‘The Mandalorian’: What Disney Revealed About Baby Yoda

When The Mandalorian was first announced, many fans wondered if it could live up to the legacy of the Star Wars films. Reception of the series has been mixed. The one aspect of the series audiences are really responding to is the so-called “Baby Yoda.” Here’s what the creators of the show had to say about the character.

Yoda | Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

‘Baby Yoda’ charms the world

At the end of the first episode of the show, the title character learns he has been tasked with killing a character fans call “Baby Yoda.” The trouble with this nickname is the character is most certainly not a baby — he’s a 50-year-old alien teacher that just looks like a baby. Beyond that, the character is not Yoda. He is simply a character that appears to belong to the same alien breed as Yoda. It wouldn’t even make sense for the character to be Yoda, who died before the time period depicted in The Mandalorian.

A child dressed as Yoda | Marty Caivano/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera via Getty Images

Despite the problems with the character’s nickname, fans have fallen in love with the adorable little creature. Baby Yoda is the latest in a long line of cute Star Wars characters, including R2-D2, the Ewoks, and BB-8. The little alien proves yet again that Walt Disney Pictures has mastered the art of cuteness better than any other company.

What do the makers of the show think about the character?

People involved in the creation of the show seem to be very pleased with the character, albeit for different reasons. Werner Herzog, one of the actors in The Mandalorian, had a very positive reaction to seeing the character for the first time. Variety said he called Baby Yoda “beautiful,” adding “On the set, it looked absolutely convincing. It made you cry when you saw it. I saw two technicians operating it remote[ly] — one was for the eyes and the mouth and the other was for other facial expressions. It’s a phenomenal technical achievement and beyond the technological achievement, it’s heartbreaking.”

Jon Favreau | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Jon Favreau is the showrunner for The Mandalorian. He directed previous Disney projects, including the remakes of The Lion King and The Jungle Book. The director was very pleased he managed to surprise audiences in an age of rapid communication and dedicated fandoms with the reveal of Baby Yoda.

Favreau said “There’s bigger arcs that go through the whole season and the whole throw of the show. As fun as it is to reveal new characters and surprise them, it also fits into a larger narrative about what’s going on in the galaxy after the revolution. This is an important character. What I’m most proud of is we surprised people. Do you know how hard it is to do that nowadays? And what type of commitment it took from everybody who was on set, and from the studio to hide all the clues — especially ‘Star Wars’ fans [who] tap into looking into toy catalogs, looking into marketing materials, looking into style guides, photography. The fact that that secret was kept is incredible.”

What does this mean for ‘The Mandalorian’?

So far, Baby Yoda is the greatest surprise to come out of The Mandalorian and most beloved character in the series. The Mandalorian has a long way to go before it’s as beloved as the Star Wars films. Hopefully, the success of the character points to The Mandalorian evolving into a truly great television series.