Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Yoda Toyota

I found a picture of Yoda on a cereal box yesterday (upper right). I wondered: is he different from the way he first appeared in Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back? Have other things changed, too?
What do you think?

Edit: Nenko Genov added this comparison. Thanks, Nenko
Related posts:
Stormtrooper Doughboy
Automotive Zeitgeist
Car Names


Lys said...

Must we assume that the 80's Toyota is the older version of the 2015's one? :)

Pardon me if I go off topic, last friday I went to Lucca and visited a wonderful exibition of Stefano Faravelli's travel paintings and sketches.
It makes me think of you because of your sketches, that I love very much, and also because the first time I've seen your work was in the same place: Lucca Comics and Games.
Greetings from Italy! :)

Alan Postings said...

May be it's just the images you've chosen but the differing levels of aggression/ attitude in the designs are very distinct, particularly in the car designs. The 1980's Yoda is so much more friendly the the 2015 one. I know the earlier Yoda (1980) is older in the those films(confusing) but perhaps his new agressive look has more to do with modern CGI overlooking the spirit of Frank Oz's performance as a pupeteer.

Martha said...

From little smile to fierce growl--the world has changed.

Unknown said...

Both Yoda and the car look really overworked to me in the 2015 version. Old Yoda let you come to it; new Yoda forces itself on you, through a combination of exaggerated facial contortions (some of which are being used to add visual interest instead of convey emotion) and aggressive leading lines.

Also, note the lack of subtlety in the shadows on 2015 Yoda.

Rick Robinson said...

The original Yoda looks kinder, gentler.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Alan rightly points out that the 2015 Yoda is actually supposed to be a younger, and more aggressive Jedi Master, whereas the Frank Oz Yoda was a more mellowed out, end of life, characterization.

That said, designers of products such as cars, furniture, appliances or electronics, have an ongoing challenge to make things continually look "new and modern" and are having to constantly redefine what that is and means. The tall fins on cars in the 50's where to make them appear modern and space age - the high end sports cars, the Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and the like are constantly having to outdo their own previous best efforts, and it's a challenge.

Jony Ives has done some marvelous designs for Apple and is constantly redefining what is appropriate and new by making the technology work in well designed packages. But, they have the added challenge of making these same devices almost disappear when we use them, they don't distract the user, they don't get in the way, and when of necessity they do, we easily lose patience.

Any designer of things imagined faces these same challenges and in fact we can only extrapolote so far without somethings function becoming non-obvious. The old adage that any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic could be reworked to say that any significantly advanced technology's purpose may be hidden from a user unfamiliar with that technology.

Rich said...

Looking into my car's rear mirror:
I prefer Yoda 1980.

Compared to 2015 mirror sights, 1980thies looked rather friendly.

Lots of ugly mugs in the rear window, nowadays.

K_tigress said...

Couldn't agree more with the above comments. But then the modern Yoda reflects the modern world. A world devoid of substance, love, morality and a world with closed ears and eyes. A total world of self.

runninghead said...

Unlike the 80s and naughties, there's a world of difference between puppet Yoda and CGI Yoda.
The lighting on puppet Yoda is flawless, absolutely flawless- in most ways he's still better.
But, moving, he's clearly a puppet, albeit very very good one worked by a master.
You're watching an inanimate object ACTING! Cool!

By modern CGI standards the "2015" Yoda is really bad!
The still of 2015 Yoda shows a different character, in an awful "airbrushed" style, which there was no need for.
I think what they really needed was a CGI version of the puppet.
Same character, (almost) same age, just with perfect lighting and slightly more real movements- that's what they've never yet attempted.

He can't really be 2015 Yoda though can he? I mean he's not likely to show up in this years movie?

I see little difference between the 1980s and the naughties. We live in the same houses, still without hover-boards and with the exact same threat of global nuclear (and otherwise) annihilation. We've grown used to it though. We also have the same bland commercialisation of music and other cultural products, compared to the early post-WW2 decades, which were significantly different. Truly, even nostalgia is not what it used to be.

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Nose shorter and smaller, eyes smaller and eye sockets as well... new yoda might be a cousin... maybe a second cousin of the 1980 Yoda, but they really could not be the same person... too different in fundamental ways. re: Toyota, never liked toyota cars still don't... both look horrible in my opinion :-)

Unknown said...

I think it is a reach to attempt to make points about modern society based on one movie creature and one automobile design. They are examples of some of the weaknesses of modern design, but the 1980s had their own weaknesses that just aren't obvious in this set of photographs.

There are many beautiful movie creatures and many beautiful cars today. Honestly, it's probably a bit unfair to compare CGI Yoda to the original. It doesn't even stand a chance against that masterwork of fabrication and puppeteering.

Warren JB said...

Stephen: I don't know if it's unfair at all. There's about two decades of technological development (and a few more years tinkering) between old Yoda and CGI Yoda, along with a much beefier film budget, unless I miss my guess.

As for them supposedly representing 'young Yoda' and 'aged Yoda', well... the latter's about nine hundred years old. (I hope that's not nitpicking; it's made fairly explicit) That makes the 'young' Yoda about... 885 in the last film?

In addition to what other commenters have said, it's the way they changed his features that struck me the most. He's not Stuart Freeborn with Albert Einstein's eyes anymore, with all the look of quiet, observant wisdom that brought. It's as if they cast Jason Statham to play the younger version of Alec Guinness.

I do quite like the evolution of the stormtrooper helmet, though...