Star Wars: The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau claims "spoilers" when asked if The Child, colloquially nicknamed Baby Yoda, is biologically related to the 900-year-old Jedi Master who passed away from old age in Return of the Jedi, but the writer-producer clears up confusion the 50-year-old breakout character of The Mandalorian is the child version of the famous Star Wars character. "Baby Yoda" became a viral sensation after his reveal in the popular Disney+ series in November, and while the character is officially referred to as "The Child" or "The Asset" by Disney-Lucasfilm until his real name is given in a future season, Favreau stresses "Baby Yoda" and Yoda are not one and the same.
"The series timeline takes place after Return of the Jedi," Favreau told USA Today at the Golden Globes. "And fans of the original trilogy will remember that Yoda not only passes away but actually disappears. So Yoda exists as a Force Ghost."
Yoda's Force Ghost reappears for a meeting with former student Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in The Last Jedi, set more than 30 years after Yoda's death in Return of the Jedi. Action on The Mandalorian, meanwhile, takes place roughly five years after Return of the Jedi.
"Baby Yoda" is so nicknamed "because there's no name for the Yoda species," Favreau added. "It's the easiest, shortest, most hashtagable way to identify that character, which is identified in the episode as 'The Child.'"
Asked if The Child is directly related to Yoda, Favreau answered, "Well, now you're getting into spoilers. I can't say. But there are a lot of theories about that."
The first season of The Mandalorian ended with the titular bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) setting out to reunite the foundling with his own kind, which could bring about the involvement of characters from the episodic movie saga or introduce new characters belonging to the unnamed species that so far includes Yoda, Yaddle and The Child.
In a previous interview, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger admitted he was "chastised" by Favreau when he referred to The Child as "Baby Yoda" in early conversations with the creator:
"In this particular case, The Child, or The Asset — because we don't refer to The Child or The Asset the way the world is referring to The Child and The Asset as 'Baby Yoda' — that's a no-no," Iger said on The Star Wars Show. "I got chastised, in my early emails to Jon Favreau, I referenced in my emails, 'Baby Yoda.' It just seemed easy. And I got my wrists slapped by Jon a few times. 'It's not Baby Yoda!' 'Okay, okay!' [Laughs]."0comments
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