Perhaps the biggest surprise of Disney+’s Star Wars series The Mandalorian was the debut of The Child, a small alien creature from the same species as Jedi Master Yoda. Dubbed “Baby Yoda” by fans, the thrust of the first season involved the titular Mandalorian bounty hunter attempting to protect his newfound companion from all manner of threats.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, series creator Jon Favreau discussed the challenges of creating Baby Yoda and how he sought to make him less “cutesy.”
“We wanted to make sure the Child wasn’t just going to be a comic relief,” Favreau said. “What George had established with Star Wars was that no matter how fantastical these characters are, how weird they looked, the characters within the world always treated them as normal citizens of the world.”
“All the drawings originally were very cute,” Favreau continued, citing “Disney proportions” in reference to the original sketches of The Child. “Even with the merchandising, they were always trying to soften the rough edges on him. We really tried to look at how much we could ugly up all the different individual features.” Favreau was helped in that regard by The Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni, who directed two episodes of the first season.
Even though Favreau and Filoni intended for Baby Yoda to be less cuddly and more alien, the little creature has already taken the hearts of Star Wars fans across the galaxy.
Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito. Season 1 is available now on Disney+, with Season 2 premiering in October.
The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau discussed the challenges of creating Baby Yoda and how he sought to make the design less cute.