Lucasfilm executive defends The Mandalorian's controversial Baby Yoda moment
The episode featured Mando (Pedro Pascal) ferrying a new character, Frog Lady (Misty Rosas), and her precious container of eggs that represented her entire hope for her ancestral line, which is facing extinction. Frog Lady needed to get the eggs to her husband to fertilize them before the equinox. Several times during the episode, Baby Yoda, a.k.a. the Child, was caught eating the eggs, unbeknown to Frog Lady (apparently, she's not so great at counting). It was a darkly comic running gag, but also had some fans slamming the show for, in their view, turning Baby Yoda into a villain and playing off something that Frog Lady would doubtless find upsetting and horrifying as a joke.
Lucasfilm creative art manager Phil Szostak tweeted some reasoning behind the move Monday: "For the record, Chapter 10 of #TheMandalorian makes it clear that the Frog Lady's eggs are unfertilized, like the chicken eggs many of us enjoy. But obviously, chickens aren't sentient beings and the Child eating the eggs is intentionally disturbing, for comedic effect."
Some fans upset about the scenes didn't find that explanation satisfying (at least, not nearly as satisfying as Baby Yoda found Frog Lady's eggs).
A couple of examples: "I'm a mom. It's not funny at all to hear mama frog lady go into great detail about how important & beloved her eggs are to her & have to watch them get eaten on 3 separate occasions for s---s & giggles. Can't just *one* mom get to survive AND keep her kids?" one user tweeted. Another wrote, "for the record, the frog lady was very adamant about the fact that her eggs were important to her, and that it was her last and only chance to have kids, so it's actually closer to f---ing up someone's [in vitro fertilization] which would be incredibly upsetting for a wannabe mom. it's not funny."
For those who are not taking this seriously, the folks at Funko have you covered with this toy below (and for those who are upset about the scene, this might take you to a whole other level):
Yup, an adorable-looking toy inspired by what some consider the show's darkest moment. Now you too can play with Baby Yoda as he cruelly gobbles up the hope and future of Frog Lady's family. Baby Yoda become Death, the destroyer of worlds, in Funko form.
This all does, however, raise an interesting idea.
Last season, I did a tongue-in-cheek post speculating about whether Baby Yoda might turn out to be evil after he used the Force to choke Cara Dune (Gina Carano). Showrunner Jon Favreau has said Game of Thrones helped serve as a bit of inspiration, of sorts, going into season 2. It would be interesting if in season 8 we learned that the Child was the Daenerys Targaryen of this story and all these little controversies were hints along the way. That said, I don't really think Disney would ever make this beloved character a true villain. But I do think the show could toy, so to speak, with the idea that Baby Yoda is more… complex than we might assume (and perhaps simply due to the fact he is a Child, and children are often cruel without realizing it). In other words, this week's dark story choice might turn out to be more intentional than the callous joke that some of its critics assume.
The live-action Star Wars series follows a lone Mandalorian gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.