Fan art shows what an adult “Baby Yoda” would look like on the dark side. The original intergalactic frog, Yoda has been one of Star Wars’ most popular characters. One of the reasons Yoda is so popular is because of how mysterious his species is; we have only ever seen two characters like him over the course of ten films. The Mandalorian has introduced viewers to another Yoda-like character for the first time since The Phantom Menace—this new character has been deemed “Baby Yoda” by the internet (for now) due to an uncanny (and intentional) likeness. The circumstances under which “Baby Yoda” is found by the show’s protagonist has everyone wondering about the child’s future.
In “Chapter One” of The Mandalorian, the previously unnamed bounty hunter protagonist is offered a bounty to trump all bounties; he is given is a tracker and an age: 50 years old. The episode’s twist arrives in the form of “Baby Yoda” as the asset (which we can talk about now). Not only is this surprising because of the child’s age but also because fans of the Star Wars franchise don’t know much about Yoda’s species. In “Chapter Two,” we learn something that many fans have suspected all along; they are extraordinarily Force-sensitive.
Given the fact that the Force is a very precarious thing (users can fall to the dark side) and the grim fate that appears to be awaiting “Baby Yoda,” it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine the little green guy/girl sporting a red lightsaber in the future. Those who want to get a glimpse of what “Baby Yoda” might look like, if it all goes sideways, merely have to take a look at some dark side Yoda fan art. Artists Kurt Boutilier, Daryl Mandryk, and Sergey Rumyantsev created the following images (respectively):
Yoda’s unique vernacular and look have also added to his iconic status. Ever since his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, the character’s quirky wisdom has continued to leave fans wanting more. Since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, there have been rumors about a potential live-action Yoda spinoff movie or series. Other than the prequels, not much is known about Yoda before The Empire Strikes Back; who he is really? Where did he come from? A Yoda standalone project would have likely explored the character's origin. Unfortunately, the aforementioned rumors have since become a moot point; the only live-action Disney + shows currently on the itinerary are an Untitled Cassian Andor series, Untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian appears to be capitalizing on the fandom’s obsession with everyone’s favorite little green guy with any even littler guy (or girl?). The introduction of "Baby Yoda" poses some serious potential for canonically-relevant twists and turns. Whether he turns to the dark side or not, the character's journey will no doubt be a memorable one; it's almost as if we're getting the Yoda origin story we've always wanted.