According to Slash Film on Thursday, it was once thought "Star Wars 7" was working with the Jim Henson Creature Workshop in order to bring to life the aliens in the J.J. Abrams film. To clarify, the workshop officially denied involvement, but did mention that their puppeteer workers are independent contractors. That being said, it could be likely these self-employed artists may be involved in the film. Lucasfilm was later contacted to confirm this, but has not commented.
Recently, Abrams posted a YouTube video promoting a charitable program called Star Wars: A Force for Change. It involves working with Unicef in coming up with creative ideas to solve worldwide problems. Participation in this programs allows individuals the opportunity to be in "Star Wars 7". During the airing of this promotion, an alien creature moseys its way into the background distracting Abrams for a moment. This allowed to gain insight into how these creatures are being presented to the audience in the old school fashion once seen in the original films.
For instance, there are similarities between the newly presented "Star Wars 7" creature and that of the old junk lady in "Labyrinth" starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. Also, the Jim Henson Creature Workshop was never even involved in the original "Star Wars" films either. However, there are still ties between Henson and the films in some fashion.
Also, Leonard Nimoy hosted a show on Nickelodeon called "Standby...Lights, Camera, Action!" where he played host to a topic of creature creation in regards to "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi." The set location of that film was in Buttercup Valley, Calif. Phil Tippett was the head of special effects and stop motion animator. He was tasked with what had become the largest selection of aliens and creatures brought together for a movie for that time.
"Star Wars 7" is scheduled to open in theaters come Dec. 18, 2015.