Star Wars: The Mandalorian on Disney+ introduced a new character that fans have taken to calling “baby Yoda.” We don’t know the child's origin, but its inclusion in the series suggests fans will learn more about Yoda’s mysterious alien species than ever have before. Disney+ subscribers may be jumping into The Mandalorian without knowing much about the extended canon of Star Wars. Those viewers may be wondering what the big deal is about this character that has fans so excited, besides being adorable. For those seeking enlightenment, here’s what we know about Yoda’s species at this point.
The most important thing to know about Yoda’s species is that we know almost nothing about them. To date, “baby Yoda” is the third member of the species to appear in canon. The most prominent is, as you may expect, Yoda. Yoda lived 900 years. He became Grand Master of the Jedi Order. He watched the Galactic Republic fall, the purge of the Jedi, the rise of the Galactic Empire, and the return of the Jedi in Luke Skywalker. Others respected Yoda for his wisdom and for his intense connection to the Force, which was strong even for a Jedi.
The Phantom Menace introduced a female member of Yoda’s species named Yaddle. Star Wars has revealed little about Yaddle. Behind the scenes, she was an early attempt at designing young Yoda repurposed as a new character. In canon, she was a member of the Jedi Council at the time of The Phantom Menace but was no longer part of the council by the time Attack of the Clones took place. That she was on the council at all suggests that Yaddle, like Yoda, possessed a strong connection to the Force.
“Baby Yoda” tells us more about the species. As a 50-year-old child, he confirms that the species ages at a slower pace than humans, as opposed to maturing at a similar pace and then living a prolonged adult life. Despite being a child, “baby Yoda” already displays Force powers at will, though the strain seems to exhaust the child. This suggests that members of the species are born with the kind of Force-awareness that other species grow into.
This is assuming that “baby Yoda” is a natural-born member of the species. There’s some speculation that he is either a clone of Yoda or that someone created him through science. If that’s the case, such a strong early connection to the Force may be a gift unique to Yoda, or the result of genetic engineering.
What do you think of The Mandalorian’s “baby Yoda”? Let us know in the comments. New episodes of The Mandalorian become available to stream Fridays on Disney+.
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