‘The Mandalorian’: Early Designs of Baby Yoda Reveal He Wasn’t Always So Cute
Baby Yoda stole more hearts than Timothée Chalamet when his adorable face first graced TV screens on Disney+’s The Mandalorian last year. It turns out, he wasn’t all that cute when the team was first developing what the character would look like. Early Baby Yoda concept art shows that he was just a tad creepy looking at the start.
Baby Yoda’s final look is much different from where he started
During the behind-the-scenes documentary Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, showrunner Jon Favreau talked about the process that was involved with developing Baby Yoda and the team had some concept ideas that are a lot different from what he ended up looking like.
The sketches for the early versions of Baby Yoda included the signature ears, but his eyes and expression weren’t quite nailed down yet. According to EW, Favreau noted, “We got lots and lots of drawings. Some of them were too cute, some of them were too ugly, some of them were the wrong proportions.”
“Finally there was one image that Chris Alzmann did that had him wrapped up in what looked like a piece of a flight jacket,” Favreau continued. “His eyes were a little weird, and he looked a little out of it, there was something a little off with it. But we found it charming, and that became the rallying image that we said, ‘This is good.’ And it developed from there.”
Amy Sedaris called Baby Yoda ‘a big diva’
How did Amy Sedaris end up getting involved in The Mandalorian? During an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Sedaris shared how she came on board and answered the fan question, “How big of a diva was Baby Yoda on set?”
“A big diva on set,” she admitted, adding that he “got all the attention.”
She continued, “You know, when Jon Favreau asked me to do The Mandalorian, I said no because I wasn’t into Star Wars. I was like ‘It’s not right for me” and explained how she didn’t even know the vocabulary.
“And he said, ‘No Amy, I wrote it for you’ and I was like ‘Oh, of course I’ll be there, first thing chief,” she continued. “And it was such a pleasure and I love being in that world. The sets were amazing and the costumes… I needed a lot of help pronouncing a lot of what came out of my mouth but Baby Yoda was super cute.”
Baby Yoda captured hearts during filming
The Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian docuseries, according to Disney+, “pulls back the curtain on the first season of The Mandalorian. Each chapter explores a different facet of the first live-action Star Wars television show through interviews, never-before-seen footage, and roundtable conversations hosted by Favreau.”
The trailer for the documentary showed Favreau discussing the show with some of the directors, cast, and crew involved and one sweet story about Baby Yoda came from director Deborah Chow. She shared that Baby Yoda, despite being an animatronic puppet, was so much more, even to actor Werner Herzog.
“It was like one of the weirdest and best things that ever happened with Werner. He was acting against the baby and he started directing the baby directly,” Chow explained. “He was telling us we needed to commit to the magic.”