Considering how much fan service J.J. Abrams packed into Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s difficult to fathom that anything was left on the drawing board. Although certain iconic characters from Star Wars lore play some fairly substantial roles in the film, such as loveable rogue Han Solo (Harrison Ford), others remain absent. As it turns out, one of the more notable character omissions was originally intended to appear in the film. What the character lacks in height, he more than makes up for in wisdom and power.
ET reports that Star Wars: The Force Awakens originally intended to give iconic Jedi Master Yoda (Frank Oz) a cameo. The Force Awakens’ editor Maryann Brandon revealed that the filmmakers originally wanted to give Yoda some additional screen time – but that idea was quickly shelved. She said:
There was one point where we were actually thinking of having Yoda in the film, and then we decided not to… 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!
As fans who have seen the movie already know: Yoda does show up, just not physically. During Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) hallucination at Maz Kanata's cantina, she has a cameo-filled vision of the Force, which includes a brief bit of dialogue by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and the diminutive Jedi himself. Despite how brief the vision is, it plays a role in seeding the importance of Rey to the greater Star Wars universe and her connection to the mystical energy known as the Force.
In the end it’s probably for the best that Yoda’s cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was kept as low-key as possible. Considering how full of fan service the film already is, his inclusion could have felt largely superfluous. Of course, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that Yoda could show up in a future Star Wars film. Frank Oz clearly has a passion for the role, and with Luke’s (Mark Hamill) return by the end of Episode VII, it would make much more sense that future films in the franchise could see a larger focus on Jedi characters like Yoda, and the Force itself.
Due to the fact that Oz portrays the diminutive Jedi master in voice only, he seems like a logical cameo to include because the filmmakers would not have to worry about the passage of time; all they would need to do is have Yoda’s Force ghost show up to impart words of wisdom as he has elsewhere in the saga.
We will hold out hope that Yoda will one day show up in a future Star Wars film. If Frank Oz is game, then so are we. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently in theaters. Check it out.