It is rare for a critic to appeal to the most successful character of a program. Even rarer when the same critic anoints the character in question “Being of the decade“But The Mandalorian is a rare show in which the story demands it. The integrity and style of Star Wars as a whole requires it. Baby Yoda, or The Child, or Jedi Padawan Grogu Djarin Mudhorn, may never appear on screen again, in this or any other Star Wars show – at least not in its toddler-like 50-year-old form.
This is by all accounts the look the showrunner wants. Jon Favreau has personally written a final finale series after Season 2, giving Grogu the best, most surprising, best earn retire from the imaginable show. Luke Skywalker is the biggest gun the franchise offers; he and his timeline should be used sparingly. Favreau is a good storyteller. He knows you are not surpassing it.
Despite Din Djarin’s promise to ‘see you again’, he and Grogu would reunite, inevitably disappointment would follow. While it is his unexpected swan song, it contains a Casablanca-style emotional wallop. (If you do not go with that Jedi, you will be sorry …This is the oldest commandment in the showbiz, which George Lucas at his best has always followed: Let them have more.
Admittedly, this is also a bold creative decision. I doubt Lucasfilm will officially admit that the child has been out of the picture for some time – certainly not before the holiday season. You would expect the corporate and financial arms of Disney to be on the verge of getting more Kind. He’s the Disney + equivalent of a golden goose. For many viewers, Baby Yoda is the main reason why they pay their monthly subscription. Is The Mandalorian even a show without his Lone Wolf and Cub dynamic?
There’s an epic story coming, though we can not yet see it through our Grogu mourning tears.
But Favreau has a track record of his performance. He made Baby Yoda’s arrival in the world a surprise by Disney’s desire to get the ball rolling on Kids’ Toys before Christmas 2019. The story just made more sense. He is also a technical perfectionist who did not believe that the Child animatronics would work on screen before Werner Herzog shouted at him. The Mandalorian the crew made every effort to make him look real: lighting, new gestures, a little more CGI. But the bag of tricks was almost empty. If the child only performs the same movements season after season, the story may become obsolete.
Favreau also spent a season drafting alternative answers for the program. It now stands in the middle of an extended universe, to use an old Star Wars expression from Disney + TV. It produced three spinoff performances: Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic and from the Mandalorian final’s surprise after credits, The book by Boba Fett. Given friendships between characters in all four of the shows, you can expect quite a bit of crossover on their shared timeline. There’s more than enough going on without the little green guy.
For season 3 of The Mandalorian, which was officially confirmed by Favreau on Monday, we have more than enough breadcrumbs to know where it’s going. Din Djarin now uses the Darksaber, whether he wants it or not. Above Katan must win it in a battle of his. Din the foundling is now the unofficial leader of a defeated, fat, galactic group, the Mandalorians, who are fighting to reclaim and avenge their home planet. Although he has now been defeated, Moff Gideon (an increasingly pleasant Giancarlo Esposito) can still stand in their way. In Star Wars, as in any good story, the villains always have a lower bar for their return.
There’s an epic story coming, though we can not yet see it through our Grogu mourning tears. One in which the main character’s emotional arc gets more attention by permanently losing an orphan he considered his son.
What next for baby?
But wait a minute, I hear you say. What about Grogu’s storyline? The kid was picked up by Luke Skywalker for Jedi training that will surely join the Jedi school destroyed by Ben Solo somewhere along the line before he became Kylo Ren. What happens between those events? Does Grogu survive? I need to know now! My fanhart demands it!
Oh, but wait for Star Wars to reveal answers really need to know now is what gives the franchise its power. Any veteran of the troubled three-year-old waits between Empire strikes back and Return of the Jedi will tell you. If Lucasfilm is wise and Disney can restrain itself, we will have no answers to the Grogu-Kylo questions of the Mandalorian season 2 finals for at least as long. A dozen fan theories need to rise and fall before we learn anything definitive. That’s the way.
And when the answer comes, the technical limitations of the character on the screen indicate that we will learn it better in any other medium. A comic, a novel or an animated series can offer us the further adventures of Grogu, Jedi padawan, better than a live TV show. (First, it will be much easier for Mark Hamill to participate without blowing up more million-dollar budgets for the aging of CGI.)
I also do not exclude forms of return that would at least make Grogu assert corpse to be in the show: flashbacks, visions, hallucinations, a Force projection or two. But there was a reason why George Lucas, at the time when he ran the franchise, insisted that we would never learn anything about Yoda’s species. The mystery is what gives them their power.
The Mandalorian managed to give the child a spectacular exit, while retaining just enough of that mystery to make us wonder. Some may argue that we should not even know his name, or that he was in the Jedi Temple during the Jedi extermination known as Order 66. The less we know about the details, the more Star Wars stories we can let happen in our head cannon.
The Mandalorian stream now Disney +.