Much of the hype for “The Jedi” revolved around Ahsoka Tano taking her first steps into live-action as played by Rosario Dawson. The Mandalorian nailed the character, whose translation from animation was done with obvious care and attention to detail. But we also learned a lot about Baby Yoda’s origins in the episode. Though he’s unable to talk, Ahsoka managed to communicate with him via the Force and revealed some of his backstory and that his real name is Grogu.
Not only that, but she also told us that The Child had been raised in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and was instructed in the Force by several Jedi Masters. Fortunately, the little guy survived Palpatine’s Jedi purge and wasn’t diced up by Anakin Skywalker when he slaughtered the younglings, with an unknown person taking him away into hiding where he concealed his powers and laid low during Imperial rule.
All of this is key information for understanding Grogu, so why did they take so long to reveal it? Well, in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Dave Filoni said that he thought it was best to wait for Ahsoka’s appearance, explaining:
“The name has been around for a while. Jon [Favreau] told me early on in season one what it would be, which made me start to think about how people could learn the name. This gave me the idea that Ahsoka, who is very compassionate, would be able to connect with the Child, and that without words they could probably communicate through memories and experiences. Through that connection, she learns the name and then tells Mando and the audience.”
He went on to say that having her recount Grogu’s backstory also reveals her own, which was inspired by A New Hope.
“I felt that if anyone would know or understand the Child’s history it would be Ahsoka. She has such a long history as well. By having her relate the story it also helps the viewer to understand some of her own backstory. This is similar to when Obi-Wan tells Luke about his father’s history. Through the story about Anakin, you are getting a look at Obi-Wan and his backstory as well. A lot of the campfire scene, as I call it, is shaped around that scene between Obi-Wan and Luke in A New Hope.”
It seems that the next step in Grogu’s destiny will arrive over the coming episodes. With Ahsoka refusing to train him due to her fear of how Force powers can twist even “the best of us,” she’s told Din Djarin to head to the ancient Jedi planet of Tython. But before that, we’ll doubtless have to contend with the sinister and powerful Moff Gideon and his Dark Troopers. Personally, I can’t wait to see how this all shakes out in the next few episodes of The Mandalorian.