Saving Yoda

Saving Yoda

Help a veteran Star Wars creature builder
and a crew of practical FX enthusiasts recreate the world’s favorite alien.

Here you can see our SavingYoda puppet on display at "miniFXpo" last month. Note the hologram (between Yoda and the viewers) of former Lucasfilm insiders telling untold stories of Yoda's creation in 1978.

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2 months ago


Saving Yoda shared FXpo's video.

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Bei der MiniFXpo in Nürnberg demonstrierte Nick Maley, wie aus einer Puppe, ein "lebendiger" Yoda wird und das ganz ohne digitale Animation.

3 months ago

Bei der MiniFXpo in Nürnberg demonstrierte Nick Maley, wie aus einer Puppe, ein

Duwain Carter, David Smith and 10 others like this

Daniel KoppertLeben ich werde hmmm3 months ago

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Saving Yoda updated their cover photo.

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3 months ago

Stefan Iseringhausen, Meike Kelterbaum and 23 others like this

Raylene Burnelis MathewsNice photo1   ·  3 months ago

Paul CockleyHi Nick Maley hope alls well3 months ago

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A clip of the new Yoda puppet at our "miniFXpo" in Nuremberg last week...

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Bei der MiniFXpo in Nürnberg demonstrierte Nick Maley, wie aus einer Puppe, ein "lebendiger" Yoda wird und das ganz ohne digitale Animation.

3 months ago

Bei der MiniFXpo in Nürnberg demonstrierte Nick Maley, wie aus einer Puppe, ein

Faz Wb, Frank Hallam and 23 others like this

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If you saw our "miniFXpo" please leave a comment...

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Today is the last day of mini-FXpo. The collaboration with a great group of students at TH-Nuremberg has been great, and people who have seen the exhibit have been very enthusiastic. Now we must HOPE for financial support for the project. IF YOU SAW THE EXHIBIT, PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS HERE so that authorities and potential sponsors can see the reaction of the public to this innovative museum concept. THANKS for your support! Heute ist der letzte Tag der mini-FXpo. Die Zusammenarbeit mit dieser großartigen Gruppe von Studenten der TH Nürnberg war fantastisch und die Menschen, die die Ausstellung besucht haben, waren sehr enthusiastisch. Jetzt HOFFEN wir natürlich darauf, auch finanzielle Unterstützung für das Projekt zu bekommen. WENN IHR DIE AUSSTELLUNG BESUCHT HABT, BITTE KOMMENTIERT HIER, sodass Verantwortliche und mögliche Sponsoren die Reaktion des Publikums auf dieses innovative Museumskonzept mitbekommen. DANKE für eure Unterstützung!

3 months ago

FREE for everyone who can get threes.. come see the Saving Yoda puppet and MUCH more...

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miniFXpo is soon to begin. It is FREE. It demonstrates the style and concept of FXpo. Bring friends and family...

3 months ago



  • Because loyal SW fans, everywhere, keep asking for a return to a practical FX, and Disney should have available a rebuilt Yoda puppet for any new movies that take place before Yoda’s death.
  • Because members of the team that built the original Yoda are the best people to recreate a duplicate.
  • Because fans feel that the digital yoda has lost the fun and charm and realism of the original puppet.
  • Because Frank Oz and his associate puppeteers did it better.
  • Because Disney probably won’t risk making another puppet after the unpopular version in A PHANTOM MENACE. But if one is ready built, and proven, they are much more likely to return to a practical Yoda.
  • Because nobody has ever explained how the original Yoda (and other classic SW characters) were constructed, and we want to tell those stories at SW conventions around the world, using virtual holograms of the SW personalities that created those characters, and raising money for charitable foundations.

But most of all…

Because we all want to see a Yoda movie!!!


  • Nick Maley, known internationally as “that Yoda Guy” because of his contribution to the creation of four original Yodas made for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is supervising this project to ensure that every detail of the original close-up puppets is adhered to.

  • A crew of professional sculptors, creature effects artists, and cosplay enthusiasts have volunteered their skills and facilities to create this duplicate of the original puppet Yoda.
  • If enough funds can be raised, Nick will ask other surviving members of the original Yoda crew to duplicate the elements of Yoda that they originally created.

and finally…

YOU! Because it’s your contribution that will make this happen.


We want to create…

  • A duplicate animatronic close-up puppet constructed exactly as the original puppet was built, available for future SW movies.
  • An animatronic Yoda for display at conventions where donations raise funds for charitable foundations.
  • A virtual holographic exhibit of Star Wars veteran creature builders, discussing their part in the creation of the original Yoda, for display at conventions around the world, where donations raise funds for charitable foundations.
  • A radio controlled Yoda that duplicates the one in Luke’s backpack.
  • A display of the parts of the original Yoda puppets, demonstrating the manner in which they were created, for display at conventions where donations raise funds for charitable foundations.


  • The modeling, casting, fabrication and animatronics required for Yoda’s construction are being shared, internationally, amongst workshops in England, Germany and the Caribbean.
  • If the new puppet is used to film a new SW movie, it will probably be filmed in England.
  • If donations allow, the elements, molds and puppet will be available to be displayed at Star Wars related conventions around the world.


This project is intricate, precise and expensive. It can only be achieved through the kind support of members of the original Yoda crew and the efforts of talented volunteers. Materials and expenses will be paid for with donations made by fans and enthusiasts… like you. Without those, our efforts will be in vane. So, PLEASE SUPPORT THIS INITIATIVE. Make a small donation and get a commemorative perk documenting YOUR part in SAVING YODA.

Yoda FAQ

Q. Yoda is dead? Why build a duplicate?
A. Disney have announced at least two new “Anthology” movies that take place before Episode IV (when Yoda is alive) and more are likely to follow.

Q. Can you build a Yoda for me?
A. Sorry, No. That would be a copyright infringement. We can only build a puppet and offer it for use to the copyright holder or use it to raise money for non-profit causes, or use it for legitimate autobiographical purposes. We can not sell any Yoda that we make without a relevant license.

Q. Doesn’t your Yoda look younger than Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back?
A. There are two reasons for that…
(i) We are designing the new Yoda puppet to be available to Lucasfilm for future SW Anthology movies. Nobody knows what the storyline of those movies might be or when they might take place. So we deliberately minimized Yoda’s aging so that, if necessary, The puppet can be artworked to look 200-400 years younger.
(ii) Our photos are of a clay sculpture with no artwork. The original Yoda skins looked younger before artworking too. Nick Maley is a fine artist who’s artwork has hung in museums and galleries internationally, having toured the world with UNESCO. If he can paint an old face on a blank white canvas, he can certainly accentuate the modeling in our new sculpt to make it look much older. Our aim with this sculpt was to provide maximum possible variations to suit whatever story Lucasfilm might envisage.


Work in Progress

  • Creating the first "plunger"

Creating the first "plunger"

The first stage of preparing for the Saving Yoda sculpt was to simulate the arm of the puppeteer and to create a “plunger” that is used in both the sculpting and moulding process. smaller text NOTE: Subscribers to perks G and H (see donations) have access to over 2000 photos of the sculpt and moulding procedure alone and thousands more of the full construction as the process progresses.

12 Photos

  • Fitting eyes

Clay press

A talented friend had already done a Yoda sculpt for a previous project. After moulding, he kindly donated the remnants of his sculpt to the FXpo project. A clay press (positive) was made from a damaged mould.

11 Photos

  • Fitting hand

Fitting eyes

Simulated eyes, in the specified size, set to the correct distance apart, were mounted into the clay squeeze. This fixed point of reference served as a set proportion against which the rest of the sculpt could be measured. These are NOT the final eyes that will be used in the puppet. But aid the sculpting process.

8 Photos

  • Resizing

Fitting hand

The clay squeeze was dissected to to fit the arm plunger into the mouth. The mouth is set a little open to allow the final mould to touch down on the plunger.

8 Photos

  • Fitting ears


Having pieced the sculpt around the plunger so that the hand fitted exactly behind the lips, the sculpt was measured to ensure it fitted proportions taken from relics of the original. Then the gaps were filled and the pieces were blended together.

11 Photos

  • Adjusting the nose

Fitting ears

Ears had been moulded separately from a previous version. Silicon casts were made and fitted to the sculpt (i) to aid the resculpt visualization (ii) to ensure the join to the ears would be perfected.

8 Photos

  • Sculpt complete

Adjusting the nose

Because the volume of the head had been reduced, the nose appeared to protrude to prominently. The length, width and overall shape were left unaltered. But the nose was removed, some of the volume reduced, and then it was replaced and blended into the face.

9 Photos

  • Detailing


Having completed adjustments to the overall form, the surface of the face was detailed, over the course of several days and severel nights, with wrinkles and texture using photos of the original Yoda as reference. In this case, not knowing what age Yoda might be in future anthology movies, he was sculpted a littly younger than in The Empire Strikes Back, knowing that he could be aged with color if necessary.

46 Photos

  • Fitting hand

Sculpt complete

20 Photos

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