The Mandalorian isn’t the only one who’s concerned about the safety of Baby Yoda, as actor and comedian Adam Pally found out on the set of the popular Disney Plus series.
During the season finale of The Mandalorian, Pally plays a stormtrooper who punches the show’s cute little breakout star. It was a moment that left many fans upset, and during the Television Critics Association press tour for NBC sitcom Indebted, the actor recalled how even showrunner Jon Favreau was concerned that he was going a little overboard:
“I remember the first take that I did when I punched it… They called ‘cut’ and Jon, who was watching on a monitor in his office, came down and said, ‘I just want to let you know that this is the hero [expensive puppet] and it costs, like, $5 million. I want you to hit it, but I want you to know that.’”
Pally then joked that he messed up the next three takes because of the pressure felt to avoid damaging his expensive co-star.
Indeed, even before Baby Yoda became one of the most prominent pop culture figures of 2019, there were people who felt very protective of the character. Legendary director and “the Client” actor Werner Herzog, for instance, called the crew “cowards” for trying to replace the puppet with a CGI effect.
Meanwhile, Favreau apparently insists on not referring to The Child by his popular nickname, chastising Disney CEO Bob Iger for calling the character “Baby Yoda” in his emails. It seems the showrunner regards the little Force-user as an asset worth protecting, both from misleading nicknames and from the fists of overly eager actors.
During the same press event, Pally also discussed the difficulties of keeping The Child under wraps before his big reveal in the first episode, saying it was “very hard to keep it a secret,” before joking that “Baby Yoda is a bit of a diva. Just constantly vaping.”
Regardless, the secret’s out now, and the internet is already keen to see what’s next for Baby Yoda in the second season of The Mandalorian, which premieres later this year.