Frank Oz Discusses the Secrecy Behind Yoda’s ‘The Last Jedi’ Cameo

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brian-mcgee - March 21, 2018

Once you get over the initial shock of his weird, blue steel filtered entrance in The Last Jedi, Yoda's scene is undeniably a highlight of the film and one of the scenes I look forward to revisiting when I get the blu-ray next Tuesday. Frank Oz recently sat down with IGN and discussed, among other things, the enormous secrecy behind asking him to do the film and keeping his cameo under wraps for 18 months or so...

“Several years ago I had lunch with Rian [Johnson], and Rian asked if I could do Yoda in the next Star Wars, and I said ‘Sure,’ because I thought it was just CGI. And then [Lucasfilm president] Kathy Kennedy, who I’ve known for quite a while, who’s fantastic, she called me about it and then I realized that it wasn’t CGI, that it was actually the character,” Frank Oz told IGN.

“I said, ‘Kathy, do you have any idea what’s going to happen here? This is tough!’ and she said ‘That’s okay, let’s do it.’ So, you know, the workshop made him and everything, and did a fantastic job,” Oz continued.

So there you go Emperor Kennedy haters. She was the one who encouraged Frank Oz to get off his duff and do this the right way. Then came the business of keeping this secret...

“I was told that that was going to be the surprise of the movie, so when I went to Pinewood I had to be a secret there. Although if people saw me… people DID see me, but if they questioned me it would have been fine because I shot Little Shop of Horrors ... there, and could have just said I had some meetings for movies.”

“But the idea was to keep me off the credits,” Oz added. “I was asked, ‘Could you have your name off the poster?’ and I said ‘Sure.’ So the idea was that that would be the surprise.”

Well, they got me. Now, speaking of the blu-ray, someone should make the following fan edit. First things first, Canto Bight, we cut right from Rose and Finn landing on the beach to them in jail, I think you'd really have something. It cuts out all the unnecessary elements from that storyline and gets us right to Benicio, with whom they leave immediately. No space horseback riding lesson anymore either. This cuts some of the fat off of that subplot. Then when we get to Crait, we have Poe ordering the speeders back to the base and cut to them back inside. We get rid of that fake out Finn suicide mission. Gone, don't need any of that. I just cut twenty minutes of the worst stuff out and made the movie better and shorter and more like a Star Wars movie instead of an episode of Deep Space Nine. Someone more talented than I needs to make that cut.

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