The Mandalorian, much like the original Star Wars movie, manages to eke by with a family-friendly rating by showing little to no gore. Still, the action-packed and outstanding show is just as violent as it’s predecessor. That’s not a complaint. In fact, it’s a show about a bounty hunter, and we’d be a little disappointed if the main character acted like Mickey Mouse. The drama and battles that define Star Wars are part of what we love so much about the Lucasverse. However, the twist ending to the first episode that introduced us to a baby Yoda was delightful and unexpected. Here’s why we think Baby Yoda Might is a central character in The Mandalorian.
Spoiler Alert! Before we spoil any more of the plot than the title of this article already gives away, please be aware that we’re going to talk about the premiere episode of this ingenious new series. Moreover, we’re also going to be delving into a little history for the Star Wars universe.
The Mandalorian Bounty Hunters of Star Wars
It’s almost impossible to introduce the world of The Mandalorian without talking about his predecessors, two other Mandalorian bounty hunters who share the same DNA. Along with the entirety of the clone army, who also came from Jango’s unique DNA, Jango and Boba Fett are practically a species unto themselves. However, technically, Jango at least came from the planet Mandalore and wore the trademark ‘Mandalorian Armor,’ made from beskar. The metal of the armor, as much as its style, is a massive part of what marks a Mandalorian out from pretenders and other armored individuals. Like the vibranium of the Marvel universe, beskar has unique properties, the most important of which is that it can take a hit, even if it comes from a lightsaber.
Jango was widely known, in his time, as the best bounty hunter living. His government considered him both a traitor and a pretender, but the sordid history of Mandalore would fill a much longer article than this. A few of the highlights include the poisoning of children and multiple hostile takeovers. Hence it stands to reason that the government ‘back home’ might not have been all that squeaky clean themselves, and there’s probably more story to be explored there. However, this isn’t Jango’s story, nor is it his son, the equally famous Boba’s tale. What is relevant is the fact that Mandalorians have a history of becoming outstanding warriors, and they make exceptional bounty hunters, as the new series will no doubt delve into.
The Bounty Hunter’s Guild
Doubtless in the whole vast universe, there are plenty of freelance bounty hunters, but mostly they’re organized into a guild. While that might sound like it was somehow a loose ragtag band of spacefaring scallywags, The Bounty Hunters Guild has a stringent set of rules, and the roots span back into Star Wars History. You see, bounty hunters have a code to abide by that helps keep their business moderately legitimate.
The code may not be the sort of upstanding moral and ethical set of rules that Jedi live by, but there are standards. The important ones were that bounty hunters don’t steal bounties from each other, and they cannot kill fellow guild members. In exchange for their minimal compliance with the rules, bounty hunters were assured a consistent stream of incoming work, and the guild only assigned a single hunter to each bounty to avoid competition, mishaps, and a whole lot of bounty hunter on bounty hunter crime. Keep that in mind. It’s about to become very relevant.
The new, as yet unnamed and faceless Mandalorian bounty hunter lives in a time when the rebellion is all but gone, and the Sith have won. The Bounty Hunter’s Guild is alive and kicking, sort of, but there will always be people (or aliens) who want other people (or aliens) kidnapped or killed. Call it what you like, but that’s the job. After promptly knocking his latest bounty off the list at the beginning of the episode, we learn a couple of vital facts. First, he’s fearless. The Mandalorian unblinkingly electrocutes a massive walrus tusked, alligator skinned, monster off of his spaceship. Second, this Mandalorian also has an excellent reputation. He’s known for being incredibly quick and competent. Third, he doesn’t like drones, and lastly, he won’t take payment in imperial money.
We also learn that his guild liaison doesn’t have as much work as he expected, and it doesn’t pay very well to be a bounty hunter in that time or area. He’s forced to accept half the expected pay in a jiggly substance known as Calamari Flan. He also takes an off-the-books assignment for a “fifty-year-old,” about whom he knows nothing else. The arrangement is highly unusual, and the client insists on meeting him in person. The meeting doesn’t exactly go smoothly, and the pay is excessive for the job. He takes a block of highly valuable beskar as a downpayment for the work. He then returns to his superior, another Mandalorian who praises him and makes the metal into a piece of armor for him. During the scene, we watch him have multiple flashbacks, and he even alludes to his own past as a ‘foundling,’ an orphan from a war-torn area.
A Botched Job
After struggling to get as far as the site of his assignment, the Mandalorian discovers he’s not the first bounty hunter on the scene. A bounty hunting droid called IG-11, voiced by none other than Taika Waititi is already there making a royal mess of things. The two team up and manage to defeat a small horde of well-armed beings who seem hell-bent on protecting the target they’ve both been sent after. Upon locating the source of the bounty-beacon, they find…
You guessed it, a Baby Yoda
Allow us to clarify one thing here. Unless Yoda’s species is very much like the immortal jellyfish, and they can somehow semi-magically revert to their infant form upon death, then this is not the Yoda. We know this because Yoda died before the events of The Mandalorian ever take place. IG-11 then reveals his assignment is very specific, and Baby Yoda is to be executed. The Mandalorian proceeds to shoot IG-11 in the head, and after a touchingly adorable moment where the Baby Yoda takes his finger, presumably whisks the baby away, either to safety or off to collect his money. The implication is that he’s going to try and do something to help the child. Sadly, we’ll have to wait to find out.
What Does It All Mean?
Here’s where we have to diverge into the realm of pure speculation. First, George Lucas always discouraged delving too deeply into the secrets of the Yoda species. It didn’t even have a name. We’re calling them Yodas for convenience here. Someone wants to know more about them within the canon storyline, as well. Second, The Bounty Hunters Guild isn’t doing so well, and the Mandalorian has other allegiances. We’re not sure if the Guild will survive having a traitor who is known for being much better at his job than most others if he doesn’t return with the baby.
Third, the Mandalorian was at least bothered by the idea of selling a child, and more disturbed by a droid threatening to kill one. Additionally, Taika Waititi has casually mentioned that IG-11 has a story arc that progresses throughout the series. That means he’ll be back, and he’ll be telling someone that the Mandalorian shot him to save Baby Yoda. Fourth, there’s a Baby Yoda. Someone, who has a private scientist and a small team of imperial uniform wearing soldiers, wants it dead or alive. The client is willing to pay an obscene sum to get the Baby Yoda or kill it, but live is preferable, and comes with more money.
Moreover, Baby Yoda is from a race that only has two other members we’ve ever met, both of whom are incredibly powerful force actives which were on the Jedi Council, and they didn’t get along. We don’t care to overthink about how that might have led to some little green angry sex to create such a cute little guy (or girl), and we’re pretty sure the timeframe is just slightly wrong for both of them to be his parents. Then again, for all we know, the Yodas lay eggs, and it takes a hundred years for one to hatch.
Fifth, the ‘villain,’ who wants the baby implied that the bounty hunters suffered a crushing defeat. “Is the world more peaceful since the revolution? It is a shame you people suffered, but bounty hunting is a complicated profession. They said you were the best in the parsec. Would you agree?” Also, this story is set after Return of the Jedi, but before the events of The Force Awakens. That means Baby Yoda might make an appearance in the Star Wars universe of the future as well if it lives.
Okay, here it comes. We think the villain wants the baby because it’s force active and/or incredibly rare just like it’s parent, parents, or species. Remember, there are no known Jedi at the time this story is taking place, but there are still force active individuals being born in the universe. Furthermore, we think that at some point, the IG-11 and the Mandalorian are going to team up. Baby Yoda isn’t just a plot point that moves his story along and shows his backstory made him the man he is today.
The baby is every bit as vital as Anakin Skywalker was in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s story, though probably less evil. We predict that the Baby Yoda is as central to not just this story, but the whole future of this universe. Though they haven’t said much, the cast refers to Baby Yoda as ‘The Being,’ and we think it’s not a coincidence that they nicknamed it because it continues to be a pivotal character in the entire plot of The Mandalorian. The Star Wars universe loves powerful children, and the Baby Yoda is both adorable and highly marketable as toys back here in our real world.
We don’t know whether the Mandalorian will fight to keep Baby Yoda or if he’ll have to battle his way back to retrieve it again later, but we’re pretty sure that we’re going to see a whole lot more of it in the future. We’re betting the story of The Mandalorian follows the Mandalorian the same way the prequels follow characters like Obi-Wan and Amidala while telling the story of someone else entirely.
The last little bomb we have to drop is either a bizarre coincidence, an insanely obscure easter egg, or it kind of makes our point for us. If you look at the timeline, Baby Yoda was born the same year as Anakin Skywalker. The force requires balance. We think that the Baby Yoda will be back in Rise of Skywalker, at least as a passing character who gets a mention. Palpatine is returning, and he’s sort of Anakin’s mystic father. Perhaps Baby Yoda came from a similar process created by the other side of the force.
What do you think of our ‘crazy fan theory?’ Let us know in the comments below whether you believe we are reaching for the stars, or on solid ground with the idea that Baby Yoda is the cosmic balance for Anakin Skywalker.