Baby Yoda is currently taking over the world. The series premiere of The Mandalorian arrived with the launch of Disney+ on November 12th and the episode ended with the surprise reveal that the main character's mysterious target was actually a 50-year-old baby from the same species as Yoda. The species doesn't have a name, and neither does the child, so fans began calling the adorable little creature Baby Yoda. The name clearly stuck. There isn't a Star Wars fan out there who doesn't absolutely love the new character, and that includes Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams.
During an interview with Esquire about his upcoming saga-ender, Abrams was asked about the new phenomenon that is Baby Yoda. Unlike most, his response wasn't all about the character's cute aesthetic and shocking Force power. Abrams explained that the creation of Baby Yoda is an example of what makes the Star Wars universe so exciting.
"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. 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?'
"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."
Of course, there's nothing saying Baby Yoda can't appear in The Rise of Skywalker next month. It doesn't sound like that's Abrams' plan, but given the timeline of the universe, that character should still be around when Rise of Skywalker takes place. Never say never, right?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th.