Jon Favreau recently discussed why he chose Baby Yoda for The Mandalorian. The character has become the breakout star of the new series. Pedro Pascal is technically the star, but he took a backseat right at the end of episode 1. Since then, the world has been enamored with Baby Yoda, aka The Child. We have no idea what he is, or where he came from, but he is very important and a lot of characters on the show don't want him around anymore. Others would like to conduct experiments on the adorable little creature. Now, Favreau is breaking his silence on Baby Yoda.
Part of what makes Baby Yoda so popular is the fact that he isn't just a CG character. There are obviously elements of CGI, but he is mostly a puppet. But, why did Jon Favreau choose to go in the mysterious Baby Yoda direction for the show? The show creator explained why and also went into detail about what it took to bring the character to life. Favreau explains.
"He's mostly a puppet. When it's CG, we try to make him obey the same physical laws that he would if he were a puppet. I think a lot of times CG makes itself too obvious where you don't create parameters creatively that allow the character to keep the same identity and charm... We'll learn more about him over the course of the season. I think what's great about what George created is that Yoda proper, the character that we grew up watching, was always shrouded in mystery, and that was what made him so archetypal and so mythic. We know who he is based on his behavior and what he stands for, but we don't know a lot of details about where he comes from or his species. I think that's why people are so curious about this little one of the same species."
Yoda is one of the most iconic characters to come out of the Star Wars universe. His popularity has only grown over the years, thanks to the prequel trilogy and the animated shows. However, when The Mandalorian was announced for Disney+, there was no mention of a Baby Yoda or anything having to do with the character at all. Jon Favreau had this to say about keeping the secret and preventing toys from being made right away.
"I think that part of what people really value is to be surprised and delighted, and I think that's becoming all too rare. It's very difficult to keep secrets about projects you're working on. By holding back on that one product, we knew that we may have had the disadvantage of not having toys available day and date, but what we got in exchange was an excitement surrounding the character, because everybody felt like they discovered him together. That emulated more what my experience growing up was like."
Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni definitely brought things back to the pre-internet days. It's pretty amazing they were able to keep Baby Yoda a secret for so long, especially since they have so many directors working on the show. Whatever the case may be, Disney was on board and wanted to keep the secret, even if it meant not having toys available for the holidays. Here's what Favreau said about Disney being on board to keep the Baby Yoda secret.
"Yeah, they understood the value of it. I felt that if we really wanted to connect with the Star Wars fans, we had to let them discover the story as it was unfolding. The marketing team and the leadership were all supportive of what my instincts were, and I think it paid off really well because now people are excited to tune in every week to see what happens."
While some Star Wars fans are angry that The Mandalorian is on a weekly schedule instead of the Netflix release model, it has proven to be very beneficial. Jon Favreau has created a weekly event for fans to discuss and dissect, which often results in multiple viewings. Yes, it would be great to figure everything out in one binge, but it's been pretty fun to look forward to a show every week again. The interview with Jon Favreau was originally conducted by The Hollywood Reporter.