"I feel like I'm a prisoner at war here, and I can only give you my name, rank and serial number," Oz said. "To be true to the people who asked me, and they are kind of my family, I have to say I've been asked not to talk about it. I love Yoda. I would be happy to talk to you about it at the time they let me."
Fans love Yoda too, and even though the nearly 900-year-old Jedi Master passed on in 1983's "Return of the Jedi," that doesn't mean his influence on Star Wars has burned out. Here are five reasons he needs to show up in theaters once "Last Jedi" opens December 15.
1. Precedent for this, there is.
Death is a bit wishy-washy in the Star Wars saga. Powerful Jedi learn to preserve their life force and manifest as cool Force spirits. Whether it's as a Force ghost we can see, a disembodied voice urging the Rebels on, or a full-fledged flashback, few beings are as able to rewrite the rules of life and death as Yoda is. We don't expect to ever see poor extra-crispy Aunt Beru again (raise a glass of blue milk in her honor) but Yoda can make this happen.
2. More fitting final words, Yoda needs
Yoda, along with Obi-Wan, can be briefly heard inspiring Rey in "The Force Awakens," though you can hardly make him out in the movie theater version. (Give thanks for home video and fans with audio-enhancing skills.) He seems to say, "Its energy ... surrounds us ... binds us." Sure, perhaps that was meant as encouragement, but Yoda is one of the most quotable beings in the entire saga. Remember his famous quote, "Do or do not. There is no try"? The being who uttered that can't exit the saga as a whispered phrase that only dogs could hear.
3. Title says it all, it does
The next movie is called "The Last Jedi," and who is more inextricably linked with the traditions and beliefs of the Jedi than Yoda? Whether the last Jedi is Luke, Rey, a group of characters or someone else, there is no truer old-school Jedi than Luke's teacher. If Jedi history is going to figure into the plot, we'll be missing the wisdom of Yoda's nine centuries of experience unless he shows up to guide the last Jedi.
4. Remains a mystery, Yoda does
Fans know all about Admiral Ackbar's Mon Calamari species, and maybe more more than they ever wanted about Jar-Jar Binks' Gungans. But not Yoda. He keeps his secrets. His species is never discussed, his home world never revealed. This is a plus -- one Yoda speaking in his backward style is charming, a dozen might soon become as annoying as Jar-Jar's "we-sa, you-sa" habits. Still, it wouldn't hurt to pick up a few more tidbits about Yoda's history and how he influenced a new generation of Jedi, perhaps even from beyond.
5. Seagulls! Mmm! Stop it now!
This doesn't really have anything to do with "The Last Jedi," but the "Bad Lip Reading" video of Yoda warning Luke about nosy seagulls and getting poked in the coconut is one of the funniest YouTube videos ever. (Twenty-three million viewers can't be wrong!) Even if Yoda appears in the next movie, he probably won't get enough lines for a reprise video, but fans can dream. Pitchy or not, he really does make a great backpack.
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