ILMxLAB’s latest virtual reality experience, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, extends and expands the world of Batuu and Black Spire Outpost like never before. And just as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the epic immersive lands at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, introduced new characters and locations into the Star Wars galaxy, the same is true with Tales. In this series, we’ll introduce you to some of the new residents — and travelers — you’ll run into during your adventures on Batuu.
“Received your distress call, the Council did.”
Yoda was a legendary Jedi Master known as much for his diminutive stature as for his incredible connection to the Force. A member of the Jedi Council for hundreds of years, Master Yoda bore witness to the fall of the Galactic Republic and the rise of the Empire, orchestrated by Sith Lord Palpatine.
After the Great Jedi Purge wiped out Force-practitioners across the galaxy, Yoda arranged for the protection of Anakin Skywalker’s infant children before going into hiding on the remote swamp world Dagobah. There he eventually came to train one of Skywalker’s children, before becoming one with the Force himself.
Little is currently known about Jedi Master Yoda’s actions prior to the fall of the Republic, but rumors persist that during The High Republic era he once visited a remote outpost on the planet Batuu to help a young Padawan known as Ady Sun’Zee.
“Trained for this, you have, Padawan.”
When the Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge team decided to let players and fans interact with Jedi Master Yoda, they knew there were high expectations. The character had to look, move, and sound exactly right for it to truly feel believable. Fortunately they were able to work with the person that knows the character perhaps more than anyone else in the world: performer Frank Oz.
“Yoda’s character has a lot of weight and history. We needed to make sure we were staying as true to that as possible, and Frank was there to make sure that was happening,” explained director Jose Perez III. Oz shared his perspective on the character, and while people may associate Yoda most with concepts like the Force, or balance within oneself, Oz felt he was best described by one word: struggle. The struggle of being old, the struggle of being wary, the struggle of living through generations of battles, while constantly pushing for the right thing.
“There’s something really beautiful about this idea that it’s not always easy to do the right thing,” said Perez. “That manifests in Yoda, in the way he walks and talks because that’s something he’s always doing — striving to do the right thing.”
You can meet Jedi Master Yoda for yourself in Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, available now on the Oculus Quest platform.