With a dynamic shift in Yoda’s voice and now character, Disney is also facing questions about putting someone with Nolte’s past legal troubles into such an iconic role. When asked about Nolte’s criminal past, a spokesman from Disney replied, “that is so 2000 and late”. When the fact that this is a role that children love and look up to was brought up, the spokesman said, “Hell, he just played an angel trapped inside a lovable rock creature that helped build Noah’s Ark. I think he can play a little green badass that children love”. Nick Nolte was arrested in 1965 for selling counterfeit documents and was given a 45-year jail sentence that was later suspended. In 2002, he was arrested and given a DUI. It was later revealed that he had high levels of GHB in his system, which is known as liquid ecstasy and used as an alternative date rape drug. When arrested and asked about it, Nolte replied, “been taking it for four years and I’ve never been raped”.
Despite all of this, Disney and Abrams are confident in the new direction for Yoda and Episode VII which will hit theaters in 2015. You can see test footage of Nolte’s Yoda in the link below.