Yoda is probably one of the most distinctive and beloved characters from Star Wars, and he’s been animated and voiced by Frank Oz, a Muppeteer trained by Jim Henson and a film director and an actor in his own right. OK, so maybe some of his movies aren’t very good, but when you think Yoda, you hear Oz’s voice.
And Lucas tried to find somebody, anybody, else to replace him for a freakin’ year. Yes, George was trying to wreck this franchise well before the prequels came along.
The admission comes as part of a very long but riveting interview with Oz that covers everything from Star Wars to working with Henson to Oz’s own directorial career. Oz is a fascinating guy on multiple levels, and this is a really in-depth interview worth digging into if you care about any facet of the man’s career. Or if you’re just looking for nuggets about how the Star Wars movies came together despite the best efforts of Lucas; Oz isn’t particularly hostile towards Lucas, but by the end of this you get the sense he’s a bit ambivalent about the man. Still, if you’re a nerd, set aside forty minutes or so; this is a must watch.