Major productions are finding it harder and harder to keep things under wraps these days as social media allows information to spread at a rapid pace with virtually no oversight. Thanks to spoilers being leaked, grainy set photos being snapped from a distance and fervent speculation on various platforms, very few high profile movies and TV shows are able to arrive shrouded in total secrecy.
Somehow, though, The Mandalorian managed to keep its biggest breakout star under wraps until the series had premiered last year. But almost as soon as fans caught a glimpse of Baby Yoda, the little green critter became an overnight sensation and genuine pop culture phenomenon, dominating the online discourse for the entire first season after almost everything it did was turned into a meme.
Disney was able to resist the temptation to spoil the surprise and instantly cash in on Baby Yoda’s popularity with a string of tie-in merchandise, although it would be safe to assume that the studio have since brought in millions of dollars in revenue based entirely on the character’s adorable little face.
In a recent interview, creator and showrunner Jon Favreau revealed that it was George Lucas who was the direct inspiration for keeping Baby Yoda under wraps until The Mandalorian‘s first episode had premiered, and admitted his surprise that the cast and crew did such a great job of not spoiling things.
“George drew from the cliffhanger. That’s what he grew up with. A cliffhanger doesn’t always have to be an action cliffhanger. It could be a character cliffhanger, an emotional cliffhanger, and that’s what creates that compelling relationship that I, as an audience member, appreciate the most. A lot of people did know, and nobody said anything about it, and so we’re very grateful for that. But when it all came together, and the episode premiered, and nobody had known. We were all biting our nails for a year on that one. And sure enough, it came out, and it got a reaction. More than we could have ever hoped for.”
There’s no doubt that Baby Yoda exceeded the expectations that both Favreau and the studio had when they were positioning the title character’s sidekick as cute comic relief, and it appears as though the main driving force of The Mandalorian‘s entire plot for season 2 will now be about discovering The Child’s origins.