The Rise of Skywalker may be right around the corner, but currently capturing the collective heart of the fandom is a character from Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian – Baby Yoda himself. The tiny green baby was all over the internet after we met him in the series’ first episode and has brought us meme-worthy material week after week.
In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Favreau touched on Baby Yoda’s creation, his charm, and the decision to hold back on releasing merchandise before the show.
Mandalorian merch arrived weeks before the show on Force Friday – we got Funko Pop figures of Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Kuii (Nick Nolte), and IG-11 (Favreau), and of course, of the titular character. There were no hints whatsoever that we would meet our green bundle of joy. It was the best-kept secret of the show, and through no small efforts on Favreau’s part. According to the article, Favreau coordinated with Disney to keep Baby Yoda toys at bay. He believes the payoff was worth it.
“What we got in exchange was an excitement surrounding the character, because everybody felt like they discovered him together,” Favreau states. I have to agree with him – the surprise and joy I felt when I saw Baby Yoda for the first time was welcome. It’s hard to be surprised by television these days.
But don’t worry, folks, you can finally get your fix – the Baby Yoda plush is officially available at various retailers.
Baby Yoda is a combination of puppetry and CGI, resulting in a very satisfying effect. “When it’s CG, we try to make him obey the same physical laws that he would if he were a puppet,” says Favreau. The effort definitely pays off and is reminiscent of Yoda from the original trilogy.
Favreau says we will learn more about the mysterious child over the course of the season. With over half the episodes released, we still haven’t dug into his story – all we know is his age, and that the poor baby has a bounty on his head. What did the Client want with him? How did he get here? Will he play a part in the future of Star Wars? Favreau embraces his mysterious background.
“I think what’s great about what George created is that Yoda proper…was always shrouded in mystery, and that was what made him so archetypal and so mythic…I think that’s why people are so curious about this little one of the same species.”
As for the potential of Baby Yoda, or any Mandalorian characters showing up on the big screen? “I think it’s only a matter of time before we cross paths the other way.”
You heard it from the man himself. Whatever the case, I’m excited to get to know our child, and see how he continues to affect the life of the Mandalorian. Faveau, Lucasfilm, and Disney have created engaging characters in our most beloved universe – they already feel like family to me.
May the Force be with you!
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