Star Wars designer shows off early, far less adorable version of Yoda

American Age Official
Yoda’s fine, he just needs to sit down for a minute.

Yoda’s fine, he just needs to sit down for a minute.

Everyone makes a big fuss about Baby Yoda. Sure, he’s cute with those fennec fox ears, wrinkly baby face, and innocent determination to eat another species out of existence, but years of Yodamania have made us forget just how charming the grown up alien truly is.

Behind-the-scenes footage from the original Yoda’s creation helps rectify this issue, shocking the system by making us look at the Jedi frogman anew, not as a beloved, well-established character but as a work in progress that looks like a drunk old man.

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YouTube channel 70sSciFiBoy has resurfaced a 1979 interview with Star Wars make-up artist and creature designer Stuart Freeborn in which he runs down his work on creating a new alien for The Empire Strikes Back.

“This is a creature known as the Yoda,” Freeborn says from behind a sketch of the character that shows him grinning with half-closed eyes like a perverted gnome. “From that, we have to make something that looks pretty realistic.”

Freeborn shows off a bust of Yoda’s head that looks close to the finished product, but, more importantly, he also debuts an early puppet. This version of Yoda has one wonky eye and a gummy maw, its face collapsing into the tired, contented face of an old drunk sitting through every afternoon at the same pub.

“As you can see, he’s quite an interesting little character,” Freeborn tell us while working the puppet.

The short interview continues with Freeborn discussing further interesting bits about how the Yoda we see in the finished film will be made. But this insight is hard to pay attention to when we’re constantly being distracted by something else: The squinting, open-mouthed puppet taking in the workshop that birthed him as if he’s not sure whether to start singing songs from the old country or just fall asleep in a puddle of his own noxious drool.

[via Boing Boing]

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