Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian taking place 5 years after Return of the Jedi offers up additional insight to the first episode's big twist. The first live-action Star Wars series only just debuted on Disney+, but it didn't take long to make an impression on fans. The show follows a Mandalorian named Dyn Jarren (Pedro Pascal) and offers viewers some rare insight into what happens in this universe after the fall of the Empire.
Prior to The Mandalorian, what happens after Return of the Jedi but before Star Wars: The Force Awakens was largely unexplored. Whenever comics or books did dive into this time period though, it was either shortly after the end of the original trilogy or a few years before Disney and Lucasfilm's relaunch. In either instance, the stories that are being told are based around characters that we already know. While The Mandalorian may star characters who look like fan-favorites, the show's main bounty hunter, droids, aliens, and such are all new individuals. Now that the series is out, we know precisely when it takes place in the Star Wars timeline.
The Disney+ original series is set 5 years after Return of the Jedi, which not only provides it with a unique lens to see this galaxy through, but also could be quite important to the episode's big twist. While The Mandalorian goes on a mission to capture or kill a 50-year-old being, he - and viewers - were surprised to learn that the target is actually a baby from the same species as Yoda. The reveal raises plenty of questions, but The Mandalorian following Return of the Jedi provides us with two key pieces of information on the baby.
The Mandalorian Is After Yoda's Death
By taking place after Return of the Jedi, one important detail to remember is that it means these events are happening after Yoda died. He passed away at the beginning of the film on Dagobah. In the Star Wars timeline, Return of the Jedi and Yoda's death happen at 4 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). The Mandalorian, meanwhile, takes place in 9 ABY. Prior to the reveal of "baby Yoda," only one other member from Yoda's species has been seen, which was Yaddle during the prequels. Since Yaddle died before the original trilogy and Yoda died at the end of it, this could make the 50-year-old "baby Yoda" the last member of its species.
The Mandalorian's Yoda Baby Was Born Before The Phantom Menace
But, the age of "baby Yoda" goes to show that this 50-year-old child alien has been around throughout the Star Wars story. This would mean the baby was born prior to the prequels, adding another prequel connection to The Mandalorian. In fact, it would be born right around the same time as Anakin Skywalker. So, even though this child is not a baby version of Yoda, it is possible that Yoda knew of the child and ordered protection for it prior to his death. This could also mean that Yoda is the father of this child to stick with the Star Wars tradition of making everyone related to one another, but that would require him to break the Jedi code in regards to attachment/romance.
There is still much we do not know about "baby Yoda", but that could change quickly. The reveal coming at the end of the premiere indicates it will be a big part of the first season storyline and viewers are likely to learn more with each new episode. Whether this is Yoda's child or another Force-sensitive member of his species, The Mandalorian is poised to reveal much more about this mysterious creature.
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