Of all the things that make The Mandalorian such a powerful and compelling TV show, Baby Yoda and his overwhelming popularity was the least expected element. Apparently, though, series creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni had to tone it down, thinking that the Child would be “too cute.”
For a character that didn’t even show face in the marketing campaign, Baby Yoda contributed a lot to the success of The Mandalorian. Owing to his unrelenting cuteness and unique design, the Asset that Mando recovered in the first episode quickly went viral on the internet, spawning countless debates, memes, and parodies. Baby Yoda became so dominant that even people who essentially knew nothing about Star Wars heard about him and some even decided to watch the new Disney Plus series because of the buzz.
According to Favreau himself, though, the Asset was much cuter in the early stages of production, which is why they had to put in the extra effort to make him more ugly. As he recently told Vanity Fair:
“All the drawings originally were very cute. Even with the merchandising, they were always trying to soften the rough edges on him. We really tried to look at how much we could ugly up all the different individual features.”
Favreau and Filoni even rejected designs that made the character more adorable. The two insisted on Baby Yoda having “hair growing out of him” and featuring “jagged and sharp” teeth.
“We wanted to make sure The Child wasn’t just going to be a comic relief,” He added. “What George had established with Star Wars was that no matter how fantastical these characters are, how weird they looked, the characters within the world always treated them as normal citizens of the world.”
Well, I think it’s safe to say that these efforts have been in vain, especially considering how many people have fallen head over heels in love with Baby Yoda and his cuteness.
If you’ve missed the mysterious Force-sensitive creature, though, you’ll be glad to know in spite of the current pandemic, the team has wrapped shooting on the second season of The Mandalorian and in just a few months, we’ll get to see both him and Din Djarin again, not to mention another familiar face from the world of that galaxy far, far away.