the force awakens yoda

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.

This fascinating little bit of trivia comes to us via ET Online, who spoke to the Oscar-nominated editors of The Force Awakens Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey at the 66th annual ACE Eddie Awards, which honors achievements in film editing. Brandon is the one who actually gave up the goods, revealing that original Yoda voice actor and puppeteer Frank Oz got involved in the new film:

There was one point where we were actually thinking of having Yoda in the film, and then we decided not to. Frank Oz came in for a day and did a whole bunch of Yoda and he was over the moon to do it — and we were tickled pink!

Considering that The Force Awakens was radically rewritten and restructured before, during, and after filming, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to hear that director J.J. Abrams and his crew toyed with, and abandoned, such a potentially huge cameo. The details will probably surface someday, but it’s no secret that large stretches of this film were radically altered in editing and significant scenes were reshot. An appearance from a deceased Jedi master, possibly in “Force Ghost” form, seems to be one of the ideas that hit the cutting room floor.

And you can probably guess where his appearance would have been. Since we hear his distinctive voice speak to Rey during her big vision/flashback/flashforward, it’s easy to imagine him actually appearing on screen. Since Yoda is a special effects character, he would be far easier to conjure up than Obi-Wan Kenobi, which would require Ewan McGregor’s involvement (or, shudder, a digital recreation of Alec Guiness).

Of course, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a future Yoda cameo in a new film. For all we know, Luke Skywalker hangs out with his Force Ghost buddies on Jedi Island all day long, swapping stories and discussing the good ‘ol days. And since Yoda remains a popular character who can and will outlive any actor, I’d put good money on him continuing to play a role in the saga moving forward.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Have something to say about this post?
Click to join the discussion.