(Some spoilers for episodes one through 3 of The Mandalorian below).
I turned 30 in September and was warned by several people that biology would soon have me experiencing baby fever. I did not believe this. I was wrong, but so were these people, who likely did not anticipate that the baby fever would exclusively revolve around a tiny green puppet creature from space, one so fucking cute that watching a clip of him eating a frog makes my IUD want to crawl out of my uterus and hop in the trash. Now I must hunt for a way to create one of my very own.
This tiny green puppet creature is Baby Yoda, an absolute fucking phenomenon who reportedly steals every scene in Disney Plus’s new Star Wars show, The Mandalorian. I have not seen The Mandalorian, but I have seen thousands of photos of Baby Yoda, a small green baby who floats around in a space stroller as he wields The Force and is so heart-wrenchingly adorable that he stole notoriously unhinged German filmmaker Werner Herzog’s heart, in addition to mine. Last week, a clip of Herzog telling reporters Baby Yoda made him cry went viral. And while I was on the hunt for a blog Sunday night, I got distracted by a New York Times interview with Deborah Chow (who directed The Mandalorian’s third episode) and nearly fell over at this anecdote:
Knowing that you’re going to be directing Werner Herzog in your episode, did you treat him any differently, or do you think of him as just one more player in your company?
Normally, you just approach them as actors, but Werner is special. One of the weirdest moments I had on set, in my life, was trying to direct Werner with the baby. How did I end up with Werner Herzog and Baby Yoda? That was amazing. Werner had absolutely fallen in love with the puppet. He, at some point, had literally forgotten that it wasn’t a real being and was talking to the child as though it was a real, existing creature.
I was so struck by the image of Herzog talking to a green puppet as if it were a very small human—feeding him Cheerios, taking him to the zoo, mending his boo-boos with a Big Yoda Band-Aid—that I fell down a Baby Yoda video and photo rabbit hole. The baby is incredible, and looking at him fills me with physical pain.
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As a lifelong feminist, I have long believed my purpose and worth extended beyond the biological impulse to breed, and that producing offspring was far less important than embarking on a meaningful and fulfilling career and a life of adventure. And yet, after two hours of looking at Baby Yoda memes, I’m fully prepared to trade away my childless freedom in favor of incubating and raising a big-eyed, big-eared green alien. Any tips? Or hand-me-down strollers?
The Mandalorian streams on Disney-Plus, with new episodes dropping on Fridays.