Star Wars: The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau admits it's a "miracle" the first season's creative team was able to keep the existence of the Child, informally known as Baby Yoda, a secret until his reveal in the premiere episode of the Disney+ series. The 50-year-old infant, a Force sensitive foundling now in the care of armored bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), was kept under wraps until The Client (Werner Herzog) hired the Mandalorian to retrieve the highly-prized asset since sought after by multiple forces, among them assassin droid IG-11 (voice of Taika Waititi) and the Imperial Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito).
Favreau and Bryce Dallas Howard, who directed "Chapter 4: Sanctuary," opened up about the secrecy surrounding Baby Yoda during a pre-recorded panel for the ATX Television Festival, where Howard said her children — who were on set nearly every day — were tasked with keeping quiet about the cuddly character.
"What a miracle that with all the kids on the set and how fixated they were, that the secret never came out that the baby was in the series at all," Favreau said. "It was a real testament to Bryce that somehow she got her kids not to tell every single person they had ever met about meeting him." Favreau added Howard "used to have a whole ritual you'd go through with the kids to help reinforce."
Howard explained, "I would remind my kids every day once they were going to school, 'What do we not talk about? Baby!'"
In December, weeks after the newly revealed Baby Yoda became a viral sensation, it was reported the decision to conceal the character from marketing materials and merchandise cost Disney upwards of $3 million as result of delayed products.
Favreau later said it was his Lion King star Donald Glover, who also played a younger Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, who helped convince him to let audiences discover Baby Yoda for the first time in the closing minutes of The Mandalorian's premiere episode.0comments
"We were talking about music and pop culture and he was saying that what people really like now is to be surprised, because it doesn't happen that much," Favreau previously told The Hollywood Reporter. "When Beyoncé did an album, she would just put it online and everybody would react to it. Just putting it out there spurred a conversation that would become more viral and bring more genuine attention than any marketing."