For Unto Us a Baby Yoda is Born

The minute you laid eyes on his sweet, little face, you knew. You knew that the reason you were put on this earth was for this very minute. You didn’t think you could love someone you just met, but you did and your world quickly revolved around him. Every moment, every sound, every step has your undivided attention. It wasn’t just about you anymore; it was about him – his well-being, his safety, his ability to lift a pissed off mudhorn with just his tiny three-fingered hand.

No, I’m not talking about your IRL trash baby. I’m talking about Baby Yoda. 

image courtesy of Disney+

Unless you’ve been stranded on a deserted island or have joined a cult that considers all social media, streaming services, or water cooler talk the devil’s playground, you’re familiar with the 50 year old “child” that practically made us all gasp at the end of The Mandalorian’s premiere. By the time the credits rolled, the internet exploded with Baby Yoda hysteria, and yes, that included me:

In a world torn apart by politics, war, and whether Bubbly is an acceptable alternative to LaCroix (it is), the only thing that has truly brought us all together in a united front is our love for Baby Yoda. What is it about this tiny puppet that has us all forgetting that actual human infants exist in the world?

[Insert horrible Yoda impression] Break it down let us!

*And yes, for all intents and purposes, I know The Child’s name is not really Baby Yoda, and it may not even be a male (even though referred to as “he” by Dr. Pershing, who I’m sure did a 50 year old Yoda wellness checkup). I refuse to call him the first name that popped into my mind, “Doug.” Don’t ask. 

He’s More Than Just a Cute Baby

Actually, he’s more like a toddler who is definitely in the terrible two’s stage. Only in his case, it’s the formidable fifties.

He puts anything in his mouth when no one’s looking, including celestial amphibians; he is passive-aggressive defiant and trying to assert his own will and independence; and he can’t keep his hands to himself. Essentially, you want to scold him, but then he flashes those oversized pupils at you and suddenly you want to cuddle him and buy him a tauntaun. Our hearts grow three sizes with each coo and waddle, and suddenly we find ourselves savoring each moment with him as if he was one of our own children.

image courtesy of Disney+

Yet, the Child is more than just an accessory in the story. While the Star Wars universe has always introduced us to cuddable creatures that are prime marketing and merchandising opportunities – see Ewoks, Porgs, and Oscar Issac – the introduction and development of Baby Yoda has become an integral part of The Mandalorian‘s success. Unlike Porgs, which served as a simple and lighthearted background distraction during The Last Jedi, Baby Yoda allows the audience to bond to not only him, but to the Mandalorian as well. We are with Mando as he makes the fateful decision to spare the child’s life. His conflict over his bounty prize or the child’s wellbeing left us in a state of fear and despair. As Mando connects with the child, so do we and as a result, we connect with Mando. It is because of Baby Yoda that we watch a Mandalorian – ruled by strict codes of honor and expectations – break away from that which binds him. Just like his supposed predecessor and a young Luke Skywalker, the child serves as a catalyst for change, making a man realize that his world goes beyond just bounty and prize. People say, “A baby changes everything;” Baby Yoda is no exception to this universal truth.

He’s the Stuff That Memes Are Made Of

Every week, The Mandalorian proves to be one of the best shows on television – streaming or network. The meticulous use of canon, elaborate set design, and rich story and character development seamlessly weaves itself into the Star Wars universe while setting itself apart as its own saga. And yet, there’s a part of me that gets a little excited when an episode ends. Why?

The Baby Yoda Memes. Essentially each new episode births a set of new memes that are worth that coveted retweet smash.

And let us take a moment to honor this person who either gifted Disney+ their next new Star Wars spinoff series or inspired a whole new genre of fan fiction: The adventures of single DILF Ben Solo and his adopted gifted child. 

This is why the internet was created.


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