When Disney Plus launched on November 12, new subscribers eager to jam The Mandaclorian into their eyeholes were likely shocked to discover just a single episode waiting for them. Rather than dump the full season all at once, Disney decided to eschew the Netflix release model for its shiny new Star Wars TV series in favor of a weekly schedule. While some fans were sorely disappointed by this decision, it’s arguably been a brilliant move on Disney’s part. Weekly episode releases have allowed The Mandalorian to stake a dominant foothold in the pop culture zeitgeist from moment one. But as effortlessly cool as Pedro Pascal is in the title role, we all know the biggest Mandalorian talking point comes down to two words: Baby Yoda.
Yes, the adorable, mysterious, all-too-precious unnamed green alien is the beating heart of The Mandalorian and no one can get enough of him, judging by the sheer avalanche of Baby Yoda memes out there (not to mention all the merch being rushed to market in time for the holidays). But the fact we’ve all accepted the unofficial name of Baby Yoda only highlights how little we know about this character. We know they’re a member of Jedi Master Yoda’s species, but even this isn’t much to go on given that this species has never been given an official name! However, we do know a few things about them. If you’re currently infected with Baby Yoda fever, you’ll want to know the following 10 facts about their species.
10. Only 3 Exist In Canon
One of the reasons people freaked out when The Mandalorian introduced Baby Yoda (besides it being achingly adorable, of course) is because these creatures are exceedingly rare in the Star Wars universe. While it’s true we’ve encountered several of Yoda’s species in different media over the years, including the Extended Universe and the Knights of the Old Republic video game, most of that material is no longer considered canon.
Officially, there are only three members of this mysterious species across Star Wars canon: Yoda, Baby Yoda, and Yaddle. Speaking of Yaddle, whatever happened to her? Believe it or not, you’re not the only one asking that question.
9. Yaddle’s Fate Is Currently Unknown
If you’ll recall, Yaddle was first introduced in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. A female member of Yoda’s species, Yaddle was also a member of the Jedi High Council. In the Expanded Universe, Yaddle died during the Clone Wars, sacrificing herself in order to prevent the release of a deadly bioweapon on the planet Mawan. However, these events no longer apply under the new Disney canon and as such, Yaddle’s fate remains unknown.
We do know that she retired from the Jedi Council shortly after the Battle of Naboo, but it’s unclear what befell her afterward. Surprisingly, the 2019 video game Jedi: Fallen Order briefly mentions Yaddle, hinting she may have gone into hiding following the Jedi Purge. This suggests we may not have heard the last of Yaddle and there’s always a chance The Mandalorian will reveal a connection between her and the Child/Baby Yoda.
8. Baby Yoda Was Born In The Same Year As Anakin Skywalker
Look, we all know the whole Baby Yoda thing is a misnomer. Despite their diminutive size and maturity, Baby Yoda is actually 50 years old. The Mandalorian takes place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, so if we roll back the clock enough, that puts Baby Yoda’s birthdate right in line with another significant Force wielder: Anakin Skywalker. Could there be a connection between the two?
While the age similarity could be coincidental, it’s likely no accident that the two share a birth year. Could Baby Yoda be connected to the same prophecy that foretold Anakin would bring balance to the Force? It’s too early to say, but there’s definitely something important going on with Baby Yoda that extends beyond being a cuddle buddy who must be protected at all costs.
7. Yoda’s Species Mature Between 50 And 100 Years Of Age
As IG-11 helpfully explains right before the Mandalorian blows his head off, “Species age differently”. There is a massive age gap between Yoda and the 50-year-old “child” we meet in The Mandalorian. However, we may not be as far off from seeing Baby Yoda wield a lightsaber as you might think. We know Yoda spent centuries training young Jedi but believe it or not, he had already become a Jedi Master by the age of 100.
Assuming Yoda also had a decades-long childhood like his younger contemporary, this means he would have fully matured mentally and physically between the age of 50 and 100. Therefore, we can comfortably assume this species transitions into adulthood during this stage of their lifespan.
6. Their Average Lifespan Is Less Than You Think
Speaking of lifespan, Yoda’s species is blessed with an abnormally long one. Yoda himself was 900 years old at the time of his death, but the wise Jedi Master may have been the exception rather than the rule. According to the Star Wars Wiki entry on Yoda’s species, their average life expectancy is several centuries.
There seems to be some connection between Force sensitivity and longevity for this species, as both Yoda and Yaddle had longer lives than the average member of their species. This suggests that while Yoda’s species is preternaturally strong with the Force, not all of them are gifted enough to become Jedi.
5. George Lucas Deliberately Kept Yoda’s Backstory A Mystery
Is it not a bit odd that nearly 40 years after making his debut in The Empire Strikes Back, we still don’t know the name of Yoda’s species? Well, that’s by design. George Lucas’ original intention behind Yoda was, in his words, to be “the subversive secret mysterious stranger that enters the film and then exits at the end.” For this reason, Lucas deliberately kept the name and background of Yoda’s species a mystery.
In fact, before Yaddle was introduced, Lucas actively discouraged anyone from creating more beings like Yoda, which suggests he wanted Yoda to be one of a kind. Therefore, the introduction of Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian is a pretty big deal, as it means we might finally be on the verge of learning the true origins of Yoda’s species.
4. Their Force Connection Is Heightened By Brain Power
We’ve established that Yoda’s species is naturally attuned to the Force, but it would appear this connection goes one step further. Members of this species have a sub-brain that’s activated when they have Force visions. This is why Yoda is able to have visions of the future, whereas most other Jedi cannot.
Additionally, Yoda was able to master a variety of powers few others possessed, including telepathy, telekinesis, lightsaber combat, and Force lighting deflection. Yoda also possessed Force empathy, which allowed him to know whether someone was on the Light or Dark Side of the Force just by touching them.
3. A Strange Speech Pattern, Yoda’s Species Has
Yoda’s voice is famous for two reasons: sounding like a mix between several Muppet characters and its unique speech pattern. Although Yoda speaks the common tongue (Galactic Basic Standard), his speech pattern is structured in such a way as to make him sound more alien. According to Geoff Pullum, a professor of linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, Yoda’s voice is characterized by an object-subject-verb (OSV) format … but he doesn’t always stick to this.
Yoda also speaks in XSV, where the ‘X’ stands in for the part of the sentence that goes with the verb. “[Yoda is] favoring the beginning of the sentence for various modifiers and complements that English syntax would normally leave till the end of the clause,” Pullum explains. It’s unclear if this is a case of nature vs. nurture, but it would be interesting to see if this theory is tested if and when Baby Yoda utters his first words!
2. They Have Green Blood
Green is kind of Yoda’s thing, as it’s the color of both his skin and lightsaber. But did you know his species also bleeds green? It’s true! This puts them in rare company in the Star Wars universe, as only three other species are known to have green blood: Rodians, Duros, and Trandoshans. Perhaps it was Baby Yoda’s green blood that Werner Herzog’s “The Client”; after all, we know it’s high in midi-chlorians! On the bright side, at least know Herzog has also had a difficult time resisting Baby Yoda’s charms, as he recently admitted that the mere sight of the puppet on set made him tear up.
1. They’re Natural Carnivores
As if the sharp teeth and claws weren’t enough of a clue, we now have confirmation that Yoda’s species like the taste of meat. In episode two of The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda catches hold of a large, frog-like creature and nearly swallows it whole. In contrast, we never actually see Yoda eat any meat. He steals some of Luke’s dinner on Dagobah and is preparing rootleaf stew when he brings Luke to his house.
Made from yarum, galla seeds, and mushroom spores, rootleaf stew is a vegetarian dish and was likely a regular part of Yoda’s diet. Granted, there are enough snakes inhabiting Dagobah (seriously, go back and watch Empire; there’s a snake in almost every shot) that Yoda probably never went without meat for very long.