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Puppeteer, actor and director Frank Oz would no doubt be an unforgettable legend in Hollywood even without all of his excellent work in the Star Wars universe. Thankfully, though, Oz was an instrumental force in bringing Jedi Master Yoda to life, both through physical puppetry and through his signature vocal skills. But just because he's been reprising the role for nearly 40 years, that doesn't mean Oz is acutely invested in keeping up with the (presumed) expansion of Yoda's species through The Mandalorian's Baby Yoda. Not interested, he is.
Frank Oz is a busy guy still, even at 75 years old, and in 2019 alone, he appeared in Rian Johnson's Knives Out and voiced Yoda for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. What he clearly didn't keep himself busy with, though, was binge-watching Disney+'s The Mandalorian. Here's what he told IndieWire about the Star Wars TV series' wrinkled cutie-pie:
I have nothing to do with Baby Yoda. But I heard it’s very cute, and I’m sure Disney has a whole plan for it.
How hardcore is Frank Oz that he not only missed out on watching The Mandalorian, but he also apparently hasn't ever actually witnessed the character in any form. He "heard" that Baby Yoda was cute. But, come on! Who is talking to Frank Oz about how cute Baby Yoda is without then immediately pulling out a photo album full of shots from The Mandalorian?
Granted, the case might be that Frank Oz just doesn't have any interest in hunkering down with Star Wars projects that he didn't play a part in. As magical as it might be to think about Mark Hamill talking Oz into vegging out on a couch for the afternoon in order to burn through all of The Mandalorian's eight Season 1 episodes, it probably won't happen, no matter how much Hamill enjoyed both the show and Baby Yoda.
At least Frank Oz's answer was straightforward and genial enough, without taking any unnecessary potshots at anyone or anything within the Star Wars franchise. He even followed up by making sure to give Yoda some love.
I love doing Yoda. The only thing that bothers me is if people think that I only do Yoda. That’s not a good feeling.
That's totally understandable, considering Frank Oz is responsible for so much more pop culture magic than just 40 years of Yoda. And he's quite protective of some of his other works.
As fans are no doubt aware, Frank Oz has rarely been one to mince words whenever he feels the need to speak out. As one of the Muppets' founding fathers alongside Jim Henson, Frank Oz has had less than kind words for the directions that Disney has gone with the franchise since taking over, particularly when it came to the short-lived, and problematic, ABC series.
Frank Oz recently reunited with the rest of his Muppet Guys Talking quartet, including Fran Brill, Dave Goelz and Bill Barretta, in order to pay tribute to Jim Henson on the 30th anniversary of his death. If only there was a way to get all four of them involved with The Mandalorian and / or any other Disney+ project on the way. (Obviously, the impending Muppets Now series would be the top option.)
Will Frank Oz start watching The Mandaloarian whenever Boba Fett and Ahsoka Tano join the show for Season 2? It's not overtly likely, but anything could happen, right? Stay tuned for more info about when Season 2 will arrive, and head to our Summer 2020 TV schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.