Is Disney Repeating a Huge Mistake by Not Naming Baby Yoda?
When asking “what’s in a name?” marketing generally teaches that any brand name permeating social media will end up being a final word. For the creative team behind The Mandalorian, they may learn this the hard way when it comes to revealing the real name of The Child (Baby Yoda).
There’s been an adamant push to remind viewers of the Disney+ series The Child has a real name no one but Favreau and Taika Waititi are privy to (and probably Bob Iger). Why they insist on dragging out the mystery of the name has become a mystery on its own.
With Baby Yoda merchandise previewed and becoming available before this year’s holiday season, will Favreau ultimately be forced to stick with what everyone’s already calling the baby alien?
The Child’s ironic connection with the Thanos snap
Marvel went through a similar marketing situation, as noted by Screen Rant not long ago. “The snap” is what everyone refers to when Thanos used the Infinity Stones to decimate half of all life in the universe. However, Marvel later wanted it to be officially known as “The Decimation” or even “The Blip.”
Those terms didn’t stick since almost everyone (including entertainment writers) still use “the snap” as the official title. Since it was used so often for more than a year, it simply ensconced itself into everyone’s subconscious.
Saying “Baby Yoda” has similar connotations, including emotional ones. Since marketing is all about playing up emotions, the thought of The Child maybe being Yoda’s offspring has likely touched a lot of heartstrings.
Every creative team member at The Mandalorian will have to look at public reactions carefully and see whether a name reveal in the coming second season will make any difference in proper name usage.
It might be an alien name that doesn’t roll off the tongue
Star Wars is known for clever alien names and it’s likely The Child will have a similar name. However, a lot of the character names aren’t easy to say. No wonder so many audiences are still calling Din Djarin “Mando” rather than by his real name.
Simple and catchy names/titles are what always adheres to everyone’s brain. Only those forced to write more formally are ones maybe apt to stick to real character names.
All the Baby Yoda merch coming out later this year is already being marketed under the usual The Child/Baby Yoda moniker.
Will they keep the name everyone already knows?
There’s likely talk around meeting tables at Disney about mistakes being made not naming Baby Yoda sooner. Even if they do go ahead and give him a name, it probably won’t be used in commonplace discussion.
To counteract what happened to Marvel, perhaps Favreau and the other creatives will decide to forego naming The Child. While this seems hard to imagine, maintaining mystery on what the alien’s name is would do a lot of good.
No doubt Disney is a bit worried with the merchandise getting such an overwhelming response. They likely wouldn’t spend extra money to rebrand it all with The Child’s real name next holiday season.
In this regard, there may be a turning of tables to adhere to the public’s perception. Maybe one can argue it’s another example of the public taking control of a studio’s creation. To make real money, that almost has to happen.