There has been a rampant rumor that Luke Skywalker has been kicking it with Yoda's force ghost on the planet of Ahch-To, where he's been hiding out. So, the idea is that he hasn't been completely secluded from the outside world, as Yoda's spirit is able to travel to various planets on a whim. Some fans find this idea ludicrous, as a Jedi's force ghost gets weaker with time and completely fades. It's been thirty years since Yoda passed away in Return of the Jedi. So, is his force ghost strong enough to still materialize in Star Wars: Episode VIII? It is if a new rumor turns out to be true.
IndieRevolver claims that master puppeteer Frank Oz has already recorded his Yoda voice for Star Wars 8. And before you jump to any conclusions, no, Yoda will not be CGI in this latest sequel, as he was in the prequel trilogy. The rumor is that Rian Johnson is using a puppet much like the one introduced in The Empire Strikes Back. Only, Frank Oz won't be operating the puppet. Only lending his voice.
The source bringing this information to light claims that Frank Oz arrived in England to record the Master Jedi's voice only. And he will not be helping out in any way with the visual side of the character. The source does say that this could change. This matches up with a previous rumor from the set, that some of the Jedi Temple recreations had been constructed to accommodate a puppet. We also recently heard that Frank Oz had traveled to London to visit the Episode VIII set. But that was never confirmed nor denied.
Frank Oz did record voice work for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, spending a whole day in the audio booth. Though, we only heard a few words during Rey's force vision sequence in Maz's Castle, when she first touches Luke's old New Hope lightsaber. And that audio was taken from an early movie, with Oz's new voice work locked away in a vault at Skywalker Ranch. IndieRevolver.com goes onto claim that a Yoda puppet was even constructed for use in The Force Awakens in case they decided they wanted to show him standing next to Luke Skywalker in the final moments of that sequel. Apparently, a lot of care and detail went into making sure Yoda looked perfect for his return.
Most fans want to see a practical Yoda used on set in Star Wars 8 should he return. Which would match up with the original trilogy. Many fans were upset that Yoda was CGI in the prequel trilogy. The Phantom Menace actually used a puppet when it was initially released in theaters. But George Lucas would later go back and replace Yoda with a CGI creation. Even if Yoda does return, we can't image that he'd have a substantial role. It will probably be akin to Obi-Wan Kenobi's appearances in Empire and Jedi.