Star Wars Rebels fans were shocked when James Earl Jones was announced to be returning to Star Wars as the voice of Darth Vader. Now, we are excited to hear that Frank Oz will be returning as the legendary Jedi Master Yoda.
In the next episode of Star Wars Rebels, Episode 8 “Path of the Jedi,” Yoda is drawn from hiding to offer counsel to Kanan and his new padawan, Ezra, on the remote planet of Lothal. In order to stay true to the fact that he does not leave Dagobah, he only “appears” as a disembodied voice.
From the official announcement over at Yahoo TV:
“I felt personally to keep Yoda as this disembodied thing it would confuse the audience less,” says executive producer Dave Filoni, who also directed the installment. “I didn’t want you to think Yoda could be teleporting from planet to planet.”
It helped that Filoni was directing an actor so closely associated with one sci-fi’s most beloved characters. “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,” he says. “And I didn’t want anyone to think that he had left Dagobah [the planet where Yoda first trains Luke Skywalker]. It was on the outer rim of what we do, but I think we were able to pull it off.”
Star Wars fans will notice several homages to the lore, including The Empire Strikes Back and the final episodes of The Clone Wars. “This is show is meant to fit in with everything that’s going on: Clone Wars, features, novels,” Filoni says. “We do a lot of work to make sure there’s continuity between these things now.”
“Path of the Jedi” will air Monday, Jan. 5 at 9/8c on Disney XD and will be available early on the Watch Disney XD app starting Monday, Dec. 29.