By James Hibberd
May 29, 2020 at 06:29 PM EDT
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The creative process is rarely pretty.

And sometimes it's downright ugly — like in the case of designing Baby Yoda.

First, a design that is rather unsettling:

Disney+

Oh, no! It's more like Senior Moment Yoda. This is a tragic and lost figure, with a Benjamin Button face, huge wing-like ears, and those bulging, ruddy cheeks that perhaps contain the corpses of half-eaten frogs. One can imagine a very different season premiere: IG-11 takes aim at Baby Yoda in his crib, and then Mando turns to the killer robot and says: "Do it."

"We got lots and lots of drawings," explained The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau. "Some of them were too cute, some of them were too ugly, some of them were the wrong proportions."

Well, we know which one that one was.

Here are a couple more of the early designs:

Disney+

The one on the right takes Baby Yoda straight into Dark Elf territory, no?

Here's yet another:

Disney+

Not bad! Definitely a closer vibe to the original Yoda. But this feels more like Bachelor Yoda than Baby Yoda. He looks youthful yet not childlike, and rather cocky — showing off his force powers, and with ears that could poke your eye out.

Now here's the design that put the team on the right track:

Disney+

Familiar, right? Better, yes?

"Finally there was one image that Chris Alzmann did that had him wrapped up in what looked like a piece of a flight jacket," Favreau said. "His eyes were a little weird, and he looked a little out of it, there was something a little off with it. But we found it charming, and that became the rallying image that we said, 'This is good.' And it developed from there."

This all goes to show how a character design that seems so self-evident in a movie or TV show never really is. The process of creating a new character can go wrong in so many ways, and can only go perfectly a few ways. And clearly, Baby Yoda turned out perfect.

Okay, now let's bring out the real and final Baby Yoda, because we all need to see that now… if only to prevent that first design from haunting our dreams:

Lucasfilm

There are more Baby Yoda early designs and backstory on its creation in the episode, "Practical," which is streaming on Disney+ now.

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Related content:

The Mandalorian

The live-action Star Wars series follows a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 1
rating
creator
  • Jon Favreau
network
  • Disney+

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