Star Wars: The Last Jedi Director Rian Johnson Shares His Love for Baby Yoda

Since his debut at the end of the series premiere of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, "Baby Yoda" has captured the hearts of the internet, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson being the latest to share his love of the creature, noting that he learned of it when he visited the set of the series, forcing him to keep a tight lid on what he had witnessed. Given that Johnson helped create the porgs, which became one of the most beloved creatures in the sequel trilogy, his support for Baby Yoda surely comes from a place of authority.

“He’s amazing!” Johnson shared with TheWrap. “I visited the set of The Mandalorian a month ago, and I spotted Baby Yoda in the corner and the producer shot me a look as if to say, ‘You can’t say a word!’ I’ve been holding that secret in my heart for forever now. And the memes are amazing. I’m very pro-Baby Yoda.”

One reason fans have become so enamored with the character is that, unlike the porgs, the series' marketing materials have been completely devoid of the character, allowing audiences to discover him on their own in the context of the series. Luckily, Disney has made it clear that there is plenty of Baby Yoda merchandise on the way, satiating fans' desires.

Johnson isn't the only Star Wars filmmaker who appreciates the character, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams recently noting how the character helps exemplify what makes the franchise so special.

"Look, I think that the fun of telling stories in this galaxy is that you get to take things that are familiar and you get to adjust them, augment them, comment on them, continue them," Abrams shared with Esquire. "It’s a world that is looking to be expanded. I mean, the original movies did the most remarkable thing in referencing the Clone Wars and the Empire and the Senate, and the Old Wars, and never showing any of these things. But the painting that was created of this past canvas, it’s incredible how intimate it was. But you always felt that there was a peripheral life and history and world beyond what you were seeing. And for me, Star Wars is sort of constantly expanding and sort of ever-expanding. And the ability to choose a character like Yoda and say, 'What if we created a baby Yoda?'"

He continued, "The reason these things are reasonable to people is because it’s not just nostalgia but it’s taken something that is meaningful, a story that has deep roots and potency and resonates with a human heart, a beating heart. These are the kind of things that, when they hit, when there’s something that feels like, 'oomph,' it’s not just cute but it implies a story. It sparks the imagination. That’s the thing, whether it’s bringing back Lando, and wanting to know what’s been going on, to introducing a brand new character, and brand new droid or a brief glimpse of a baby Yoda. All these things are about the possibility, potential, and that’s the very heart of what Star Wars is."

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New episodes of Star Wars: The Mandalorian debut on Disney+ on Fridays.

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