The Mandalorian provided fans with the first-ever live-action Star Wars television series. But, more importantly, The Mandalorian gave the world Baby Yoda. Nearly every Baby Yoda moment in is the cutest thing to ever grace a screen. The tiny being cannot even speak yet, but his coos and expressive face more than make up for his silence. He immediately won over the internet, becoming an important part of meme culture. But perhaps the biggest testament to The Mandalorian Baby Yoda's adorableness is how quickly he won over a notoriously tough Mandalorian.
Yoda is a wise Jedi master in the original Star Wars films. Baby Yoda (for lack of a better, read: cuter, name) contains some of that same silent wisdom mixed with all of the most precious features of a...
baby. His spell was magical on set as well. The director of the third episode, Deborah Chow, told The New York Times that Werner Herzog, who plays the Client, was smitten with Baby Yoda.
"Werner had absolutely fallen in love with the puppet," Chow said. "He, at some point, had literally forgotten that it wasn’t a real being and was talking to the child as though it was a real, existing creature."
The Hollywood Reporter noted that executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni amusingly recounted how Herzog called them "cowards" when they left the opportunity open to use CGI instead of a puppet Baby Yoda.
Pretty much everyone in this galaxy agrees with
Herzog's infatuation of Baby Yoda and these moments from The Mandalorian Season 1 are just some of the reasons why.
Episode 1 — "Chapter One"
The first episode saw Pedro Pascal's Mando on the hunt for a 50-year-old species as ordered by the Client. Within the last seconds of the episode, the highly-protected bounty was revealed to be none other than a baby version of the same race as Yoda.
Baby Yoda preciously exposes his face by pulling down the blankets of his floating crib, much to the surprise of Mando and viewers. His large, blinking eyes, his tiny three-fingered hand, and his coos quickly win over Mando, who kills the assassin droid IG-11 to save the Child's life. With his life saved, Baby Yoda bonds quickly with Mando. The bounty hunter puts out his finger and Baby Yoda reaches up his own fingers to touch his new protector's hand for the first of many "aww"-worthy moments.
With his bounty on tow, Mando must make it off of Arvala-7, but his ship has been stripped for parts by Jawas. Yet, with the help of Kuiil and Baby Yoda, Mando succeeds in getting the Razor Crest up and running.
When other bounty hunters try to take Baby Yoda, Mando protects the Child by forcefully pushing his floating crib away, causing Baby Yoda to fall backward with a "meep." After his scrape with the rival bounty hunters, Mando is hurt. Even at the tender age of 50, Baby Yoda knows he can help and attempts to use the Force on the Mandalorian by raising his hand and squinting his eyes. Unaware of this magical power, Mando puts the Child back into his crib. But Baby Yoda shows his unrelenting spirit and gives it another go before Mando closes his crib on him. Baby Yoda spots a frog when Mando meets back up with Kuiil. He pounces on the amphibian and swallows the frog whole, legs and all. Mando had ordered the Child to spit it out, but with his giggle and burp, who could be mad? While retrieving an egg from a Mudhorn, Baby Yoda successfully uses the Force to suspend the beast in air and save the Mandalorian. But the exertion is too much for the exhausted baby and he falls into a deep sleep before awaking as the Razor Crest takes off.
The Mandalorian turns over the bounty to the Client, Dr. Pershing, and their Stormtroopers, but he can't hide that he's worried about the Child's fate. After getting new Beskar armor, he decides to go back for Baby Yoda, risking his reputation and Guild member status.
Baby Yoda discovers by reaching for one of the levers on the Razor Crest that it has a shiny ball top that makes for the perfect toy ... or snack. It's seeing this very lever that inspires Mando to go back and save Baby Yoda. When Mando finds Dr. Pershing scanning a sleeping Baby Yoda, he spares the doctor's life but takes the Child. The rest of the bounty hunters' fobs go off when Mando steals Baby Yoda. And just as it seems Mando will be overpowered, he looks at Baby Yoda's sweet face. The Child makes an appreciative coo noise that reminds Mando why saving this innocent baby is so important. Thankfully, Mando and Baby Yoda escape with the help of other Mandalorians. While flying away to safety, Baby Yoda reaches up his tiny claw to try and snatch the silver ball off the lever again. This time, Mando caves and gives the Child the ball for him to play with on their journey.
Mando must find a safe planet for Baby Yoda and him to hide on and they land on Sorgan. While Sorgan turns out less safe than expected, Mando and the Child are now officially buds and this episode provides some peak Baby Yoda interactions, even as the Mandalorian must help take down Klatooinians to save a village.
Baby Yoda can't help himself but touch some buttons on the Razor Crest — he is a baby after all. After Mando tells him to "stop touching things," Baby Yoda defiantly pushes the button again, all while holding his gaze on Mando's helmet. But Mando's not actually angry and it gives him and the little womp rat a chance to cuddle. Mando wants to explore the new planet they've landed on and orders Baby Yoda to stay on the Razor Crest. But just seconds later, Baby Yoda is standing right beside Mando at the ship's door, ready to hit the town. Mando relents and travels at his companion's pace, although it surely slows him down to walk alongside Baby Yoda and his teeny tiny legs. Nothing can quite disarm two warriors like Baby Yoda slurping down some bone broth as Cara Dune and Mando learn after they battle. After Mando leans back on the way to the krill farmers' land, Baby Yoga imitates his keeper by lying back on the cart and taking in the view of the stars. Baby Yoda doesn't participate in the fight with the Klatooinians, but he does show off his frog-catching skills to the krill farmers' children. This time, the Child lets the frog slip out of his mouth after all the kids giggle and then proceeds to chase krill. Baby Yoda and Mando have no choice but to find a new planet after a bounty hunter locates them and tries to kill the Child. As they head to the Razor Crest, Baby Yoda shows with his little head tilt that cart traveling looks good on him, even if he's sad to say farewell to his new friends.
Episode 5 — "The Gunslinger"
Baby Yoda earns a new fan on Tatooine with Amy Sedaris' Peli Motto, who fixes Mando's ship after he gets in a firefight. Mando's dealings also put the Child is peril when he makes a deal with the aspiring bounty hunter Toro Calican.
Baby Yoda has cooed plenty of times in The Mandalorian. But during Mando's first space battle, the Child whimpers in fear — and it's just as effective when it comes to tugging at viewers' heartstrings. But clearly, Baby Yoda isn't that scared of space travel since he giggles when the Razor Crest's engine temporarily powers down. Mando rudely leaves the Child sleeping on his ship while he looks for work on Tatooine. Baby Yoda sadly emerges from the Razor Crest post-nap confusedly looking for his new adoptive father. Thankfully, Peli Motto makes for a decent substitute babysitter — even though later she and Mando foolishly let Toro Calican spot the Child. While Peli might be annoyed, Baby Yoda can't help but be happy to see Mando again when he returns. He gives Mando a big smile and makes an ah-like noise while in Peli's arms after she mentions that Mando has an extra mouth to feed. It's good to see Baby Yoda happy again! Toro Calican isn't as innocent as he first appeared after Fennec Shand tells him that he would become a legend in the Guild if he turned in Mando and Baby Yoda. Mando is forced to kill Toro and during the shootout, Baby Yoda had escaped. But he delightfully reveals he's safe while babbling — and Peli and Mando (though he can't show it) are delighted to see him too.
Episode 6 — "The Prisoner"
Mando takes a dangerous job of freeing a prisoner from a New Republic ship with his old crew (including his Twi'lek ex-girlfriend Xi'an) that leaves Baby Yoda on the Razor Crest to defend himself.
Mando needs a better hiding place for his adoptive child since Burg hits a button and Baby Yoda is revealed. Clearly, Mando is in bed with some bad guys when Baby Yoda's noises and big ears don't have any softening effect on this crew. When the ship crashes, everyone on the Razor Crest is tossed around — including the tiny Child. Even when Baby Yoda is thrashed around, he doesn't cry and is just grateful that Mando puts him back in his crib. He's a very good baby, indeed, even as Mando struggles to be a good father. Without Mando around, Baby Yoda thinks he found a friend in Zero. They engage in a deadly game of hide and seek though once the droid starts to hunt down the Child on the ship. Zero is ready to shoot the Child once he finds his hiding spot, so Baby Yoda tries to use the Force on the droid. After a powerful blast, Baby Yoda stares at his hand in amazement believing he caused it. But it was Mando who was responsible for destroying the droid. After such a dangerous encounter, Mando willingly gives the shiny ball top of the lever to a quizzical but cooing Baby Yoda.
Chapter 7 — "The Reckoning"
Mando assembles a crew together so that he and Baby Yoda can stop living on the run and defeat the Client once and for all.
Mando receives the message from Greef Karga to come back to Navarro to kill the Client. He then looks over at the sleeping Baby Yoda and the sight of the peaceful child pushes him to accept the offer. Baby Yoda tries to follow in Cara's footsteps when Mando goes to enlist her help, but his tiny legs are no match for her stride. They meet on more even terms when they gather at the table again at the bar on Sorgan. Mando and Cara Dune are not giving Baby Yoda nearly enough attention as he wants, so he peaks upside down at them before he takes control of the Razor Crest for a brief, but wild ride. Baby Yoda was apparently happy to see Kuiil when he lifted his hand toward him. The Child might have felt differently if he had heard the Ugnaught call him ugly. While watching Cara and Mando arm wrestle, Baby Yoda shows he's capable of real anger when he uses the Force choke to strangle Cara all in the name of protecting his dad. Mando's not mad at the baby though and asks Kuiil to build him a new, more comfortable cradle. Baby Yoda intently watches Kuiil's handiwork. Greef Karga may have an evil plan to turn the Child into the Client, but even he has to admit that Baby Yoda is a "precious little creature" when the "bogwing" floats over to Greef. Greef Karga is impressed with Baby Yoda's ability to eat around the campfire. But he becomes a legit Baby Yoda fan when the Child heals Greef Karga with the Force after an attack by Mynocks. Knowing the operation to use Mando as bait for the Client is not safe for the Child, Kuill takes Baby Yoda back to the Razor Crest. Baby Yoda watches Mando walk away, aware that his dad is going on a dangerous mission. Unfortunately, the Child's journey was dangerous too as Stormtroopers kill Kuill and snatch Baby Yoda up before they can make it back to the ship.
Mando learns that the real person interested in Baby Yoda isn't the Client, but the Imperial warlord Moff Gideon. After many obstacles, Mando and the Child are reunited and the Mandalorian truly accepts his role as Baby Yoda's protector.
Baby Yoda does not like life in captivity, so he tries to escape the Stormtrooper's knapsack. Jason Sudekis' stormtrooper hits the creature, but Baby Yoda gets his revenge when he bites Adam Pally's stormtrooper. IG-11 comes to the rescue and Baby Yoda can't help but peer out of the knapsack to see the unpleasantness of the assassin-droid-turned-nurse-droid killing the stormtroopers. Baby Yoda absolutely adores riding along with IG-11 as evidenced by his squeals while riding the speeder bike. He's also pretty happy to just hang out strapped to IG-11 while the droid battles and blows stuff up on his behalf. IG-11, Mando, Cara, and Greef successfully reunite with Baby Yoda in the bar at Navarro, but they have taken some hits. Baby Yoda sadly watches the dying Mando, but when Moff Gideon orders the stormtroopers to "burn them out," it's the Child's turn to save the day. Baby Yoda stops the fire and throws it back on the stormtrooper using the Force. As he's accustomed to, the massive energy release requires him to take a baby break and he doesn't get to see IG-11 revive his dad as he's taken to the sewers by Cara. Baby Yoda doesn't know what to do when the Armorer says that he "looks helpless." And his little cuddle and coo while hanging on IG-11 doesn't necessarily disprove her assessment. Baby Yoda's use of the Force is not something that can be (ahem) forced by anyone else as he demonstrates by simply waving his hand after Greef orders him to "do the magic hand thing" to save them from Moff Gideon's air attack following IG-11's sacrifice. With Moff Gideon and the stormtroopers defeated, Cara and Greef discuss staying on Navarro. But Baby Yoda hugs Mando's leg, reminding the Mandalorian that his Creed dictates he must take the Child back to his home. While Baby Yoda wants to leave with his papa, he also likes Cara and Greef touching his big ears to say goodbye, just as IG-11 had done before he was destroyed. He also looks over Mando's shoulder and gurgles as they fly away via Mando's jetpack. Mando and Baby Yoda then fly off to their next adventure together on the Razor Crest. But not before Baby Yoda reveals he has the Mandalorian necklace, which Mando tells his adopted Child to hang onto, solidifying their bond for Season 2.