For a long while now, we've heard that Yoda returns in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There were rampant rumors that Frank Oz was spotted on the Ahch-To set of this sequel, that he's done a voice over while others controlled a practically puppet as opposed to CGI. And there were Yoda statues spotted on various sets. Now a new Star Wars toy all but confirms his presence. But the big take away here is that Yoda will not be appearing as a Force Ghost in Star Wars 8.
When movie fans last saw Yoda, he was heading into his own exile in 2005's Revenge of the Sith. But we all know he wound up on Dagobah, where he trained Luke Skywalker in the ways of the Jedi, before passing away in his bed. At the end of Return of the Jedi, he is seen standing next to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as a Force Ghost. So what happened, and why is he appearing in the flesh in this next chapter of the Skywalker saga?
It is believed that Yoda will be appearing as both a Force Ghost and in the flesh, with his true form represented in a Flashback had by Rey. These are generally referred to as Forcebacks in Star Wars lore. New speculation for all of this stems from a box of Hasbro plushies for the movie. This toy clearly shows Yoda as his old self. While Star Wars does a lot of old classic characters in their new runs that aren't in the upcoming sequels, this box of plushies is said to only contain characters from The Last Jedi.
The other new Star Wars 8 plushies include Chewbacca, BB-8, a Porg, a Porglette, and a Praetorian Guard. While Yoda more than likely makes his long-awaited return in The Last Jedi, with a Forceback a pretty safe bet, it's also probable that a Force Ghost Yoda just looked dumb, and didn't fit the toy being sold. A blue Yoda is a hard sell, and you can't exactly make the thing transparent. So it's possible that while he's in the movie, Hasbro simply decided on a more pleasing familiar look for this toy. Which you can see below.
Love him or hate him, this latest sneak peek at The Last Jedi comes from the Mike Zeroh Youtube Channel. And the guy waxes poetically about his thoughts on why Yoda is not a Force Ghost in The Last Jedi, and as we discussed, the only logical conclusion is that he's seen in a Flashback. It's the only thing that really makes any sense. Says Zeroh about Yoda's upcoming appearance, information which he claims came from an insider at Lucasfilm.
"You do see Yoda in the flesh. He's not in the form of a Force ghost oddly, though they might just be doing that because that's how most people view Yoda from the prequels and most of the original trilogy. He passed away at the end of Return of the Jedi so it would only make sense for him to be a Force ghost in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. For all we know maybe Yoda [will also] appear [in] the form of a flashback."
Yoda famously made his debut in the 1980 hit Empire Strikes Back, and returned in 1983's Return of the Jedi. He would later appear in all three prequel movies. And he has played a role on Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. You can play Yoda for yourself in the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront 2 video game. It has also been confirmed that a Yoda standalone movie is in the early stages of development and could follow the 2020 Star Wars spinoff Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is happening, though Ewan McGregor hasn't officially signed on. Some even speculate that because he's such good friends with Chewbacca, that Yoda will actually next make a cameo appearance in the Han Solo movie.