Creature Creative Supervisor Reveals His Plan For Reviving Yoda
One of the most pleasant surprises in The Last Jedi (yes, this is a spoiler) is the unexpected appearance of Yoda, whose Force Ghost helps Luke through some tough times in Ahch-To. After suffering through the CGI Yoda that populated George Lucas’ prequel trilogy, most fans were hoping for a return to the character’s puppet roots—and that’s exactly what creature creative supervisor Neal Scanlon delivered. Speaking to Nerdist, Scanlon broke down the thought process behind the Yoda you see in The Last Jedi:
“To know that we were going to have Yoda, we just said, ‘Look, we need to go back and look at Empire Strikes Back, we need to look at how Stuart [Freeborn] created Yoda because that is the most pure puppet moment. It’s Frank Oz, who is one of the greatest puppeteers ever, and we knew that Frank was going to redo this. We just felt that it was absolutely right and proper that we create the puppet in the closest likeness to the original and to give Frank exactly what he had the first time around.”
Of course, Yoda’s look is not exactly what you remember, as he’s now a ghost, but Scanlon was careful not to deviate too far from the version fans know and love. “I remember saying to Rian [Johnson] that if we were going to do it, we couldn’t make him too much of a ghost because it would deny everybody the joy of seeing him solid and real,” he explained. “The guys then came in later and added a really lovely glow, which I think just reminds us of the fact that Yoda is there as a ghost, but there is enough for you to really feel that you’re not being cheated.”
The Last Jedi (complete with memorable Yoda cameo) is in theatres now. Read our review here and check out the trailer below.