Before the start of a new decade, the end of 2019 brought us the next big meme. Pictures of “Baby Yoda,” The Child from The Mandalorian, flooded social media with all its cuteness. The tiny figure, with its big, black eyes, and the hairs on its little green head captured the hearts of people everywhere.
The Mandalorian (2019) is a Disney+ original created and written by Jon Favreau, based off George Lucas’ original Star Wars series. The show stars Pedro Pascal as the Mandalorian, along with others like Gina Carano as Cara Dune, and Carl Weathers as Greef Karga. With such captivating action scenes and the coos of an adorable alien baby, the show became an instant hit.
Although much of the show’s popularity comes from a fascinating story and creative direction, the rise of “Baby Yoda” seemed to play a role in luring a bigger audience. However, contrary to the name people gave it, the character is not actually Yoda as a baby. In the show, it is simply referred to as “The Child.” Yoda is a character in the original Star Wars trilogy who is around 900 years old when we see him. So, it makes sense to see a smaller version of Yoda and assume that it’s him as a baby. However, The Mandalorian takes place five years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)—the last movie in the original trilogy. As it cannot be Yoda, this makes The Child the third known character of its unknown species.
The story of The Mandalorian follows one of the few members left of the Mandalorian clan—warriors seen in helmets and armor of Beskar, the rare Mandalorian steel. Working as a bounty hunter in tough times doesn’t leave the protagonist, nicknamed “Mando,” a lot to survive on. As the reward matches the risk, Mando can’t help but take a shady, discreet job from obvious survivors of the fallen Empire as they promise a plentiful pay in Beskar. After the Great Purge which left the Mandalorians almost extinct, the clan needs to reclaim the Beskar they lost. After Mando takes the mission to secure a 50-year-old, he’s surprised to find out the target is a child. Their journey together begins, and the show explores many different perspectives of morality, trust, trauma, friendship, and family.
Setting up a Star Wars story seems to be a challenge. Fans and other watchers around the world have their eyes and ears on anything that comes out from this iconic franchise that has survived all the way from 1977. The Mandalorian, while it still possesses some negative reviews, seems to have gained much success and positive feedback. What makes The Mandalorian “new” and refreshing is actually the “old.” The show brings back some of the subtle elements people loved in the original trilogy more than 40 years ago: cool droids, good humour, rich characters, and lost limbs. From the very beginning, the action jolts you awake and makes you fall in love with the world of Star Wars all over again (and with Baby Yoda).