Yoda in Empire Strikes Back

OK 'Star Wars' Fans, Let's Talk About Yoda's Species

by Ani Bundel

Star Wars has been going for over 40 years. There are, at this time, 11 movies (12 come December), four TV series, and one video game. But there are still questions the franchise has not answered. The biggest one is about everyone's favorite little green Jedi Master, Yoda. There are so many questions fans have about him, including what species is Yoda? This question has become even more pressing since the debut of The Mandalorian. Warning: Spoilers for The Mandalorian Season 1 follow.

Ever since the Mandalorian arrived on the planet where his bounty was hiding out and discovered his "50-year-old" quarry was a baby of Yoda's species, fans have been gaga over the new little cherub. From his adorable little cradle, which just so happens to float along nicely without having to be steered, to his baby robes with the cowl neckline, this baby has stolen everyone's heart. Just watch him try to use the Force, and your entire heart will explode.

It's as if Yoda heard the entire fandom say, "There is nothing cuter in the Galaxy than a Porg," and responded, "My beer, you must hold."

But here's where the issue lies: No one knows what to call Baby Yoda. No one even knows what gender they are, let alone what species.


Most of the time, a trip to Wookiepedia can clear up this sort of mystery. The website has both the current canon alongside long-lost lore from the older canon stories that have been reclassified as "Legends" since Disney took over the franchise. But in this case, there are no answers.

Yoda is not the only one of his species fans have seen. There's Yaddle and Vandar Tokare, who both sat on Jedi Councils, plus Oteg and Minch, who served in the Jedi Order. But their species is never discussed in any of the novels, comics, radio plays, or anything else. Both Yaddle and Yoda's entries refer to them as being from "a species of mysterious origin."

This is due to George Lucas, who refused to allow any Star Wars story pin down Yoda's origins. (Lucas famously referred to Yoda as "the illegitimate child of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy," in the Star Wars: Attack of the Clones DVD extras, a reference to the character's Henson Creature Shop design.)

The character was said to be from Dagobah in the Essential Guide to Characters released after Empire Strikes Back. But that has since been altered to call it his adopted home.


This hole in the canon has allowed Disney+ to create something utterly new within the existing Star Wars world. With Lucas now out of the franchise since selling it, he can no longer keep Yoda's species under wraps. But fans who are worried this will trample on Lucas' wishes should know he gave the show his blessing. He even went so far as to give showrunner Jon Favreau advice when it comes to creating new Star Wars series.

It seems that The Mandalorian will be answering these questions, hopefully in due course. Until then, fans will have to keep squeeing over "Baby Yoda" until there's a better name for them.