• Gary Miceli

FUN FACTS: Star Wars empire strikes back - Yoda head skin

Updated: Feb 3, 2020

“Do or do not, there is no try” said by the jedi master Yoda  played by Frank Oz in the film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Now, a little about the history about the famous puppet…

The Yoda puppet was originally designed and built by Stuart Freeborn for Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic. Jim Henson merely consulted on the building of Yoda. Also a few other Henson veterans contributed to the character, such as Wendy Froud (who assisted on construction) but the question is, where is Yoda? Well, over time they have had many Yoda puppets (various movies etc) but THAT Yoda…the one that said THAT famous line? Well I don’t think he exist anymore. Yoda in 1980 was made out of foam latex, and that material deteriorates over time. Plus remember, back then, they didn’t think about preserving the puppet. I’m sure even George Lucas had no idea about how big Star Wars would become.

But some Yoda parts DO still exist (with some having the help of some restoration).


ThePropGallery has "one of the original foam latex head skins used on the Yoda puppet. When a skin became worn or damaged it would be replaced with this one being retained after use. The skin they have has been mounted on a head form and undergone some sympathetic restoration in order to preserve it with the addition of expertly sculpted ears creating a head display which is instantly recognizable as Yoda."

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