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We Now Know Whether Baby Yoda Is In The Rise Of Skywalker

We don't yet know much about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but we do know of one tiny, adorable Force user who won't be making an appearance.

The movie's co-writer and director J.J. Abrams recently confirmed that, alas, Baby Yoda — the 50-year old infant who has taken the world by storm from the moment he first appeared in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian — won't be in the upcoming conclusion to the Skywalker Saga. Abrams made his remarks to Variety at the movie's premiere.

Asked point blank if the floppy-eared tot is in his film, Abrams stated simply, "Baby Yoda is not in this movie." Asked for his opinion of the character, he predictably responded, "Cutest thing in the history of time. How do you deny Baby Yoda? You cannot." Abrams' interviewer then expressed a preference for the original "O.G." Yoda, prompting the director to deadpan, "You have a heart of stone, my friend."

Well, Mando-fans, we hate to be the bearers of bad news; this is a bummer, but one that could have been predicted. In fact, we did predict it earlier this month; the level of synergy required for the Rise of Skywalker team and the Mandalorian team to pull off the crossover would just not have been feasible. 

Of course, fans of the excellent Disney+ series can always hold out hope that Abrams is lying through his teeth, which would not exactly be an unprecedented development for a Disney employee. Heck, Marvel stars and filmmakers do it all the time, to the extent that they probably have clauses guaranteeing "lying through your teeth" bonuses in the likely event that they are forced to tell big, fat, whopping fibs to the press.

In this case, however, we really, truly don't find that to be likely. The final nail in the coffin of the possibility came when critics who caught the premiere took to social media to voice their opinions of The Rise of Skywalker (for the record, these initial reactions registered as "mixed-to-positive"). Sure, the embargo on official reviews and spoilers hadn't yet been lifted at that time, but we absolutely guarantee that if Baby Yoda had showed up in the movie, even for a second, somebody would have spilled the beans.

Unfortunately, we're inclined to take Abrams at his word — but hey, take heart. Perhaps he'll follow in the footsteps of Star Wars creator George Lucas and give us a "Special Edition" of Rise of Skywalker at some point down the road, one in which a random shot will be altered to show us Baby Yoda just kind of sitting there, staring at the camera, Boba Fett-style.

Will Baby Yoda be in The Mandalorian season 2?

We know what you're thinking: wait, The Rise of Skywalker takes place only 25 years or so after the events of The Mandalorian. Everyone knows that Yodites (yes, we're still calling them that) can live to be, like, 900 years old. What gives? Where the heck is Baby Yoda? Did Baby Yoda die

Okay, chill out, don't clutch your chest just yet. Once again, we're about 99 percent certain that The Rise of Skywalker's Baby Yoda deficiency is solely due to the logistical difficulty of planning a character crossover between a major motion picture and a nearly-as-major TV series (which, incidentally, are making their debuts within a month and a half of each other).Yes, season one of The Mandalorian is coming to a close, and yes, things are getting real for little BY — but we still have no reason to believe that the little green cutie pie is going to meet his demise any time soon. In fact, we have reason to believe quite the opposite.

This is thanks to Knives Out and Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, who did a bit of fortunately-timed blabbing to The Wrap late last month. As you probably know, the reveal of Baby Yoda at the end of The Mandalorian's first episode was a closely-guarded secret, and Johnson alluded to this when he was asked what he thought of the character.

"He's amazing!" the director said. "I visited the set of The Mandalorian a month ago, and I spotted Baby Yoda in the corner and the producer shot me a look as if to say, 'you can't say a word!' I've been holding that secret in my heart for forever now. And the memes are amazing. I'm very pro-Baby Yoda."

Well, that sure is a cute little anecdote, but we'd like to call your attention to three key words: "A month ago." The entire first season of The Mandalorian has been wrapped for quite some time, and it is in fact the second season that is currently before the cameras. Unless Johnson was profoundly confused or experienced some kind of massive time slip, this means that he has spilled the beans in unwitting defiance of that producer he mentioned, and that Baby Yoda will indeed be around for season 2.

So, no matter your opinion of The Last Jedi (we found it to be pretty great), you owe your thanks to Rian Johnson for being unable to keep his mouth shut. Hey, we try to avoid spoilers as best we can, but when it comes to Baby Yoda, we think we speak for the entirety of the Star Wars fandom when we say that we just want to know that the little tyke is safe. Also, preferablywarm and happy and well-fed.