Never thought I'd be relieved to see a CG Yoda...

Jefferson Morris

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...but I was, while watching the AOTC teaser (assuming that was a CG Yoda, which I'm almost 100% sure it was). To my surprise/relief, it actually looked like the Yoda we know and love, as opposed to the inexplicably altered, utterly inexpressive imposter in The Phantom Menace.
A Henson puppet would be optimal, but if it's the choice between ILM's CG and ILM's consistently underwhelming animatronics, I'll be happy if they're going all-CG with Yoda in AOTC. Does anyone know if this is, in fact, what they're doing?
It seems Lucasfilm needs a practice run when it tries to recreate the look of characters from the OT. The CG Jabba was much improved in Phantom Menace, after that strange, worm-like version in the special edition of A New Hope. Visual consistency is shot, but at least they learn from their mistakes.
--Jefferson Morris
[Edited last by Jefferson Morris on November 07, 2001 at 01:32 PM]
[Edited last by Jefferson Morris on November 07, 2001 at 01:32 PM]
 

Inspector Hammer!

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I'm officially curious, can someone provide a link to a pic of the new Yoda from 'EP II'?
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Greg_S_H

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Andy,
Great page! For my money, the ESB Yoda is still the best. But, I have to say . . . the AOTC one looks pretty great.
 

Jefferson Morris

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Perhaps we're biased though, since that is the one we all grew up with.
No doubt, but there's also no doubt that Yoda in Empire is pure magic, and "Yoda" in Phantom Menace is pure shite, apart from the voice. Frank Oz is still Frank Oz, but he was simply given a bad puppet to work with. The puppets we see every week on Farscape are infinitely more expressive (and are, not coincidentally, a Henson production).
--Jefferson Morris
 

Greg_S_H

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Maybe so, but I am amazed to this day by the ESB Yoda. It is still so real. When watching the movie, you never sit there and think, "Hey, there's that puppet!" Oz really brought him to life.
 

Jefferson Morris

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For clarification, the original Yoda in Empire was also the work of the Henson creature shop. Henson's genius (from Sesame Street to Dark Crystal) lay in his ability to create puppets that allowed the puppeteers to impart vivid life with a relative minimum of articulation.
ILM's creature shop just can't duplicate that, for whatever reason. Witness the complicated-looking Nimoudian (sp?) heads being tested in the Phantom Menace documentary - plenty of gears and servos, but they end up looking very stiff on screen.
Now I don't mean to come off as an ILM basher - when it comes to optical and computer effects, they're peerless - but Lucas might do well to outsource the rubber work in future.
--Jefferson Morris
[Edited last by Jefferson Morris on November 07, 2001 at 02:52 PM]
 

Rob Lutter

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ermm... this may sound like a stupid question... but why not just use the same Yoda in all the Star Wars movies?
He is supposed to be about 700 years old, right? How much aging could possibly go on in those last 40 or so years?
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Richard Kim

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To answer your question Rob:
Spoiler:Supposedly in the end of AOTC, Yoda engages Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus in a lightsaber fight, thus necessitating CGI.
[Edited last by Richard Kim on November 07, 2001 at 03:28 PM]
 

Jefferson Morris

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ermm... this may sound like a stupid question... but why not just use the same Yoda in all the Star Wars movies?
Not a stupid question at all. I still don't know why Lucas felt compelled to change him in the first place (although I'm glad that he apparently decided to change him back, appearance-wise).
This timeless riddle may go down in history alongside "Why did Greedo have to shoot first?", "Why did Luke have to scream like a girl in Empire?" and "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
--Jefferson Morris
 

Richard Kim

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As to the changing of Yoda's appearance, you should keep in mind that seeing all your fellow Jedi exterminated and going into isoaltion can be very stressful, which could be why Yoda's appearance changes. I noticed that he has alot more hair in TPM than in the OT.
Also, alot of people forget that Yoda changed alot between ESB and ROTJ. He looked alot more pale and frailer, reflecting that he was close to death.
[Edited last by Richard Kim on November 07, 2001 at 03:35 PM]
 

Jaime m

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I remember people asking why didn't they use the Yoda puppet from empire strikes back, the problem is that it really doesn't exist anymore. The only few that are around are in no state to be used on film and manhandled.
Before Episode one came out one of the making of diaries show them making the new Yoda and they used the original yoda head as a guide for all the measurements. Its almost impossible to capture the same nuances when you basically have to build something from scratch while trying to duplicate an already know performance.It's like try to draw the same picture again and again and make it same every time, almost impossible.
 

Jefferson Morris

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Before Episode one came out one of the making of diaries show them making the new Yoda and they used the original yoda head as a guide for all the measurements.
Wow, they really screwed up then. Maybe an English-to-metric conversion doomed their efforts, a la NASA's Mars Climate Orbiter.
But if that's the case, how come they appear to have gotten it "right" for AOTC? Practice makes perfect?
Look at that comparison page that Andy_S graciously put together: http://www.saputofamily.com/tv/yoda.htm
The main difference between the ESB and TPM Yodas is probably the length of the nose. The ESB Yoda's nose is smaller, with almost no bridge whatsoever. This kind of change had to have been deliberate, methinks, and not some sort of error, particularly if ILM was taking measurements.
--Jefferson Morris
 

Inspector Hammer!

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Rob, that's the thing with foam latex, witch is what was used to create Yoda for 'Empire', it rots over time, and eventually deteriorates. I read somewhere that the original puppet used for 'E.T.' is no more because it rotted away long ago in the Universal studios creature shop vault.
It's actually pretty sad when you think about it. Here these creations brought us laughter and tears, and then those same creatures were just put in a dark room and forgotten, until they just rotted away. It kinda gets you choked up a bit.
------------------
To the men and women of the N.Y. police and fire department
God bless you.
To the victims and their families
God keep you.
To the dirtbags who caused all this
God help you!!!
 

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