Taika Waititi Knows Baby Yoda’s Real Name But He’s Not Telling

     January 6, 2020

Baby Yoda may have stolen the spotlight from the title hero of Disney+’s The Mandalorian, but now that Season 1 of the streaming series has concluded, fans are wondering just how the pint-sized character fits into the greater Star Wars universe. As for timing, that’s pretty easy; The Mandalorian takes place not long after Return of the Jedi, well before the new and more recent film trilogy. Longtime fans will remember that the ancient, wise, and at times frustrating character of Yoda bid Luke Skywalker (and audiences everywhere) a fond farewell in that film, dying and disappearing to become a Force Ghost. So no, “Baby Yoda” isn’t the Yoda we knew, as Jon Favreau confirmed to USA Today during the Golden Globes. Additionally, he reminded us that “Baby Yoda” is just a placeholder name; neither the species nor this particularly cute frog-eating, broth-drinking critter has a name yet…

Or does it? Favreau stopped short of confirming any relation between Yoda and The Child, saying:

“Well, now you’re getting into spoilers. I can’t say. But there are a lot of theories about that.”

And those theories range from a cyclical “rebirth” of a Yoda-species member that’s somehow tied to the mysterious powers of the Force, to a less fantastical take claiming The Child is just another member of the isolated and rare species, to a somewhat substantial theory that this child is somehow a clone of Yoda, especially since The Mandalorian gave some serious nods to the franchise’s fascination with cloning, past, present, and future. Whatever the origin story, we’ll eventually have another name to call it besides Baby Yoda. Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) knows what that is, but he’s not telling:

But don’t feel the least bit bad for calling The Child “Baby Yoda”; even Disney CEO Bob Iger did it, to Favreau’s disappointment:

“I got chastised. In my early e-mails to Jon Favreau, I referenced in my e-mails Baby Yoda. It just seemed easy. And I got my wrist slapped by Jon Favreau a few times. ‘It’s not Baby Yoda!’ Okay, okay!”

Iger also knows the name, but he’s not telling either. No one is, under punishment of being frozen in carbonite.

So while we wait for the true story behind The Child, a.k.a. The Asset, a.k.a. Baby Yoda, feel free to speculate and let us know your favorite names. (Our money’s still on Yolo Calrissian.)