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Frank Oz returns as the voice of Yoda in the all-new Star Wars Rebels episode


Frank Oz returns as the voice of Yoda in the all-new Star Wars Rebels episode,

“Path of the Jedi!”



Recognizing it’s time for Ezra to undertake his next important step in Jedi training, Kanan and his apprentice quest for an ancient Jedi Temple on Lothal. Once there, Ezra begins a series of Jedi tests and receives some unexpected guidance from Jedi Master Yoda.

Frank Oz was interviewed about his portrayal of Yoda.  Read it below!

Q. What was your initial reaction to Yoda when you viewed the concept sketches for the character in 1979?
A. When I saw the first sketches they were different from the Yoda we now know. But still, I sensed who he was right away. That rarely happens, but it happened with him.
Q. Do you remember what George Lucas said to you to inspire you to come up with the voice that you chose for Yoda?
A. Actually George didn’t ask me to do the voice. I gave him a voice tape early on but I was told he wanted to try other people doing the voice. Over the year or so while post was going on, I would hear that many men were auditioned for Yoda’s voice. But at the last minute, when I was on my honeymoon in Hawaii with my first wife, I got a call that George would like to use my voice after all. So we shortened the honeymoon and I went to LA to record Yoda for EMPIRE. But to answer your question, I studied old men’s voices.
Q. You reportedly created your own personal backstory for Yoda in 1979 to help you get into character.  Is that true?  Do you still have those notes?
A. I may have them deep in storage…somewhere. The content was about Yoda’s history. His likes and dislikes. How he came to be on Dagobah. How Jedi behaved hundreds of years ago, etc. And also the notes included what Yoda knew about various people. What he knew about Luke, what he knew about Princess Leia, what he knew about Han Solo, and what he knew about Darth Vader.  What he knew about all the characters impacted by the Force.  I had asked George early on in the rehearsal period of The Empire Strikes Back, to let me have the whole script instead of having just my scenes. I felt if Yoda was so wise I needed to know what was going on throughout the script so Yoda could sense it all.
Q.  You’ve created so many wonderful characters over the years—how difficult or easy was Yoda compared to others?
A. Creating characters is really not about one person. Yoda was designed by someone, built by someone, costumed by someone, described and had dialogue written by someone (George and Lawrence Kasdan), and directed by Kersh (Director, Irvin Kershner). What I do is take all the elements, plus what’s inside me, and bring them to life with, hopefully, a transformational and transcendent result.  That’s what happens with all the characters I’ve originated.
As I said I sensed who Yoda was right away when I saw the sketches, but what was different with Yoda is that he was not performing for an audience. I had to have him truthful to the script. And the major physical difference was that I had to have three people working him with me – all needing to be in exact sync with each other. That was really the challenging part – but the fun part too.
Q. How does it feel to be reprising the voice of Yoda for Star Wars Rebels after nearly ten years?
A:  It was wonderful to be him again.
Q.  How did you like working with Dave Filoni, EP/Supervising Director of Star Wars Rebels?
A. Dave was great. He “got it.” We worked well together.
Q. What is your favorite Yoda line from the Star Wars movies?
A. I don’t really have a favorite. Although I liked reaching for the gravitas when Yoda says to Luke, “You will be. You will be,” after Luke says he’s not scared. I love opposites in characters. At first glance, Yoda is an impish character, but when he speaks of anything having to do with the Force he becomes profoundly serious.  That paradox is interesting to me. One doesn’t expect that kind of gravitas from a character that small and impish.

Watch a clip from REBELS below!

December 29, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars, Television | , , , , , | Comments Off on Frank Oz returns as the voice of Yoda in the all-new Star Wars Rebels episode

Paul J Salamoff Kickstarts Tales of Discord

In Paul J. Salamoff’s graphic novel Discord we witnessed a group of superheroes called Team War Hammer die and become reborn as Discord, an amalgam of the team’s powers, and body parts, as well as the parts of their arch-nemesis Sinew.  Now Salamoff and Team War Hammer are back with Tales of Discord, a series of prequel comics giving readers a closer look at the members of Team War Hammer.  To fund this project, Salamoff has started a Kickstarter campaign.

I recently interviewed Salamoff by e-mail, discussing the past, and future, of Discord, and why he chose to do his next project independently.


Discord was your self-published graphic novel about a team of superheroes that get killed and reformed as one man.  The story ended with Discord still somewhat coming to terms with his new identity.  What was it about this story that made you decide the next installment should be a prequel rather than a sequel?

I had already conceived the idea for the actual sequel to DISCORD but I didn’t want to rush the script and I wanted to make sure Giuseppe had plenty of time to draw it. Now this could take up to a year (or more), so I obviously wanted to keep DISCORD on the tip of everyone’s mind and I was getting a lot of input from fans that they liked the members of TEAM WAR HAMMER and were disappointed that they only got to spend about 15 pages with them.
So it seemed like a win-win scenario to do a series of one-shot comics (that would be collected as a graphic novel) on the teammates that not only gave you insight into their past but also allowed me to set up valuable information that will then pay off in the sequel to DISCORD. I got Giuseppe’s permission to use different artists for each one, but he would draw bookend pages that take place in the present, so stylistically there’s consistency in the epic tale.
What can fans returning to the world of Discord expect to find in this new series?
Fans will be surprised at some of the stories I’m going to tell. These are not your typical origin tales, these are character dramas. As I like to do with all my writing, I like to turn things on their ears and approach material a little left of mainstream.
Also one of the issues will focus on SINEW, the creature they’re fighting at the beginning of DISCORD who ultimately becomes part of the character’s newly assembled body. That one is going to be off the hook because it will mostly deal with an alien species and their civilization.
Right now Before Watchmen has gotten a lot of press, telling individual tales of the Watchmen characters before Moore’s seminal work, but those stories are self-contained and done by different creative teams.  Is your new series similar to that in concept, with each tale being self-contained, or will the five issues form a larger arc?
I honestly was unaware of what they were doing with WATCHMEN when I conceived this, so yes it is very similar. TALES OF DISCORD are contained stories but all the info within them combined adds up to the events that will take place in the sequel to DISCORD.
 You are a published comic author with books like Logan’s Run and Black Scorpion for Bluewater Productions under your belt, and Discord was published by AAM/Markosia, so why did you decide to do Tales of Discord as an independent Kickstarter project?
DISCORD was a creator-owned project with AAM/Markosia, so TALES is one as well which means that I have to deliver a finished book before it’s published. Because I’m primarily using different artists for the new series, I felt it was bad form to expect them to work on a back-end deal on an already established property when Giuseppe and I had the most to gain.
The 11K that is being raised goes solely to those artists and my amazing letterer Leah Novak, so they are covered no matter what. If I (knock on wood) raise more than 11K the extra money will cover the printing & shipping costs and after that I can actually get paid for writing it. I’m also planning a number of awesome Stretch Rewards to take care of all the Backers who believe in this project as much as I do.
I don’t see this as a money-making venture, it’s more important to me to keep DISCORD alive and expand the story. It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever written and there are a great number of stories to tell.
Can you discuss the benefits and drawbacks to doing this independently?
The only true benefit is having autonomy and being able to really tell the stories you want to tell. You also have a much bigger ownership of the material. The drawbacks are many because you are responsible for getting an entire graphic novel done with no money and no guarantee of any substantial pay let alone profit.
But I believe in this property and the fan base has been steadily growing. You can’t do everything in your career just for the money, sometimes it’s about artistic integrity and the desire to have your voice heard undiluted.
For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, can you explain how it works and what incentives you offer to those who support the project?
I am new to Kickstarter myself. How I understand it is that you have a property that you want to fund, but you’re not really asking for hand outs, you’re asking people to have faith in you that with their support you are going to deliver what you’ve promised.
You set a monetary goal that in theory will cover all your costs plus the costs associated with the incentives you’re offering and a time period to do that in.
If you are successful (TALES OF DISCORD is 11K in 30days) then you received all the money collected minus so fees, if you don’t reach your goal in that time it’s a failure and nobody’s credit card gets charged and you get nada.
My incentive tiers range for $2 (which gets you a .pdf of the first issue) to $1,000 which gets you a whole mess of cool things including having a character with your name and likeness in one of the 3 remaining issues.
Kickstarter seems popular for a lot of comic projects, some of which succeed and others that don’t.  How are you working to set Tales of Discord apart in that environment?
I am trying to present my material in the best and most professional light possible. With the use of my video I’m letting the potential Backers see how passionate I am about DISCORD and about comics and sci-fi in general.
I’m also giving a lot of instant prizes such as .pdf’s of my past comics that they get automatically regardless of whether the campaign is a success or not.
I’m also getting help from some of my “celebrity” friends who believe in me and DISCORD. They’re recording Video endorsements for me.
For comic creators, or aspiring comic creators, looking at Kickstarter to fund their projects, what advice would you give?
I’ll let you know that once this is a success. I ‘d hate to give advice on a failed campaign 🙂
Your goal in the Kickstarter program is $11,000.  What are some of the expenses that must be covered in self-publishing a comic?
Artist, Letter, printing and shipping and writer, of course 🙂
What is the release schedule for Tales of Discord?
TALES OF DISCORD: IRIDIAN is tentatively scheduled for July and TALES OF DISCORD: SOLARIS & MOONSHADOW more towards the end of the year. The entire collected graphic novel is currently planned for July 2013.
What are your plans following Tales of Discord?
The sequel to DISCORD is next up and boy that’s going to knock people’s socks off. You have no idea what I’ve got coming!!!

You can pledge to back Tales of Discord at Kickstarter

Read my review of Discord

June 18, 2012 Posted by | Comic Books | , , | Comments Off on Paul J Salamoff Kickstarts Tales of Discord