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J.J. Abrams talks Baby Yoda

The release of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian brought with it one of the most adorable creatures in the entire Star Wars canon. We are, of course, talking about Baby Yoda – whose tiny green frame and big floppy ears were greeted with squeals of delight by viewers during the first chapter of the show, and who has since broken the internet with memes galore as fans continue to coo over him. 

There are plenty of questions still surrounding Baby Yoda — the answers to which Disney and Lucasfilm are keeping to themselves for now, which has naturally only driven Star Wars fans crazy. In response to all that secret-keeping, fans have posted theories all over the internet, speculating about the significance Baby Yoda could have in the greater Star Wars universe. With the Force sensitivity Baby Yoda possesses, and with his apparent link to the real Yoda given that they're from the same species, the little green guy must have been introduced for good reason (beyond making fans gush at their television and laptop screens). 

In a recent interview with EsquireThe Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker director offered up suggestions as to why Disney and Lucasfilm would unleash onto the world the Force of cuteness that is Baby Yoda. 

"Star Wars is sort of constantly expanding and sort of ever-expanding. And the ability to choose a character like Yoda and say, 'What if we created a baby Yoda?' — the reason these things are reasonable to people is because it's not just nostalgia [...] it's taken something that is meaningful, a story that has deep roots and potency and resonates with a human heart, a beating heart. These are the kind of things that, when they hit, when there's something that feels like, 'oomph,' it's not just cute but it implies a story. It sparks the imagination," Abrams said in part. "That's the thing, whether it's bringing back Lando [Calrissian in The Rise of Skywalker] and wanting to know what's been going on [...] introducing a brand new characte and brand-new droid or a brief glimpse of a baby Yoda. All these things are about the possibility, potential, and that's the very heart of what Star Wars is."

Strong with the Force, this one is

There is indeed possibility and potential in spades when it comes to Baby Yoda. Don't be fooled by those big eyes and ears attached to that tiny body — Baby Yoda isn't just a cute and cuddly addition to the Star Wars universe. Much like the real Yoda, this younger member of Yoda's mysterious species can be lethal if he needs to. On The Mandalorian chapter two, fans watched as the pint-sized alien stopped a mudhorn in his tracks, using the Force to allow the titular Mando (Pedro Pascal) a chance to kill the creature. 

While Star Wars fans know that children can be Force sensitive, bear in mind that not even Anakin Skywalker with his highest-ever-recorded Midichlorian count was swinging Banthas around in The Phantom Menace. Sure, Baby Yoda isn't technically a "baby" considering he's 50 years old, but when you remember that Yoda died at the age of 900, Baby Yoda is still in his very, very early days.

Baby Yoda's potential place in the ever-expanding Star Wars universe

With a universe like Star Wars that has grown so dramatically from the release of the first film, there's always room for more — more heroes, more villains, more lightsaber battles, apparently more dictatorships, and, of course, more cuteness. Abrams is strongly in favor of continuing to expand the Star Wars universe — whether it be on television or film — and the introduction of another creature of Yoda's species is certainly one way to expand knowledge of the iconic Jedi Master. 

"I think that the fun of telling stories in this galaxy is that you get to take things that are familiar and you get to adjust them, augment them, comment on them, continue them. It's a world that is looking to be expanded. I mean, the original movies did the most remarkable thing in referencing the Clone Wars and the Empire and the Senate, and the Old Wars, and never showing any of these things. But the painting that was created of this past canvas, it's incredible how intimate it was. But you always felt that there was a peripheral life and history and world beyond what you were seeing."

Abrams has remained mum on whether or not Baby Yoda will be an expanded universe character that will make an appearance in The Rise of Skywalker, which is set for release on December 20. But regardless of whether he pops up in the concluding chapter of the Skywalker Saga, could Baby Yoda actually help establish the foundation for new Star Wars films? Taking place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, The Mandalorian sees Baby Yoda at just 50 years old, as we mentioned earlier. With so much growing still to do, and with his clear status as a fan-favorite character, Baby Yoda may be an integral part of future films in the franchise — be it either on the light or the dark side.

The Rise of Skywalker will close out the Skywalker Saga that began with the original flick in 1977, but Disney and Lucasfilm already have a plan for a new trilogy. The characters fans have watched over the decades are set to say their goodbyes in The Rise of Skywalker, and the films that will roll out after it will center around new heroes and villains — likely ones who are strong with the Force, if history is anything to go by. Could Baby Yoda be one of them? It seems there's a chance.

Will Baby Yoda reveal information about Yoda's species?

Considering the time setting of The Mandalorian, it's clear that unless Yoda has reincarnated himself or has been cloned, Baby Yoda isn't actually the wise old Yoda everyone knows and loves from the films. With that in mind, we likely won't be getting the mysterious Jedi Master's own backstory, but he could still tie into the mystery surrounding Baby Yoda, and even vice versa. 

George Lucas purposely left Yoda a mystery to Star Wars fans, making him the only creature in the known universe whose species is not explicitly named. We know he isn't the only one of his kind — we've seen see glimpses of a female of the species, Jedi Master Yaddle, in the The Phantom Menace — but little else is known about Yoda and his origins. Having Baby Yoda feature in upcoming Star Wars films could potentially clear up a few mysteries about the tiny green Jedi Master, from his species' origin to their apparent strength with the Force. Plus, it would link the new era of Star Wars to the old, and tie the small-screen universe to the silver one.

Abrams hasn't offered up any theories as to how much information Baby Yoda might reveal about Yoda's species — and with plenty still to learn about both Baby and Big Yoda, fans will have to somehow find an ounce of patience as Disney and Lucasfilm release said secrets in tiny little drips and drops.