‘Star Wars Rebels’ Sets Frank Oz to Return as Yoda
Recent weeks have seen excitement for Disney XD’s ‘Star Wars Rebels’ somewhat eclipsed by revelations of ‘The Force Awakens’ trailer, but it seems the animated series will seek to establish yet another major connection to the films. Not only will Master Yoda pop up in a future ‘Star Wars Rebels’ installment, but the character will be voiced by his original portrayer and puppeteer, Frank Oz.
Per TVGuide, January 5 episode “Path of the Jedi” will see Oz returning to his role as Master Yoda (Tom Kane voiced the character through ‘The Clone Wars’), though the elder Jedi Master’s presence will be felt as a voice on Lothal, rather than an in-person appearance. Yoda will offer guidance on Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.)’s training of young Ezra (Taylor Gray), while director Dave Filoni offered an explanation of the long-distance cameo:
I felt personally to keep Yoda as this disembodied thing it would confuse the audience less. I didn’t want you to think Yoda could be teleporting from planet to planet.
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. 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.
Oz marks the second original ‘Star Wars’ cast member to return to their role for ‘Star Wars Rebels,’ following James Earl Jones’ reprisal of Darth Vader in an extended cut of the premiere. Whether the return appearance signals any larger connection to the revitalized cinematic universe is yet to be seen, but what do you think? Will you tune in to hear Frank Oz voicing Yoda once again?