What is ‘Baby Yoda’ in The Mandalorian? Our wildest theories so far – CNET

Lucasfilm / Illustration by CNET

The Mandalorian is cool. Pedro Pascal is doing alright. Werner Herzog is Werner Herzog. But let's be real, the star of The Mandalorian so far is the lump of green flesh the world is collectively calling "Baby Yoda."

Baby Yoda is adorable. Baby Yoda has cute concept art. Baby Yoda can use the Force.

But who is Baby Yoda? Where does he come from? Is he even a he? There are a lot of theories doing the rounds, so we thought we'd collate some of our own. We asked the CNET staff to beat around their own Baby Yoda theories. Be warned: They range from the reasonable (Yoda's secret child) to the, uh... less reasonable (Yoda is a Horcrux).

This feels like the most obvious theory. Let's work through it.

Baby Yoda is 50 years old.

Big Yoda died in Return of the Jedi. Right at the end.

The Mandalorian takes place between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

The timeline is clear: Yoda is the illicit love child of Yoda and Yaddle, who was a member of the Jedi Council circa The Phantom Menace. This seems obvious to me. The timelines match up.

It's also peak Expanded Universe nonsense, so I'm sort of rooting for this theory to be true because it's terrible, in a good way. What would make more sense is for Baby Yoda to just be a character completely disconnected from anyone in Star Wars as we know it, to make the universe seem broader in scope.

But we all know that's not how these movies work, so Baby Yoda is Yoda's illicit love child confirmed.

- Mark Serrels, Editorial Director

Pictured: Baby Yoda.

Echoing this conversation from earlier in the day -- whatever species Yoda belongs to is 100% force sensitive, based on the evidence of the three we've seen in canon thus far. Since Jedi do not partner up, the Yoda species must therefore be the product of some kind of fission-based or budding process, as suggested by my colleague, Scott Stein, typical of asexual reproduction. Therefore, it is highly likely that the Yoda species is actually a sentient plant or fungus.

- Rich Brown, Smart Home and Appliances Executive Editor

Budding could indeed be how the Yoda-things reproduce. Actually we have no idea at all what this species is about. So, all bets are off. Here are some possible theories.

- Scott Stein, Senior Editor

Yoda's grammar isn't the only mysterious thing about him. No one knows the home world or species name of Yoda's kind. At the Jedi council, we see Yaddle, a female version of the species -- so we know Yoda isn't the only one left. They live for hundreds of years and are known for being Force-sensitive, which makes them great Jedi.

You're all overthinking it. Baby Yoda (I tend to believe he's a Yoda, not theYoda) was a mandate from Disney's corporate overlords. The company is going to sell a ton of baby Yoda dolls.

- Roger Cheng, News Executive Editor

What Roger said. Baby Yoda is a diabolically slick merchandising move, right before the holidays.

- Erin Carson, Staff Reporter

Harry Potter must destroy Baby Yoda.

I refuse to believe that Yoda procreated. The thought is too upsetting and makes my brain melt a bit. But clearly, Baby Yoda is of great importance to not only the Star Wars universe but also ours.

- Nicole Archer, Social Media Producer

Today I learned three things.

1. Baby Yoda is probably not theYoda I've come to know and love because the world is now nothing but an expanded universe of story arcs and fan theory.

2. There was a female Yoda named Yaddle. That Google image search is a sunken place of sexy puppets and facial prosthetics.

3. Yoda and Yaddle probably doinked. All the sweet perfumes of Arabia will not cleanse that thought from my mind.

Baby Yoda might look like an adorable Jedi Master, like someone took Yoda and put him in the oven like a Shrinky Dink. But really, he's just a Muppet-sized bundle of fan service. A highly marketable character that's gone through the requisite big-eyed Disneyfication we expect in the post-Lucas era. But don't let his dilated pupils and peach fuzz head confuse you. He's a force-levitating cash grab here to pull on your heartstrings and lure you deeper into the Star Wars universe. He's a merch play. Like Baby Groot. Or the Porgs. Also, he's definitely the result of some deeply messed-up puppet sex.

- Claire Reilly, Senior Editor

If you've been paying attention, this whole thing is pretty simple.

We don't know what Yoda was, but we do know that there are at least two existing Yoda Things: Yoda and Yaddle. Now in The Mandalorian, in between The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, a third Yoda Thing is introduced. You will of course recall that Yaddle left the Jedi Council before the Clone Wars for mysterious reasons. Raising a child for 50 years much?

Disclaimer: I have not seen any of The Mandalorian, didn't know what a Yaddle was until today and am completely unsure as to the timeline of the Clone Wars.

- Daniel Van Boom, News Editor

Baby Yoda is a blacksmith genius and I have no doubt that by episode 8 we will see the tiny green unit wielding a hammer and helping The Mandalorian make a new chest plate. I'm serious. This show is a subtle love letter to the fine art of smithing. I cannot wait until Baby Yoda gets its own set of footlong Mandalorian armor.

-- Jackson Ryan, Science Editor

The baby is a vessel for Emperor Palpatine's essence -- he had Yoda cloned and transferred to that body after his death in Return of the Jedi. The Client is carrying out a plan to get him back to the Imperial Remnant so he can take charge again, and Episode 2 of The Mandalorian saw him testing this new body's Force abilities for the first time. Palpa-Yoda will be the villain of The Rise of Skywalker, you'll see.

Also, this could legit have been a plotline from the old Expanded Universe.

-- Sean Keane, Staff Reporter

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What is 'Baby Yoda' in The Mandalorian? Our wildest theories so far - CNET

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