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An interview with Frank Oz (

An interview with Frank Oz

by Chris Galdieri

Among the Star Wars veterans on hand for the press exhibition of Star Wars: The Magic of Myth was filmmaker and puppeteer Frank (In & Out, The Muppet Show) Oz, who created and supplied the voice of the Yoda puppet in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

And while the Star Wars prequel currently in production has been cloaked in secrecy, Oz did reveal to Mania that his creation will appear in the prequel.

"I just shot a couple of days in London," he said. "Yoda is pretty much the same as ever."

While Oz has completed shooting for the prequel, his work is not yet done. He explained that Yoda's dialogue will be looped into the film when it is in postproduction, due to the amount of ambient noise on the set of a movie like Star Wars.

In addition to his puppeteering work, Oz is the director of such films as In & Out and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He has performed as a puppeteer in the Star Wars and Muppet series of films, as well as the film version of Little Shop of Horrors and The Dark Crystal, which he also directed. He has also had small roles in The Blues Brothers and Trading Places, among other films.

Oz doesn't see much difference between his performances as a puppeteer and straight acting. "I've been doing it for thirty years," he said. "It's part training and part practice."

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