Is Baby Yoda a Bad Guy? Some Fans Are Not Happy With the Latest ‘Mandalorian’
The following post contains SPOILERS for “Chapter 10 - The Passenger” of The Mandalorian.
From day one, the breakout star of The Mandalorian has been The Child — AKA the adorable, irresistible Baby Yoda. Fans have cooed over his giant eyes and pointy ears, and gone crazy for every piece of Baby Yoda merchandise. He’s the most popular Star Wars character in years. Maybe decades.
But Baby Yoda’s been the subject of a lot of discussion since the premiere of last Friday’s “Chapter 10 - The Passenger.” And not all of it has been positive. On this episode, the Mandalorian agrees to transport a “Frog Lady” to a nearby planet in exchange for information about the whereabouts of other Mandalorians, which Mando needs to reunite Baby Yoda with the rest of his kind. The Frog Lady is traveling with a container full of eggs which her husband — the guy with the Mandalorian intel — will fertilize upon her arrival. If they don’t successfully ferry these eggs to her husband, the Frog Lady says her entire bloodline will die out.
And through the entire journey, Baby Yoda just keeps eating these eggs.
You can see him about to scarf one down in the image above. He tries again and again, even as Mando keeps yelling at him and telling him to stop. After a wild, terrifying escape from some scary spider aliens, the very last thing we see in “Chapter 10” is the Child, slurping up one more of the poor Frog Lady’s eggs.
In every single case, the Child’s love of ovum is played for laughs. Baby Yoda is an unruly infant, and anyone who’s had an unruly infant can tell you it doesn’t matter how many times you tell them not to stick something in their mouths, they’re going to do it anyway. Still, the fact that he slurped down so many of these eggs — which were supposedly so important to the Frog Lady — left a lot of viewers with... well... a bad taste in their mouths. Fans on social media have complained that Baby Yoda’s behavior is less amusing than upsetting.
At least one Lucasfilm employee has taken to Twitter to try to defend the character’s actions, and the choices of The Mandalorian’s creative team. Lucasfilm creative art manager Phil Szostak wrote that the Frog Lady’s eggs are “unfertilized, like the chicken eggs many of us enjoy.” He did acknowledge however that “chickens aren’t sentient beings and the Child eating the eggs is intentionally disturbing, for comedic effect.”
Some fans agreed with the disturbing part, but disputed the comedic element. One fan wrote on Twitter that given how desperate Frog Lady is to have her babies, that Baby Yoda eating the eggs is close “f—ing up someone's IVF which would be incredibly upsetting for a wannabe mom.” Another wrote that many fans actually “identify with Frog Mom. Her plight, her need.” So when Baby Yoda eats the eggs, it almost turns him into the villain of the episode.
This is something I touched on in my recap of “The Passenger” when I wrote that the Child’s actions were so dark that they could be read as implying that just because “the original Yoda is one of the noblest creatures in the Star Wars galaxy,” doesn’t mean Baby Yoda will be as well. Szostak’s defense suggests that we’re supposed to think the Child’s actions are still adorable and hilarious. Personally, I think it’s actually more interesting to believe they’re not. Babies have incredible potential for good — and they have incredible potential for bad, too. Imagine what a Yoda aligned with the Dark Side of the Force could do. It’s interesting to reckon with that notion, even for just one episode.
Will Baby Yoda shape up? Or will he continue to misbehave? We’ll find out as six more episodes of The Mandalorian premiere on Disney+ every Friday through the end of 2020.
Gallery — The Mandalorian Season 2 Posters From Around the World: