Grogu, better known to fans as Baby Yoda, has been dubbed the cutest creature in a galaxy far, far away.
The Child, as he’s sometimes referred to, first appeared in the Disney+ live-action series “The Mandalorian.”
Although it’s not yet clear if he has any relation to Yoda, or if they’re just the same species, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy revealed to Vanity Fair that Baby Yoda’s appearance resulted in a fierce debate between showrunner Jon Favreau and Lucasfilm creative director Dave Filoni.
Grogu Almost Never Appeared In The ‘Star Wars’ Series ‘The Mandalorian’
Kennedy revealed that Jon Favreau has always been “deeply interested in Star Wars.” When Disney was looking for a showrunner for the first “Star Wars” live-action series, Kennedy revealed that Favreau “was the first person I went to.”
“He said, ‘Not only would I have an interest; I have an idea,’” Kennedy recalled.
Favreau had an idea for a gunslinger story that centered around the Mandalorian culture and began working on the show before he had even signed a contract.
Favreau told Vanity Fair, “I just started writing so by the time I was officially hired, I had already written the first, I think, four episodes.”
However, Dave Filoni, the creator behind animated “Star Wars” shows “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels,” was also working on a Mandalorian project. Although Favreau and Filoni were reportedly friendly, Kennedy said that she “arranged a playdate” to avoid a potential feud developing between them.
Kennedy said, “They got along instantly, like gangbusters” and combined their ideas together to form the foundation for “The Mandalorian” Disney+ series.
Dave Filoni Initially Rejected Jon Favreau’s Idea For Baby Yoda
Although the two got along, Favreau’s idea for the character of Baby Yoda was reportedly hotly debated. Kennedy admitted that the introduction of another species so similar to Yoda “gave us some pause.”
“He and Dave debated that quite fiercely,” she added.
Filoni was cautious about introducing more members of Yoda’s species and felt that introducing Grogu might take away from the mystery surrounding Yoda himself. He admitted, “Honestly, it’s something I never would’ve done because Yoda is Yoda.”
“I think people now look back and think it was like a slam dunk, but we were very cautious,” he admitted. “The amount of measuring, especially in the first season, for how we were framing this kid took a lot of effort.”
Favreau said that they never considered another creature for Grogu, and always intended him to be part of Yoda’s species. However, they went through several different physical versions of the character before the finally settled on “the look.” The full-color concept art of Baby Yoda was created by Chris Alzmann.
“That’s him. This one,” Favreau said when he saw the concept art. “He had kind of a goofy, ugly look. We didn’t want him too cute.”
However, according to many fans, Grogu might be the cutest creature in the galaxy. Although Din Djarin and Baby Yoda were separated at the end of season 2, they reunited in the season finale of “The Book of Boba Fett,” setting the stage for their adventures in season 3.