Thanks to The Force Awakens, we were given the opportunity to meet new characters who captured the imaginations of a new generation. However, if filmmakers had it their way, a previously famous Force figure would have worked his way into the story.
In talking with ET, Force Awakens film editors Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey revealed that Yoda was scheduled to make an appearance in an early incarnation of the film.
“There was one point where we were actually thinking of having Yoda in the film, and then we decided not to,” Brandon confirmed on the red carpet of The ACE Eddie Awards. “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!”
Somewhere between rewrites, The Master Jedi was written out. Not completely though. Frank Oz did deliver a line for Yoda, during the scene when Rey encounters Luke’s lightsaber at Maz Katana’s place. However, it’s a consolation now that we know Yoda could have had a bigger impact.
You can even imagine J.J. Abrams going back to a puppet form for Yoda in Force Awakens, instead of the CGI version used for Episodes 1-3 (also remember, Yoda was even a puppet in The Phantom Menace, before the film was tweaked and he got cgi-ified). With all the practical effects used in The Force Awakens, you could see a scenario where Abrams would elect to use Oz as the puppeteer; another wonderful throwback to the original trilogy.
The good news is that we know Yoda could very well have a presence in future Star Wars movies (and not just the spin-offs). Yoda and (both an old and young) Obi-Wan Kenobi spoke to Rey, which leads us to believe they have maintained their Force Ghost presence, thus leading to a possible appearance in either Episode VIII or IX.
Also, with Abrams having Yoda in mind for Force Awakens, perhaps that thought could work its way into a future installment. Really, any way you could squeeze in a cameo from everyone’s favorite green Jedi (sorry Kit Fisto), would be a pleasant surprise for any Star Wars fan.