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How Yoda became an action star

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Star Wars, Christopher Lee, ...
Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones: © & TM Lucasfilm, Ltd, All Rights Reserved

Should we call him Yoda or Michelle Yeoh-dah? Difficult to say it is, after the crossed-lightsabers crescendo of ”Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.” We’re talking, of course, about the most crowd-pleasing scene in a movie so far this year, wherein the little green Jedi Master summons the Force to bounce and whoop and haiiii-yah! his suddenly super-nimble way around his opponent, Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), with the hyper-caffeinated alacrity of a kung-fu fighter.

How did the wizards at director George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic effects shop get a character invented as a Muppet to do all that? By punting the rubber-dummy routine and remaking Yoda as an entirely computer-generated (CG) creature. Hey, it worked for Shrek!

Here’s an exclusive EW.com look at how the 2-foot-tall warrior got digitized — and at how the ILM crew nearly mutinied over Yoda’s journey into ”’Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ territory.”

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