The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau says the show's creative team has no objections to Star Wars fans still using the "Baby Yoda" nickname for the Yoda-looking Grogu. Since his surprise reveal at the end of the Disney+ show's first episode in 2019, official material from Disney-owned Lucasfilm referred to the so-called "Baby Yoda" as "the Child" or "the Asset." It wasn't until season 2 episode "Chapter 13: The Jedi," written and directed by Star Wars guru Dave Filoni, that Force user Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) revealed the Child's real name: Grogu. Because Grogu is unable to speak "basic," his caretaker Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) commonly referred to him as "the Child" or the affectionate "kid."
"I had written it in the script from very early on, and we finally revealed it in the show," Favreau said on Monday's Good Morning America, where he officially announced Mandalorian spinoff The Book of Boba Fett. "But of course, everybody knows Grogu as 'Baby Yoda.' Which, by the way, is fine with all of us. We still call him Baby Yoda too, but he prefers to be called 'Grogu,' if you notice in the show. He perks up a lot when you say his name."
The Child was an instant sensation. Because the Mandalorian team wanted to preserve the "Baby Yoda" secret until the end of the first episode, Disney agreed to hold off on producing early merchandise that would have leaked or spoiled the character's appearance.
Now that a wide range of Grogu merchandise is readily available, fans of The Mandalorian have celebrated the character by using toys and other items to top their Christmas trees.
"The Christmas tree thing, that's a bit of a new one. But I love that," Favreau said. "I think it's because when we first showed Baby Yoda ... there was no merchandise for the whole first year. So people had to have ingenuity. So on Etsy, online, on social media, you would see people making their own Baby Yoda stuff. So this kind of keeps in that tradition."
Last December, just weeks after the Child first became an Internet sensation, then-Disney CEO Bob Iger said he had his "wrists slapped" when he referred to the Yoda-like puppet as "Baby Yoda":
"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 told 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]."
All episodes of The Mandalorian are now streaming only on Disney+.
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