‘The Mandalorian’: Is Disney+ Quietly Planning a Way to Correct Its Biggest Baby Yoda Mistake?
Now that the Skywalker saga has been put to bed, fans are turning their attention to that other hot Star Wars property. Never mind the Mandalorian, what’s the future of Baby Yoda?
Maybe that’s an exaggeration, because people were into The Mandalorian even before Baby Yoda showed his face at the end of the first episode. There can be no doubt, however, that the little green guy stole the show.
So it’s a logical question: Might there be a Baby Yoda show sometime?
Star Wars has always been kid-friendly
Fanboys tend to balk whenever something “kiddie” intrudes on to their franchise. They think it will dumb it down and/or make it less cool somehow. Perhaps the earliest example of this was the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi.
Young kids loved the furry little things, but older fans balked. One of the criticisms of that movie is that it strains credibility that a bunch of teddy bears armed with sticks and rocks could bring down the Empire.
When the prequel trilogy came along 16 years later, some of the aspects of those movies fans hated the most were the “kid” elements. Anakin squeaking “Yippee” seemed awfully incongruous for a kid who was supposed to become a villain who chokes people.
Then there was the infamous Jar-Jar Binks, who was decried for everything from only being for toys, for exhibiting racist stereotypes and for prompting the first Star Wars fart joke.
Still, as this NBC piece reminds us, Star Wars is a business, and toys must be sold. For good or ill, sometimes characters are created specifically to sell toys. There’s even a word for it: toyetic. That means more Baby Yoda. But in this case, could that be too much of a good thing?
Would a Baby Yoda show hurt the franchise?
One of the benefits of using Yoda as a character is that he’s universally loved. Some fans may object to things like Yoda’s lightsaber battles, but few if any people have any problems with Yoda himself. His words of wisdom, even in his backward speech patterns, have been among the best dialogue in a series not known for good dialogue.
At the same time, some people worry that taking Baby Yoda and turning it into a Disney Jr. type character would somehow diminish him. People didn’t mind Baby Yoda the way they minded the Ewoks because Baby Yoda was so intriguing — and so cute. They don’t want to see Yoda turned into a character just for kids.
An article in The Outline argues, “Given The Mandalorian‘s adult pretensions, it’s not even like anyone can credibly claim this is for the kids, like the Ewoks and the Porgs and Jar-Jar.
It’s for their parents, who signed up for the service in order for the cartoons, and the nerds, who refuse to graduate into more adult pleasures and also really love merchandise.”
There are a lot of places to take Baby Yoda
One mitigating factor is that there are a lot of places to take Baby Yoda. We know so little about him. What is he? Is he another member of Yoda’s species? If he is, where did he come from? Or is this some kind of cosmic reincarnation of the Yoda we all know and love? And if so, how in the world do you explain that? Is he Yoda’s offspring? The implications are many, and some of them are uncomfortable.
So much mystery surrounds Baby Yoda that Lucasfilm has never identified the name of his species or the planet he is from. Dagobah, where we found him in Empire Strikes Back, is where he went into exile, following the defeat of the Jedi. However, the final episode of Season 1 of The Mandalorian indicated the show might point to some answers.
Baby Yoda was called a foundling, and in Mandalorian culture, that means the one who finds him is supposed to reunite him with his own kind. That will be one way to maintain interest in him — and yes, to sell more toys.