Everything you need to know about the true star of The Mandalorian
November 12, 2019 marked the series premiere of The Mandalorian, and with it, Baby Yoda's introduction to the world.
At the time, Star Wars fans were simply expecting a delightfully solid-looking new entry to the franchise. We had no idea that the show would birth a cultural phenomenon, uniting nerds and normies across the globe in unanimous adoration. That beautiful gift - that meme that keeps on meming - was none other than "the Child," aka "Baby Yoda."
For over a year the internet collectively obsessed over the little green creature while knowing close to nothing about the character. It wasn't until November 27, 2020 with the release of The Mandalorian, "Chapter 13: The Jedi" that the show finally revealed the Child's true name: Grogu.
At this rate it could be 2025 before we hear Grogu's first words or learn his favorite color. However, the show does find clever ways to tease details about the character's background and importance with each episode. And despite the showrunners' proclivity for secrecy, there is actually a lot of information with which we can at least speculate.
Popdust Presents: The Official Guide to Everything Known, or Theorized, About Grogu (Baby Yoda)
Spoilers ahead for "The Mandalorian" Season 1 & 2
1. Grogu is 50 years old
Grogu was born in 41 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), and The Mandalorian is set in 9 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). Oddly, Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) was also born under mysterious circumstances in 41 BBY. While it's unclear if the show will make that connection between Grogu and Anakin explicit, their shared birth year is unlikely to be a coincidence.
Why does Grogu still look and behave like a baby if he is 50 years old?
Ahsoka Tano confirmed in Chapter 13 (Season 2, Episode 5) that Grogu belongs to the same species as Jedi Grand Master Yoda. Yoda lived to be 900 years old before dying of old age. Therefore, we can infer that Grogu's species ages differently and much slower than humans.
Star Wars creator, George Lucas, has always been very secretive about the history and origin of Yoda's species. Perhaps Lucas wanted to wait for something like The Mandalorian to serve as a grand reveal.
2. Grogu has no known living family members
The only other beings from Grogu's species ever depicted in Star Wars canon are Jedi Grand Master Yoda (male) and Jedi Master Yaddle (female). Understandably, many fans theorize that Grogu is the offspring of Yoda and Yaddle.
The Mandalorian has not yet confirmed nor denied that theory. However, it's worth considering that no Star Wars media has ever hinted at a relationship between Yoda and Yaddle. Furthermore, Jedi were forbidden from romantic attachments during the era when Yoda and Yaddle sat on the Jedi High Council.
Unfortunately for Grogu, even if Yoda and Yaddle are his parents, both are either confirmed or, in the case of Yaddle, believed to be dead.
At this point, Din Djarin, aka "Mando" (the titular Mandalorian) is the closest thing Grogu has to family. Ahsoka Tano even confirmed to Din after reading Grogu's thoughts that Grogu considers him a father.
3. Grogu is happy to eat almost anything
"Yoda's species is thought to be carnivorous, based on Yoda's sharp teeth and claws. And given Baby Yoda's instinctual appetite for frogs, this may be true. However, Jedi Master Yoda also is shown to sustain himself on roots and mushrooms, indicating his species is omnivorous." - ScreenRant.com
So far we've seen Grogu stuff whole frogs in his mouth, eat unfertilized eggs, and even unborn ice-spider babies. Occasionally Grogu will enjoy a normal bowl of soup with Din, but whenever unsupervised, he is liable to shove basically anything down his green gullet.
In Chapter 12 (Season 2, Episode 4), he steals a snack resembling blue macarons from another child and devours them throughout the episode (before puking them up at the end).
4. Grogu was trained by Jedi masters on Coruscant
One of the most intriguing pieces of Grogu's history revealed to us by Ahsoka was that Grogu spent his life being trained by "many Jedi masters" on Coruscant before the Empire rose to power.
It's unlikely Grogu has ever wielded a light saber, but he has shown off several powerful Force abilities throughout the series. According to Disney.Fandom.com these abilities include:
- Telekinesis: "The Child" utilized this ability for combat purposes. He is able to lift a beast to prevent it from killing the Mandalorian, although the sheer amount of effort required to do this caused the Child to faint and not wake up for several days.
- Force Choke: "The Child" utilized Force Choke to constrict the organs of living organisms in order to suffocate or strangle them, which he could use to either incapacitate or kill. He used this ability to choke Cara Dune because he believed she was harming the Mandalorian, not realizing they were having a friendly arm wrestling match. After the Empire kidnaps him late in the second season, he uses this ability to torture a pair of stormtroopers who attempt to apprehend him in his prison cell.
- Force Grip: "The Child" utilized Force Grip to lift his opponents off the ground and into the air, sometimes by the neck, to immobilize them. He lifts a beast in order to save the Mandalorian.
- Force Barrier: "The Child" utilized Force Barrier to create a barrier or wall of Force energy in front of or surrounding himself or his allies. He is able to create one to save his companions by creating one to hold back a stream of fire coming from an incinerator stormtrooper.
- Force Healing: "The Child" utilized Force Heal to heal other sensitive beings. He used this ability to heal Greef Karga.
Perhaps the Jedi kept Grogu hidden away because of his high "M-count" (Midi-chlorians) and fragile body. Or maybe Grogu was the secret love child of Yoda and Yaddle, hidden to prevent another high profile Jedi Council sex scandal.
5. Grogu really likes round objects
From the first time Grogu sat in the cockpit of Din's Razor Crest ship, he has had an odd fascination with a spherical knob on one of the ships control levers. In Season 1 it seemed he just reaches for the knob to put it in his mouth like any baby would. But in Season 2, Grogu's obsession increases, with him using the Force to draw the knob towards him telekinetically whenever he has the chance.
Erik Voss of New Rockstars recently pointed out that the knob looks an awful lot like a tiny Death Star. Perhaps Grogu was taken to the Death Star at some point in his life and wants to go back. Maybe he even considered it home at one point.
Beyond just knobs, Grogu has also shown a peculiar affinity for other spherical shapes like eggs. Many viewers pointed out that Grogu's interest in Frog Lady's eggs (Season 2, Episode 2) seemed to run much deeper than just hunger. Whenever Grogu spotted the eggs, a whimsical musical score was cued and Grogu's facial expressions resembled wonder and maybe even familiarity.
Later, in Chapter 14 (Season 2, Episode 6), Din places Grogu on a round "seeing stone" atop an ancient Jedi ruin on Tython. Before long, the large round stone creates a beam of energy around Grogu as he falls into a deep meditation. It seems possible that spheres and circles are important or even sacred geometry in the Jedi order. As Erik Voss also keenly observed, the Jedi High Council always sat in circle formation in a round room above the temple on Coruscant.
Oh, and that floating bassinet he chills in is shaped like an egg.
6. Grogu may be struggling with the dark side of the force
After being kidnapped by Moff Gideon at the end of Chapter 14, we see Grogu basically torture Stormtroopers with the Force in his holding cell. Jedi are supposed to be peacekeepers that may use the Force in self defense, but never to inflict harm. Even after Grogu has incapacitated the troopers by flinging them around the room, he beings to Force-choke them, seemingly out of spite. The music playing during that sequence is definitely more meant to convey tragedy and fear, and as we know, fear leads to the dark side.
One could write this moment off as one-time moment of weakness for poor Grogu if it wasn't for the several other times in the series where he seemed to use dark side Force moves. For example, in Chapter 7 (Season 1, Episode 7) when Grogu Force-choked Cara Dune because he saw her armwrestling with Din.
The show also offers some other hints that Grogu might be heading down a dark path. When Ahsoka meets Grogu, she tells Din that she can only see the early years of his life on Coruscant before the memories "go dark." Later in that same episode, Ahsoka warns Din that Grogu's attachment to him could lead him to do terrible things (like Anakin's attachment to his mother), and that she cannot train him because of that. "Best to let his abilities fade," she warns.
Finally, when Moff Gideon confronts Grogu in Chapter 14, he speaks to Grogu as if they have spent time together before. Gideon remarks that Grogu has gotten better at using the Force, but knows that it makes him very sleepy. He then extends his dark saber, which Grogu reaches for as if he recognizes it, before Gideon tells him he isn't old enough yet.
Is it possible Grogu was taken from the Jedi during "order 66" to be trained by the Empire? Could Gideon or even Palpatine or Vader have once been Grogu's master, during that "dark" period in Grogu's memory?
What do you think about our guide to understanding Grogu? Did we leave something out you feel should be added to the list? Let us know on twitter, @Popdust!
The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 7 premiers December 11, 2020 on Disney+
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