Empire Strikes Back

Dave was hired by legendary make up artist Stuart Freeborn, after seeing some of Dave's prosthetic, mechanical mask and puppet work. Stuart gave Dave the job of sculpting 6 different top lip appliances for Yoda, as the original foam latex face skin needed a longer top lip. Dave also expanded the foam latex head skins to bring the foam back to the original sculpt size.

When a duplicate Yoda was required, Dave helped out the team - Nick Maley, Graham Freeborn (Stuart's son) and Bob Keen.

Dave was drafted in as puppeteer for Yoda's eyes when Wendy Midener-Froud became allergic to some thing on set, and a puppeteer replacement was needed for her. Dave stayed on as puppeteer for Yoda for the rest of Yoda's filming, and worked with Frank Oz, the chief puppeteer, Kathy Mullen (Yoda's right hand) and Wendy.

For the last week of Yoda filming, as filming had gone over schedule, Frank Oz had to go to work on another project, so Frank gave Dave the responsibility of being his replacement chief Puppeteer for those remaining days of filming. Dave performed Yoda for many wide and vista vision shots, and parts of the training sequence including where Luke is doing a handstand, with Yoda standing on his feet. For the wide shots, Dave puppeteered the radio controlled Yoda, and
he puppeteered the hero hand puppet for the close up - "concentraaaate..!"
Stuart Freeborn's make-up crew

Return of the Jedi

Dave was chief puppeteer for Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi and puppet maker and puppeteer for Yoda.

Dave was originally offered the build supervision for Jabba by Stuart Freeborn, but he was contracted and working for Jim Henson, on the post production of The Dark Crystal, so he had to decline the offer.

Later Dave was offered the chief puppeteer's role for Jabba, which he was able to take, and he chose Toby Philpott, as his "co-pilot" - Dave was right arm and jaw - Toby was left arm and tongue. Between them, they controlled his head and body, with Bob Keen and John Coppinger operating the facial radio controls, Richard Padbury, as Jabba's "smoke", Mike Osborn controlling the chest and stomach bladders, and Mike Edmonds and Tim Rose controlling Jabba's tail.

For the death scene on the barge, Dave and Toby were joined inside by Mike Quinn who operated Jabba's eye bulge.

You can find out more about Toby here :  http://jabbahutt.googlepages.com/home


For all Star Wars personal appearances and autograph requests, Dave is represented by Derek Maki at Coolwaters Productions, so for any signed photos or upcoming news please contact Derek's site at:


You can also find many other Star Wars celebrities and find out their appearance schedules.

Dave made his first Star Wars appearance at the SCI - FI EXPO convention in Texas, during October 20 & 21, 2001, to talk about his work on Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back, and Jabba the Hutt from Return of the Jedi. His first feature film, Empire Strikes Back set David on the road of animatronic puppetry.

Dave has recently appeared at Celebration III and the Celebration Europe, reuniting with the whole Jabba crew after 25 years! Bo Shuda!!!

John Coppinger, Mike Edmonds, Dave Barclay, Toby Philpott