What species is Yoda? Plus how he’s related to Baby Yoda

As the launch of Disney+ in the UK introduces Baby Yoda to a whole host of new fans, we’re asking the big questions about one of Star Wars’ enduring mysteries

Frank Oz's Yoda in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Lucasfilm, HF)

After more than 40 years of dominating pop culture, you’d think that we’d know everything there was to know about Star Wars. We’ve had decades of spin-off novels, visual dictionaries, alien, spaceship and weapon guides, and countless stories in books, comics, TV shows and (of course) the films filling in nearly every corner of that far, far away galaxy.

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But even after all that, there’s still one crucial thing that for some reason we don’t know. One key bit of trivia that eludes even the most hardened explorer of Wookieepedia.

Er…what is Yoda, exactly?

Yes, despite first appearing in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, starring in five movies and various TV shows and popping up in all manner of Star Wars merchandise we still don’t know where Frank Oz’s diminutive green Jedi Master comes from, or even the name of his species.

We’ve met other members of that species – in the prequels there’s Yaddle, and in The Mandalorian there’s obviously The Child (aka Baby Yoda) – but to date, there’s been no official categorisation. Though we do know a few details…

What species is Yoda?

Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, starring Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Frank Oz as Yoda (Sky)
Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, starring Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Frank Oz as Yoda (Sky)

As stated, there is little known about Yoda’s species, though all three from that background met in the Star Wars franchise (Yaddle, Yoda, Baby Yoda) have been powerful force-users, carnivorous, short (around 70cm) and capable of great ageing, with Yoda known to be several hundred years old by the time of the Star Wars prequels.

Star Wars creator George Lucas intentionally kept details of Yoda’s past unknown in order to keep an air of mystery around the character, and his edict has continued since then – though new live-action The Mandalorian looks set to explore his culture and background for the first time through the character of The Child.

Who is Baby Yoda?

Baby Yoda
Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian

A key figure in The Mandalorian, ‘Baby Yoda’ is a nickname given by fans to an infant from Yoda’s species who plays a crucial role in Star Wars’ first live-action series after being rescued by the titular Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal).

Unable to speak, the character is officially called The Child by the programme-makers and on merchandise, though his obvious connection to such a popular Star Wars figure meant that viewers quickly christened him Baby Yoda instead, and the name stuck.

Obviously, The Child isn’t really a younger Yoda – The Mandalorian is set after 1983’s Return of the Jedi, in which Yoda died – and it’s currently unknown if he bears any relation to him at all other than being from the same species.

Still, we’re sure all will be revealed in future episodes of the Mandalorian – though no matter what they tell us his real name is, it’s hard to imagine anyone moving away from calling him Baby Yoda until the end of time.

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The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ UK from Tuesday 24t March, with new episodes released on Fridays. Check out what else is available on the new service with our Disney+ programme list