What species is Yoda? How he’s related to Baby Yoda

As The Mandalorian season two prepares to launch, we’re asking the big questions about one of Star Wars’ enduring mysteries.

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

One of the biggest mysteries of the entire Star Wars universe has always centred on the origins of the Jedi Order’s enigmatic leader, Yoda.

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The speculation flared up once more with the release of The Mandalorian season one, which introduced a force-sensitive being known only as The Child – better known by the nickname Baby Yoda.

In doing so, the Disney Plus series has set itself the unenviable task of finally exploring the iconic species, one that creator George Lucas refused to even name during his time leading the franchise.

So, what do we know about Baby Yoda’s species going into season two? Read on to work out the Yoda family tree (sort of).

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)

Yoda’s species is shrouded in mystery with only sparing information available on what the creature is and where he comes from. Star Wars creator George Lucas has always been coy when it comes to revealing information about the alien race, once joking that Yoda was simply the illegitimate child of Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. That’s probably not canon though.

All three members of the species in the Star Wars franchise (Yaddle, Yoda, Baby Yoda) have been powerful force-users, carnivorous, short (around 70cm) and capable of growing very old, with Yoda known to be roughly 900 by the time of his death.

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

There have previously been at least two other formidable Jedi from Yoda’s species, Vandar Tokare and Minch, but both are no longer considered canon following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. However, even in non-canon Legends, the home planet of Yoda’s species has never been named or seen, with some fans speculating each incarnation is created by the force itself.

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.

Is Baby Yoda actually Yoda?

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.

It’s unlikely that The Child is a reincarnation of Yoda, as we learn in season one that he is actually 50 years old, but still resembles an infant due to his slower ageing process. This means that the lives of The Child and Yoda would have overlapped.

We’re confident that more details will be revealed in season two 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.

Keep up to date with The Mandalorian release schedule or read up on another intriguing element from the upcoming episodes: the origins of the Darksaber.

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The Mandalorian season two premieres on Disney+ on Friday 30th October. New episodes are released on Fridays. Check out what else is available on the service with our best movies on Disney Plus and best shows on Disney Plus guides, or visit our TV Guide to find out what’s on tonight.