ABC’s The Muppets television show revival was short-lived. While the series got favorable reviews, there was a sizable backlash from parents who didn’t think the adult-skewing humor was suitable for family viewing. After six episodes the network replaced showrunner Bob Kushell with Kristen Newman as part of their plans to creatively overhaul the series, but it was too little too late, and the ratings lead to the show being canceled at the conclusion of its debut season.
Frank Oz, who helped create and perform the Muppet characters of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle and more, has now chimed in to explain why he believed The Muppets failed. Hit the jump to read his comments.
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In addition to his work with the Muppets and directing a number of good films (including Little Shop of Horrors, What About Bob?, and Bowfinger) Frank Oz is probably best as the voice and puppeteer behind Jedi Master Yoda in the Star Wars movies. This week, Oz has been doing press for a new documentary that premiered at SXSW titled Muppet Guys Talking: Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched…and that means Star Wars questions.
During an interview, Oz was asked about the rumors that he might reprise his role as Yoda as a force ghost in the upcoming Skywalker saga film Star Wars: The Last Jedi. His answer raises more questions than it does provide answers, but to me, it sounds like an inadvertent confirmation of Yoda in The Last Jedi. Let’s take a closer look.
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A couple years ago, two-time Close-Up Magician of the Year Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimarães broke records at Los Angeles’ Geffen Theatre with their magic show Nothing To Hide. That production was extended to 144 performances, breaking daily and weekly box office sales, and grossing more than $1 million before moving to New York City. It was one of those little shows that became the thing to see in LA. When I saw it, the theater was filled with a who’s who of Hollywood, all there to see exactly what everyone was talking about. And the show itself, in many ways was about that — about having a special experience with a small group of people, untethered by technology, that couldn’t be taken in anywhere else.
So when Derek DelGaudio announced he would be returning to the Geffen with a new show called In & Of Itself, directed by Frank Oz (The Muppet Studio legend who voiced/performed Yoda and directed many great films in his own right) and featuring an original score by Mark Mothersbaugh (the Devo co-founder who has composed so many great film and television scores over the last three decades, but with notable contributions to Wes Anderson’s films), I knew I had to see it.
And in the months leading up to the show, there has been very little information revealed about what it would even entail. In place of a description, Geffen’s own programing magazine features a one page handwritten letter from Derek explaining why he was unable to write one for this show. Last night I saw the opening night performance, and I can tell you that In & Of Itself is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.
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Posted on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has its fair share of in-jokes and easter eggs referring to previous films in the series. You could even argue that the entire movie is just one big reference to the original films, but that is a topic you can discuss amongst yourselves for the time being because we have bigger Colo Claw Fish to fry. It turns out that one of those tiny easter eggs was almost a lot bigger. By now, you’re surely aware of Yoda’s brief vocal cameo, but at one point, he was considered for a larger role.
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JJ Abrams is one of those filmmakers who loves to hide easter eggs in his films and television shows. And we love to go on the easter egg hunt and find them. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is packed with inside jokes, cameos, fun references to past films, as well as some things that pay homage to the inspiration and fandom of the series.
How many Game of Thrones cameos did you spot? Is it possible the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark might be hidden in this movie somewhere? Find out this and over 50 other Star Wars: The Force Awakens easter eggs, after the jump.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally in theaters, so hopefully most of you have already ventured out to see how this new era of stories from a galaxy far, far away begins. Old heroes return as new heroes jump into the fray. And while most of the old heroes can be seen front and center on the big screen with the return of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill as Han Solo, Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker respectively, there are a couple other returning cast members that weren’t so prominent, but play an important part nonetheless.
Director J.J. Abrams has confirmed that Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy), Alec Guiness (Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy) and Frank Oz (the voice of Yoda) were brought back for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But since talking about their roles takes us into major spoiler territory, you’ll have to hit the jump to find out more. Read More »
Many forms of media are present in this edition of Star Wars Bits. Vinyl, video games, television, movies, comic books and so much more. Below, read about the following:
- John Williams‘ score for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is now on vinyl.
- Photos of Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens leak.
- See the Boba Fett Disney Infinity 3.0 figure and a new E3 trailer.
- Visceral Games continues to tease a new Star Wars game.
- Watch a new clip from Star Wars Rebels season 2.
- See a variant cover for the comic Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1.
- Watch a conversation with Frank Oz from Disney’s Star Wars Weekends.
- Gawker Media offers to buy the script for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- Mark Hamill‘s role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is questioned.
- What Force Awakens ship could also appear in Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One?
- How does Finn fit in between the Resistance and First Order?
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There are two cool pieces of Star Wars news for you on this last Monday of 2014. First up, Disney CEO Bob Iger appeared on the cover of Fortune Magazine with his $4 billion dollar co-star, the Millennium Falcon. Then, inside, there’s a very cool new look at the Falcon from the ground level. The two constitute our first close-up images of the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” from the 2015 sequel. We have the images below.
Second, Star Wars Rebels will return next week and as previously reported, Frank Oz will reprise his role as Yoda. The clip is now online and you can watch it below. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
A significant addition to Star Wars Rebels and some new analysis of The Force Awakens trailer are in this edition of Star Wars Bits. Read about the following:
- Yoda will be on Star Wars Rebels, voiced by Frank Oz.
- Maisie Richardson-Sellers confirms and discusses her appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- Watch the Disney XD Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer featurette.
- Mark Hamill talks about drone precautions on the set of The Force Awakens.
- See high res versions of The Force Awakens trading cards.
- The speed of The Force Awakens TIE Fighters is explored.
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Above you can see two pieces of concept art for Yoda, designed during the development of Empire Strikes Back. Its almost impossible to imagine Yoda as a blue gnome creature with pointy toes, but that was George Lucas’ initial conception of the wise old master Jedi. I’m always fascinated by these kind of “what ifs.”
What might have been if one little decision was different than what we have come to know and expect. Its hard not to imagine Yoda as a fragile little green creature with pointy ears, just as much as its hard to imagine Yoda with a different voice than the one puppeteer Frank Oz provided for the character — but even that was not the original plan.
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