The Shocking Reason Some Fans Actually Hate Baby Yoda
“Hating Baby Yoda? How can that be? That’s like hating Santa Claus!”
That might be the reaction many readers will have to the headline. But just when you thought there was something Star Wars fans could agree upon, just when you thought the rancor over The Last Jedi might start ]to die down, someone has to go and say they don’t like Baby Yoda.
Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, you can’t please everybody. And this being Star Wars, even the breakout star of The Mandalorian doesn’t please everybody.
Is it even right to call him ‘Baby Yoda’?
When Baby Yoda was revealed at the very end of the first episode of The Mandalorian, millions of voices cried out “Awwwww!” Suddenly, the diminutive green guy became an even bigger hit than the Mandalorian himself. Baby Yoda is everywhere you turn. He’s arguably a hotter commodity than The Rise of Skywalker, which comes out December 19. Take, that, Emperor.
And, as Star Wars fans do, they got pedantic right away. “You can’t call him ‘Baby Yoda!” they cried. This clearly isn’t Yoda because it takes place after Return of the Jedi when Yoda died! Yoda is his actual name, not the name of a species!”
Well, OK – but has the name of Yoda’s species ever been definitively established? Not in the movies, it hasn’t. We met him on Dagobah in Empire Strikes Back, but that’s not where he was from.
Official canon has never identified Yoda’s species. Even the exhaustive site Wookiepedia has an inconclusive page on Yoda’s species, with a disclaimer reading, “Although this article is based on canonical information, the actual name of this subject is pure conjecture.”
“Baby Yoda” will have to do.
How could someone hate Baby Yoda?
In a column titled “Love Baby Yoda, I cannot,” Jeremy Gordon writes that he thinks Disney has taken its trademark cuteness and extended it to Star Wars, where it doesn’t belong. He knows he’s fighting an uphill battle on this one, but he’s sticking to his blasters on saying no to Baby Yoda. He writes.
“It’s the logical endpoint of a sinister company with decades of experience at tapping deeply into the human need to nurture something small and charming, literally designed in a lab to provoke devotion and love. 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.”
He argues that if Baby Yoda is here, who’s to say we won’t also get Baby Chewbacca and Baby Darth Maul, and he has a point.
Disney is nothing if not a relentless merchandising machine, and the company has faced criticism for being too domineering over the entertainment industry, particularly after they eliminated one of their competitors, 20th Century Fox, by buying them. Ironically, it was Fox that took on Star Wars in 1977 after every studio in town, including Disney, rejected it.
Nevertheless, Baby Yoda persists
No doubt detractors of Gordon’s column have replied to him with some variation of “I sense much fear in you. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Clearly, the masses are not suffering Baby Yoda. Not only is he threatening to replace the “sipping tea” meme by Kermit the Frog, he’s even recalling an old toy controversy that dogged Star Wars in the 70s.
When Star Wars came out in 1977, it was widely expected that Star Wars toys would be a hot commodity at Christmas. However, the company that would manufacture the action figures and other toys, Kenner, was unprepared for the intense demand. Instead of getting Star Wars toys for Christmas in 1977, kids got an “early bird certificate” placeholder that must have felt like a lump of coal.
Alas, something similar is happening with Baby Yoda. According to Time, Baby Yoda toys will not be available in time for Christmas because Disney didn’t want to reveal spoilers from The Mandalorian. If this isn’t a sign that spoiler culture has gone too far, nothing is.