When Disney+ launched on Nov. 12, 2019, it brought with it the premiere of The Mandalorian and the final craze of the decade: Baby Yoda. The adorable 50-year-old toddler with the big green ears was an instant sensation. There were just a few unanswered questions, like what gender is it? (Episode 4 called The Child "he.") What species is he? Can we call him "Baby Yoda" for lack of a better term? And perhaps most important of all, what's Baby Yoda's real name?
On the one hand, Disney and Lucasfilm hit the jackpot with this thing. Baby Yoda spawned a thousand memes, and when he was done,he sipped some soup and spawned a thousand more. But the creature also hit upon one of the great unknowns of the Star Wars universe. Yoda, the Jedi master who was instrumental in Luke Skywalker's training, was a cipher. Star Wars had spawned books, comics, TV shows, a prequel series, a sequel series, radio plays; you name it. Yet, not a single one ever delved into Yoda's backstory, his planet, his family, or his past.
This was no oversight. George Lucas, from early on, decided that Yoda must remain a mystery. After the early Empire Strikes Back merch called Dagobah the character's home planet, Lucas had the removed. Yoda was not to have any details revealed about him. As far as Lucas was concerned, the character, a creation of the Jim Henson Company's puppetmasters, was the child of Miss Piggy and Kermit.
With the company sold to Disney, the production team realized Lucas had given them a gift. In a franchise where everything has been built out over the last 40 years, even if Disney consigned much of those stories to "Legends," Yoda was virgin territory where they could do anything.
And apparently, they have. The TV series refers to "Baby Yoda" as "The Child," but the character does have a name, and a species to go with it.
According to Taika Waititi, who both directed the Season 1 finale, and starred in the show as IG-11, he knows the show's secrets, including Baby Yoda's name.
Speaking to The New York Times on the Golden Globes red carpet, Waititi protested when the reporter used the commonly accepted phrase "Baby Yoda" to refer to The Child.
He’s not named Baby Yoda!... I’ll wait for Favreau to give that away.
So what could his name be? It doesn't necessarily have to start with a Y. Yoda and Yaddle were the first two to be introduced. But there's also Vandar Tokare, Oteg, and Minch, all of whom were involved with the Jedi. So no one can say for sure if The Child will even be mononymed or not.
The only question now is if Favreau will give it away early or if fans will have to wait until autumn of 2020 and Season 2 to learn it too.