Giancarlo Esposito's Moff Gideon might get his hands on the Child in Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2. The highly-prized asset, colloquially referred to as Baby Yoda, is in the care of armored bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), who fended off Imperial forces alongside ex-rebel Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Bounty Hunters' Guild agent Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), and droid IG-11 (Taika Waititi) when protecting the Force-powerful foundling in The Mandalorian Chapter 8, "Redemption." A standoff on the volcanic planet of Nevarro ended with Gideon stood atop his downed TIE Fighter while wielding the Darksaber, silently swearing vengeance against the clan of two, Djarin and the child, who set off to uncover more about the child's mysterious species.
"Normally, I like babies… but in this case, I love this baby! Look, they made a show with Baby Yoda — I don't think they had a real idea how big this baby would be. I don't think they knew, judging from the fact there's not a lot of merchandising out there for Baby Yoda," Esposito said at FAN EXPO Vancouver, referring to delayed official Baby Yoda merchandise. "I love Baby Yoda, and I'm most excited about having some airtime with that baby."
Asked if he's yet come into contact with the high-tech puppet used to bring the baby to life, Esposito confirmed, "I have been able to get my hands on the Baby Yoda [puppet]. Let me just see, I have to just check myself to see what I can say [laughs]."
The baby is "most brilliant," Esposito added. "There are a few stand-ins, the baby that has the most power is the one that's able to wiggle its ears and move its eyes and look at you. You can't resist. You cannot resist this baby. When this baby looks up at you, you have to interact. There's no way that you can't. It's brilliant how they've used what they know about technology to have this particular puppet be so real and exemplify so many different emotions that we have as human beings. It's really wonderful."
Esposito also praised series creator Jon Favreau and producer Dave Filoni for utilizing an animatronic puppet to realize Baby Yoda instead of computer animation.
"There was some conversation about that, and I think at one point they were thinking about CGI-ing the baby," he said. "But Jon Favreau realized, and Dave Filoni — Dave Filoni needs to be in your consciousness. Dave Filoni is the Star Wars guy who nobody knows. Dave Filoni is the brain trust, and I think it was a wise decision for them to have it take physical space, because that space allows all of us to be so wowed by its presence."
The use of practical effects on The Mandalorian "really does get back to the original," Esposito added of creator George Lucas' 1977 Star Wars. "I feel like we need to be able to physically [interact]. I loved to be able to touch the baby."
"Oh my goodness, that baby's ears, when you touch its ears, it's so cool," he continued. "It really feels real as well, so pretty amazing."
Season 2 of The Mandalorian premieres exclusively on Disney+ this October.