The 70 year old puppeteer and voice of Yoda from the Star Wars films is back, this time only for giving his voice to the famous character, in the next episode of Star Wars: Rebels. The episode called “Path of the Jedi” is expected to air on Monday, Jan. 5 or if you have the Watch Disney XD app on Monday, Dec. 29.
Though Rebels takes place between the two Star Wars movie trilogies — a time when the few surviving Jedis are in hiding from the Empire — the 800-plus-year-old icon is drawn from hiding to offer counsel to fledgling Jedi knight Kanan and his new padawan, Ezra, on the remote planet of Lothal. The twist: He only “appears” as a disembodied voice.
But what a voice it is. Frank Oz, who famously starred as the Yoda (in puppet and computer-generated form) in five of the Star Wars films, returns to the franchise for this episode. “I felt personally to keep Yoda as this disembodied thing it would confuse the audience less,” says executive producer Dave Filoni, who also directed the installment. “I didn’t want you to think Yoda could be teleporting from planet to planet.”
Star Wars fans will notice several homages to the lore, including The Empire Strikes Back and the final episodes of The Clone Wars. “This is show is meant to fit in with everything that’s going on: Clone Wars, features, novels,” Filoni says. “We do a lot of work to make sure there’s continuity between these things now.”