Yes, it’s baby Yoda from Star Wars, and your heart will feel like it’s breaking with first contact!
He’s first introduced during the closing moments of the pilot, revealed to be the bounty that our eponymous bounty hunter hero, the equally mysterious Mandalorian (or Mando, as he’s known to friends), was hired to collect, dead or alive.
Fan reaction for The Mandalorian has been almost unanimously positive, which comes as something of a surprising considering how controversial most new Star Wars entries end up. The same can be said of the overwhelmingly welcoming reception to Baby Yoda even from diehard fans, who tend to reject the franchise when it dips into cuteness and/or broad comedy. Here though, it seems their hard nerd hearts are just as susceptible to Baby Yoda’s charms as everyone else’s.
Before the introduction of Baby Yoda (whose existence was kept impressively under wraps prior to the series premiere), anticipation for The Mandalorian was somewhat muted. Even without Baby Yoda’s inclusion, the show would probably have proven popular with Star Wars devotees, but there’s nothing to suggest that it would have been more than a blip on the radar of the larger culture.
Combined with its literally faceless cipher of a hero, the show required an additional element for a mass audience to latch on to. Enter Baby Yoda, whose popularity in both the long and short run will end up seeing a return on Disney’s mega-expensive investment.
Then the whole internet adopted Baby Yoda immediately!
After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.