Wars not make one great
– Yoda, Empire Strikes Back
Today we celebrate Frank Oz at his 71st birthday (born 1944)
Frank Oz was born in England, UK and played Yoda. He is a Master Puppeteer and gives Yoda a voice and movement. Frank Oz’ birth name is Richard Frank Oznowicz.
Yoda is the small and green ancient Jedi Master. Yoda had trained Padawans for eight centuries and is very powerful in the Force.
In The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and A Phantom Menace is Yoda a puppet. But for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith he is entirely computer-generated. The ILM animators took great efforts to not outdo Frank Oz’s puppeteering skills, so they actually toned down the biological realism in their animation. Rather than have true, realistic lip sync and eye blinks, Yoda would instead have more of a “jaw sync” and slower blinks and other imperfections.