In the first chapter of "The Mandalorian," the bounty hunter at the center of the story is tasked with apprehending an important target with little information other than its age - 50 years old - and last known location. The final moments of the episode reveal the asset, who turns out to be ... super cute.
The internet has dubbed the adorable creature Baby Yoda because he or she bears a strong resemblance to the iconic Jedi master. As an ill-fated droid informs the Mandalorian that "species age differently," and Baby Yoda is a young 50. Here's everything you need to know about the mysterious new character, known in the Disney Plus series as "the Child."
- Baby Yoda is (probably) not actually Yoda
"The Mandalorian" takes place after the fall of the Empire, but before the rise of Kylo Ren and the First Order in "The Force Awakens." As such, the timeline just doesn't support the notion that our collective bundle of joy is the actual Yoda, who dies - at 900 years old - in "The Return of the Jedi."
While fans have been referring to Baby Yoda as an infant, we have to disagree. Baby Yoda's behavior in Chapter 2 of the series - repeatedly climbing out of its crib - leads us to believe the creature is a toddler. Mandalorian, may the Force be with you. Toddlers are tough.
There are a few theories about the curious creature who seems to be a member of Yoda's rare and mysterious species. We'll get into those below.
- The Force is strong with this one
Baby not-Yoda hasn't quite mastered his (or her) skills yet, but we know that the Child is Force-sensitive. In Chapter 2, the Mandalorian battles a rhinoceros-esque beast who threatens to defeat him. Baby Yoda, watching nervously from his floating bassinet, raises his tiny hand and the beast is stopped in its tracks. Baby Yoda eventually passes out, which reminds us of something Yoda said in "Return of the Jedi": "Strong in the force am I ... but not that strong." Keep trying, bb.
- Baby Yoda is very cute
We know we said that already, but we simply can't overstate the cuteness. (We may or may not have a picture of Baby Yoda in our wallet.) German filmmaker Werner Herzog, who plays the enigmatic, unnamed client who commissioned (apparently multiple) bounties on the creature, said he was moved to tears after seeing the creature on set. "It's heartbreakingly beautiful," he told GQ.
Social media is filled with people professing their love (and willingness to take a bullet or several) for Baby Yoda.
- Theory No. 1: Baby Yoda is a clone
Cloning technology exists in the "Star Wars" universe. There's the clone army, of course, commissioned by a Jedi master more than a decade before the Clone Wars. And we know that Emperor Palpatine cloned himself several times over.
That said, it's notoriously difficult (but not impossible) to clone Force-sensitive beings. So, convinced we are not.
- Theory No. 2: The Child is Yoda's baby
This theory relates to Yaddle, a Force-sensitive being who is of the same deliberately unnamed species as Yoda. The character, seen in "The Phantom Menace" and several prequel films, could have, in theory, had a baby with Yoda. But this seems unlikely since Yoda is notably not a fan of romantic relationships - at least those involving Jedi. Remember his advice to Anakin in "Revenge of the Sith?" "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."
Full disclosure: We're not letting go of Baby Yoda.
- Theory No. 3: The Child is just a being who is of Yoda's species
George Lucas has been famously cryptic about Yoda's species and we have only seen a few similar beings over the course of the franchise. But the most simple explanation for Baby Yoda is that the tot simply shares the Jedi Master's species and his abilities in the force.