If hoping to catch Baby Yoda in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, you might not want to hold your breath. Rise of Skywalker director JJ Abrams has confirmed the lovable character from Disney+'s The Mandalorian won't have a starring role in the ninth film of Lucasfilm's Skywalker Saga. Despite becoming a trending, fan-favorite character, Baby Yoda — or The Child as he's officially called — isn't making the leap to the silver screen just quite yet.
"Baby Yoda is not in this movie," Abrams tells Variety's Marc Malkin. "[He's] the cutest thing in the history of time. How do you deny Baby Yoda? You cannot."
Part of the character's success — other than his world-uniting adorableness — is the fact Disney and Lucasfilm were able to keep the character secret from the masses until the first episode of The Mandalorian hit Disney+ in November. “I have to thank Disney and Lucasfilm, because the way the cat usually gets out of the bag with that stuff is merchandising and toy catalogs and things like that," series creator Jon Favreau previously explained of the character's success.
He added, "So they really back us up. We really wanted to have it be that you had to watch it yourself, so that every time you watch the show, there are new twists and secrets that come out. That requires a lot of restraint from the people who are footing the bill, saying they’re gonna hold back on certain things so that the public doesn’t know ahead of time. Part of that was holding back on some of the merchandise and holding back on some of the characters.”
Because of the embargo related to toymaking, Disney hasn't been able to crank out Baby Yoda toys in time for the holidays; rather, they've had to mainly stick with licensed soft goods like apparel. You can expect toys, action figures, and the like to start dropping as we get into the new year.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens December 20th. Two episodes of Disney+'s The Mandalorian remain; one will be released Wednesday, December 18th while the season finale will air Friday, December 27th.