Warning: Full spoilers for the first episode of The Mandalorian below!
With the official launch of Disney+, the first episode of The Mandalorian has made its way online and features some major surprises for fans of Star Wars lore. Among the many narrative choices seen in the film was the surprise character reveal from the final minute of the episode. As The Mandalorian and IG-11 make their way inside the heavily guarded building to collect "The Asset" for their bounty they realize that their target is an infant, and not just any infant, but an infant that's the same species as Yoda (itself still unnamed in Star Wars canon).
The reaction to this creature, dubbed "Baby Yoda" by many fans, has been a thing of wonder, and so far the best reaction comes from The Mandalorian co-star, plus Academy Award nominated director and documentarian Werner Herzog. Speaking with Variety at the premiere for the series, Herzog had specific praise for his tiny co-star, calling it "heartbreaking."
"It's heartbreakingly beautiful. And I saw two technicians operating it remote. One was for the eyes and the mouth, the other was for other facial expressions, it's a phenomenal technical achievement, and beyond the technological achievement it's heartbreaking."
When asked why he continued to use that specific word, Herzog couldn't fully explain, replying: "I don't know...but on the set it looked absolutely convincing. It made you cry when you saw it."
It remains to be seen how much more of the "Baby Yoda" we will see in The Mandalorian, but with seven episodes left in the show's first season (and given the ending of the pilot) we can only hope for more of that adorable little heartbreaking alien.
The Mandalorian's first season will feature episodes directed by Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Taika Waititi. The series stars Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte, Emily Swallow, Taika Waititi, Omid Abtahi, and Giancarlo Esposito. The official description for the series reads:
"After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic."
The Mandalorian won't be the only Star Wars story we get this year though, with the ninth episode and the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, set to arrive in theaters Friday, December 20. Though the second season of The Mandalorian will seemingly debut in the interim, it's already been revealed that the Star Wars franchise will be taking a break from theaters after the release of “Episode IX.” As the franchise hits the pause button on theatrical releases though, The Mandalorian will be joined by other Star Wars originals on Disney+ including an Obi-Wan Kenobi series and a Cassian Andor prequel series.
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