When it comes to the pint-size ball of fluff that is The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda, it’s difficult to understand how we had no idea about the character ahead of release.
What with leaks, pre-release promotion, and the temptation to share something that you just know is going to be a massive surprise for Star Wars fan, it’s a wonder Baby Yoda was ever able to be kept under wraps at all.
Luckily, The Mandalorian director and actress Bryce Dallas Howard worked extensively with her kids to make sure the secret didn’t slip out. Howard called the wait “agonizing,” as it was a lot of trouble trying to keep the biggest secret in media over the year.
“I’ve been walking around for the last year with a face like the cat that ate the canary,” Howard told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview. “I’m so, so, so excited to be a part of this and the phenomenon that Baby has become.” Howard refers to Baby Yoda as simply “Baby,” because (as you may have forgotten by now), the small green child has no official name yet, at least in terms of the episodes of The Mandalorian that have already aired.
Howard’s biggest concern was how her kids would deal with knowing the big Star Wars secret that would eventually capture the whole of society’s collective imagination.
“The thing I was most nervous about was that my kids had been on set quite a bit,” Howard said of there experience with “Baby.” “
So, they had seen Baby and interacted with Baby. When we were filming, my kids were 6 and 11; they’re now 7 and 12. When the kids went back to school, every single day I would say, “So, what are you not gonna talk about today?” And they would say, “Baby!” I’d be like, “That’s right!” I would just consistently remind them that there’s no circumstance that could ever arise where they’re allowed to talk about Baby.” It looks like the gag order worked out, because we were all blindsided by the adorable little creature.
“Now, for them, it’s very confusing because I’m like, “Oh, now, you can talk about Baby,” and they’re like, “Oh, okay.” We’ve been having this routine for about a year now, and it’s fun; it’s really, really fun.”
Howard knows everyone is upset that there isn’t enough Baby Yoda-shaped goodies to buy, too.
“Everyone is super pissed that there’s no merch. Everyone is like, “I want a Baby Yoda stuffed toy!” But, I think they made a good choice in not focusing there and just focusing on the storytelling.” There are a few shirts (and a few toys coming up, too), but overall the selection is pretty bare.
But we can all agree on one thing: Baby Yoda was a secret that was well-kept in the end, and given the work that went into keeping him under wraps, we can only imagine what’s still to come.