The Mandalorian, Disney+’s flagship original series and the first-ever live-action Star Wars show, is off to an impressive start with increasingly growing demand worldwide. Yes, a neo-Western-slash-Samurai story set in the Star Wars universe was bound to attract attention and, yes, the show’s action is the epitome of cool. But we all know that the real breakout star of The Mandalorian is the adorable force-sensitive youngling fans have affectionately dubbed Baby Yoda. (He’s like a puppy mixed with a wizard).
To this point, we have no idea what his actual name is and Star Wars creator George Lucas has never revealed any information about Yoda’s species, thus the Baby Yoda moniker. What we do know, however, is that he’s the cutest little thing on television and an instant meme-inspiring superstar that is generating endless free press for the show.
“We’ll learn more about him over the course of the season,” Mandalorian creator and showrunner Jon Favreau recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think what’s great about what George created is that Yoda proper, the character that we grew up watching, was always shrouded in mystery, and that was what made him so archetypal and so mythic. We know who he is based on his behavior [sic] and what he stands for, but we don’t know a lot of details about where he comes from or his species. I think that’s why people are so curious about this little one of the same species.”
One reason why studios are rushing to develop their own streaming services is because of the vertically-integrated storytelling benefits that are possible. With Disney+ and a thriving theatrical model, Disney can enjoy a cross-pollinating stream of content that ping pongs back and forth between the big and small screen.
The Mandalorian is set five years after Return of the Jedi, which is roughly 25 years before The Force Awakens. Though the show has aired just four of its eight-episode first season, it has already scored a Season 2 renewal and proven to be a popular streaming hit. Given The Mandalorian‘s timeline proximity to the current big screen Star Wars trilogy, and the fact that its penultimate episode and finale will bookend the release of The Rise of Skywalker, many fans have been wondering if we’ll ever get a crossover (either now or in the future).
“There’s definitely the opportunity to explore these characters beyond what we’ve presented on the show,” Favreau told the outlet. “There’s a very fluid line between what’s in the movie theaters and what’s on the screen at home. It’s very exciting for me because I get to tell stories over the course of several hours and not just within the footprint of one theatergoing experience. I think it’s only a matter of time before we cross paths the other way.”
Favreau admits that he’s excited to play in the 25-year sandbox that bridges the original trilogy and sequel trilogy. He and Lucas protege Dave Filoni, creator of animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels, are busy mapping the future of the series that fits within the greater Star Wars universe.