Could fan-favourite cutie Baby Yoda be turning to the Dark Side? That’s the question on many Star Wars fans’ minds after recent episodes of The Mandalorian, which seem to have hinted that the Disney+ series’ breakout character could be following in the footsteps of Anakin Skywalker and heading down the wrong path.
And no, this isn’t just because he ate all those eggs. In the second series’ fifth episode the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) tracks down ex-Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), who tests The Child (also revealing his true name is Grogu) but declines to train him further.
“I sense much fear in you,” she says. “He’s hidden his abilities to survive over the years.”
Ahsoka’s reasoning for his knockback? Despite his early years in the Jedi Temple, Grogu’s years on the run since the time of the Clone Wars have left him prone to fear and anger, both pathways to the Dark Side of the Force. Even more notably, his obvious attachment to the Mandalorian himself is against the Jedi way, with Ahsoka seeing parallels between Grogu and her own master Anakin Skywalker.
“I cannot train him,” she tells the distraught Din Djarin. “His attachment to you makes him more vulnerable to his fears… his anger. I’ve seen what those feelings can do to a fully trained Jedi Knight.”
In other words, Mando is to Grogu what Padme was to Anakin – and Ahsoka fears that just as Anakin’s issues led him to become Darth Vader, Grogu’s fears and attachments could lead him to becoming something just as bad.
Her advice is to let Grogu’s abilities fade, removing the danger – but is she right about Baby Yoda’s dark side inclinations?
Certainly, we’ve seen a more violent side to the Child over the series. Back in season one he choked Gina Carano’s Cara Dune, perceiving her as a threat, and in the most recent episode of The Mandalorian (which sees him captured by Giancarlo’s Moff Gideon) he uses his connection to the Force even more ruthlessly.
Trying to fight his way past two Stormtroopers he pushes, throws and chokes his enemies, giving into anger and fear in exactly the way Ahsoka had hinted at. Now, his fate is unknown – presumably, the Empire remnant Gideon leads will try to harvest more blood from him – but you might assume that this experience could push him even further down a dark path. Read our full The Mandalorian review for more details.
So will Baby Yoda be the eventual villain of the Mandalorian? Well, it’s possible. Assuming Mando and his allies are able to rescue Grogu he may still be scarred by the experience, with future episodes exploring his gradual shift to a more proactive (and forceful) role in their adventures.
Alternatively, it could be that whichever Jedi it was that Grogu was able to contact in The Tragedy will be able to turn him to the Light – though given that he never turns up in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, we wouldn’t be so sure we’re in for a happy ending.
Either way, get used to Baby Yoda getting a little less cute going on. Even Darth Vader was a little kid yelling “whoop-pee!” once, after all.
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