The Mandalorian Executive Producer Dave Filoni recently revealed that he thought the idea of Baby Yoda was “not a good” one.
Filoni’s comments came in the third season of Disney Gallery – Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 1 “Making of Season 3.”
He said, “What puts a measure on your story is how creative can you be. We try to give the audience something that they’ve never seen before.”
Filoni then used Grogu as an example, “You know, like in season one, Jon wants to make a Baby Yoda. I’m like, ‘What? Why? Why would we do this? That sounds like not a good idea.'”
He continued, “But, you put that initial fear aside and you say, ‘Okay, well, let’s really examine this.’ And I was like, ‘Jon, if you’re gonna do this, I’m gonna be there with you. ‘Cause I know Yoda’s one of George’s favorite characters and we cannot mess this up.'”
“But I also knew Jon a bit as a filmmaker,” Filoni detailed. “And I know he’s got a great heart and a great sensibility for telling stories that are meaningful to people. And that maybe this little child could turn out to be something special. But we didn’t even think it was gonna be a puppet the whole time. We thought it’d be CG.”
He elaborated, “Jon’s coming off of making Lion King and Jungle Book where the CG is practically unparalleled with its believability. And here it is, we got Werner Herzog telling us, ‘No. Believe in the puppet.’ And well, the world did.”
Filoni’s instinct might have actually been right on this one. While Baby Yoda and Grogu quickly became a sensation during the first season of The Mandalorian, the character and his storyline sidetracked the show’s entire premise that Jon Favreau initially pitched to viewers.
Favreau initially pitched the series on Instagram back in October 2018 sharing an image that reads, “After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic….”
With the introduction of Grogu at the end of the episode’s first season, the series was anything but the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.
Rather it was the travails of a gunfighter and the alien baby he rescued from the clutches of the Empire. Then after being tasked with returning the child to the Jedi, he completes the task, but the series’ writing would have the child return to him eschewing the opportunity to fully train under Luke Skywalker.
In fact, earlier in Disney Gallery – Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 1 “Making of Season 3,” the show’s director and Executive Producer Rick Famuyiwa admitted the original vision for the first season was supposed to be a bounty of the week style series.
He said, “The first season of The Mandalorian was really about just these simple stories that were gonna be about a bounty of the week.” That’s something that viewers never actually got to see, and it’s not hard to see that it was because of the inclusion of Grogu and the storyline they chose to tell instead.
Towards the end of the episode, Favreau would also state, “It’s more about what you value, what you’re willing to sacrifice, what you hold dear. And the role that you fill in each other’s lives. I like that that’s where this landed.”
“I don’t know if that was what we set out do do, but storytelling isn’t always about that, it’s what you discover and what comes out,” he admitted.
What do you make of Filoni admitting he originally thought the idea of Baby Yoda was “not a good idea?” Do you think Baby Yoda was a good or bad idea?