis spoke about his role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The versatile actor also addressed some of the rumors surrounding the production of the new film.

Having confirmed last week that he was indeed providing narration for The Force Awakens teaser trailer, Serkis spoke more in detail about that particular voice.

From the EW article:

"We know now that the narrator of The Force Awakens teaser was Serkis’ unspecified character, but at first no one was sure which actor was speaking. Was his voice being deliberately masked? “That is the character”, Serkis says, adding that the gravelly, ominous voice is entirely organic. “There’s no digital manipulation. That’s just me.”"

Before Lucasfilm confirmed the official title to Star Wars: Episode VII, there were several news sites reporting that they had the early scoop on what the new movie would be called. Andy Serkis clears up that nonsense.

More from the EW article:

"Citing multiple inside sources, Ain’t It Cool News reported over the summer that the title would be The Ancient Fear. Obviously, that proved to be incorrect–but did the title perhaps change? “No, no, it’s always just been called Episode VII to this point”, Serkis says. “Then I knew it was called The Force Awakens. It’s very pertinent.”"

Finally, Serkis addresses the secrecy surrounding the production of the new Star Wars film.

From the EW article:

"“People were flying drones over the walls to see what’s going on”, Serkis says. The secrecy is not about wanting to withhold from fans, he added—“it’s about not wanting to spoil anything for anyone. The expectation is massive, and nobody wants to ruin it in any way. I think that’s right. No one wants to, by saying the wrong thing or being misleading, you don’t want to dilute it.”"

For more from Andy Serkis on The Force Awakens, check out the full article at Entertainment Weekly.

The talented Andy Serkis in full motion capture gear.

Earlier this year, the fantastic Andy Serkis appeared on Conan and briefly joked about the extreme security found on J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars film sets.

Check out a brief clip of Serkis’ appearance on Conan, in the video below:


While out promoting his latest work on the NBC Television holiday special Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas, Mark Hamill revealed that the new droid featured in The Force Awakens teaser trailer was indeed a practical effect and NOT computer generated animation.

While speaking with Yahoo Movies, the Star Wars actor spoke about the popular “ball droid” or as we now know it, BB-8.

From the Yahoo article:

"“They never cease to amaze me with what they’re able to come up with, you know? I said, “How are you ever gonna top R2-D2, the most adorable droid in movie history?” And then they have this new one. I can’t even tell you his name, but you saw it in the trailer. And when they were demonstrating how they did this thing, live on set — because it’s not CGI, that’s a live prop — I was just amazed. They let me play around with it. I was running it all around at the creature shop up in Pinewood. I’m telling you, it’s an absolute delight. And not having thought that I’d ever go back there, to go back into that world, is just – I get the chills. It’s just so much fun.”"

For the entire interview with Mark Hamill, check out the full article at Yahoo.


This past Tuesday, the team at Omaze released an amazing video that featured footage from the Pinewood Studios set in London for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The dozens of crew members who appear in the video offered thanks to all of the Star Wars fans who helped pledge donations towards the Force for Change initiative.

One of the more notable appearances in the video features Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, as well as a surprise cameo by Chewbacca the wookiee.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams closes the video with a personal message, again thanking fans around the world for helping Omaze to raise over $4 million to benefit UNICEF’s Innovation Labs.

Check out the exciting video, below:

That’s all of the BIG NEWS from this past week, Star Wars fans. Please check back in with us here at DSOTF for more stories throughout the week.

Don’t forget to check out the official podcast of DSTOF, Podcast 66. You can download the latest episodes and subscribe on iTunes.

Thanks for reading and MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!