12:00 pm EST, November 21, 2019

Everything there is to know about Baby Yoda in ‘The Mandalorian’

For a start, it's not Yoda. But you knew that, right?

The star of The Mandalorian isn’t Pedro Pascal, it’s a little green baby. Here’s everything we know, and can guess, about Baby Yoda.

The Mandalorian has been off to a great start, if just because it has a massive fan favorite character after only a few seconds of screen time in the first episode. In just two episodes, “Baby Yoda” has taken the fandom by storm. But who is this Yodlet? What do we know about it, what do we have yet to learn, and what can we guess? Let’s start with the most important thing we know about the child hereafter known as (Not) Baby Yoda.

Things we know

It’s not baby Yoda

This may seem obvious to most of you, but just in case it isn’t, let’s be clear: The child is not baby Yoda. Despite being almost universally touted as Baby Yoda, the adorable little green baby isn’t actually Yoda, it’s just a child of the same species. If you remember, Yoda died in Return of the Jedi, and The Mandalorian takes place 5 years after that film.

Although the child isn’t baby Yoda, could it be Yoda’s baby? We know (Not) Baby Yoda is 50 years old, meaning it was born before Yoda’s death. Given that we don’t know anything about how Yoda’s species procreates, it’s possible that this baby is Yoda and/or Yaddle’s offspring. It’s certainly powerful enough to be related to Yoda.

(Not) Baby Yoda is Force-sensitive

If you had any doubts, episode 2 of The Mandalorian confirmed that (Not) Baby Yoda is indeed Force-sensitive, and already quite powerful at that. When our Mandalorian gets into trouble with a huge rhino-looking beast, (Not) Baby Yoda provides much needed support. With some concentration, it sticks its little hand out and levitates the creature, giving the Mandalorian time to get himself together and kill it.

Related: The Mandalorian season 1, episode 2 review: Cracking the shell

Even at the tender age of 50, (Not) Baby Yoda is strong with the force. Despite not being able to heal the Mandalorian earlier in the episode, it’s able to lift the rhino-like creature for a substantial period of time. When Luke Skywalker was first training, he had difficulty lifting the X-Wing, yet here’s a baby lifting a rhino. It’s no wonder the Imperial Client is so desperate to get his hands on the Child.

Things we can guess

Or is it baby Yoda…

It’s also possible that (Not) Baby Yoda is actually Yoda. Kind of… The Child may in fact be a clone of Yoda, which would further explain why it’s so valuable. The two men who gave the Mandalorian his task were an Empire supporter, and Dr. Pershing, and it’s the latter who has sparked some interest.

Look closely and you’ll notice that Dr. Pershing has a Kaminoan patch on his sleeve. The Kaminoans, from planet Kamino, were the ones at the forefront of cloning technology. They were first introduced in episode 2, Attack of the Clones. (Not) Baby Yoda may have been born almost 50 years before the events of Attack of the Clones, but that doesn’t mean cloning only just began during that time. We don’t know exactly when cloning technology started, so it’s entirely possible for cloning to have been well into operation at the time of (Not) Baby Yoda’s ‘birth.’

If the Child is indeed a clone of Yoda, that would explain why the Client and Dr. Pershing are so interested in getting it back. Anything related to Yoda is sure to be extremely powerful, it would make sense that some might want it dead because it could be a threat, but it also makes sense that a scientist would want it back for investigative purposes. Sure enough, once Mando brings the child back, he immediately starts runnings tests and/or experiments. Mando overhears the Client telling Pershing to “extract the material”, but what does that mean? Could it be Yoda’s essence that’s in the child?

Things we don’t know

(Not) Baby Yoda’s species

It may seem shocking, but Yoda’s species was never revealed in any Star Wars film. He’s just Yoda, the little green guy who’s a powerful Jedi Master. George Lucas never identified what Yoda is or where he came from, saying that Yoda is a ‘mystery, magical character that has no background.’ You can see the clip here, at 5:24.

In Adam Gidwitz’s book The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi?, Luke actually called Yoda a “little swamp frog,” which would be ironic given the species’ diet. If Luke was in any way correct, that would make Yoda’s species cannibals, given we see (Not) Baby Yoda eat a frog-like creature whole in The Mandalorian episode 2. At the very least, we know they’re carnivores.

The species of these little green creatures may never be revealed. It’s possible the identity of the species isn’t relevant to The Mandalorian story, and it’s more about who this particular green baby is and represents.

(Not) Baby Yoda’s gender

For the time being, we just have to keep calling (Not) Baby Yoda “it,” because we don’t yet know its gender. We do know that this species has two genders though. Yoda was male, and Yaddle, from The Phantom Menace was female. But until this child starts speaking or reveals a name, (Not) Baby Yoda will just get “it” for the time being.

What are your theories about who or what Baby Yoda is?

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