Intended to be used for humorous effect it may have been, but one particular scene in the latest episode of The Mandalorian has caused quite a stir among audiences of the hit Star Wars show.
The controversial content, for those not in the know, revolves around a recurring gag from last week’s season 2 episode, “The Passenger,” in which Baby Yoda, previously considered to be the epitome of cuteness and innocent youth, repeatedly attempts to chow down on some forbidden food, so to speak. An alien – currently only known simply as Frog Lady – being ferried across the galaxy by Mando cradles a canister of eggs intended to be fertilized by her significant other upon reaching their destination.
The Child, on the other hand, despite being reprimanded by his carer numerous times, manages to scoff several of the eggs – an act that many fans believe is not only deeply unfunny, but offensive. Clearly aware of the criticisms, Lucasfilm creative art manager and author Phil Szostak has now defended the scenes in question, pointing out the eggs’ consumption as being no different to people eating those laid by chickens, adding that Baby Yoda‘s unsettling behavior was intentional as disturbing elements in film and TV can often have a humorous effect.
For the record, Chapter 10 of The Mandalorian makes it clear that the Frog Lady’s eggs are unfertilized, like the chicken eggs many of us enjoy. But obviously, chickens aren’t sentient beings and the Child eating the eggs is intentionally disturbing, for comedic effect. Fans of horror know that disturbing things make some of us laugh and some of us squirm, or both. Your mileage may vary.
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Responses to Szostak have been mixed, to say the least, with some fans even going so far as to label the episode insensitive towards women attempting to conceive children through treatments such as IVF. Whether the fallout will be enough to prompt a statement from showrunner Jon Favreau remains to be seen, though given the Mouse House’s reputation for aggressively upholding an image for family-friendly entertainment, we wouldn’t be surprised if something to that effect surfaced in the near future.
New episodes of The Mandalorian air every Friday, exclusively on Disney Plus.