WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian shocked Star Wars fans in its first episode by revealing a baby Yoda-species alien (a species name has never been given), and now episode two doubles down on the surprises by revealing it can use the Force. As the first live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian is already in uncharted territory. The fact that it's (so far) entirely devoid of familiar characters and events means fans don't know what to expect, and now this Baby Yoda-species presents one of the biggest mysteries the franchise has ever seen.
When Pedro Pascal's Mandalorian, whose real name has been revealed as Dyn Jarren (spelling yet to be confirmed) goes toe-to-toe with a massive horned beast, slightly resembling a hairy version of the reek from the Geonosis arena battle in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, he's out of his element and it seems the beast is about to finish him off, when the Yoda-like baby raises a hand, lifting the beast off the ground long enough for Dyn to recover before dropping it and passing out. Dyn is then able to kill the beast and the Yoda-alien baby remains unconscious through to the end of the episode.
Needless to say, the implications of this situation are sure to have Star Wars fans buzzing with the possibilities. A baby of Yoda's race alone is a canon altering event, but the fact that it uses the Force adds even more questions: was it trained to use the Force or is it instinctual? Does Yoda's species have an innate Force ability? Does it hold any direct relationship to Yoda, Or maybe Yaddle, the only other member of the species we've seen?
The baby is 50 years old (Yoda's species obviously ages at a different rate, as Yoda was 900 at the time of his death), meaning it was born around 10 years before the events of The Phantom Menace. While the baby doesn't mean anything special to The Mandalorian, it's clear it has a special place in this universe. It was under the care of a secretive Imperial remnant, had a high bounty for its return (or, worst-case scenario, proof of its death), and has clearly been under special care for years since it's a helpless child, so does this fit into anything else we know in Star Wars canon or impact events outside the show?
Assuming the baby has been under the supervision of the Empire this whole time, it's only logical to assume it's a part of Palpatine's schemes. Palpatine had been stealing Force-sensitive children away for years for unknown reasons and had many secret research facilities around the galaxy where he stored powerful Jedi and Sith relics and other crazy experiments. So knowing there's a baby of Yoda's species who Palpatine may have been raising in secret has a whole new set of implications.
Now, however, given The Mandalorian exists just five years after Return of the Jedi in the Star Wars timeline, there's also a major question about what happens to this baby. We haven't seen a trace of it in any later canon, meaning it either never ends up under Luke Skywalker's care (the most logical place for it to go), or it's one of his lost students, which would be a bizarrely pointless and brutal end for such a canon anomaly.
Also of note is the fact that Dr. Pershing, the man in the white uniform present when The Mandalorian takes on the job, is wearing an emblem on his shoulder that matches the emblems on the uniforms of all the clone cadets on Kamino in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Given the baby Yoda alien was in his care, does that mean the baby itself is a clone? If that's the case, the most logical conclusion people will jump to is that the baby is, in fact, a Yoda clone. Or maybe Dr. Pershing himself is a clone, since we only saw the emblem worn by clones, but not the cloners themselves.
Since it's only episode 2, we're woefully short on answers, but so far the show has presented us with a Force wielding baby maybe-clone Yoda who's been under the care of the Empire for 50 years, which ironically means he was born right around the same time as Palpatine was laying the foundations of his massive contingency, which revolved around his apparent death at Endor. Needless to say, all of these potential threads will have massive implications for not only The Mandalorian but Star Wars canon as a whole.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019