By Nick Maylor
Everyone is talking about “Baby Yoda”
The internet showed me photos of Baby Yoda…
Baby Yoda is the reason I started my free trial of Disney+ last night. Not the multitude of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars content, just Baby Yoda.
The Mandalorian is a space western Disney+ series set in the Star Wars universe five years after the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1982). It follows the titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascall) as he lives and works as a bounty hunter after the fall of the Galactic Empire).
Written and created by Jon Favreau, the show very much feels like a western set in the larger backdrop of the Star Wars universe.
The Mandalorian is sent to collect a very high-priced bounty and is provided only with the information that the subject is fifty years old. Upon arriving to retrieve the asset, the Mandalorian encounters a droid bounty hunter who was also dispatched by the Mandalorian’s employer, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), leader of the bounty hunter guild. It is revealed that the asset is so valuable, every available hunter was sent for it. After a tense battle outside of a compound, The Mandalorian and the droid hunter IG-11 (voiced by Taika Watiti encounter the asset, revealed to be an infant member of Jedi Master Yoda’s species (of which virtually nothing is known). With members of the species living for centuries (Yoda was said to be 900 at the time of his death), fifty years old appears to be only a toddler’s stage of development for their species. IG-11 attempts to kill the child before being shot point-blank by the Mandalorian, who resigns himself to take the child to the client (Werner Herzog) alive.
Upon returning to his ship, the Mandalorian encounters a caravan of Jawas that has stripped his ship and rendered it unusable. With the help of a local farmer (voiced by Nick Nolte), the Mandalorian manages to strike a deal with the Jawas for his parts if he retrieves an egg from a local beast’s den. Upon awakening the animal, the Mandalorian has a violent encounter where he is almost killed. His saving grace was that the mysterious child stopped the charging beast by using force powers to levitate it long enough for the Mandalorian to kill it. After this massive display of force power, the child falls unconscious.
After accepting his sizable reward and ready to embark on his next job, the Mandalorian has a moment of self-reflection in the cockpit of his ship. Reminded of the miraculous child and how they bonded in a short period of time, he returns to rescue the infant from what he believes is a certain danger.
The show is a refreshing change of pace from the larger Star Wars films we’re accustomed to. Certainly embracing the elements from Western films whole-heartedly.
Speculation is now high as to what will be revealed about the child and the species from which he and Yoda both come. It seems clear that this species has a penchant for sensitivity to the force and what is in store for the infant is anybody’s guess right now.
Despite all that cuteness, the show never feels corny and has a solid, decidedly unique tone.
Upcoming episodes will be directed by Bryce Dallas Howard and Taika Watiti, amongst others.
Nick is an actor/writer/comedian/musician from Hamilton, ON Canada. Having been a film nut since the early days of his life, Nick has had an obsession with cinema and popular entertainment. Nick has written for thecinemaholic.com and is the current Foote & Friends “expert” on all things geek/superhero/comic-book related. Nick is the host/producer of the official Foote & Friends On Film podcast. Nick met John when studying acting at the Toronto Film School, for which John H. Foote was director and Film History professor. The two have been arguing ever since.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickMaylor