If you’ve finished the first ever episodes of a live-action Star Wars series, you now know the majesty, and impossible cuddliness, of The Mandalorian episode 1's twist: Yep, The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) just found a baby Yoda.
So, what do we call this baby Yoda? What is his species name? Well, whether you’re a passing Star Wars fan or an expert, it’s okay if you can’t muster the correct classifications: Yoda (and his pal Yaddle) have never been given one.
And, for now, neither does The Mandalorian. All we know is that the creatures age differently — this baby is fifty years old — and that it bears the same green coloring and long, protruding ears as Master Yoda. It’s possible that the series is planning to finally give these creatures a real name (yay for little Yodas everywhere!), but what’s even more important is what this baby Yoda means for the new Disney+ series.
We saw that The Client (Werner Herzog) is obviously invested in finding little youngling, dead or alive, while his cohorts seemed very concerned about the possibility of the creature being killed. Kuill (voiced by Nick Nolte), the Mandalorian’s de facto guide in episode 1, explained that the creature was also tearing the region apart, and that he was glad to help the bounty hunter rid his land of it and the ensuing conflict. Finally, we know that when The Mandalorian arrived, he wasn’t the only bounty hunter after the creature: Taika Waititi’s IG-11 was also there, hoping to kill the baby on sight. Luckily, he didn’t get the chance and we will be able to find out why this creature is so contentious.
Of course, viewers now know what many fans suspected after the first glimpse of what the series is calling "the child." Baby Yoda is very force sensitive; he suspended a huge, vicious beast in the air in episode 2, saving his de facto father figure (The Mandalorian) and then falling asleep in the most adorable fashion known to the galaxy.
There were already some pretty clear clues about the kiddo hidden in decades of Star Wars lore. Firstly, the fact that the only two creatures of this kind that we’ve ever seen — Yoda and Yaddle — were extremely Force sensitive and high ranking members of the Jedi council. Before the events of this series, in Return of the Jedi, the Jedi, well, returned, thanks to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) reviving the practice. By the time we get to The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, we know that Luke also began teaching the ways of the Force to young Padawans and that around the same time, the galaxy saw the rise of another dark order to oppose them.
It seems pretty clear that this young creature is at least thought to be the key to the revival of the Jedi order, or at the very least a strong user of the Force, which could make him a weapon in the wrong hands. And considering that the galaxy is in a state of unrest, there will be many who want to use that power for their own devices, and those who want to eradicate the threat fully — no matter how cute that little face is.
Keep your eyes on Werner Herzog's mysterious character, The Client, should the Mandalorian survive the journey back to deliver his bounty. Let's not forget that The Client wears Empire insignia, and that one of the forces that took down the Empire was, well, a user of the Force.
Things might get very dicey for the most adorable Star Wars creature to grace our screens, and soon.
The story has been updated. It was originally published on Nov. 12, 2019.
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