Whether you love him so much you feature him in memes, or hate him for all the memes he’s been featured in, there’s no denying that The Mandalorian owes much of its popularity to the adorable design of Baby Yoda.
First appearing in the final scene of the first episode of the Disney+ tentpole series, Baby Yoda, affectionately referred to by the protagonist as The Child, left many fans of the franchise jumping up and down on their couch by the time the end credits rolled. Indeed, it’s pretty safe to say that not even the most diehard, galaxy-weary fans of the Star Wars franchise would have ever expected to see an infant version of Master Yoda.
In a masterful stroke made by Disney’s marketing and creative development teams, the debut of the character spread around the internet like wildfire. News websites, talk shows and chat rooms were bombarded with pictures of the little green booger, so much so that the hype around the character actually managed to turn a considerable amount of viewers away from the show. But the majority, of course, did the opposite.
It’s long been known to animators that characters which look ‘cute’ sell better than the ones that don’t. To confirm this theory, you don’t even need to conduct an expansive study of the history of animation. On the contrary, all you’ve got to do is just look up cat videos on YouTube, and take note of the fact that each and every single one of them, no matter how unremarkable, has millions of views and likes. What a shock it is, then, to discover that Disney was, at one point, considering making the alien toddler a lot more unappealing to the eye (and heart) than he turned out.
In some disturbing pieces of concept art, initially featured in the fifth episode of the behind the scenes documentary, Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda looks more like Grandpa Yoda. It seems they went through a few different designs for the character and down below, you can check out just a few of them.
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Given that his large, lifeless black eyes and sharp little teeth are more inclined to make audiences go “Ah!” than “Aw!”, it’s clear enough that Disney made the right call by altering their Baby Yoda design to the one we know and love (or hate) today. But do you feel the same way? Or do you prefer any of the ones in the gallery above? As always, drop a comment down below and let us know.