By James Hibberd
December 18, 2019 at 10:40 AM EST
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Spoilers from The Mandalorian episode 7 and speculation follow.

Yoda once said: “Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not!”

Wise words. But have we all been making the same mistake by judging Baby Yoda by its off-the-charts cuteness?

Baby Yoda — a.k.a. “The Child” — shot into the pop culture stratosphere following the November premiere of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. Those big eyes, that tiny frame, that wrinkled head, the cooing noises, the bone broth sipping, playing with cockpit controls, helping out Mando — what’s not to love?

Episode 7, “The Reckoning,” was posted on Disney+ a couple of days early this week. It planted an intriguing seed midway through the story. Mando (Pedro Pascal) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) are playfully arm wrestling. Baby Yoda is watching. And suddenly the little green kid Force Chokes Cara Dune. “That is not okay!” she exclaims. “It almost killed me!”

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In the films, its characters like Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and Kylo Ren have used this ability — it’s considered a Dark Side/Sith-y power.

And Mof Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) warns Mando about The Child: “You may think you have some idea what you’re in possession of, but you do not.”

The episode ended on a cliffhanger with Baby Yoda captured and Mando and Cara overwhelmed by Gideon and his legion of Death Troopers.

So what does all that mean? Have we been deceived? What if Baby Yoda only helping Mando for its own temporary self-interest and biding its time before its true self is revealed?

Granted, there is almost no way the character is an adorable demon seed mini Sith lord, although that would be a terrific twist — if all this time Mando has been fighting to protect something hugely destructive and with secret evil intent. But this is still Disney, after all. The Child was certainly being overly protective of Mando and doesn’t have a concept of what its force powers mean.

So what is, then, going on with this character? One fan theory is Baby Yoda was either cloned from the actual Yoda, or that Gideon plans to clone the child to create force-sensitive troops of some kind. Earlier in the season, Baby Yoda was given to Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) for “extracting the necessary material.” Pershing wore the insignia of Kamino, the planet which cloned the army from Jango Fett. Now in Episode 7, the ugnaught Kuiil (Nick Nolte) seems to shoot down one of the theories, saying he used to work in a cloning facility and that the child is “too ugly” to be a clone.

Here’s what’s certain: There is only one more episode of The Mandalorian left — next week’s finale directed by Taika Waititi.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

The live-action Star Wars series follows a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.
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  • 11/12/19
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