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Jon Favreau Compares His Mandalorian & Boba Fett Crossover To Paper Moon

Disney+'s "The Mandalorian" has always been much more than an epic adventure within the "Star Wars" chronology; it is also a profound exploration of the trials of fatherhood. The title character Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) became a reluctant guardian of Grogu, also known as "Baby Yoda," in Season 1. But by the end of the second season, their emotional parting as the infant left to train with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill/Max Lloyd-Jones/Graham Hamilton) was enough to bring tears to even the most hardened of eyes. But the unlikely duo's separation wasn't to last as long as viewers likely thought it would.

The Mandalorian and Grogu were reunited in the last episode of "The Book of Boba Fett," which is the answer to any confused viewer watching the Season 3 premiere of "The Mandalorian" and wondering how they ended up back together. The spin-off explored how Grogu decided that his companionship with Djarin is more important to him than his Jedi training, allowing the two to reunite to continue their journey in the new season of the streaming network's first "Star Wars" series. 

Creator Jon Favreau had a unique source of inspiration for how he portrays the dynamic between the two characters, which involves the 1973 film "Paper Moon."

The filmmaker says Ryan & Tatum O'Neal's performances remind him of the Mandalorian & Grogu

In an interview with Empire to promote Season 3 of "The Mandalorian," series creator and executive producer Jon Favreau reflected on why he decided to reunite Din and Grogu before the premiere of the new season. The "Iron Man" director began by establishing how Baby Yoda's time with Luke Skywalker was not in vain — he did learn important details about his species and his powers.

Favreau went on to explain how the juxtaposition of Jedi training and life with Mando was important to explore in order to show how both lifestyles are important for Grogu. The filmmaker stated, "Just because this kid has the potential and had training, does he belong away from the Mandalorian?" He went on to compare their dynamic to the characters of "Paper Moon," a 1973 movie starring Ryan O'Neal with his 10-year-old daughter Tatum O'Neal — who won the Academy Award for best supporting actress. 

The movie is a road movie about the unlikely travels of a con man and a young girl. Jon Favreau explained how Baby Yoda is like that young girl, Addie, in that he chooses the bond that feels the strongest to him with the Mandalorian, just like how Addie ultimately chooses to live with Moze (the con man) instead of her relatives. Addie misses the opportunity to bond with her blood kin in a similar way to how Grogu is missing out on taking up Yoda's lightsaber. Favreau finished by observing how he hopes that the audience may find both aspects to still be important for the character.