If there is one thing the internet can agree on right now, it’s our collective love and affection for The Mandalorian’s baby, the cutest thing to come out of a galaxy far, far away since the invention of the porg. But what we can’t seem to agree on is...everything else, including who the baby is, where the child came from, or what we should even call it.
To get to the bottom of that last question, Entertainment Tonight asked writer, producer, and longtime Star Wars collaborator David Filoni whether “Baby Yoda” is an accurate name for this adorable plot twist of a character. He didn’t say it was wrong...but it wasn’t exactly right, either.
“That’s fine,” Filoni said. “All part of the mystery.”
When it came to divulging further details about that mystery, however, Filoni didn’t budge. Instead, he mentioned Star Wars creator George Lucas’ noted silence on Yoda’s backstory. In a 2005 MovieFone interview, Lucas said he never figured out the Jedi master’s lineage — or even named his species. “He’s a mystery character, he’s a magical character, he has no background, and then he goes,” Lucas said of Yoda. “He’s the subversive, secret, mysterious stranger that enters the film and exits at the end.”
Some popular Mandalorian theories suggest that Yoda may have now re-entered the Star Wars franchise. One suggestion is that the baby is the reincarnation of the original Yoda, though at 50 years old — which is the age Werner Herzog’s client gave the Mandalorian when describing the mark — the baby would have had to exist before the original Yoda’s death in The Empire Strikes Back. The Mandalorian is set just five years after Return of the Jedi, which picks up one year after Empire.
Another, much more plausible theory is that the baby is actually a Yoda clone, likely created in secret during the events of the Clone Wars. Remember: cloning factored in heavily throughout the Star Wars prequels and spin-off series. The Stormtrooper army was originally comprised of clones of bounty hunter Jango Fett (father of the iconic bounty hunter — and famed Mandalorian — Boba Fett), which were created on the planet of Kamino.
One notable Easter egg in The Mandalorian supports cloning as a possibility. Fans took notice of the uniform that Dr. Pershing, an accomplice of the Client, wears in the third episode. They specifically noticed a symbol on Pershing’s sleeve that looks an awful lot like the logo Kaminoan clones wore.
Maybe this is a hint that the baby is a result of clone experimentation, or maybe Pershing just wants to create clones of the child — who is highly Force-sensitive and very valuable regardless of its origins — and has the expertise to do so. In either case, the baby wouldn’t exactly be the Yoda we came to know in the original films. This would make the child a totally new character, albeit one who may share Yoda’s DNA.
But creators of The Mandalorian are determined to keep the answers locked up tight — and the only way to solve this particular mystery is to keep watching.
“We don’t want to go around answering things and making them less special,” Filoni told Entertainment Tonight. “Let’s tell a story that’s interesting and compelling and add to this great galaxy.”