Seriously, if you haven’t seen The Mandalorian, look away now. This article also contains spoilers for Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Return of the Sith, and The Last Jedi.
In case you didn’t read the standfirst: this article contains spoilers about The Mandalorian, and also all of Star Wars.
The pictures are all over social media, but the context is missing. I’m talking about the [SPOILER ALERT] little green muppet. It’s cute. It’s tiny. It’s green. It’s also being massively disrespected by each and every one of you.
Imagine you are a child again. You’ve developed a sense of self but are yet to understand personal autonomy. You know, thanks to your director Jon Favreau, that you’re “an important character”. You have a destiny and one day, you hope, an identity.
But everyone is calling you “Baby Yoda”. You aren’t allowed to exist as an individual. How would this affect your personal development?
Let’s get this out of the way: the animatronic gremlin is not Yoda. I have drawn up a crude timeline to prove it:
I’ve included the Fetts’ active periods because they are (allegedly) Mandalorians, and ‘The Mandalorian’ (Dyn Jarren) is a legacy character. He’s not related to the Fetts, who are rejected by other Mandalorians. The point is: “Mandalorian bounty hunter” is a good way to date your location in the Star Wars canon.
BFE stands for Before Foundation of Empire, and AFE After Foundation of Empire. AFE year one took place immediately following the events of Return of the Sith, when Anakin Skywalker got cyborged into Darth Vader.
It seems immediately obvious that the new goblin isn’t Yoda, because Yoda died before the events of The Mandalorian. Some conspiracy theorists reckon otherwise.
Their argument is that Yoda didn’t actually die, he de-corporialised into a force ghost. His energy is still gathered in one place, and he could be re-born. How he’s supposed to manifest the body of a child without invading someone’s personal space, I don’t know. Shocking if true: it’s a real Sith move.
As you can see in the timeline, Yoda’s force ghost is spotted more than two decades after this fleshy imp pops up in The Mandalorian. The baby is also 50 years old, which is a fun insight into Yoda’s species but also tells us this kid was born before Yoda died/ghosted: Yoda shed his mortal tissue in 23AFE, so even if he re-corporialised immediately he would only be five years old when the Mandalorian finds him.
This is what fan theory enthusiasts should be focussing on: did Yoda have a child? Fifty years before The Mandalorian, Anakin Skywalker was born, too – of apparently immaculate conception, thanks to the powers of the force (also known as midichlorians). Is this baby the same? Could Yoda have produced a child of immaculate conception? Yoda is gendered as male, but we don’t know anything about his species. All George Lucas has said is “he’s a frog”. He could get knocked up by some randy midicholorians.
The child could also be born of Yaddle, a lady Jedi of the same species. That’s probably more likely.
This would make Anakin, who we know from Return of the Jedi was “the chosen one”, only one of “the chosen two”: the Mandalorian’s adopted moss child is Anakin’s spiritual twin and the only entity in the galaxy with powers to rival him.
Now, hold on to your tunics, because this is where I descend into total conspiracy.
Force lore says there was once a Sith, Darth Plagueis, who tried to use the force to create life itself. Some say he succeeded and created Anakin. Some say he failed and, offended, the force created Anakin to destroy the Sith.
Anakin did defeat the Sith, so the latter is probably true. But what if Darth Plagueis succeeded and this bald baby Furby is the result? He is a creature born of pure evil.
The Sith order may be dead, but Snoke and Kylo Ren treaded close to it. Fans often wonder if anyone was pulling their strings: imagine the following.
Imagine you’re a teenager, burdened with unimaginable power and nicknamed after Yoda, a religious hero, and constantly expected to live up to his sacred image. Would you not rebel by studying the ways of the Sith? If you were born the spitting image of Richie McCaw, and everyone called you Baby Richie, would you not play cricket?
Only time will tell what Jon Favreau has in store for this young green king, but there’s one thing I know for sure: to call him “baby Yoda” is to spit in the face of galactic destiny.