The Mandalorian Fans Need To Stop Complaining About Baby Yoda

Fans of The Mandalorian need to get used to Grogu being a character now, not just a plot point.

By Nathan Kamal | Updated

the mandalorian grogu

The Mandalorian just closed out its third season with declining viewership and a lackluster finale, but more than that, it ended with a common fan complaint: why is Baby Yoda still around? There seems to be a sentiment that because the initial plotline involving the child Grogu (as he is properly known) has wrapped up and Luke Skywalker is ramping up plans for a Jedi Academy, he should basically have been written off the show. To that, we say: stop complaining, Star Wars is supposed to be fun and Baby Yoda is fun to have around. 

The idea that it does not make sense that Grogu should still be hanging around with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) hinges on one idea: the adorable, Force-sensitive survivor of Anakin Skywalker’s slaughter of the Coruscant Jedi Temple is a prop, not a character. According to this view, once the initial storyline that kicked off The Mandalorian (in which Din Djarin is tasked by Werner Herzog to deliver the child, because he would to see the baby) resulted in Mark Hamill’s deepfake doppelganger taking in Grogu, the character should just have… disappeared.

luke skywalker baby yoda

However, the Lucasfilm powers-that-be (which is to say, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni) instead did a remarkable thing: they gave Grogu his agency. In a story arc that saw The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian crossing over, Baby Yoda chose to return to his surrogate father, rather than stay with Luke as he builds his new Jedi Temple. Considering that this is strongly implied to be the temple that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) eventually destroys, good call, kid.

Giving Grogu the freedom to choose his own destiny was a crucial decision both within the show and in the real world. When Luke Skywalker allows him to choose between being a Mandalorian or a Jedi, he’s allowing his agency over his own future. When Favreau and Filoni wrote that scene, he turned Grogu from basically a plot point that was carried from episode to episode into an actual character.

As a character in The Mandalorian rather than just a package to be retrieved by Din Djarin and then a foundling to be protected, Grogu doesn’t have to have a reason to still be part of the narrative. He just exists in the story now, along with his adoptive father and his fellow Mandalorians. 

And let’s not fool ourselves: Grogu is crazy cute and it would have been insane for Favreau to write him off The Mandalorian, as though there were no more stories possible for an armor-clad space badass with a heart of gold and his adoptive magical son with the face that sold a million plush toys. At this point, Grogu is as much part of The Mandalorian as the title character itself.

In fact, one can make a credible case that Baby Yoda is as much the title character as Din Djarin is, now that he himself is also a full-fledged Mandalorian. As the people behind the show have controversially stated, the Mandalorian of the title does not necessarily refer exclusively to Pedro Pascal. Much as people might want to treat Grogu as a plot point to be resolved, he’s the Mandalorian now, too.

This is the way.

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