Don’t act so surprised, fellow nerdlings. As reported on /Film and a myriad of other movie sites, Lucasfilm and the folks at Industrial Light & Magic have made additional visual tweaks to the Star Wars films in preparation for the saga’s first-ever Blu-ray release on Sept. 16. Chief among these cosmetic alterations is the appearance of a completely computer-animated Yoda in The Phantom Menace, replacing Frank Oz’s Yoda puppeteering in the 1999 prequel.
Now, I’m certainly not the only person to note that the bug-eyed, creepy and out-of-place version of Yoda in The Phantom Menace was downright ugly, so I’m sure we’re all glad Lucas and his team made the change to at least make the look of the character consistent with the other prequels. However, it’s disheartening that Oz’s final performance as the wizened green Jedi has been excised from the films forever.
If you watched the special features on the Revenge of the Sith DVD released in 2005, you’ve known that a digital Phantom Menace Yoda has been in the works for quite some time, and was probably completed years ago. However, this Blu-ray release will be the first time we’ll see the CGI character in the actual movie.
Head over to /Film to watch The Phantom Menace’s CGI Yoda in action.