Nick Maley recalls, “A lot of fans think Frank Oz and Jim Henson built Yoda at the Muppets. Whilst Jim was rarely directly involved in Yoda at all, Frank had verbal input into how the animatronic puppet heads that Stuart Freeborn was designing should be adapted to not restrict his performance. Stuart originally planned an articulated jaw under Yoda’s skin but Frank vetoed that as he didn’t want anything restricting the mouth. The eye and eyelid mechanism’s had to fit around Frank’s hand too and he wanted access to the eyebrows manually. Frank & Jim chose Wendy Midner, one of their muppet designers, to join our team and Yoda’s body was fabricated almost entirely by her to techniques Frank was familiar with.

Frank’s greatest contribution was in how sensitively he guided the other puppeteers to create Yoda’s personality. The script included the reversed grammar we all know. But Frank gave our animatronic creation heart. Over the years I’ve designed quite a few puppets that were a lot more complex than Yoda. But none were brought to life so well, or won the affection of so many. That was Frank’s doing.

I could go on all day about what a nice guy Frank was and how he never complained about being subterranean in "a slimy mud hole" (and you had to be there to know how true that line really was).  Let me just say he had plenty to complain about... and showed us all what it means to be a professional.”

After Star Wars... Frank stepped out from under his puppets and began making cameo appearances in movies such as THE BLUES BROTHERS and  AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and made his feature film directorial debut with Jim Henson on The DARK CRYSTAL. His subsequent directing credits include THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, WHAT ABOUT BOB?, HOUSESITTER, THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD, and more.

For Episode I he returned to operate a new animatronic Yoda built by Nick Dudman’s team and to provide Yoda’s voice.

For more info you should read the Wikipedia page on FRANK and check his credits on the Internet Movie Database.

TRIVIA: It is a little known fact that despite gaining fame on SESEME STREET in the USA, Frank was born in ENGLAND.

Frank Oz

This website is sponsored by the Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit & movie insider recollections and museum.  At the time of publishing, (2010), Google and Bing searches reveal that there is no other page detailing information about Yoda designers, Yoda technicians and Yoda puppeteers. So if the info appears on any future sites it was clearly copied from here. DO NOT COPY ANY PART OF THIS WEBSITE WITHOUT PERMISSION, PLUS A LINK TO THIS SITE & A TEXT CREDIT.
Ralph’s official website
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Wendy & Brian’s website 
the Yoda Puppeteer’s website
Nick’s movie memoirs, Star Wars, Superman, Highlander and more
Questions & Answers   
Nick replies to fan’s questions
YodaGuyMovieExhibit movie museum & art gallery. biography info. easy to remember internet hub
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*NOTE: THIS SITE IS IN NOT CONNECTED TO LUCASFILM OR GEORGE LUCAS who own all rights to Yoda and the creatures from Star Wars. The use of the string "yoda" in our domain name and the presentation of images from the saga are courtesy of their generosity in allowing us to do so. Our use of the name YodaGuy is NOT intended to imply that Nick was the only "guy" who worked to produce Yoda. Several people were involved in making four versions of Yoda for ESB and more again for versions in ROTJ, PTM and AOTC. (Read making Yoda for more info). "YodaGuy" is intended to imply ONLY that Nick Maley is a guy who was involved. Yoda and all creatures for the classic Star Wars trilogy were masterminded by Stuart Freeborn who Nick worked with periodically over a 7 year period. The initial drawing: Ralph McQuarrie. Other people involved include Wendy Midner, Graham Freeborn, Ron Hone, Bob Keen and Nick Dudman.

all ART images are © copyright Nick Maley ~ text © copyright Yoda Guy Movie Museum Foundation. All Rights Reserved. | HOME | CONTACT

The info is written from memory. It’s been 30 years and there are undoubtedly some corrections needed and more contributors that we not aware of, especially from TPM. If you have further fist hand knowledge, PLEASE email it to us with details of your connection to our favorite little green guy.