Rumor: Frank Oz will visit the Star Wars: Episode VIII sets at Pinewood Studios in London soon.
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The sleuths at Making Star Wars have confirmed that the legendary puppeteer and voice behind Jedi Master Yoda will be visiting the Episode VIII sets at Pinewood Studios in London soon. They have also confirmed that he’s going to or is already in London to work. Whether or not that work involves Star Wars remains to be seen, but it’s not hard to imagine him being involved in Episode VIII somehow, given he’ll be visiting the sets.
The next conclusion that’s easy to jump to is that Yoda’s Force ghost will appear in Episode VIII, and his cameo is why Frank Oz is making the trip all the way to London. Of course, as Jason Ward at Making Star Wars points out, he could just as easily be working as a consultant and not as a performer; but the last time he worked on Star Wars, it was for The Force Awakens and he spent his day there reading lines for a Yoda scene which was eventually cut from the final film. It doesn’t seem likely that they would have Oz fly all the way across the Atlantic, then, to simply be a consultant.
Another alternative is that he really is just going to visit the Episode VIII sets, and his “work” will involve something entirely unrelated to Star Wars. But it’s more fun to think that Oz is going to Pinewood Studios to reprise his role as Yoda. I’m not sure he’s physically capable of performing a puppet anymore, unless it’s for a short length of time (but Force ghosts tend to only have small roles, anyway). However, you can’t have Yoda back in any form in any live action Star Wars film without the original voice to go with it, as long as Oz is still willing and able to provide it.
We did hear Yoda speak in Rey’s vision in The Force Awakens, and while those lines were taken from another Star Wars film, their use suggests the possibility that his Force ghost is still around, offering advice to the Skywalkers and their trainees. Of course, if that logic is correct, then we may also see Obi Wan Kenobi’s Force ghost, hopefully portrayed by Ewan McGregor. Imagine having Yoda and Obi Wan and Luke and Rey having a conversation together about the Force and destiny. You can’t get much more epic than that.
Keep checking Dork Side for further developments on Frank Oz in London and Yoda’s possible role in Star Wars: Episode VIII.